To post a men’s football win over Blacksburg or Patrick Henry in any season is a rare occurrence for any other school in Timesland.
Defeat both Eternal Powers in the same season? Almost unheard of.
Add William Fleming to the short list.
The Colonels beat Patrick Henry 2-1 in overtime Wednesday night after a 2-1 win over Blacksburg on March 30.
Fleming (3-1-1) has allowed just five goals in five games, including two in a 2-0 early season loss to Charlottesville.
Head coach Zach Quest, a Charlotte native who played four years in men’s soccer at Emory & Henry, knew there was potential in the boys’ program from the three years he spent as Fleming’s girls’ coach before taking up the boys’ role in 2021.
“The talent has always been there,” Quest said. “As a coach of the women’s team, I got to see what the boys had and what it was like for a few years, which was really good for me.
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“If I had intervened earlier, I think I would have fallen into the same traps. I think they needed structure and accountability, just some consistency between what the practices look like and what they hear on the fringes.
Quest said he speaks frequently with football coach Fleming Jamar Lovelace, whose discipline plan has worked well in the football program.
“Absolutely, it was 100% inspiration,” Quest said. “We’ve tried to bring that same mentality to some of the other programs at the school. For some, it’s contagious. For some, this is not the case. I’m basically creating a plan that makes sense for men’s football.
Fleming’s defense starts with a backline led by seniors Diego Trujillo-Bonilla and Sender Perez, and second Jonathan Cartagena.
What this group allows to do in front of the net, goalkeeper Luis Bravo mostly returns.
Much of the offense is handled by elder David Delcid, a 5-foot-4 dynamo who has scored five of the Colonels’ goals this season: two against PH and one against Blacksburg, Harrisonburg and Lord Botetourt.
“Everyone knows who he is at this point, every team we’ve played with at least,” Quest said.
Fleming also relies on first-year midfielders Karol Naredo-Solabac and Edward Yonda, who scored the opener in the win over Blacksburg.
Fleming returns to the Blue Ridge District to play Friday at Northside. The rematch with Patrick Henry will take place on September 28 at PH.
Quest would like to make winning a habit, but the 27-year-old head coach admittedly pinched himself last week after Fleming’s victory over a Blacksburg program coached by VHSL legend Shelley Blumenthal.
“My words when we scored our winning goal were, ‘What’s going on? ‘” Quest said. “I looked at my assistant and that’s pretty much what I said.”
Robie engages in the Va fight. Tech
Christiansburg senior Luke Robie, who won the VHSL Class 3 wrestling title in February at 152 pounds, signed up to Virginia Tech where his father, Tony, is the head coach of the Hokies.
Robie made the announcement via his Twitter account.
He is the second wrestler from Christiansburg to commit to Tech this spring. Senior Aiden LaComa, who won the Class 3 title at 285 pounds, set his sights with the Hokies last month.
Knights named co-players of the year
Cave Spring teammates Owyn Dawyot and Stark Jones were named Co-Class 3 Men’s Basketball Players of the Year by the Virginia High School Coaches Association after leading the Knights to the state championship.
Northside’s Ayrion Journiette also made the first team.
Second-team picks included Cave Spring’s Dylan Saunders and Bryce Cooper, and Northside’s Lawrence Cole.
Cave Spring’s Jacob Gruse was named coach of the year.
Chris Fields, Petersburg, Jr. ; Bernard Fuller, Petersburg, sr.; Carmelo Pacheco, Spotswood, sr.; Tucker Shifflett, William Monroe, Jr. ; Ayrion Journiette, Northside, sr.; Cameron Mise, Hopewell, soph. ; Bobby Gardner, Fluvanna County, Jr. ; Stark Jones, Cave Spring, Jr.; Owyn Dawyot, Cave Spring, sr.
second team Dylan Saunders, Cave Spring, Jr.; Zack Diggs, Skyline, Jr. ; Tyheim Love, Hopewell, sr.; Finn Irving, Wilson Memorial, Jr.; Bryce Cooper, Cave Spring, sr.; Kobe Edmonds, Fluvanna County, Sr.; Lawrence Cole, Northside, Jr. ; Jordan Leaks, Phoebus, Jr. ; Payton Simmons, Manassas Park, sr.
Owyn Dawyot, Cave Spring; Stark Jones, Cave Spring.
Jacob Gruse, Cave Spring.
16 seniors on Byrd signing day
William Byrd held a signing ceremony on Wednesday for 16 seniors, including Hunter Sipe (VMI baseball), Maddy Tuck (Liberty softball) and Sela Beatty (Radford athletics).
Three Terriers are heading in the state to Division II Emory & Henry – Hunter Richards (soccer), Ross Divers (baseball) and Riley Firebaugh (women’s football) – with three more heading to Division III Ferrum – Trenton Sayers (baseball), Anna Milliron (women’s soccer) and Peyton Fuchs (soccer).
A trio of Byrd athletes remain local to Roanoke College – Keely Hoal and Amber Vaughn (softball) and Austin Nielsen (swimming).
Other signings included Cole Spencer (Limestone, men’s lacrosse), Landon Niday (Hampden-Sydney), Emma Dalton (Barton, athletics, cheering) and Ashlynn ReMine (Barton, cheering).
Contact Robert Anderson at [email protected] or 981-3123