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Scalf calls on young Dukes to take ‘vertical step’ in 2019

The Gloucester High School varsity football team returned to the practice field on Thursday, gunning for their third straight playoff appearance.

Despite the recent success and growth of this program, head coach John Scalf is looking for this young team to “take more of a vertical step” past hanging around a .500 record.

“This is the youngest team I’ve had in a long time but also the fastest I’ve had in a long time,” Scalf said of the squad, which will field only 11 seniors but has a bevy of sophomores and juniors. Many of these players spent last season on a successful JV team whose season culminated in a win over Phoebus. While the potential for success is clearly there, many members of this roster are untested at the varsity level.

Despite the uncertainty that comes with fielding this much youth, Scalf and his coaching staff believe that the team’s skilled positions are faster and more athletic than in years past. “I have sev...

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