LYNCHBURG, Va. – The Pioneers of coach Brad Bradley head into the class 3 state final against 10-4 Hopewell. Heritage has grown from a Seminole district power to that, and a whole lot more. Winners of ten straight since a 2-point loss to rival EC Glass, the Pioneers are both balanced and explosive. They are led by star running back Elijah Davis and the accurate arm of Jabari Blake, and a defense that's turned in two shutouts and given up only 17 points-per-game. In Lynchburg it's about preparation, and process, and a brotherhood with the Pioneers.
"I actually think it's the team that just understands what the game is all about and understands it it's about carrying out the game plan, executing the game plan, being the most disciplined and making the least amount of mistakes. Just what you've done all year long. If you go out there and force things, if you try to do things you haven't done all year long that's when you're in trouble," Heritage coach Brad Bradley says.
"It would mean a lot because we've been working since January. So to see how much we put into it, to see the outcome of it--to see where it led us it just feels great," Heritage Running back Elijah Davis says.
"Ever since we got in high school we just had this kind of bond that we really haven't seen with any other class. We are just brothers and we're all close inside and outside of football. In school we just hang out everywhere we're just super close and we all have the same work ethic and the same goals," Pioneers left tackle Eric Wiatt says.
"I'd have to say our grind, our effort. I mean our coach can not be around and all of the seniors and even some of the juniors will step up and tell everybody to to start stretching, or to stop cheating at lifting. It's a brotherhood. We all come together and we all have the same goals and that's what we are striving for," Heritage center Keante Rose says.
Heritage faces Hopewell Saturday at noon on the campus of William and Mary for the state title.