Football Preview 2017: Turner, Bradshaw looking to lead MMA this season

Massanutten Military Academy quarterback Brendon Turner prepares to throw during a recent practice. Rich Cooley/Daily

Brendon Turner is Massanutten Military Academy’s quarterback, while Tyrek Bradshaw is a wide receiver.

The two MMA football players quickly developed a bond as they started training camp this month.

“I really like that being a receiver you can have a relationship with the quarterback,” Bradshaw said. “Me and Brendon have a nice relationship. We throw the ball around a lot.”

The two could be a key this season for the Colonels.

Turner is in his second year at MMA, but last year he didn’t play at quarterback. The sophomore, who is from Stephens City, said he played at a lot of different positions last year and enjoyed it.

Massanutten Military Academy's Tyrek Bradshaw dives for a catch in practice. Rich Cooley/Daily

“It was pretty fun. I got a lot of playing time,” Turner said. ” Offensively and defensively you never know where you’re going to out at. If someone twists an ankle or something and they need you out there you might have to play at a position you never thought you would play.”

MMA head coach Pete Stone said he knew during baseball season last year that Turner would be the quarterback. Stone, who is also the baseball coach, said that Turner was one of his top pitcher’s last season.

Stone said playing baseball helps Turner for football.

“I knew he had the arm to play quarterback,” Stone said. “He’s really grown up quite a bit in the last year. So he’s going to be a good leader for us. I’m excited. He’s really embraced the position and put in the extra work and studied. So that will be good.”

Bradshaw, a junior from Baltimore, is in his first year at MMA. Stone said that Bradshaw went to summer school at MMA a few years ago and liked it so much that his parents decided to send him to MMA this year.

Massanutten Military Academy coach Pete Stone chats with quarterback Brendon Turner. Rich Cooley/Daily

Bradshaw said he’s always enjoyed playing football and it runs in his family. Bradshaw said his cousin is Adrian Amos, who is playing in his third year at safety for the Chicago Bears in the National Football League.

Bradshaw said he also has two older brothers who played.

“They helped me learn the game quicker, and taught me a lot of techniques,” Bradshaw said of his brothers.

Both Turner and Bradshaw said they enjoy being at MMA, and being in a structured environment.

“It’s kind of different waking up and going right to practice from your school,” Turner said. “Everyone works together to get things done. We never really do anything yourself. You just work with everybody to do everything, even up in the barracks, everyone works together.”

Stone said he was expecting to have 25-28 players on the team this year. MMA didn’t start practice until Aug. 14, and the Colonels’ first game is today against Quantico.

The Colonels went 0-10 last year, but with a solid nucleus back from last year and some bright new additions the team has high hopes for the season.

“I look for us to win some games and be very competitive this year,” Stone said. “This team looks like, from what I’ve seen and on paper, better than what I had last year.”