Trusting the process

Published 10:36 am Wednesday, November 14, 2018

As I talked with Randolph-Henry High School Varsity Football Head Coach Zach Orlando before and during the 2018 season, a recurring topic in his comments was the establishment of a winning culture. He noted that progress had been made on this front but that this season was simply revealing what still needed to be done.

This was Orlando’s second year as head coach of the Statesmen. It was also the second year that they finished 1-9, illustrating that progress, at times, comes slowly.

It takes a special kind of discipline to press on with high effort when the wins are not flowing in.

“We’ve got a really, really good nucleus of kids that understands that we’ve kind of had to take our lumps to try and build this thing to a more stable program than what they’ve seen in years past, and so I think those kids that are sophomores right now are the first real group that will come through and get to really experience it,” Orlando said.

It has been since 2010 that Randolph-Henry has finishing a varsity football season with a winning record.

If the Statesmen are able to match Orlando’s vision for their future and become a successful program, I hope the juniors and seniors presently in the program will not be forgotten. They will have had the all-important task of establishing the foundation on which a winning house can be built without getting to experience much of the winning themselves.

“I think we kind of found our identity a little bit more so this year than we had last year, so I think we definitely have a clear picture of what we’re going to look like in the future,” Orlando said. “… If you want to start competing with people like Goochland and Buckingham and Amelia and even Nottoway and Lunenburg, those teams that we consider we’re chasing, we’re going to have to add to that nucleus. We’re going to need some more bodies.”

Titus Mohler is the sports editor for The Charlotte Gazette and Farmville Newsmedia, LLC. His email address is Titus.Mohler@ TheCharlotteGazette. com.