Andrew Holmes ’16
In the middle of rural Virginia, a place called Woodberry Forest exists where you cannot say the word “fall” without “football” in the same sentence, particularly in the first week of November when you are talking about The Game. The South’s oldest high school football rivalry gets underway just as the final leaves of the season settle down on the stunning campus.
“New Year, New Team, Complete the Dream.” That was Woodberry football’s team mantra heading into the 2010 season. Despite multiple newspapers deeming the Tigers as undermanned and without much talent, even referring to the team as “wounded,” the Tigers still gunned for yet another Virginia Prep League trophy. Even before the season started, critics predicted that the Tigers would not win more than four or five games. However, as Woodberry teams have been known to do, they proved the skeptics wrong.
The Tigers far exceeded expectations. Hoping to cap off their incredible season, heading into The Game, the Tigers were 7-1, but they were not done yet. With the 110th match-up on the line, no team epitomized “carpe diem” more than Woodberry’s. While the game at times was close, the Tigers always brought excitement to the table.
Current Notre Dame running back, then junior, C.J. Prosise, set up scoring drives on each of his two interceptions, and junior Carlson Milikin got the offense steamrolling with a captivating kick-return touchdown as well as two interceptions of his own. Senior Jeff Smith helped to carry the home team on the ground rushing for 42 yards on 11 carries, and classmate Joe Miller collected 5 receptions for 48 yards. But, as so often is the story, the defense came up big when it counted. The Tigers forced five Maroon turnovers, leading to three scores. With the game in swing in the fourth quarter, senior Charlie Archer made one last stand for the mighty stonewall defense, recovering a fumble thus enabling the Tigers to secure possession for the final minutes of the game. As it always is, The Game is bittersweet. Woodberry Forest was thankful to have seniors Josh Butler and Ron Lipscomb healthy, as their participation in their final football game of their lives was a game-time decision. Resilience paid off and the dream was indeed completed as the Tigers walked away victorious for the third consecutive year with a 29-17 victory.