FISHERSVILLE —After practice Wednesday, Parker Showalter was walking off the field, but before he could get too far he stopped to talk about his team’s fast start. The Wilson Memorial senior lineman knows that, like any good investment firm, past performance is no guarantee of future results.
Wilson is off to a 3-0 start with wins over Monticello, Rockbridge and Waynesboro. And the team is enjoying that success, but there’s work to be done.
“I think we’re seeing what we’re capable of,” Showalter said. “And we’ve been getting out here and trying to get better every day. I think we’re getting there, ain’t there yet though.”
That is what his coach, who was standing beside him, wants to hear. Wilson also got off to a 3-0 start last year, then dropped five of its next six. The Hornets don’t want to see that happen again.
“We had a good offseason and you see it paying off particularly with our JV program,” Wilson coach Drew Bugden said. “Varsity guys are way stronger than we were last year and, you know, in regards to last year, it’s done. We just got banged up around this time and it was just hard to recover from that.”
Bugden won’t make excuses, but the schedule played no favors for his team last year. Still in a pandemic, games got shuffled around and, in one nine-day span, Wilson played three games, dropping two of them. This year, hopefully, the schedule is a bit more manageable.
The coach said this year’s team, though, is different than last year’s, even with some of the players back.
“It’s night and day,” he said. “These kids they get mad when they have a bad practice. And they’re not OK with it. They hold each other accountable and they’re just fun to be around. It’s like having a bunch of little coaches everywhere on the field.”
“We’ve all been working really good as a team and trust each other and cooperate,” he said. “And we’ve been working hard.”
Wilson hosts once-beaten Spotswood Friday. Staunton’s ESPN 1240 will be broadcasting the game with kickoff set for 7 p.m.
“It’s possibly the best coached team we’ve seen,” Bugden said. “They’re solid up front. Their line’s really good. I think they’ve got good skill position guys. The running back has about 500 yards rushing, quarterback makes great plays in the passing game, good decision maker. Doesn’t make a lot of turnovers. So we’ve got our work cut out for us.”
In other Shenandoah District football action Friday, Staunton will also try to remain unbeaten as it travels to Waynesboro. It’s homecoming for the Little Giants who are looking for their first win of the season. The News Leader will be in Waynesboro for that game.
Buffalo Gap is hosting Bath County, Stuarts Draft is at James River and Fort Defiance travels to Rockbridge County Friday. On Saturday, Riverheads hosts Tazewell at 1 p.m.
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Patrick Hite is The News Leader’s education reporter. Story ideas and tips always welcome. Contact Patrick (he/him/his) at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @Patrick_Hite. Subscribe to us at newsleader.com.