Story by Malcolm Johnson
WASHINGTON (WUSA) — With a young, fairly inexperienced team, a veteran coaching staff will be essential to the progression of the H.D. Woodson Warriors season. In terms of longevity, Greg Fuller is the ideal candidate to enhance the maturation process of this team, as he is entering his 14th season as the Warriors head coach.
Six games away from securing his 100th victory (a career record of 96-40), coach Fuller heads a team that is still one of, if not the best in the DCIAA. In 2010 the Warriors won the Turkey Bowl and Coach Fuller was named high school coach of the year by the Washington Redskins. After posting a subpar 6-5 record last season and losing to Coolidge in the playoffs, expect the Warriors to regain their focus and take advantage of their highly talented roster.
Record Last Season: 6-5
Big Question: After losing four starting seniors on the defensive line, will this front four be able to apply pressure on opposing quarterbacks? Or better yet, stop the always explosive DCIAA running backs?
Strengths: The Warriors offense is predicated on the effectiveness of their running game, as they look to wear down opposing defensive fronts with their ground attack. With a tandem of senior backs in Duane Thompson and Gregory Bryan, the Warriors offensive scheme may remind local fans of the “power” running games Joe Gibbs popularized in the 80’s.
Best Player: Rising junior D’Andre Payne is one of the areas highest sought after recruits at the cornerback position. Payne has over 20 offers and will have the luxury of choosing amongst the best college football programs in the country. Payne is not only a threat defensively, but has the speed and vision that make him an elite kick returner at the high school level.
Breakthrough Player: The Warriors have a rising junior on the offensive side of the ball that is sure to make some eye opening plays this upcoming season. Wide receiver Robert Johnson (6-foot, 170 pound) is described as a “go-getter” by coach Fuller. “He’s a playmaker, with good instinct, can grab the ball with the best of them. He’s a go-getter.”
Why fans should be excited: Coach Fuller on his youthful 2012 squad:
“We’ve got mostly juniors. We’re pretty young but folks should be optimistic. We are, so the fans should be open to see what we can do.”