Fluco football team readies for first 2021 season

By Duncan Nixon

As we all know, due to COVID-19, there was no fall 2020 high school football season. Fluco head coach Mike Morris is preparing his team for a shortened 2020-21 football season which will be played in Feb.-Apr. of this year. Hopefully, the 2021-22 season will be played as usual in the fall of 2021. Hope that is all clear.

Morris, who took the Flucos to the playoffs in 2018 and 2019, has what he describes as “a young team this year.” The 2019 squad was heavy on seniors and some of the grads leave big shoes to fill, figuratively and literally.

On offense, Morris says he will continue to utilize a wing T style, with variations. Junior quarterback Kobe Edmonds is returning. He is a very athletic player who passes and runs well. In the 2019 season, Morris used a running back by committee system and the results were quite good. However, the running back committee has graduated. This season he notes that he again expects running back contributions from several players. At wingback, he is looking to Xavier Copeland, Tristan Chisholm and Trace Harris for contributions.  He also expects Lance Gowans to play a role at fullback.

On the offensive line, Morris expects that Grant Brown, Ryan Morris and Ryan Elliot will be mainstays. Brown and Morris were on the varsity roster in 2019 and were listed at 275 and 255, so there is some size returning. Edmonds’ targets in the receiving corp will include Jaden Ferguson and John Boy Rittenhouse who were both forwards on the Fluco basketball squad this season, so Edmonds will have some tall targets to throw to.

On defense, Morris will again go primarily with a 4-4 package, but with “multiple” options depending on the circumstances. The defensive line will be anchored by Brown and Jason Hamshar. Hamshar was a standout at linebacker in 2019. Leading the linebacking corp this season will be Chase Paschall, Jacob Morris and Brandon Cox. Moving from offense to the defensive secondary will be Edmonds, Copeland and Ferguson.

The place kicking will be handled by Will Davis and Morris is not sure yet who will do the punting. It will either be Davis or Rittenhouse.

The Flucos start their season with a Saturday afternoon game at Charlottesville on Feb. 27. After that, all their games are on Friday night, under the lights. On March 5, they play at Western Albemarle. Their home opener will be on Mar. 12 against Albemarle.

Morris indicates that in this odd season it is hard to predict which opponents will the toughest, but Louisa, and the two Albemarle squads have always given his teams a hard time.

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