Every year, it seems, Bethel's varsity roster is stacked with seniors. And every year, the Bruins restock and keep winning.
For thanks, look no further than the junior varsity, which went undefeated for the third consecutive season. You know how everyone was talking about Phoebus' winning streak, which reached a VHSL-record 52 games? Well, the Bruins' JV now has won 27 in a row dating back to the final game of the 2008 season.
"My goal is to prepare the junior varsity kids for the varsity level," said Bernie West, who just finished his fourth year as the JV's head coach. "And we've been fortunate enough in the course of doing that to win a few games and do it consistently."
One of its closest calls this year was a 10-6 win over Phoebus. The Bruins beat Hampton 32-6. The offense, led by quarterback Anthony Slade, ran the spread but also the Wishbone and Wildcat. The defense posted five shutouts.
This year's varsity roster has 29 seniors, including quarterback Frank Brown, wideouts Rashawn Proctor and Willie Davis, and lineman Gabe Saunders. So if Bethel is to make it back to the playoffs, the JV graduates will be counted on to contribute.
"When you lose people, you have to have a solid foundation," director of football operations Jeff Nelson said. "And our JV program has really helped build the varsity team."
Buy a program
Warwick's boys basketball team won't just have a new coach this season. Until the second semester begins, at least, the Raiders will not have a single player on the floor who played a year ago.
Last season's roster had nine seniors, including top scorer Breven Lyons. Junior Jonquay Byrd averaged 11 points in the six games he played, but Coach Lamont Strothers said he won't be eligible until the second semester.
Patrick Hunt, a sophomore last year, had shoulder surgery. Josh Butler and David Smith, both sophomores in 2010-11, didn't come out for basketball this season.
Gerald JohnsonLewis FreemanCharles DavisJulian Crosby
After six games, Phoebus graduate Brian Darden is Radford University's fourth-leading scorer at 6 ppg. He's shooting 41 percent (7-of-17) from behind the 3-point arc but only 1-of-10 from inside it. …
Kecoughtan graduate Devonte Williams is contributing as a freshman at Virginia State. In four games, Williams is has per-game averages of 4.8 points, 3.0 assists, and 21 minutes. He's started three times. …
With the football team still in the playoffs, Phoebus basketball coach James Daniel isn't sure yet when his team's basketball opener will be. PD play begins Tuesday night, but if the Phantoms win in the Eastern Region Division 5 quarterfinals, that first week — Warwick on Tuesday, Kecoughtan on Friday —will be pushed back.