It’s rare when the Rappahannock High School football stadium lights are on outside the time of its home football or soccer games. So for a group of young football players to have the lights turned on, the explanation must be bright.
“It’s just a community service,” said Rappahannock athletic director Jerry Parrish.
As a result of the Richmond County School officials permitting 23 players to use the facility and its lights, the newly formed Rappahannock Storm Football Players were able to prepare and compete in the Virginia State Youth Football 2012 Blueridge Bowl last weekend.
“When they came to me and said they could do it, I couldn’t believe it. We were planning to practice over at the baseball field with the lights on, but when they gave us the field to do this was just a blessing they did it,” said head coach Travis Fauntleroy.
Having the field available with the lights helped with coaching the players, Fauntleroy said, in comparisons to using a baseball field. One challenge that children faced was not having their coaches on the field as they have been accustomed to during the season.
“The idea to combine the football players stemmed from an interest developed from members of the Richmond County Rec League,” Fauntleroy said, adding that they believed their kids could compete in the statewide competition and wanted to give them the opportunity to do so.
During the weeks leading up to the event, Fauntleroy said the kids from four organizations in the Rappahannock River Football League took kindly to one another and bonded instantly.
The team was made up of players from the Town of Colonial Beach, Essex, Westmoreland and Richmond counties. The team included Keith Ball Jr., Zavian Baylor, Breshaun Brown, KeVaun Brown, G’Avoni Croxton, Zaccheus Courtney, Terrence Davis, Javontri Fauntleroy, Xavian Fauntleroy, Dalton Fulford, Davione Garner-Rich, Ja’Khai Harris, JaQuan Johnson, Demetrius Parker, Tony Parks Jr., Kamren Robinson, Hunter Self, Delante Smith, Jamek Tate, Richard Vargas, Amarian Veney, Brandon Washington and William Wilson.
Assisting Fauntleroy was Brandon Brown, Randolph Veney, Andy Self and Brad Fulford.
The team finished 2-1 after facing three teams.
“We’ve got some boys that will be in the papers for years to come,” said Fulford. “We have some raw talent and some impressive eight-year-olds.”
Fulford said he was very impressed with how much effort Teena and Travis Fauntleroy put out for the kids.
Fauntleroy said he would like to continue to send the young football players to similar competitions and hopefully expand to other age groups.