Not many teams have to deal with the challenges new Lorton school South County must face this season by playing a full varsity football schedule in its first year.
The Stallions have no seniors, only 30 varsity players and their starting quarterback, junior Jay Rowley, is in his first year of organized football.
So South County's 0-3 start isn't surprising, even to Coach Pete Bendorf, who expected such difficulties in the early going.
"You can get there and explain things to them, and draw it up on the blackboard, and work through it in practice, but until it actually happens in a game, it doesn't sink in," Bendorf said.
At least Bendorf has experience with developing programs. He was the first coach at Centreville when it opened in 1988 and helmed Oakton for 11 seasons, his last coming with a trip to the Division 6 state finals in 2002. At Centreville, Bendorf had the luxury of fielding just a JV team his first year; South County wanted to offer all varsity teams as a way to attract more juniors to the school.
One player at a high level is junior wide receiver Matt Vane, who leads the team with seven receptions and also has sparkled playing safety. In the Stallions' game against T.C. Williams two weeks ago, Vane recorded 12 tackles and added an interception and fumble recovery.
-- Liam Dillon