Fauquier, which has moved up to the Group AAA Commonwealth District, has the area's toughest schedule this fall. The Falcons face seven teams that posted winning records last year and six teams that advanced to the playoffs.

Fauquier's opponents include:

* One state finalist (Lafayette, 13-1, AA Division 4).

* One state semifinalist (Liberty, 11-2, AA Division 4).

* Three regional finalists (Gar-Field, 7-4, AAA Northwest Region Division 6; Culpeper, 9-3, AAA Northwest Region Division 5; Sherando, 9-3, AA Region II Division 4).

* One regional semifinalist (North Stafford, 7-4, AAA Northwest Region Division 6).

* And one team that was eliminated from playoff contention on the final day of the regular season (Brooke Point, 7-4).

"[Fauquier Athletic Director Allen Creasy] and I talked at great length about the schedule," Falcons Coach Tom Ferrell said.

"We both agreed that this schedule would benefit us in the long run. But it certainly is one of the toughest we've had in a while."

Potomac Falls, on the other hand, faces only four teams that posted winning records last year. The Panthers play three teams (South Lakes, Broad Run and Warren County) that did not win a game in 1998.

CAPTION: Liberty players hope for similar results this season after advancing to the state semifinals in AA Division 4 in 1998.