Former University of Virginia player Jacob Hodges takes helm at James River

8Sports Blitz High School Sports Updates

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Jacob Hodges earned his way onto the football roster at the University of Virginia from 2010-2012 after spending a season as a manager and as the team’s holder, even threw a touchdown pass.

Now, after a stint at Atlee as offensive coordinator, he takes over as head coach at James River, inheriting a roster that went 2-4 last year.

His goal for now? Just get better.

“Continue to build on what we’ve done this offseason,” Hodges said. “We’ve come together as a team and that’s the most important thing to start with. From there, continue to get better offensively and defensively. Better understand our scheme and what we need to do.  I think if we do that, we are going to have a good year.”

Lineman Aaron Turnage believes the Rapids can turn the tide and be more successful this fall.

“We have a rough past and I want this team to come back stronger than ever,” Turnage said. “They will put the county on notice that James River isn’t a school that gets beat, we are going to be hard to beat this year.”

James River plays four out of its first five games on the road, starting with a trip to L.C. Bird on August 26.

“That’s the one we are looking forward to because that is the first game,” Hodges said. “If we can take it one game at a time and go 1-0 each week with that type of focus, at the end of the year we will be where we want to be.”

Running back and safety Griffin Newsome hopes James River can end the regular season with a signature win over Midlothian.

“Last game of the year, playing our rival at home, a chance to bring the trophy back,” Newsome said. “Midlothian has had it the past two years and I think this year we can get it done and get it back to where it belongs.”

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