While most area public schools were beginning their regular seasons last Friday, Blue Ridge was just beginning its training camp.
The Barons open the season Sept. 8 at home with Hargrave so the team doesn't have much time to come together.
"You know we've been out here 2-3 times a day in the heat, at night, gnats in our face but we've been trying to get after it as much as possible doing what we have to do to have a successful football season," Barons head coach Orlando Patterson said.
"Team as a whole, we're connecting," senior linebacker Jared Arntzen added. "We've got a lot of great chemistry. I mean three practices a day you kind of have to build that chemistry pretty quick."
"The team looks good. We have a lot of chemistry right off the bat, everyone came in working hard, so I think big things are coming this year," senior quarterback Jimmy Connor said.
The Barons finished 5-5 last season and just snuck into the playoff picture. While there were more players on last season's roster, Patterson feels this year's team is bigger size-wise and has even given them a moniker.
"Hound dogs. I mean we're small in size right now. We have to get after it on both sides of the ball. We're going to attack on defense and keep it simple on offense so that everyone's aware of what we're doing."
The Barons promise to run an up-tempo offense, taking a few shots down the field, something that excites their quarterback.
"Oh we're going to be explosive!," Connor exclaimed. "We have some great wide receivers, we have a solid running back and a good line so we're going to be a big-play offense this year."
"It's run and gun, cause as many fumbles and turnovers as you can on defense and on offense it's the same way. Get as many yards per play as possible," Arntzen added.