Wednesday, September 03, 2014

James Wood Football Gets Doubled Up In 24-12 Loss To Heritage

Posted: August 30, 2014


Special to The Winchester Star

LEESBURG — It’s that time of year again for high school stadiums to fill up on Friday nights and the James Wood Colonels traveled to take on the Heritage Pride in what was a physical, mistake-filled game.

Coaches always stress discipline to their players and the importance of avoiding costly penalties and taking care of the football — and that will surely be the message preached by James Wood second-year coach Mark McHale this coming week after the Colonels threw four interceptions and committed multiple penalties in a 24-12 loss to start the season.

“I didn’t think we played very good. We can’t throw four interceptions and keep giving the ball back to them. We’ll have to run the ball more to avoid these turnovers,” McHale said.

The Colonels struggled to gain any momentum on offense in the first half as they combined for only 4 rushing yards as a team at the break.

“We could have got a better push off the line. We couldn’t get a good push against their defensive front and struggled to run the ball as a result,” said running back Tyler Bishop.

This wasn’t the case for Heritage though, as its running game dominated the time of possession throughout the night. Running back Mitch Westbrook (25 carries for 116 yards and one touchdown) carried the ball six times on the first possession and capped off the drive with an 8-yard touchdown run to give Heritage an early 7-0 lead in the first quarter

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Football Preview: Colonels Hoping Work In The Weight Room, Cohesion On The Field Will Help Fuel Success

Posted: August 28, 2014


The Winchester Star

WINCHESTER — The view wasn’t as picturesque as sitting on a bench outside while facing Kelican Field.

But for second-year James Wood football coach Mark McHale, sitting on a bench and watching his players inside the weight room was a fitting place as any to talk about the makeup of the 2014 Colonels.

McHale and his players feel there are a number of reasons why James Wood can improve on its 1-9 2013 season (1-3 Northwestern District), and their improved power and fitness are as important as anything they’ve done with Xs and Os.

“We’re stronger as a team,” said senior linebacker/running back Landon Rutherford, one of nine returning starters on offense and seven on defense. “It’s not just certain individuals. It’s the whole team.”

Rutherford (118 carries, 475 yards, 3.9 average and four touchdowns in 2013) said he and junior running back Tyler Bishop (120, 442, 3.7, 4) both lost double figures in pounds over the course of last season.

But a full offseason with McHale has helped them not only get bigger (Rutherford, who finished 2013 at less than 170 pounds, now weighs 194, and Bishop weighs 191 pounds now after finishing at 156) but also more prepared to handle the rigors of three-plus months of football on a daily basis.

Whether they were using the bench press inside or working with weights while doing bear crawls outside, McHale said his players showed great dedication.

“[Our players] worked hard, have gotten stronger, faster, they gained weight,” said McHale, whose team opens with Heritage Friday. “We lifted heavy sets and reps, but the big thing is that the players showed up. Nobody missed a summer workout. And in running and conditioning, everybody on the varsity made the times we wanted. All that gives them confidence.”

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