The Brunswick High School varsity football team will be in the same boat as a number of programs across the state this season as they return to the gridiron after a year loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Second-year head coach Darrell Owens said the Bulldogs are young but they have some playmakers on both sides of the ball and should get stronger as the season goes along.
“We will have to do a lot of teaching early this year,” he said, “and we will have to keep things simple.”
Brunswick returns only three players that saw meaningful varsity minutes in 2019 and they will be called on for their leadership on the field.
Senior quarterback Troy Duncan (6-4, 190) is a playmaker and will lead the offense.
“He is an athlete. He can run it and he can throw it,” said Owens. “I’m looking for big things from him.”
Senior Jaheim Hicks also returns. He was an All-Tri-Rivers District selection and second team All-Region pick as a sophomore. “He is a super athlete,” said Owens.
Senior Joseph Greene will also be counted on this season. He played offensive line and linebacker as a sophomore.
Senior wide receiver Darious Callis who played on the JV team two years ago will also play an important role.
The Brunswick line will be young on both sides of the pigskin this season.
“We are very young upfront,” Owens said.
Brunswick has a large number of sophomores on the roster who last played football at Russell Junior High.
“We have a good groups of sophomores,” said Owens.
Owens said he has been impressed with the positive attitudes of his players who are happy to be back on the field.
“The kids’ attitudes have been great,” said Owens. “I like this group because they seem to like football.”
Owens said the Bulldogs may run the ball a bit more this season than they did in 2019.
“We’ve got some decent sized running backs up from the middle school,” he said.
Owens said he looks for Greensville HS, who won the Tri-Rivers District title in 2019, to be the favorite entering the season.
“They were young two years ago and return a number of players,” he said. “Sussex is always tough and Franklin and Windsor played in the spring so they should be ahead of the game.”
Owens thinks the Bulldogs can be in the mix.
“We want to make the playoffs and I think we will if these young kids come along,” he said. “I think we will be okay.”
Owens is working with the Junior High coaching staff this season to help align the football programs.
The Bulldogs have a bye in the opening week of the season and will open their campaign at Bluestone HS on September 3.