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FairfaxHuskies coach optimistic despite team struggles

Huskies coach optimistic despite team struggles

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The new head coach of the proud Flint Hill School varsity football program is not happy with the high-school team’s winless 0-7 record. What Kirk Peterson does like about the 2021 Huskies is he believes the squad is improving each week and getting closer to winning.

That was the case Oct. 9 when host Flint Hill lost to the St. James Saints, 17-14, in a Mid-Atlantic Athletic Conference game after leading 14-0 in the first quarter. The outcome was the closest for the Huskies so far this fall.

Flint Hill missed a second-half field goal that would have tied the score.

The team has played a difficult schedule, having lost by lopsided margins to some of the top-ranked Division I private-school teams in the state.


“Collectively, that is the best game we have played so far by far,” said Peterson, the team’s fourth head coach in as many seasons.

In their previous two games, the scores have been tighter against MAC opponents. Flint Hill lost 24-10 to Sidwell Friends on Oct. 2, when two Huskies passes were intercepted and returned for touchdowns.

“Step by step, we are getting closer,” Peterson said. “We are trending the right way. We still need to eliminate turnovers. We can’t overcome those, and we need to sustain drives. Our defense is playing better.”

Peterson takes over a program that had consecutive undefeated and Division I state-championship seasons in 2017 and 2018. Head coach Tom Verbanic stepped down after the 2018 year. His replacement lasted one season, an interim head coach led the team for the abbreviated COVID schedule, then Peterson was hired rather late in the game to take over for the current campaign.

He has a varsity roster of just 24 players, with the seniors having learned as many as four different systems on offense and defense with the coaching changes.

“We like what’s ahead,” Peterson said. “We have some good players on our roster, and our middle-school program is in good shape.”

Some of Flint Hill’s most experienced players are kicker Dylan Logue; linebacker/runningbacks Marquis Roberts and Bryson Robertson; quarterback Mert Guney; linemen Cameron Rejali, Harrison Daley, Leighton Brown, Julian Amankwah and Juan Diego; wide receiver/defensive backs Misha Dasek, Cole Clark and Marley Gordy; and tight end/linebacker Wil Thomas.

Peterson is at least the third Flint Hill head coach for some of those players.

NOTE: In the loss to St. James, Andrew King caught three passes for 145 yards and scored two TDs. On defense he had two solo tackles and broke up two passes. Elijah Harris had a long kickoff return and had an interception with a 30-yard return. Bryce Stewart had an interception for Flint Hill.

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