By Griffin Warlow ’23
The Woodberry Bengal football team closed its season with a dominant 40-0 win over Fluvanna Middle School on Saturday to finish with a record of 2-3. Throughout this season, the boys worked hard and formed memories and friendships that will last a lifetime.
The group lost its first two games to Prospect Heights Middle School and Benedictine High School, but then something magical happened. A game versus John Paul the Great was cancelled, giving the Bengals two weeks to prepare to play St. Anne’s-Belfield at home en route to a 38-0 victory heading into parents’ weekend.
The Tigers then traveled to play Benedictine again, looking for revenge from their four point loss three weeks prior. The game was riveting. Both sides exchanged shots with Benedictine dominating on the ground and Woodberry burning them through the air. Miraculously, the Tigers found themselves in the same spot they were in last matchup. After exchanging touchdowns, it was the Tigers’ ball, down four, in Benedictine territory with a crucial fourth and long. Except this time, they converted. Harley Shuford pitched it to Manning Leachman and Benedictine bit on the possible run, but Leachman threw down field and Charlie Heiskel came down with the 50/50 ball for a first down, now in the red zone. Unfortunately, a late fourth and goal interception with less than a minute remaining silenced the hopeful Bengal team. Benedictine would win 26-22 in an absolute heartbreaker for the Tigers.
“The joy that had been sprung in me as we drove down the field was shattered into a billion pieces as the ball landed in the Benedictine player’s hands,” said center Avery Shuford.
Less than four days later, Woodberry suited up again to play Fluvanna Middle School on the road and this game was much different from their last. The Tigers struck early with a touchdown through the air to Edward Woltz, courtesy of quarterback Harley Shuford. The boys didn’t let up from there. Pushing the intensity and pace the whole game, the team finished the season with a proud 40-0 victory.
“This is the most athletic wide receiving corps we have ever had,” said sixth-form veteran coach, Mac Holman. Mac has coached or played on the Bengal Football team for three years and will be greatly missed.
The Bengal football team this year was far from the most successful or talented, but all involved grew closer together and had an absolute blast. The 2-3 record hardly represents the amount of heart, passion, and determination the team really possessed. All boys and coaches are certainly sad for the season to be over, but they can rest easy and be proud of what they accomplished as a unit.