Dukes open 2011 season against Bruins
Gloucester High School opens the 2011 Peninsula District football season at 7 o’clock tomorrow night at Bethel. "It’s going to be a dogfight again Friday," predicted GHS head coach Sonny Merchant.
Last year’s battle with the Bruins went down to the wire, with Bethel pulling out a late-game win. Many considered it one of the most exciting games played in the district last season, Merchant said.
The Dukes’ second of two pre-season scrimmages, scheduled for last Friday at Grafton, was cancelled due to the approach of Hurricane Irene, but Merchant said his team had a good matchup with the 2010 Division 3 champions from Poquoson on Aug. 19. "I thought we played Poquoson well, played them even. They had all of their offensive line back from last year and they didn’t push us around," he said.
With only 27 players on his varsity roster, Merchant will fill out their ranks with some junior varsity Dukes on game nights. Only about a dozen seniors are on the squad this year. "We are young and inexperienced. But if they stay disciplined and execute like they have shown they can do, we will be successful. It will be interesting to see how mature this team is," he said.
"We have five or six seniors that we have to count on," Merchant continued, including senior captains KaSean Lockley, Landon Smith, Davant’e Smith and Andrew Matney. Merchant will also be counting on senior Mark Greenauer on offense and defense.