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Making the grade: Colonels, Eagles reaping benefits from textbooks and playbooks

ROANOKE, Va. – Our week six of 1st and 10 Game of the Week matchup features two Blue Ridge District teams in William Fleming and Franklin County—two programs that have let the success in the classroom guide them in the right direction on the field.

“I thought a lot of Coach Lovelace and what he did that very first year, and he stepped in and cleaned up them grades,” said Franklin County head coach J.R. Edwards.

Since taking over in 2018, Jamar Lovelace has made it a point to emphasize the word “student” in the phrase student-athlete at William Fleming.

“We always tell our guys there’s a direct correlation between how we perform in the hallways and classrooms and how we perform on the football field. Our team GPA is as high as it’s ever been,” Lovelace said.

“With coaches like that and the parents I have, there’s no choice,” said Colonel’s offensive lineman and VMI commit, Tyriq Poindexter.

“You’re going to get the desk work done before I come out here. But, yes, it really helps us improve.”

And the numbers don’t lie. Fleming has won three of its last four games, having scored more than 30 points in each.

“The discipline we’ve had to show through COVID-19 academically has carried over to discipline on the field as well,” said Lovelace.

As for the Eagles, they’ve done their homework as well. They started the season 4-0 for the first time since 1970 and are now poised to make it to the Region 6A postseason for the 4th consecutive season. But they now first comes the test against the Colonels tonight.

“I think we’re in a really good spot for real,” said Eagles running back Jayron Smith.

“We have good plays and bad plays but sooner or later we’ll be able to come together and execute.”


About the Author:

Eric is no stranger to the Roanoke Valley. He is a Roanoke native and proud graduate of William Fleming High School.