Seniors lead relentless Warriors

BEALETON — Sherando senior Josh Ojo had only one word to describe his senior class — “relentless.”

That was a word that was on full display Friday night.

Even though the Warriors lost 35-24 to Liberty in the second round of the Group 4A playoffs, Sherando showed a lot of fight and heart in mounting a fourth-quarter comeback.

“I’m just proud of this team, a very hard-working group,” Ojo said. “I’m proud of them tonight. We just weren’t the better ball club, but we fought our hearts out.”

Trailing 35-7, the seniors played a big part in Sherando’s comeback. Ojo and fellow senior wide receiver Adam Whitacre made several big plays to help bring the team back.

Sherando coach Bill Hall said the seniors were even leading the way throughout the game on the sidelines.

“All of our seniors, when you put four years into this it means a lot to you,” Hall said. “You’re willing to do anything just to have a chance for success. So I think they kept rallying the troops all night long. Even though we weren’t having a lot of success in our run game, they kept fighting and kept each other’s spirits up against a really good ball club.”

After a 25-yard touchdown pass from Patrick Minteer to Dylan Rivers, Sherando scored on a safety on the ensuing kickoff. On Sherando’s next drive, a 19-yard pass from Minteer to Ojo moved the ball to the Sherando 47.

Whitacre then caught a 53-yard touchdown pass to cut the lead to 10 with 9:07 left in the game.

“They bit on the screen and I was just wide open,” Whitacre said. “Pat threw a beautiful ball. He’s going to do great things next year. It was a beautiful play. We had a lot of momentum right there.”

The Warriors weren’t able to come all the way back, but still it was a strong year for Sherando’s seniors.

Sherando advanced all the way to the state finals last year, and lost quite a bit to graduation. Whitacre said he was proud of the year Sherando had.

“A lot of people were doubting us, saying we we’re going to be like 5-5, 4-6, and this year we wanted to try to prove the doubters wrong,” Whitacre said. “We did that. We got into the second round [of the playoffs], just came up short.”

Sherando won the Northwestern District title, going undefeated in district play. The Warriors went 9-3, with two of their losses coming to a solid Liberty squad.

Whitacre said he was proud to be part of this year’s senior class.

“I love them guys,” Whitacre said. “I’ll never forget them. Hopefully, we’ll get together after high school and talk about high school [memories]. They’re just a great group of guys.”

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com