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Excitement building for MHS football, new coach

There’s a feeling of excitement in the air building for Mathews High School football.

You can sense it looking at the packed sidelines of last Thursday’s benefit scrimmage game against Middlesex. This year, the program boasts 43 varsity/JV players, where “last year we were struggling to get 25 players,” said Carl “C.J.” Kelly.

And Kelly, the new varsity head coach, is a big reason for the excitement.

The Mathews native and former Blue Devil football standout has returned to his alma mater to lead the football program this season. His appointment was retroactively approved Tuesday night by the Mathews County School Board.

It wasn’t too long ago that Kelly, 25, was playing on this same field as a Mathews Blue Devil. A 2011 MHS graduate, he played tight end and defensive end. After graduating, he went on to Virginia Union University, where he played tight end his freshman year and guard on the Panthers’ offensive line his senior year. He...

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