August 26, 2011
The Blue Ridge School football team is just one week into the preseason and are already feeling confident in their 2011 squad. The Barons, while low in numbers with just 25 in camp so far, hope head coach Orlando Patterson can be the difference.
The 24-year-old is a 2009 graduate of Hobart and Smith College in New York and spent last season coaching running backs at Bridgton Academy in Maine. The Barons, who took part in the interview process, are happy with the decision to bring Coach Patterson to Blue Ridge.
"We got to pick our dream coach," said senior running back Mayn Francisco. "I really like his enthusiasm and intensity, it's just really going to help this program out in the future."
"I went into the interview completely honest with them, told them exactly what my expectations were. They obviously liked it and I'm here," Patterson said with a laugh.
After playing in the VISAA state title game in 2009, the Barons finished 5-5 in the regular season last fall and did not qualify for playoffs. In 2011, the team expects to have a balanced offensive attack with the return of all-state running back Mayn Francisco and a variety of wide receiver options for quarterbacks Andre Roberts and Mitchell Gays.
On defense though is where the Barons see their biggest strength. All-state defensive back Darryl Smith returns along with newcomers Jarod Williams, Leon Strauss, and Albemarle transfer Brandon Rose.
"Our defense is going to be flying to the ball. We'll have a lot of skill over there," said Patterson. "We're going to do some things that will surprise a lot of teams."
Blue Ridge opens the regular season September 10 at Hargrave Military Academy.