ROANOKE, Va. – A new mindset and complete culture change has taken place on ‘The Cliff’ since Jamar Lovelace took over as head coach at William Fleming. As the Colonels enter year five under his helm, it’s become clear that the culture has been firmly established.
“We feel good about what we’ve built and we know the culture we’re building is going to make better young men,” said Lovelace. “We call what we do the Blueprint and most of our kids can go through that and tell you exactly what it means. They know when they’re wrong, they know when other guys are wrong and they’re starting to hold themselves accountable.”
Like many teams in the area, Fleming is hoping to capitalize on a full offseason. They lost a solid group of seniors who graduated including quarterback DaShawn Lewis who helped guide the Colonels to a Class 5 State Semifinal appearance in Spring 2021. Devin Johnson is making a position change, coming from wide receiver to quarterback this season. It’s a transition Johnson says has been relatively smooth thanks to the support of the coaching staff.
“Actually, I expect us to see more passes down the field, more everything,” Johnson said. “It will be a fun season, just watch.”
Also returning for the Fleming will be four offensive linemen, a stout running game with multiple threats and a solid group of capable receivers--all who showed their worth during a recent scrimmage against George Washington-Danville.
William Fleming’s success is measured by more than wins and losses but also the opportunities that have come. Student-athletes constantly speak on the importance of making sure they’re scoring high in the classroom before they do so on the scoreboard. Also, for the past two years, Lovelace has had two assistants take on their own head coaching duties--Nick Leftwich at Cave Spring and most recently Daryl Robertson returned to his alma mater Liberty.