Two weeks into the 2015 high school football season, one question has jumped to the forefront:
How good is Roanoke Catholic?
Celtics coach Bob Price would like to know the answer, too.
A season-opening 63-7 victory over Rappahannock County and a 63-0 romp last week at home against Brunswick Academy have done little to give the veteran coach a gauge on his team.
Catholic led 42-0 at halftime against hapless Rappahannock County, and the halftime score last week was 49-0 when the opposing coach came to Price at halftime and requested that the second half be played under a running clock with eight-minute quarters.
“I was putting our second team in at the end of the first quarter,” Price said. “Our young kids have played more than our older kids.”
This Friday’s 4 p.m. game at Massanutten Military Academy might offer more of the same.
Massanutten (0-2) has been outscored 102-0 so far including a 59-0 loss to a Grace Christian program in its second year of varsity football.
The Celtics’ first big test should come Sept. 18 at Auburn, which blanked Catholic 29-0 in 2014.
Auburn junior Jeremy Nelson leads Timesland in rushing (539 yards) and scoring (nine touchdowns) through two weeks.
“Auburn is going to be strong,” Price said. “I think it will be a good game. But I thought that last year, and they thumped us.”
Roanoke Catholic won the VIS Division IV championship a year ago, and the Celtics appear to be stronger this season.
Jamel Tyree, a junior who transferred from Franklin County, is a potential difference-maker. Tyree already has 190 yards and four touchdowns on just 10 carries.
Playing football for the first time is All-Timesland wrestler Brian Sakalas, who starts at inside linebacker and is a backup fullback.
Tyree, returning starter Chris Zoller, Sakalas and Ike Karageorge have combined to average 13.5 yards per carry in two games.
The Celtics have just two more home games this season: Oct. 2 vs. Craig County and Oct. 30 vs. fellow Division IV contender Blessed Sacrament-Huguenot.
Two 2014 opponents dropped Catholic from their 2015 schedules. To get a 10-game schedule, the Celtics are playing six road games, including five of the next six.
“If you have a successful season as an independent program, look out,” Price said.
How successful will 2015 be for the Celtics?
Botetourt RB/DB Lythgoecould return by Sept. 18
Lord Botetourt football coach Jamie Harless reports that senior Bradley Lythgoe, who suffered a torn ACL in his right knee in April, has been cleared to return to action.
Harless said the 5-foot-11, 187-pound Lythgoe is a awaiting a customized brace for the knee. Lythgoe will not play in this week’s home game against Bassett, but the star running back and defensive back might play Sept. 18 against Fort Defiance.
Lythgoe had an FBS offer from Army before the injury.
Galax’s Harris running in massive footsteps
Galax has produced a 3,000-yard rusher each of the past two seasons with Steven Peoples in 2013 and Joseph Dixon last fall.
Is it going to happen again?
Senior back Charles Harris is off and running with 470 yards through two games, and that came against two of the better opponents on the Galax schedule: Radford and Glenvar.
Even at 0-2, Galax remains a legitimate threat in the Group 1A West playoff picture. If Harris maintains his current average over 10 regular-season and three playoff games, he would top 3,000 yards.
Blue Ridge programs have perfect 7-0 week
Rockbridge County’s 34-12 football victory over Liberty not only gave second-year head coach Justin Akers his first career win, it helped the Blue Ridge District finish 7-0 last week.
Northside won 17-6 at Heritage, and it was the only close game of the seven.
Blowout winners were Alleghany over Bath County (47-0), Staunton River over Waynesboro (43-0), William Fleming over Franklin County (45-7), Lord Botetourt over Spotswood (42-6) and William Byrd over Hidden Valley (48-12).
Conversely, with reigning Group 3A state champion Magna Vista idle, the Piedmont District went 0-7 last week.
Blacksburg girls defending 2014 Knights Crossing title
Blacksburg seeks to win its third Knights Crossing Invitational girls cross country championship Saturday at Green Hill Park.
The meet features 58 schools in two varsity divisions including three teams from Tennessee, two each from West Virginia and North Carolina, and one from Georgia.
Blacksburg’s girls took the ‘A’ Division last year over Morristown West (Tennessee).
Defending champion Libby Davidson of E.C. Glass is a clear favorite in the girls individual race, while 2014 winner Jeremy Brown of Broughton High in Raleigh, North Carolina, is the boys favorite.
Annie Kay Combs and Samantha Marin of Blacksburg should contend for spots in the top five in the girls race.
Blacksburg’s Sam Teller is seeded No. 5 in the boys race.
Blacksburg placed sixth last year and Christiansburg was seventh in the boys team standings behind first-place Broughton and runner-up Cardinal Gibbons (North Carolina).
The first ‘B’ Division varsity race is scheduled for 11:45 a.m. The final ‘A’ Division race is scheduled for 2 p.m.
Former Glenvar star Megan Marisco holds the girls meet record with a time of 18 minutes, 1.56 seconds in 2008.
Matthew Brafford of George Washington High in Charleston, West Virginia — now running at Oklahoma — set the boys meet record of 15:21.80 in 2013.