Collectively, the four varsity high-school football teams in Arlington this fall had an unspectacular season as far as wins and losses.
The four combined for a 19-23 record, while three earned playoff berths, the season for each ended with first-round losses.
Of the four, the Yorktown Patriots enjoyed the most success with a 7-4 overall record and a Liberty District championship 6-0 mark to earn the fourth seed in the eight-team 6D North Region tournament.
Patriots’ coach Bruce Hsanson considered the season a big success, especially winning the team’s second district crown in three seasons.
“When you win a district and make the playoffs, that’s a big deal,” Hanson said. “You are disappointed about the playoff loss, but overall, the season was a success.”
Hanson, with 281 career wins, said he expects the Patriots to be a top district contender again next fall.
The Bishop O’Connell Knights finished 5-6 this season, making a big jump from its two-win campaign of 2019, the last full season for the Knights. The schedule for the 2020 campaign was significantly reduced because of COVID.
O’Connell earned a Washington Catholic Athletic Conference Metro Division playoff berth this fall, losing in the first round to the top seed Carroll Lions.
Third-year O’Connell coach Ken Lucas thought his team made big progress in 2021 and learned how to win, by playing tough football. The Knights won close games against Bishop Ireton, 15-14, and John Paul the Great, 25-13, two signature victories for the team.
Another big win was O’Connell’s 30-6 rout of former public-school power Annandale.
The Wakefield Warriors finished 5-5, second in the Liberty District with a 4-1 mark, earning a region-playoff berth.
After a 1-3 start, Wakefield won four of its final five regular-season contests to establish a program-record third straight region-playoff berth. The Warriors have become a perennial district contender under the helm of head coach Wayne Hogwood, and expect that to continue next season.
Wakefield nearly upset host Fairfax (9-2) in its first game, falling 19-14.
The injury-riddled Washington-Liberty Generals finished 2-8 overall, 2-4 in the Liberty district and well short of expectations.
The Generals thought they could be a playoff contender this season by winning five or six games, despite a difficult non-district schedule where those four opponents were all playoff teams. In a half dozen games or so, W-L consistently had trouble generating much offense. A season-ending injury to its best runningback in game seven didn’t help matters.
Washington-Liberty lost close league games to Wakefield, Marshall and McLean. The season highlight for W-L were back-to-back wins over Langley and Herndon (in a rainstrom), but then the Generals lost their final three contests.
“We had some high points, but we wanted to do better. A lot of things went wrong or didn’t go well,” Washington-Liberty coach Josh Shapiro said. “It was a frustrating season.”