Loudoun Valley Coach Bruce Sheppard said senior tailback Tommy Schonder finally began to look like his old self last week. The speed and agility that also makes Schonder a standout lacrosse player was back.

There couldn't be better news for the Vikings (6-1, 4-0) as they prepare to host unbeaten Edison (7-0, 4-0) on Friday in a game that likely will decide the Virginia AAA National District title.

"Tommy's a tough kid and he's been giving it all he has," said Sheppard, whose team is in its first season of Group AAA play. "But it was really just the last week or so in practice that I noticed him showing the kind of moves he had before."

Schonder severely sprained his right foot during gym class the week before the Vikings' season opener. He watched that game from the sideline, his right foot in a protective boot. But when a second round of X-rays failed to show what was suspected to be a hairline fracture, Schonder (839 yards, 10 touchdowns) immediately went back to work. He has rushed for more than 100 yards in each of Loudoun Valley's past six games, including a season-best 197 yards and two touchdowns in Saturday's win at Falls Church.

"One thing's for sure, we're going to need him to be at his best Friday because Edison is the real deal," Sheppard said. "They can pound you outside, inside and through the air. And we've got to be able to counter that."

-- Angela Watts