STEPHENS CITY – Sherando has an experienced football team, and that’s why Warriors’ head coach Bill Hall isn’t worried about his team overlooking tonight’s opponent – Broadway.
The Warriors, who advanced to the Class 4 state semifinals last year, have won their first two games handily. Hall said it shouldn’t matter who his team plays against each week.
“It’s not about them as much as it about us and how do we continue to progress as units and as a team,” Hall said. “And I would say the same thing if I was playing Martinsburg. We are responsible for our own mentality and makeup of how we approach a ballgame and it shouldn’t matter if we’re playing Broadway or Handley or Martinsburg or anybody. That shouldn’t affect the way you approach the game, because we’re trying to expand upon what we do offensively, defensively, all those types of things.”
The Class 3 Gobblers are off to an 0-2 start, including a 21-20 loss to Skyline last weekend.
Sherando senior quarterback Hunter Entsminger said that it is harder to get motivated to play a non-district game against a Class 3 school on the road.
“They’re an hour away,” Entsminger said. “You got to go on the bus for an hour. And we know it’s a non-district game, but you got to keep the same mindset as if it’s James Wood, Millbrook, a team like that. I really think just keeping that mindset is big. It’s definitely difficult to do against a team like this, but we still got to do it.”
The Warriors (2-0) played Broadway last year at home and won 77-7. Entsminger said that one thing that helps in preparing for the Gobblers is they have seen them before.
“They’re basically the same team they were last year,” Entsminger said. “So knowing what you’re going to get and knowing what to game plan for really helps us out.”
Broadway is led by senior running back Brandon Cruz, who had 150 yards on 24 carries against Skyline and two receptions for 46 yards. Broadway senior quarterback Nicholas Lohr threw for 104 yards and a touchdown in the defeat to Skyline.
The Warriors have scored 107 points in two games this season. Last week’s 42-6 victory over Jefferson was halted at halftime due to lightning. They are averaging 376.5 yards per game.
Hall said that even though they scored a lot of points they still have a lot to work on.
“There’s always room for improvement,” Hall said. “When you get 18 offensive snaps and you get over 300 yards of offense, that’s good, but that’s also bad that you only had 18 offensive snaps. Just from a conditioning perspective, we want to get more stuff live versus somebody other than ourselves.”
Sherando’s offense has been very balanced. Entsminger has thrown for 300 yards on 16-for-19 passing and three touchdowns. Senior running back T.J. Washington has led the ground attack with 233 yards rushing and three scores. Entsminger also has rushed for 106 yards and two touchdowns.
Defensively, the Warriors have been just as dominant. Sherando junior linebacker Payne Bauer leads the team with 16 tackles and three sacks.
Senior linebacker JoJo Doleman said he’s been really pleased with how the team is playing on defense.
“We’re kind of young this year, but we’re still going to get after it like we always do,” Doleman said. “We’re just going to keep grinding non-stop.”
The Warriors will play even tougher competition over the next few weeks playing at Loudoun Valley on Sept. 14 and home against Liberty, who Sherando beat in last year’s Region 4C final on Sept. 21.
Entsminger said the team has plenty to improve on, especially it’s conditioning, but he’s sure they will continue to get better each week.
“We’re on the third game of the season, we’re not anywhere close to where we can be potential-wise,” he said. “But I think as we progress each week we’re going to be a pretty good team.”