RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — For the first time since 2012, the L.C. Bird Skyhawks enter fall camp as something other than a state title holder. the SKyhawks won three-straight titles from 2012 to 2014.
2015 ended in the playoffs at the hands of the Hermitage Panthers. 2016 begins with 17 out of 22 returning starters, including ACC-caliber linebackers Rayshard Ashby (verbally committed to Virginia Tech) and Isaiah Moore (verbally committed to N.C. State). Head Coach David Bedwell said his team will continue to be good at what it has always done well under his leadership: running the ball. Shedrick McCall (verbally committed to ODU) replaces J.B. Wright in the backfield, and most of the offensive line is back.
Potential areas of weakness come on both sides of the ball where you might find the same type of athlete: wide receiver and defensive back. Bedwell says the JV program is strong, though, and although the depth at those positions wasn’t what he’d hoped for last season, there should be young athletes ready to step in. The Skyhawks also need to choose a quarterback. Their options are a junior who backed up Jalen Elliott (now at Notre Dame) in 2015 and a sophomore who quarterbacked the JV squad as an eighth grader and a freshman.
Bird opens the season at Meadowbrook on April 26th before the annual Battle of Chester at Thomas Dale the following week.