Thursday, September 18, 2014

James Wood Football Shuts Out Warren County 36-0 For First Win In Home Opener

Posted: September 13, 2014

By ROBERT NIEDZWIECKI

The Winchester Star

WINCHESTER — On a night in which every player on the James Wood football team fought for every yard on offense and scrapped for every tackle on defense, some Manuel labor gave the Colonels a spark, and then some separation.

James Wood senior Nick Manuel set up the Colonels’ first touchdown with a 25-yard interception return to the Warren County 37, then fought off two defenders to turn what looked like a regular 14-yard completion into an electrifying 74-yard touchdown reception to put the Colonels up two touchdowns with just 1:26 left on the first-half clock.

From that point on, James Wood left no doubt who the better team was on Friday night at Kelican Stadium, defeating Warren County 36-0 in non-district action.

Read more: James Wood Football Shuts Out Warren County 36-0 For First Win In Home Opener

 

James Wood Football Hoping To Get On Track Against Wildcats In Home Opener

Posted: September 12, 2014

By ROBERT NIEDZWIECKI

The Winchester Star

WINCHESTER — Following its second consecutive loss to start the season, James Wood senior wide receiver and defensive back Nick Manuel said the Colonels are working on their concentration level.

“We’re losing focus, and we’re messing up on our blocks,” Nick Manuel said.

A James Wood team looking to turn its season around should have no problem with its focus tonight.

It will be the Colonels’ first game of the season at Kelican Stadium (and also the school’s Hall of Fame game), and James Wood (0-2) will welcome in a team in Warren County (0-2) that is also looking to find its way. The Wildcats have been outscored 67-7 so far, including 36-0 in last week’s loss to Brentsville.

“They look like us on film,” James Wood coach Mark McHale said.

Like James Wood, McHale said there are good things to be found on film with Warren County, but those good things are often negated by a bad thing on the next play.

“You’ll see their quarterback run a 50-yard touchdown, but then the next play they’re kind of like us — they’re sporadic, they’ll go backwards,” McHale said. “I think they’re going to get better as the year goes. Hopefully it’s not this game.”

Read more: James Wood Football Hoping To Get On Track Against Wildcats In Home Opener

 

Football Preview: James Wood at Loudoun Valley

When: Today, 7 p.m.

Where: Loudoun Valley High School in Purcellville.

Records: James Wood Colonels (0-1); Loudoun Valley Vikings (0-0).

Last week: James Wood lost to Heritage 24-12; Loudoun Valley did not play.

Last year: Loudoun Valley won 17-0.

Preview: Penalties and miscues were the name of the game in James Wood’s season-opening loss to Heritage last week, and coach Mark McHale knows his team has to clean up the mistakes if it wants to be successful.

“We’re better than what we showed, but we can’t have the penalties and bad snaps and missed assignments,” said McHale, whose side only lost 24-12 despite four turnovers and 45 yards of penalties. “When they were walking off the field Friday they were saying, ‘That ain’t us, that ain’t us.’ So they know they can do better than that.”

The Colonels’ first chance to right their wrongs will come against a Loudoun Valley team that has yet to play a game this season but is already mired in controversy with the recent firing of its coach Daniel McGrath, a former Virginia Tech offensive lineman who had been the head coach since 2008.

Read more: Football Preview: James Wood at Loudoun Valley

 

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

Posted: August 30, 2014

By ALLEN BRIDGE

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

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

 

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

Posted: August 28, 2014

By ROBERT NIEDZWIECKI

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.”

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

 

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