Ashburn, Va. (November 27, 2015) — Don’t get us wrong. We at Viva Loudoun know darn well how amazing of a season the Knights of John Champe High School have had in 2015. Eleven wins in eleven games. Thirty-two powerpoints for second place in the 4A West regional standings. Six times cresting the 40-point mark, and two times limiting opponents to less than one point.
They’ve won big (seven victories by 22 points or more, including five by at least 36) and they’ve won close (four wins by seven points or less, including last week’s 16-13 edging of George Washington-Danville in the 4A West quarterfinals).
Not bad. Not bad at all. In fact, a lot more than not bad. Very, very good, actually.
We’re just sorry we haven’t yet had the chance to showcase Champe as the Viva Loudoun Top Ticket Of The Week. But we see you, John Champe Knights. And we can’t wait to see you on Saturday afternoon.
That’s when we’ll be in Aldie to witness the Knights battling the Spartans of Salem High School in a tremendous showdown of 11-0 squads for the right to move on to the region title game – and perhaps the state championship decider to follow.
For a football program a mere four seasons young, not bad at all. Exceptional, really.
A couple years ago, I interviewed Champe head coach Jason Dawson after a game versus Loudoun County. I clearly recall how much and how often he emphasized the word “program” in his remarks. County had a true program, he said, something he was striving to create at Champe. He mentioned some other genuine “programs” in the area, identifying them as schools with football teams which build success upon success, incorporating the efforts of administration, parents and community to provide opportunity to the players, who in turn seize that opportunity with hard work and dedication that comes out on Friday nights for all to see. A program.
Coach, you’ve got your program.
Twenty-fifteen will be remembered as the year the Knights stamped their imprint on the local football scene. They have a heady senior quarterback in Zach Burdick, and a capable running back in David Cousino. They have multiple weapons out wide in Coleman Rafferty and Kuony Deng, a pass-catching tight end in Owen Cosenke, and an all-conference linebacker twosome of Corey Young and Mike O’Connell. They have a game-breaking return specialist in Scott Schaffler, and the conference’ unanimous Defensive Player Of The Year in Deng.
They have a program.
Salem’s none too shabby themselves. Heck, at this point in the postseason, everyone’s still playing for a reason. The Spartans from Southwest Virginia are unbeaten too, having not scored less than 35 and not allowed more than 21. They earned the third-most powerpoints in the region, just 0.3 in back of the Knights. On paper, this is a matchup worthy of the deep playoffs.
On the field, though? Well, that’s what we’re about to find out. Find out along with us as we bring you the pics, stats, plays and stories as Champe seeks to fulfill that name. Stay on top of the tweets @VivaLoudoun.
VivaLoudoun: We Live For Loudoun™
Written by Jason S Rufner
for © Viva Loudoun Media Communications