2023 Broadway Baseball & Softball Season Preview
by: Ben Elliott
Contrary to Punxsutawney Phil I can’t help but feel like Spring is right around the corner. No, I didn’t see my own shadow, I’ve got a better measure to tell when seasons are upon us.
There is no better measure for the arrival of Spring than the arrival of softball and baseball season.
Just like the previous two seasons, I feel a sort of attachment to the spring season. Maybe it’s the school kid spirit that I still possess, but to me, Spring rings of a sort of loosening up of heavy responsibility for the year. The weather progressively gets better and better, grills start to get uncovered and most importantly, the diamond makes its grand return. Which I put higher on my list of greatest events to occur within the yearly berth of Springtime.
Something about baseball and softball contrasts deeply to the previous sports we’ve discussed on this blog before in previous seasons. The diamond sports have a much more lax feel to them than their hash mark and hardwood counterparts. There is no clock (at least not yet) in between pitches, nothing to signal any sort of rush. You can go to the ballpark and get lost in the games. That laid back attitude and atmosphere gives you something you don’t find with the other sports as an observer in the stands. It also helps that the concession stand isn’t as far away as it might seem to the naked eye.
Warm weather and concession stand talk aside, Broadway Softball and Baseball are back and it’s time to get into our 2023 Spring Season Preview!
Both teams are coming off of playoff appearances yet find themselves at different points so to speak, in their respective journeys. Both teams had their fair share of talent graduate, as is normal for the cycle of high school sports. Both have an influx of young talent ready to play under the lights for the first time with their varsity squad. That experience can be breathtaking at first, but once you get the hang of it, there’s nothing better.
Starting with the Softball team. Head Coach Becky Cantrell is the seasoned leader of the Lady Gobblers program. Cantrell is a real veteran of the game. A no-nonsense, flat out fearless leader, who is the textbook example of how to lead a program. Her team made a playoff appearance in Brookville despite finishing with a record under .500. I know from my limited experience so far here at BHS over the years that playoff experience can go a long way for a young team. The Gobblers, who were young a year ago, will return a now-seasons group of veterans. The Gobblers graduated just two seniors from last year's team, and should return many of the major contributors from the lineup from last season. Emma Morris, who started the season in the circle for the Gobblers, will be a welcome addition after her freshman year was cut short due to injury. With the influx of new faces from last year’s explosive JV squad, the Gobblers will look to compete deep into June. The Lady Gobblers schedule is packed with great opponents that will leave the team battle tested by the time we meet season’s end.
The team will play the usual Valley district foes while making a handful of trips out of the area. A couple of those trips include, Skyline, Fluvanna as well as taking part in an invitational at Brookville High School. The Gobblers open their season on March 13 by hosting Fort Defiance.
When you play 20+ games over the course of a regular season schedule with some hefty travel mixed in along the way, the whole year can feel like a grind by the time you’re finished with it. But with a veteran coach like Cantrell, I expect the team to be right where they want to be come playoff time.
The Baseball team finds themselves with a new man in charge. Head Coach Tim Turner retired this past year after a great stint as Head Coach for the Gobblers. I was lucky enough to be one of the many players that got to play under Coach Turner and I can confidently say that I’ll never forget the many lessons he taught us. Most importantly of which was to always stay even keel which I’ll keep with me as long as I live.
The new head man for the Gobblers is George Laase. Coach Laase previously Coached at Staunton High School and has also spent time Playing and Coaching in the Valley League and the Rockingham County Baseball League. Coach Laase also won the 2021 Valley League Championship as the Manager of the Strasburg Express.
I haven’t known Coach Laase for very long however, it didn’t take long for him to become someone I go and visit regularly after school. Laase is the BASE teacher at BHS, which is a role he’s done a tremendous job in. His room stands as the arena for daily afternoon chess and checkers games which has made his classroom a favorite of mine.
Without further ado let's get into our Baseball portion of our season preview!!
The Baseball schedule will feature the same Valley District rivals as usual with the addition of friend of the blog, Head Coach Jordan Biller’s East Rock high school Eagles. East Rock will be joining the Valley District next season, but will begin a home and home schedule with each team starting this season. Other than the addition of East Rock, the boys will travel to Fluvanna once again, which I must say has become quite a fun rivalry over the past handful of years. The team will also travel to Rappahannock County to take on the Panthers. A trip to Wilson Memorial to clash with the Hornets. Coach Laase and the Gobblers host Fort Defiance on Monday, March 13 to open the 2023 season.
The Gobblers, who finished last season 14-7 and fell to Rustburg in the Region 3C Tournament, will look to replace six seniors from last year’s roster, including Division I Pitcher, Noah Hertzler, who is now playing at William & Mary and four year starter Ryan Anderson and Landen Stuhlmiller as well as Ryan Martin, Cameron Showalter, Brade Smith and Ben Hutcheson. The Gobblers will also welcome back a key member to the 2023 squad as junior Bransen Hensley (Committed to West Virginia) will return after suffering a season-ending injury early last season. Hunter Deavers heads into his senior season coming off a great year last year. Hunter hit over .400 with 14 RBI for Broadway last year. Broadway also returns Sophomore Sy Crider, who, after hitting over .300 in his Freshman season, recently signed to play collegiately at West Virginia. Broadway will also welcome new faces from the JV team to round out the 2023 roster.
I expect great things from each squad. We’ve waited through gloomy winter (weather wise, not sports wise) to finally get to the warm, beautiful weather of a Shenandoah Valley Spring. Softball and Baseball season is upon us and the gang here at the Gobblers Sports Network couldn’t be any more excited about it!
To see the 2023 Spring Sports Broadcast Schedule on the Gobblers Sports Network visit our Baseball/Softball Broadcasts page.
The BHS Baseball Field features a picturesque backdrop that displays the beauty of a Shenandoah Valley Spring.
Photo by: Danny Grogg
By: Ben Elliott
Basketball season has been upon us now for about a month or so. Without bias of course I must admit I’m quite fond of this time of year. It’s the holiday gift giving season that is spent with the people you love the most. But out of all of those feelings there’s one that sticks out the most to me personally.
That feeling is none other than the start of basketball season.
I’ve always held a special attachment to the game of basketball. It’s the only game that you don’t need others to play. Throughout my lifetime it’s provided a great release and joy that hasn’t left me, well, at least not at this point in my 20 years on earth. And just like with football season, I’m fortunate enough to be able to be on the Girls Basketball staff here at BHS.
With all of that background established, it’s time to get into our mid-(ish) season recap so far with over a month gone.
Starting with the boys, they sit at 9-8 on the season. The early gauntlet is always a tough one for Coach Walton and company. Every year a holiday tournament is played here at BHS which always features great talent. This year the tournament featured the Flames of Eastern Mennonite, led by Head Coach Eli Crawford. That line is surreal to type considering the great career Crawford had at EMU. Some of my earliest basketball memories come from watching Coach Crawford and the Royals play. The next team in the tournament is Monticello, led by Head Coach Gary Spry. Lastly, Potomac Falls joins us every year here in the valley. They’re led by tremendous Head Coach Jeff Hawes.
I always loved playing in this tournament dating back to my days with the Boys Basketball team. The atmosphere is always great and it was always exciting to play teams that we may not be as familiar with. We played in some exciting tournaments throughout my years in the program yet unfortunately we were never able to win the whole thing. That changed this year. The boys took two tremendous victories over Monticello and Eastern Mennonite to claim the title. My good friend Caleb Barnes was named MVP of the tournament and Coach Walton picked up his astronomical 200th career win!
Since the tournament the boys have played in some tough games. A couple losses on the road early on in the year are always hard but, I’m sure the coaching staff would tell you that they’d rather have those losses at the beginning of the year rather than later in the season.
Coach Walton and Jameson are two of my heroes when it comes to the game of basketball. If there’s any two guys that can motivate a group of players to win it’s those two.
Now for my Lady Gobblers.
Led by second year Head Coach Jeremy Fulk and his assistants, Janna Grandle, Willie Tinnell, Sarah Wimer and myself, the Gobblers have had a great season to this point, and have posted a 10-8 record on the season. The Lady Gobblers have already surpassed the total of victories from last season.
It’s been a wild ride so far admittedly. There are a bunch of nerves that you fight through mentally at the beginning of every season. You wonder to yourself if you’ve done enough personally as a coach to get your kids ready. But the second the first whistle blows you’re off and running. We’ve played in a ton of close games thus far. A couple of which we’ve dropped on the road however, we’ve also won a couple tight games at home to some really really tough teams.
Racking up a couple great wins against some great teams outside of the area will give us great points in the standings as we inch closer and closer to the Regional Tournament.
We’re young however, I have nothing but faith in our team as we move forward. I think the sky's the limit for us this season and there’s no telling where we’ll go by the end of the year.
Overall Broadway high school basketball as a unit is in a great place. Both teams are primed for the playoffs and both look forward to some great games ahead.
For my next part of the story for the month I wanted to highlight a great young man in our community who’s going through a tough time at the moment.
Lucas Frank, an 8th grader at J. Frank Hilliard Middle School and a member of the JV Football team here at BHS was recently diagnosed with Leukemia in December. Lucas is a tough tough kid who I know will fight day and night to come out on top of this horrible disease. The BHS Football Team does their “Gold Out” Football game as a fundraiser for Childhood Cancer, and now that the disease has hit closer to home, we are committed to helping Lucas and his family as they fight this battle.
Lucas keep pounding buddy! We love you and have your back as a community during this difficult time.
There are various activities taking place to help Lucas and his family throughout their battle. Coach Grogg has already played a big part in raising money, and other programs in the school and in the community have gotten involved as well. New BHS Varsity Baseball Coach, George Laase, is setting up a Super Bowl Fundraiser and community businesses have hosted fundraisers as well. Continue to be on the lookout for more fundraisers taking place throughout the coming months as Lucas continues his battle.
2022-2023 Broadway Basketball Season Preview
by: Micah Morris
There is something about basketball season. Something about the way the ball sounds hitting the hardwood, or the swish of the perfect shot going through the net. Basketball is different. Basketball is what keeps us warm during the cold, snowy months of the winter. Unlike most other sports, being at a live basketball game puts fans close to the action. Just feet from players, hearing the communication on the court and hearing the same sounds as the players gets spectators more involved and invested in the game. It was Basketball that brought Broadway High School its first State Championship trophy, back in 2017. Basketball signals the changing seasons, as autumn rolls into winter, as the leaves fall off the trees, the sound of each dribble is like a drumbeat, leading fans into the gym.
The Broadway Gobblers Boys and Girls Basketball teams kick off their respective seasons in late November, and the Gobblers Sports Network is the home for 20 basketball broadcasts this winter!
The BHS Girls are under the direction of Head Coach Jeremy Fulk, who enters his second season on the sidelines for the Gobblers and is looking to lead his young team to the Region 3C Tournament. The Gobblers feature a combination of experienced leaders and fresh faces that the coaching staff hopes to meld into a cohesive unit, with a sharp-shooting, fast paced offense and a suffocating defense. The Gobblers will be led by five familiar faces. Sophomore Wren Wheeler is the leading returning scorer for the Gobblers this season. Wheeler, who averaged 13.3 points per game as a freshman, will look to continue her stellar play into her second season on the varsity squad. Throughout the 2021-2022 season, Wheeler made more Free Throws (79) than any other BHS player attempted. In addition to being the leading returning scorer, Wheeler also pulled down 6.2 rebounds and dished out 1.6 assists last season. Also returning for the Gobblers this season will be Seniors Lindsey Wimer and Lily Gatesman and Juniors Maya Bacon and Alexa Dingus. The team also features a large group of newcomers this season. Sophomores Jerin Billmeyer and Savannah Janzen will be joined by Freshmen Kaley Runion, April Gingerich, Lilah Deavers and Hannah Tinnell.
The BHS Girls, looking to improve on their 7-12 finish from a season ago, will open this season on November 28 when they host Waynesboro. The BHS Girls schedule features multiple playoff teams including dates with 2022 Group AA State Runner-Up Buffalo Gap. The Valley District promises to be a gauntlet again this year. The Gobblers will face a trio of Playoffs teams from last season including Spotswood, a team that advanced to the Group AAA State Tournament in March. The Gobblers begin Valley District play when they host Spotswood on January 6.
The Broadway Boys Basketball Team is looking to continue their most recent run of success under longtime Head Coach Dwight Walton. The Gobblers have advanced to the Region 3C Tournament in two of the last three seasons and will look to use a variety of returning players as well as new faces to accomplish that goal again this season. Broadway is coming off a 13-9 season and a trip to the Region Tournament where the Gobblers fell to Liberty Christian Academy in Lynchburg. The Gobblers will be forced to replace 60% of their scoring from a season ago, but will have no shortage of options to find the points. Seniors Caleb Barnes and Jowell Santiago are among the returning starters for Coach Walton and his staff. Barnes averaged 8.2 points and 7.6 rebounds per game last season. Jowell Santiago, who also runs indoor and outdoor track at BHS, returns to lead the backcourt for the Gobblers. Santiago averaged 5.3 points per game and 2.3 assists per game last season. Seniors Breylon Miller and Mike Jerichen return this season as well as juniors Conner Michael and Kevin Santiago. Miller appeared in 18 games as junior last season and will be asked to use is long body on both ends of the floor. Kevin Santiago played in 14 games last season for the Gobblers and Conner Michael played in 15 games, both players will be asked to step up big for the Gobblers this season.
Joining the returning players is a host of newcomers to the Varsity Squad this season. Juniors Jet Gonzalez and Denzel Familia will join Sophomores Sam Post, Tristan Yoder and Braden Burkhalter looking to be part of the deep rotation this winter. Yoder hits the hardwood after recently finishing in the Top 10 at the Group AA State Cross Country Meet in the fall. The BHS Boys have another challenging schedule in front of them, including contests with six playoffs teams from a year ago. After opening the season by hosting Charlottesville on November 30, Broadway will host their annual “Tip-Off Tournament”. The two-day event (December 2 & 3) includes teams from BHS, Eastern Mennonite High School, Monticello High School and Potomac Falls High School. The Gobblers are also scheduled to play in a Holiday Tournament at Cave Spring High School in Roanoke after Christmas. The Valley District promises to be tough again this season as the Gobblers will face each opponent both at home and on the road. The Gobblers open district play by hosting Turner Ashby on January 10.
The entire BHS Basketball schedule can be found at www.broadwaysports.org.
BHS Coach Dwight Walton and Assistant Coach Terry Jameson talk with the Boys team during a timeout at a scrimmage.
The motto of ultimate sacrifice lives on at BHS
The Annual Soldier Tribute Game will take place on Friday, November 4, 2022.
One thing that comes along with football season is a bittersweet tradition unlike any other. Military service is one of the most selfless acts one human being could provide to their nation. You put yourself on the line everyday with the feeling in the back of your mind that every day might be your last. Yet despite that reality you’re willing to give it all up in the name of having your people’s backs’.
That story of selflessness is one that reminds me and many others in the Valley of Broadway native and hero, Brian “Bucky” Anderson.
Bucky was a student at Broadway High School in the early 2000’s, graduating in 2004. He participated in football and wrestling, the latter of which resulted in multiple state honors including the ultimate honor of the sport, two state championships. After his decorated career at BHS, Bucky enlisted in the military, serving in the U.S. Army, until paying the ultimate price with his life when he was killed in action on June 12, 2010 while serving in Afghanistan.
His passing and ultimate sacrifice remains a constant memory for the students and staff at Broadway High School as well as throughout the tight-knit Broadway community. To this day, Bucky’s number, 21, remains the only retired number in school history.
To me and many others Bucky represents our area as a whole. His spirit is felt every time we walk up to the game field no matter the occasion. And without fail I always take a moment in front of his statue which always gives me the extra push to give everything I have on the field for my kids, fellow coaches, and the community as a whole. His memory is felt in our locker room. Where locker #21 is dedicated to him. Some of his belongings such as his football, wrestling and, most importantly, his military uniform remain in the locker room for everyone to see.
That locker is a beautiful tribute to an incredible man. A man who has inspired us for a lifetime. I know that no matter what is going on in my life I’ll always be able to take a quick moment in front of his locker or statue to give myself the extra jolt when the going gets tough.
Bucky’s memory sparked a tradition that takes place every year here at BHS; the Soldier Tribute Game.
The Soldier Tribute Game was started by former BHS Football Coach Brad Lutz. Each game that was played while Lutz was the Head Coach was in memory of a fallen soldier. However, the final home game of each season was reserved for our local hero, Bucky.
The Soldier Tribute Game has also captured national attention. In 2016, the game was featured on the National Football League’s “Together We Make Football” celebration in preparation for Super Bowl 50. The NFL sent a film crew to Broadway to film the Soldier Tribute Game. For the celebration, former Green Bay Packers Quarterback and NFL Hall of Fame member, Brett Favre, visited the area, sitting down with Bucky’s mother, Margaret Anderson, to learn more about Bucky. As a final prize for their work on the Soldier Tribute Game, Coach Lutz and Ms. Anderson were selected to attend Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara, California.
For each Soldier Tribute Night game, the Broadway Football team always wears military inspired uniforms that highlight a different branch and their unique one of one uniforms every year. I can tell you from experience the reveal of the uniform is always a special time for everyone on the team. Coach Grogg does an unbelievable job of designing the uniforms to be as unique as possible to pay tribute to our nation’s heroes. Prior to the start of the game, one current BHS player is selected to wear the special #21 jersey for the game. Being selected to wear the #21 jersey for the Soldier Tribute Game in one of the highest honors a BHS Football player can achieve.
My personal, and definitely unbiased, favorite uniform over the years was the one from my senior year that never got to see the light of day due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The uniform was our usual winged helmet with a white jersey that had a Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk on one shoulder with a saying on the back. The saying read: "Got Your Six".
When I received my jersey at the end of my senior year I got to research what exactly the motto meant and why it was on the back of our jerseys. The answer made complete sense and brought the whole meaning together. "Got Your Six" originates from World War I pilots which translates to “I got your back”. That saying has been on each Soldier Tribute jersey ever since. It’s a saying that means so much more than could be put into words. It’s a saying that lets your loved one’s no matter where they are know that I’ve got your back no matter what. I do whatever I can to help you no matter what. And to me, that’s what this is all about.
2021 Soldier Tribute Game: Landon Stuhlmiller wears the #21 jersey in memory of Brian "Bucky" Anderson
Locker #21 in the BHS Football Locker Room in memory of Bucky Anderson
Broadway Football At the Bye Week
Recapping the First Four Games and Looking Ahead to a Special Night
So far through the 2022 BHS Football Season, the Gobblers record stands at 1-3.
The season opened with a thrilling, lightning delayed win over Fluvanna County. Broadway traveled nearly two hours to Palmyra, VA to take on the Flucos in Week 1. The Gobblers started off with a steady run game which carried the offense up and down the field throughout the first quarter. Then in a flash, lightning struck, leading to a 53-minute delay. Going through a lightning delay from a coaches perspective is just as irritating as it has to be for the fans. You get so dialed into your game plan and preparing for a game that when it comes to an abrupt stop, it’s incredibly frustrating. However, due to the grace of Mother Nature, we were able to resume the game that same evening. After the delay, the Gobblers scored on the ensuing possession, paving the way for a 28-17 victory.
After a great Week One, the schedule headed back home to Broadway for a week 2 tilt with the Strasburg Rams. Like I mentioned in the Season Preview, the Rams were everything as advertised that we remembered from our game last year. Their Wing-T offense was full of misdirection and nose bleeding inside runs. Our week 2 tilt was admittedly a tough one. The scoreboard read 27-6 however, after fighting illness and injuries during the week, the Gobblers Coaching Staff was proud of the way the team fought. The Rams are one of the better teams in the area and to fight like the way we did was a good sign about our team’s toughness.
Week 3 started a two-week road trip that saw us visit the Dragons of William Monroe. This game was yet another slug fest. From a coaches standpoint, I felt like we matched up well against the Dragons. The defense matched up well with their single wing offense however, games like this come down to one thing, whoever blinks first. Unfortunately, in this circumstance, Broadway blinked first. My hat goes off to the Dragons as they answered the call, capitalizing on the energy of the home crowd to grab a 27-14 win.
Lastly, our road trip across the area ended with a tilt against former Valley District foe, Fort Defiance. Fort has hard working kids just like BHS, which always reminds me of our teams no matter the sport. I mentioned the Strasburg game being a slug fest, and Fort was a slug fast on a well balanced breakfast. The Gobblers grabbed an early 7-0 lead, and the defense was stout, leading Fort to run only eight plays on offense in the first half. When I saw that statistic I had to check twice to ensure it was correct. Our offense methodically ate time off of the clock while gaining 4 or 5 yards on each play. Just like the week before against Monroe, this contest was so close that whoever blinked first would find themselves on the wrong side of the scoreboard. Again, the Gobblers blinked, as the Fort offense provide some big plays, which led to the Gobblers losing a hard-fought 19-7 contest.
Heading into the Bye Week, the Gobblers record stands at 1-3. I know that isn’t the flashiest record however, the games we’ve played have been much closer than the scoreboard might indicate. Broadway had tough contests against some great teams and held our own physically in each game. From my view, I know this team and with that being said I have no doubt that the team will rebound. It’s a game of inches and the last couple haven’t gone our way. But, if there’s anything I’ve learned in my years around BHS Football it remains simple. We won’t fold. We’ll bring physical play to the field each night to give our opponents everything we’ve got.
After the bye week, the Gobblers return home for a huge game that means so much to so many. Childhood Cancer Awareness night versus Central on September 30. The “Gold Out Game”, which raises awareness for childhood cancer, is a tradition started at BHS in 2019 during Coach Danny Grogg’s first season which was my junior year. I remember being in the locker room before the game and families with their warrior kids came to visit us. It was incredibly emotional, yet very inspiring to listen to their stories. To listen to their fights and most importantly to listen to how they overcame the greatest struggle one can imagine was awe inspiring.
It really put everything into perspective for me. It showed me how important Broadway Football truly is. We, as a community, have witnessed children fighting the toughest fight imaginable, yet they look up to us because we are on the BHS Football Team. It was a beautifully inspiring night and continues to be inspiring years later. The Gold Out Game is a special night in which we honor the brave children who’ve fought the toughest fight of all, a fight far tougher than any on the football field.
I know I'm not alone when I say I'm really looking forward to our game on September 30. I can’t wait to meet all the inspiring souls who keep us moving forward when the going gets tough.
While the current losing streak hasn’t been the most enjoyable weeks of our lives, next week serves as a reminder that what we do is much bigger than any of us could comprehend. As a team, we are going to continue to inspire our community. Hopefully providing inspiration to keep fighting during their toughest battles. In return, we’ll take the inspiration we get from the community and repay the favor!
Picture used with permission of BHS Football
2022 BHS Football Season Preview
The Lights Shine A Little Brighter on Friday Night
2022 Broadway High School Football Season Preview
After living in the valley for almost 20 years, I’ve decided one non-negotiable fact of living here is that late summer into early fall is the best time of the year. For many years, it’s something that my family and I look forward to. Something we long for during the cold, dark winter days. Whether it be the fast approaching Halloween season, the MLB’s Fall Classic or something more.
Something that I and many other folks in my community consider to be much, much bigger…
The start of another Broadway High School Football season.
For me, like many others, it always starts out when you’re a young child. You go to games with your family, you see big wins and tough losses, you make the 11 guys on the field and the rest on the sideline absolute hero figures, almost Superman-like. All of those experiences make Friday nights out to be a spiritual experience. While you’re in it it’s glorious, and when it’s gone you long for it. And believe it or not, those feelings intensify when you’re a player or coach, not just as a fan. Being hands on from August until November gives you a sense of ownership, something to be proud of. There may be long nights that might zap you of everything you have to give at times, but no matter what happens on or off the field, the sentiment remains the same, being a Broadway Gobbler is something different. Something that can’t be compared to anything else. You live the moments with the team, regardless of whether you’re on the team or not. That’s the experience that will stick with me for a lifetime.
As the clock ticks forward to opening night at Fluvanna County High School on August 26th, all those feelings I and many others associate with Broadway Football come back once again, arguably stronger than the year before. We’ve made it through the snow and the cold weather for our own fall classic, some would say.
Those excitable feelings aside, I’d like to now flip the script to our season preview for the 2022-23 Broadway football season!
2022 Home Games: (Strasburg, Central, Turner Ashby, Harrisonburg and Waynesboro).
2022 Road Games: (Fluvanna, William Monroe, Fort Defiance, Rockbridge and Spotswood).
Let’s start with the home slate, which features some heavy duty opponents. Strasburg and Central are offensive juggernauts who run offenses that are very difficult to contain. Both of the respective teams will feature run-first attacks that are built on putting defenses to sleep with methodical run-based play calling, both of which I enjoyed watching last year. The next home game on the slate is one that folks have been looking forward to for some time now. It’s no secret that the rivalry is alive and well with TA. Both schools feature passionate fan bases that show up for their squads no matter what. After playing every matchup in Bridgewater the past few years, I’m really looking forward to the rivalry being played at our house for a change. TA will be powered by a new coaching staff that will feature a pass-first attack. Harrisonburg and Waynesboro are the final two opponents on the home slate. Both teams are very familiar opponents for us here at BHS. Harrisonburg’s offensive attack last year featured a good mix between high flying pass plays and a ground and pound run game that was at times difficult to plan for. It’ll be interesting to see how they rebound with the graduation of quarterback Keenan Glago. Waynesboro on the other hand remains a familiar opponent despite leaving the Valley District. The Little Giants remain on the rise improving upon what they build on each year. Last year’s game was incredibly exciting. Definitely a tough loss for us to take, however, I always look forward to the Subway Series on the first Friday every November.
As for the road slate, it’s a slate that will see the Gobblers travel all over the region. Fluvanna County High School is quite the trek. Almost a two hour ride that will place us on the face of the sun, temperatures are expected to reach nearly 90 degrees with over 70% humidity, which will make conditions much hotter than the thermometer might reveal. Fluvanna is another squad that features a mostly run-first game that falls under the Wing T umbrella. The Wing T offense is one that is very, very good at deception with a ton of moving pieces that can be easy to get mixed up in. William Monroe is another out of district game that I am really looking forward to. They are a team that we don’t play very often, yet I really enjoyed last year’s matchup. A team with a fan base that is just as passionate as our own. Fans that let their loyalties be known, which makes for a lively environment. Fort Defiance is another former Valley District foe that always puts a solid team on the field no matter what. This is a team that kind of reminds me of what we’ve built here at Broadway. We never have athletes that will blow you away, but I can promise you we’ll have blue collar kids who will give the game everything they have. I’ll always have respect for Fort Defiance because of that. Next up is Rockbridge. Rockbridge is another drive that’s admittedly not my favorite; however, one thing about Rockbridge is that no matter the sport, you know you’ll get a good contest from them. We’ve had lots of memories over the years playing against the Wildcats with how close the games have been. Last up is Spotswood. If you’ll remember back to the 2020-2021 shortened COVID-19 year, we played the Blazers in Penn Laird and only won by a score of 7-6. That’s a game from my senior year I’ll never forget. The Blazers feature multiple different packages on offense, which makes them unpredictable at times.
I was asked during our pregame show the other week what I was most excited for this season. My answer will always remain the same. My first year in this program we went 1-9 which was very, very difficult. Fast forward a couple years and we made the playoffs and won a playoff game. I’m proud of the progress we’ve made and my hope for every year is that we continue on what we’ve built.
Broadway Defensive Coordinator Brandon Mays and Head Coach Danny Grogg watch the Gobblers in the scrimmage at Warren County on August 18.