LaVar Arrington advises Hylton’s E.J. Levenberry, Woodgrove football improves

September 3, 2012

Hylton senior linebacker E.J. Levenberry got some sideline advice during the second-ranked Bulldogs’ 10-0 home win over No. 16 Battlefield Friday night, but it was not all from one the team’s coaches.

Former Redskins linebacker LaVar Arrington, a mentor of sorts to the Florida State recruit after they met while Levenberry played at DeMatha, watched most of the game from the back of the end zone nearest the parking lot but approached Levenberry at least one time during the game.

“He said I could be playing a lot faster and I need to use my hands more, which are the key things I need to work on right now,” Levenberry said. “I need to start running every play — I can’t take plays off — and I have to use my hands more to get off the linemen. . . . I did [the things he told me to do], but I didn’t do them as well as he coached me to do.”

Hylton plays at Patriot on Friday. The Pioneers, in their first varsity season, notched their inaugural win last week, 38-27 over Brooke Point.

Woodgrove turns things around

In its first two seasons, the Woodgrove football team took its share of lumps. A 51-0 blowout against Purcellville rivals Loudoun Valley in year one and last year’s 50-0 drubbing at the hands of two-time AA Division 4 champions Briar Woods exposed the myriad weaknesses of a young crop of players still searching for an identity on Friday nights.

But under first-year Coach Mike Skinner, Woodgrove appears to have found it in the form of an up-tempo, no-huddle offense that has the suddenly-deep Wolverines wearing out their opposition. With Friday night’s 65-0 dismantling of Brentsville, the Wolverines (2-0) have amassed 117 points through their first two games and only given up seven. They have already eclipsed their 2010 scoring output, when they managed just 105 points.

“The past couple years we sort of got used to getting beat, so it’s nice to be on the other end of it now,” senior quarterback Tucker Coil said.

Coil and junior quarterback Will Koester each threw four touchdown passes on Friday as Woodgrove exploited Brentsville’s decision to stack the box to stop the run. The week before against Jefferson (W.Va.), Coil and junior running back Josh Sweet both topped 150 yards rushing.

The balanced offense is a major departure from last season when the team relied almost exclusively on its run game at times. But it’s the pace that has opponents scrambling to keep up.

“We practice tired so we can play tired,” Skinner said. “We’re snapping the ball every 12 to 14 seconds, so everyone is going to be tired.”

More than 170 kids turned out for tryouts this summer, and with 28 seniors on the roster, the Wolverines are more experienced than ever. That depth prevents Skinner from having to use players both ways, which keeps the offense fresh.

“Most of the teams we play have a lot of guys going both ways, and the up-tempo speed tires them out by the third quarter,” Coil said. “We’re just more explosive now.”

The Wolverines begin Dulles District play Friday against Potomac Falls (0-2).

Eagles’ Hawkins proves himself on the field

Freedom-South Riding senior Darren Hawkins is making the transition from the hardwood to the field this fall. A three-year varsity basketball player, Hawkins is trying his hand at wide receiver and defensive back — and he’s catching on quickly. In the Eagles’ 30-14 win over Champe on Friday night, Hawkins caught and touchdown pass and returned an interception for a touchdown. Coupled with his two touchdown receptions in Week 1, he has scored every time he has touched the ball this season.

“We’re going to have to find a way to get the ball in his hands more often,” Eagles Coach Mick Mullins said.

Freedom (1-1) has already scored more touchdowns through the first two weeks than it did all of last season.

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