Sideline Report

David Kruchko, left, will look to lead No. 14 Westfield to its fifth straight win over third-ranked Centreville tomorrow in one of the region's top rivalries.
David Kruchko, left, will look to lead No. 14 Westfield to its fifth straight win over third-ranked Centreville tomorrow in one of the region's top rivalries. (By John Mcdonnell -- The Washington Post)

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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Game of the Week

No. 3 Centreville at

No. 14 Westfield

Tomorrow, 7:30

On one hand, the Centreville-Westfield series has been tight, with four of the previous five games decided by nine points or fewer. Then again, Westfield has won the past four meetings.

So it all depends on your point of view: Tight series or one-sided series?

"It seems like all the games go right down until the end," said Westfield Coach Tom Verbanic, whose team needed a touchdown drive in the final minutes, and a late-game interception, to pull out a 34-31 win last year. "It's been very even throughout the years.

"But the thing is, there's no factor for coaches about wondering if the kids will be ready to play, because Centreville kids will be ready to play and Westfield kids will be ready to play."

Westfield (4-0) drew students from Centreville (4-0) when it opened in 2000. Former Westfield principal Mike Campbell is now in his first year in that job at Centreville, and new Westfield Principal Tim Thomas is a former assistant principal at Centreville.

"It's bigger than any rivalry I've been around," said Centreville Coach Mike Skinner, who has been an assistant or head coach in Fairfax County for about 25 years.

Given the magnitude of the rivalry, it seems odd that the game, featuring two of the sturdier programs in the Northern Region, is the Virginia AAA Concorde District opener for each school.

"I'd like [week] seven or eight," said Skinner, whose team faces previously ranked Oakton and No. 15 Robinson in the next two weeks. "I don't want it [week] 10 because it's too big of a game late in the season. It'd be nice to play some other district teams [first]. But I'd rather play it now than at the end."


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