By: Allison Frick
WASHINGTON (WUSA 9) — The Tuscarora Huskies are 13-0. On Friday they will face Massaponax in the Virginia 5A state semifinals.
“We feel great,” said Head Coach Michael Burnett. “It’s a really special group of kids. They really love playing together.”
He added that part of the players’ bond comes from the fact that this team has made history in Loudoun County.
Tuscarora opened its doors five years ago and not only is this the best record in school history, but it’s one toward which the majority of seniors on the 2014 team have been working since their freshman year of high school.
“This team has been something that the community can rally around. We’re glad to have been that focal point,” said Burnett.
The Huskies have also faced tragedy this year. In July, beloved defensive coordinator Adam Fortune died unexpectedly from a previously undiagnosed heart condition.
Burnett said the football team decided not to dedicate the season to Coach Fortune because players believed he would always want them to play hard. Instead, the Huskies committed to honoring Fortune’s legacy both on and off the field through the way they approach life and football.
“I think that it’s something that they’ve had on their minds all the time,” said Burnett. “They haven’t looked at it like: we’re going to win it for coach. We’re going to look at it like: we’re going to play the way coach wanted us to play, and I think that’s what’s made it even better.”
The VA 5A state semifinal kicks off at Tuscarora’s Fortune Field, named for Coach Fortune, at 7 p.m.
Players to watch include:
- TB Noah Rhymers (rushed for 2,600 yards and 41 touchdowns this season)
- QB Daniel Smith
- DE David Chalmers
- OL Jack Corso
- OL Will Larson