Comeback Cougars Strike Again

Varsity wins big against Liberty’s best

Mrs. Pickett
After the big win against Liberty, the team celebrates by holding their helmets above their heads.

Turning a deficit into defeat with just minutes on the clock is no small feat in the world of sports, but the varsity football team has made it known in the past few games that they are more than capable of achieving just that.

Refusing to quit, the Cougars brought home seven wins in the regular season and for the first time in six years found themselves with an unofficial county championship title. Not to mention multiple fourth quarter turnarounds that transformed predictably solemn outcomes into means for celebration. On Friday, Oct. 20 the Cougars faced off against the Liberty Eagles, a team that hasn’t been beaten by a Fauquier district team since 2011.

A game that weighed heavily on the team’s journey to the playoffs, Coach Charles Porterfield prepared his team the week before for the big game.

“Prep was pretty standard for us but I think that the biggest message we had for them was to believe that we could win that game,” said Porterfield. Although there was a point in the momentous game where it was uncertain if the team was going to be able to fight its way to the top, Porterfield didn’t let his team get knocked down. Keeping the moral up on the sidelines was important to everyone. “We were trying to keep them [the team] calm and tell them that we were still in the game, just not let them give up and lay down,” said Porterfield. “I think it meant a lot to battle through the adversity in the first half and stay with it knowing that we still had an opportunity to win.”

The team shares the most memorable parts of the season so far, many of which highlight the Liberty game, and their expectations for the games to come.

“The highlight of my year thus far has been beating Liberty, at home, on senior night. That game meant so much to me as it was the last ever home game for me, and I can’t describe the feelings I had, they aren’t going to be ever felt again by me. It was pure happiness and joy,” said senior Andrew Pickett. “I was just in a state of pure excitement. I was so happy and proud of myself and my teammates and couldn’t have imagined a better senior night victory.”

Senior defensive tackle Jarett Little had a similar experience. “I never had a winning season until now and it just feels awesome that this is how our group [of seniors] is going out,” said Little.

As for playoff preparations, the team is ready to fight to the end in order to achieve the best possible outcome.

“I’m expecting us to practice and play like we never have before, making everything crisp and getting prepared to give 110% every second of the week and the game,” said senior Jake Connell.

Besides the incredible performance the Cougars have made on the field this season, Porterfield was most proud of his boys for their spirit throughout it all. “I think I’m most proud of them for just trusting the process and getting past last season,” said Porterfield. “Trusting that what we are doing is going to work.”

Porterfield had three goals going into the season.

“Beat Fauquier. Beat Liberty. And make the playoffs,” Porterfield said. “The opportunity to achieve all of those was all pretty positive for us.”

Many of the players praised Porterfield for his coaching, his ability to unite the team, and most importantly, his never giving up on the boys.

“The best thing I’ve seen come out of the season was how far our team and program has come since Porterfield became the head coach,” said Connell. “Everything he has done to prepare us has contributed to this season and all the success.”

Additionally, the team has found its footing in the standings by working together.

“[The best thing to come out of the season was] Seeing everyone come together whether they are on the team or not and making the program great,” said senior quarterback Casen Chumley. “The work that everyone put in during the off season is definitely the biggest contributor to our success this year.”

Chumley has been the starting quarterback for the team since his sophomore year, but this will be the first time he stars in a playoff game. “I am hoping for us to make it at least to the second round,” said Chumley.

This year is just the beginning of a hopefully long winded series of successful games for the Cougars. Next season, the team hopes to carry on the flaming torch that has been lit and passed down to them for the by the seniors.

“I hope that the juniors and seniors carry the attitude that every single play of every game matters so much, and you never know what play or what thing might turn a season around and help you become remembered,” said Pickett. “I hope they always play with such great emotion and intensity that they can’t be stopped and continue a winning tradition that we’ve started this year.”