ABINGDON, Va. (WJHL) – The Abingdon football team knows a little thing about winning with the Falcons finishing with a positive record in six out of their last seven seasons, including this past spring when they chalked up a 6-1 mark.
They finished with an undefeated regular season record and the Falcons did it in dominating fashion by outscoring opponents 210-36 during that five game stretch. They won their first round playoff game, but dropped 26-8 to Lord Botetourt. Abingdon hurt itself in that game by turning the ball over four times and not chalking up a single point until the fourth quarter.
“We got a lot of guys back from that team and we got some other guys stepping up to fill those spots of the guys who graduated and I’m just really please with the work ethic and the intensity is where it needs to be,” Abingdon head coach Garrett Amburgey said.
This squad has plenty of returning pieces from last years squad and Amburgey mentioned the important of varsity minutes.
“There’s no substitute for experience, getting out there and getting those game reps, that experience to be able to draw on that and it filters down to the guys, the younger guys and our guys showing them ‘Hey, this is the way it needs to be,” Amburgey said.
One Falcon that logged a lot of varsity action that won’t be returning to Abingdon this season will be running back and outside linebacker Martin Lucas. The 6’4″, 240lbs back is getting ready for his first season at Division-I program William & Mary.
That doesn’t mean this Tri-Cities squad is lacking talent. Lucas’ brother, Dasean, was an all-region offensive and defensive lineman last season. Wide receivers Peyton McClanahan and Haynes Carter will be weapons down field, while the ground game will turn to Bishop Cook.
McClanahan will take what he learned on and off the field last season and put it in to action this year.
“Well the guys that played last year, we just got to remember what those seniors led like last year and try to lead this team, the same way they did,” McClanahan said. “They did a great job of leading us and picking us up and remembering that we only got so many games, but we made the most out of the games we got.”
Carter also knows how important it is for this years upper classmen to step their game up.
“It’s going to be hard to replace our seniors last year, because they were really good, our defense was really good. We’re losing most of our defense, but I think that our seniors understand what it takes to have a good defense and I think we can do. So all the seniors, their hairs on fire and they’re ready to hit people.”