Varsity Football Continues to Develop into the Season

Nico Marvin, Sports Editor

Woodson vs Fairfax, Photos by Nico Marvin.

Woodson’s varsity football program has recently been struggling in league play, going 0-6 in 2020, and 4-6 in 2019. Coach Maxwell Crush, in his third year coaching for Woodson, and his first as head coach, is working hard to bring the Cavs to the top of the standings. A term infamous in the sports world is “rebuilding,” where teams, instead of going for wins and glory, focus more on getting the team back to a competitive level. Is Woodson a program that is rebuilding?

“We are not rebuilding, we are developing,” says Crush. In the middle of the fall 2021 season, the team is “playing week by week, focusing on the game ahead.” Not all teams make the playoffs, and is Woodson flirting with that fine line. Focusing on the next game can really help the team achieve a lot by taking small steps.

“The cool thing about this team right now is that we are playing a lot of young guys. We are playing sophomores all over the place,” said Crush. On the team there are more sophomore players than seniors and juniors, making it the biggest part of the team. Instead of rebuilding, Crush is focusing on developing his players.

Coach Crush talks to a player at halftime.

Doing this enables the team to grow the next two years, and into the future, with juniors having one year after this one, sophomores having two more, and seniors being able to pass on much needed, experience.

The strength of Woodson is the leadership from upperclassmen. “The seniors have stepped up a lot this year,” said sophomore Matheo Rojas. Being there to lead the younger class is very important so when the time comes next year the new upperclassmen can play solidly.

“The juniors who are hungry and did not get a lot of success as freshmen or sophomores, and the senior class who really care about Woodson football, and want it to be something– that is big for our school,” adds Coach Crush. With this team chemistry, and the team’s great defense, it will really help the Cavs continue to drive into the rest of the season.

Woodson vs Fairfax

The struggle the team has faced this year has been with a shortened   off-season. Coach Crush was hired as a head coach only recently, and preparing has been difficult. “We have only had a couple months in the weight room,” Crush said. But Woodson’s start seemed unaffected by this, going 2-1 for their first three games.

Coach Crush is also changing things up all around the field. “We have some new coaches on both sides of the ball. It’s not the same staff as last year, it’s not the same system as last year, so we have really changed everything,” said Crush. “We are trying to make practices as competitive as possible, we believe that element is very important.”

Woodson’s two wins so far this season came against Falls Church, and Lewis high schools, both games that Woodson won easily. “It’s fun winning those couple of games, but it’s also good going through battles against the top couple of teams,” says Crush. Giving experience to the sophomores and juniors against powerhouses like Centreville, and South County is throwing the players into the fire, and shows them how to play in situations as a team.

A developing a team that still has the drive to compete is the current status of Woodson’s, program, and at the heart is a coaching staff that is striving to build the team. The team is already playing better than last year, and seems to play with a focus and discipline, not seen last year. The Cavaliers are continuing to improve, but at this time the odds are stacked against the Cavs making the playoffs.