By Joey LoMonaco September 8 at 6:11 PM
Johnny White felt anything but liberated when he arrived at Freedom-Woodbridge three years ago as a freshman. Hed been part of an undefeated season at nearby Rippon Middle School the previous fall and was also accustomed to success in the Dale City Sports Club and Boys and Girls Club programs.
The Eagles, however, were at a different stage in developing a program the stage where you lose big.
I wasnt used to losing the way were losing, and so, my attitude was really bad, said White, now a senior and four-year starter at quarterback. If something bad happened on the field, Id take my helmet off. I needed to change my body language and how I approached the coaches and the players.
White says he made the change during a season-ending loss to Gar-Field in 2012.
We were always getting run over by these teams, and we basically saw some light, he said. Of course we didnt win, but we actually had a game. It was fun. There were no conflicts or arguments.
If that was a glimmer, the Eagles (2-0) flipped a switch last season, earning the programs first playoff berth. Theyve opened 2014 with two 30-plus point wins, over Osbourn Park and Osbourn. Freedom will travel to Battlefield on Friday, at 7:30 p.m. to take on the Bobcats (2-0). Last week, Battlefield routed Forest Park, 34-13, behind Matt Gallaghers 191 yards and two passing touchdowns.
This isnt your older brothers Freedom. Junior defensive end Kyree Campbell has sprouted to 6-foot-5, 270 pounds and received his 16th Football Bowl Subdivision offer last week from South Carolina. Steve Spurrier, the Ball Coach himself, called to offer Campbell, said Freedom Coach Gary Wortham Sr. Josh Anderson, a senior transfer from Tennessee, runs a 4.4 40-yard dash. And 95 percent of the teams roster comprises seniors.
One of those seniors, Quentin Wallace, is a team captain along with White. On Friday, the two hooked up on a touchdown reception inside the red zone, when Wallace beat his defender with a zig move and ran a seam route. Wallace missed much of the 2012 season with broken tibia and fibula bones. When he returned to the field last year, he could sense something was different.
Character was built throughout the whole team, Wallace said. The selfishness went away we removed it from the program. We became a family, instead of just a team. I cant even fathom what we did last year.
The rest is here:
Johnny White, Freedom-Woodbridge mature into a tough team to beat