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Young but experienced Chargers to host Mathews

The first half of last Friday’s varsity football scrimmage between Middlesex High School (MHS) and New Kent High School at MHS was played without pads and helmets, and no contact was allowed due to Virginia High School rules regarding high heat indexes. Above, MHS standout running back Raquan Marshall (center) runs between a pair of New Kent defenders after catching a pass from MHS quarterback Cameron Wells. (Photo by Larry Chowning)

by Larry Chowning

The Middlesex High School Chargers varsity football team will open its regular season at 7 p.m. Thursday, September 1, against long-time district foe Mathews at the Syd Thrift Athletic Complex at MHS in Saluda.

The Chargers are coming off a strong 7-4 season in 2015 that included a trip to the 1A East Region playoffs in which they were defeated by Luray.

Charger coach Billy Jarvis was named the 2015 Tidewater District 1A Coach of the Year and MHS has several All-District and All-Conference players returning this year.

However, MHS lost several standout players to graduation including quarterback and safety Marquez Holmes, the Conference 42 Offensive Player of the Year and the Tidewater District Defensive Player of the Year.

Leading the returnees is junior Raquan Marshall, a 6’0”, 190-pound running back who was named first team All-Conference last year when he rushed for 988 yards and scored 15 touchdowns.

Other 2015 all-stars returning to the team are junior kicker Jack Ruark, who was a second team All-District and second team All-Conference in 2015. He made 38 of 44 extra points and connected on three field goals.

Demetre South, a 6’1”, 170-pound junior, made first team All-Conference at linebacker and was an offensive standout at wide receiver.

Second team All-Conference junior lineman Thomas Hamilton returns to help anchor the defensive line and make an impact at tight end. Hamilton is one of the smallest offensive tackles in the region (155 pounds) but is known for his quickness and smart play on the field.

Other returnees include: junior Jordan Blake at offensive/defensive line; junior Carlos Marshall at running back/defensive back; and senior Ja’Mel Reed on the offensive and defensive line. All three earned honorable mention honors for their Conference 42 play in 2015.

The Chargers also have experience at quarterback as senior Cameron Wells returns. Wells has seen a lot of playing time over his years at MHS.

Coming up from junior varsity is sophomore Logan Snyder, who will be the back-up quarterback and a defensive back.

Other seniors on the team are Alex Fitchett, who will play wide receiver/defensive back; Lynne Burch, wide receiver/defensive back; Jacob Delagrange, tight end/defensive back; Tommy Comer, tight end/linebacker; Tim Wilson, offensive/defensive lineman; Deaundre’ Briggs, offensive/defensive lineman; Leke Robinson, offensive/defensive line; and Tanner Johannsen, wide receiver/defensive back.

Juniors returning to the team are Cole Radabaugh, offensive/defensive lineman; Justin Newman, running back/linebacker; Cameron Morgan, wide receiver/defensive back; and Mike Epps, wide receiver/defensive back.

Sophomores on the team are Thomas Diggs, running back/linebacker; Dylan Wells, tight end/linebacker; Gregory Dungee, offensive/defensive lineman; and Chris Lindsey, offensive/defensive lineman.

The varsity also has two freshmen linemen, Jaden Reed and Andrew Jenkins, who were moved up from the junior varsity.

This week Coach Jarvis said his team has had three “really good scrimmages” against New Kent, Essex and Sussex Central. “Those teams challenged us and we seemed to rise to the challenge. The kids have really worked hard and I think we are going to have some success this season.”

The Chargers will host Rappahannock at 7 p.m. on Friday, September 9, at the Syd Thrift Athletic Complex at MHS in Saluda.

posted 08.31.2016

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