The Woodbridge varsity football team lost some key players from last year’s Division II championship team, which went 6-0 in the division and 11-2 overall. Jed Bell also takes over as the team’s head coach following the retirement of Ed Manlove.
Among the key losses from a year ago are graduates Gabe Wescott, Troy Haynes, Corey Hastings, Richard Massey, Jamon Kane, Ke’Mond Massey, Tajhon Hammond, Brock Keeler, and Josh Propes.
The team’s returning players include seniors Trey Haynes (WR/DB), Jayquan Massey (RB/DB), La-Tyron Stones (WR/LB), Taeshaun Ford-Jackson (OL/LB), and Vijay Singh (OL/DL) and junior Josh Benedict (OL/DL).
“I think we’re growing up a lot,” Bell said of his senior players. “They know the right way to do things.”
The Raiders have senior leadership up front but are young at the skill positions.
Some of the newcomers are: senior Dalton Perdue (QB/LB); junior Michael Plummer (FB/LB); and sophomores Kenny Newton (RB/LB), Ormon Sanders (TE/DL), and Jordan Evans.
“They’re hungry to show what they can do. They’re filling some big shoes but they’ve been sitting behind those guys for a while,” said Bell. “They’ve stepped into a program where things are really rolling. Those guys coming up through middle school, that’s what they know.”
The Woodbridge varsity football team has made the state tournament in each of the past five years and has won the state title in two of the last three seasons.
The Raiders face upstate state tournament qualifiers Caravel, Archmere, and Friends as well as a Virginia team to help prepare for Henlopen South play. The team has a pair of Saturday games and, like other Henlopen South teams, had to fill a fifth non-conference game with Milford’s move to the North.
“It’s always a battle every Friday,” Bell said. “Everybody’s really well coached.”
Woodbridge opens the season at home against Caravel on Friday night.
“We’re excited. The guys are working really hard. They’re ready to hit somebody other than themselves,” said Bell.