Measuring progress made

Published 12:19 pm Thursday, October 31, 2019

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I’d like to take a moment to offer congratulations to Randolph-Henry High School’s varsity football team for earning its first victory of the 2019 season last week.

The Statesmen have been working hard on the gridiron, but victory had eluded them through their first eight games this year. On Friday, Oct. 25, they jumped out to a 20-0 lead against visiting Cumberland County High School in the first quarter and went on to win 26-8.

“Overall, I thought we played pretty well,” Randolph-Henry Head Coach Zach Orlando said.

This is Orlando’s third year as head coach of the team. He has been working to develop the Randolph-Henry football program as a whole during that time, and he has noted seeing different gains along the way. For one, the varsity team is now finally becoming a squad populated with experienced, varsity-aged players who have come up through the program.

But given all the advances made, there were certainly hopes from Orlando and everyone connected to the program that more games would be showing up in the win column for the Statesmen this year.

Randolph-Henry went 1-9 in the 2017 season and 1-9 in the 2018 season. Each time, the one victory came against Cumberland, a Virginia High School League Class 1 team that has been struggling mightily.

The Statesmen, though few in number like a Class 1 team, are Class 2.

They are facing the prospect of a third straight 1-9 season, but Orlando has noted that the hard work put in by many has been bearing fruit, even if it isn’t in the form of the additional wins that they had hoped for. It is bearing fruit in the form of games in which the Statesmen are competitive.

A majority of their nine games played have had genuine suspense as the Statesmen have been able to put up points while making their opponents work for what they get.

And the season isn’t over yet. Randolph-Henry has a bye this week, giving it extra time to prepare for its season finale Friday, Nov. 8 — a road game against Amelia County High School, which is 4-4 overall and 2-4 in the district, as of this writing. Adding another win is within Randolph-Henry’s grasp.

I’d like to let the Statesmen and their coaches know that though their development may not have translated into the results they were hoping for thus far, their progress has been noted nonetheless, and I encourage them to keep pressing on to new heights.

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