As a group, Arlington’s four varsity high-school football teams during the fall campaign combined for a subpar 17-27 record.
Only the Yorktown Patriots had a winning mark, finishing 8-4. The Washington-Liberty Generals were 5-6, the Bishop O’Connell Knights 4-7 and the Wakefield Warriors winless at 0-10.
And yes, head coaches already are focusing on next season, despite the 2022 campaign recently ending.
Yorktown loses a lot on offense, with its quarterback, top two runningbacks, best lineman and best wide receiver graduating, and three top players doing the same on defense.
Patriots coach Bruce Hanson liked some of the team’s younger players this fall and is confident they will quickly step in and keep the Patriots a district contender next fall. Yorktown finished in a three-way tie for second in the Liberty District this past season.
“I like what our quarterback situation will be next season, and that will be a good start,” Hanson said.
Washington-Liberty also will have to find a new starting quarterback to lead an offense that will have some holes to fill, , like Yorktown, also has some talented players returning.
“We will be looking for an athletic quarterback. That’s what you need in high-school ball,” Washington-Liberty coach Josh Shapiro said. “You need someone who can make plays back there.”
The Genearals were improved this season, and made the region playoffs, after just a two-victory campaign in 2021. Shapiro wants next season to be even better.
O’Connell’s season this fall was defined by the quarterback position when starter Ben Cogar suffered a season-ending leg injury in the first half of the Knights’ opening game. His loss probably led to a few more defeats than the Knights had anticipated.
Sophomore Jonathan Nguyen took over in Cogar’s place and struggled and was overmatched at times, but also showed improvement and made some big passes as the season progressed, according to head coach Ken Lucas.
His continued development could be good news next fall for O’Connell, as Nguyen will enter a new season with vastly more experience under center. The Knights also will return a number of skill-position players and some experienced linemen.
In going winless, Wakefield will have many questions and areas to improve entering the 2023 season, but will have more experienced players on both sides of the ball.
Wakefield was a young team this fall under a new head coach.
All four teams will hold various off-season workouts, will full practices for the 2023 scheduled beginning next August.