Defending State Champ Blue Ridge Back on the Field

While every other school in the area is prepping for its first game of the season, Blue Ridge was on the practice field Saturday prepping for its first full day of camp.

The Barons are the reigning VISAA Division II champs. Orlando Patterson had his team on the field for the first time, getting everything down before Blue Ridge opens the season in two weeks with a trip to Hargrave Military Academy.

For the players, finally getting back on the field was a big relief after watching their public-school friends already in camp.

"Most of my friends are already back in school so I was at home sitting around waiting to get back," senior Ryan Etheridge explained. "So I'm glad I'm back getting into the swing of things."

"It's just nice to be back with family," fellow senior Nate Johnson added. "Everyone feels good, we've been lifting all summer and we're just out here trying to better for the season and basically be ready for when game time comes."

Meanwhile Patterson sees the late start as a benefit to his team.

"I think that is to our advantage," he explained. "By the time we're playing teams and everything, half of our guys are chomping at the bit and (the other team) is already beat up so I think we'll be ready when it comes time."

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