Amherst County football fans expect state championships. Coach Scott Abell may have spoiled the Lancer faithful by winning back to back title in the mid-2000s before he left to coach Washington & Lee in Lexington. Under Cecil Phillips the team has had continued success but have not won another state title since Peter Rose was their quarterback.
Last season the team barley made the playoffs and finished 6-6, losing to Broadway in the second round of the postseason. This year Phillips said, "We need to redeem [ourselves] and get back to the style of football that Amherst County is known for playing."
In 2011, the team played a lot of sophomores and now that young talent has experience. "We don't want to use age as an excuse but it was a reason" for why Amherst finished .500, Phillips said.
Junior Kyle Edwards returns at quarterback. He was 6-3, 190 pounds as a sophomore and now he's 6-4, 201 pounds. He's one of 18 returning players who saw significant playing time a season ago and with what Phillips calls "Fanatical Effort" Amherst will me a much improved team this season.
This team is hungry, hardworking, determined, and excited. Senior Thomas Allanson said, "I can't name a single guy who hasn't worked hard in the weight room and on the field."
The Lancers will have more speed this year too. Sidney Sandidge and Marquis Brown will be the top two running backs along with DeAndre Kyle receiving carries as well. Expect to see Amherst throw the ball more as well with a more balanced offense as compared to year's past.
The Lancers play a 'Benefit Game' Friday August 17th against former JF coach Bob Christmas' team out of Georgia. Christmas led JF to state titles in 1992 and 1993 and now with North Hall, his teams have finished 9-3, 5-5, 4-7 in the past three seasons.
Seven of the 10 teams on Amherst's schedule advanced to the playoffs last year, including their week one opponent - a visit from Northside.