Jason Barnett is already the most energized high school football coach in Central Virginia. But even he's excited about Fluvanna County's new high school, which includes a brand new football field, facilities and weight room.
"This is big just for the simple fact that these young men, this is something they can take pride in," Barnett explained. "We have a lot of young men here that are good football players and they haven't seen a whole lot of success recently and this is something they can see where the hard work has been put in."
"I think it's something long overdue," senior linebacker Devin Goode added. "I think this field, this school, this team has been waiting for facilities like this to get us to the next level and I hope this year we can take it to the next level."
"We're very excited about this," fellow senior running back Jovan Burton said. "It's given Fluvanna something to talk about and people are excited to see what happens this year and I think we're going to be ready to show what we've got."
The Flying Flucos are coming off a 2-8 campaign and haven't won more than four games in a season since 2005.
"They've taken a couple steps sideways and I think now they're realizing they need to take a couple steps forward," Barnett said. "And I think the steps forward are accentuated by the new facilities and the new weight room. It's not as if there's a brand new attitude coming in because it's the same coach that's been here for three years."
Barnett is entering his third season at Fluvanna and his high energy has become a staple of Fluvanna football, including chest bumps and the like with his players.
But Barnett says this is the year those players need to bring their own energy to Friday nights.
"That's something we've talked about. This is the third year we've been doing this and I can't do this the rest of my life.," he said. "I can't be the one jumping up and down and providing that excitement and I think with this new facility comes a new sense of energy that comes along with it. I think they're really starting to understand and grasp that."
The Flucos return Goode as a leader on defense. He earned first-team All-Jefferson District honors in 2011.
"Our whole team kind of has a different attitude but I don't think it's just because of the new field or facilities, I just think this year we're more motivated and focused and I think we want it more," he explained. "We want to win and take everything to the next level and show everyone what Fluvanna is."
"This is a team that's very motivated and has a lot to prove from previous years and is excited to prove a lot of people wrong this year," Burton added.
With mulit-sport star YaYa Anderson graduated, the Flucos don't have a go-to option on offense. But Barnett says it will take a collective effort to finally get Fluvanna on the right track.
"We have to do it together. There is no individual stars, there is no one person we're going to rely on. We're going to rely on a lot of people to do a lot of different things and I think they take pride in that and I think that's something Fluvanna's going to be able to hang its hat on."
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