The Orange County High School football team went 6-1 in the Jefferson District in 2010 and advanced to the state playoffs.
Last year, the Hornets lost nine of ten games.
Orange moved from AA to AAA last season and went from being one of the biggest schools at their level to one of the smallest.
Coach John Kayajanian says, "I knew it was going to be tough. I didn't know it was going to be that tough. We took a physical and emotional beating, and I think it took a toll."
"Last season was a little rough, but we still gotta just work at it," says senior lineman Jacob Daniel Pugh.
The struggles were something new for an Orange County team which was used to finishing towards the top of the Jefferson District standings.
Last year's record in the Commonwealth District could have opponents overlooking the Hornets this year.
Senior tight end Cameron Michael Rickett says, "I feel like a couple of them are gonna come in thinking they're gonna run us, but it's going to be an eye-opener for them."
"It was not a good situation for Orange County football last season, but we're just going to have to improve," says coach Kayajanian. "We're in this Commonwealth District. There's nowhere to hide for us. We're just going to have to get better."
Junior running back Isaiah Ferguson struggled with an ankle injury last season but is looking to lead the offense with the dynamic form he flashed as a freshman.
"I don't remember how many yards I rushed for," Ferguson said with a smile, "but I did good, though."
The Hornets have a quarterback battle on their hands this year with sophomore Garrett Johnson and junior Damian Clark competing for the position.
Kayajanian says, "We've had some good quarterbacks the last few years, but we can't dwell our offense on the quarterback. He's going to have to make plays for us, but he doesn't have to run the whole show. We don't want to put that pressure on either one of those young men."
"We're looking really strong this year," adds Rickett. "We're looking for a winning season, and nothing but."
Orange County will move back into the Jefferson District next season.
They'll open the 2012 season hosting Louisa County in the Battle for the Gordonsville Tastee-Freez on August 31st.
Orange County Football Ready to Play Big in 2012More>>
Wednesday, December 4 2013 6:12 PM EST2013-12-04 23:12:53 GMT
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