HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Leading by a motto of “On purpose. With purpose,” Douglas Freeman has managed to win their first four games of the fall 2021 season.
After a 2-3 record during the spring season, head coach George Bland had to make some adjustments in the off-season.
Losing nearly 20 seniors made Bland’s plans change significantly. But the double-duty social studies teacher and head football coach learned from history to help bring the squad to a 4-0 start.
“Spring season we didn’t have as much success as we wanted but we certainly put together a couple of nice nights,” he said. “The focus on that point was so much on COVID protocols on a day-to-day basis. We didn’t really get to implement our program the way we like to do it.”
Bland is in his third year as head coach of the Mavericks. He said the team has to have a strong foundation in academics before thinking about what happens on the field.
“We are student-athletes, first and foremost,” Bland said. “Our mission is to become a contender for a state title while doing the right thing. On the field, we don’t just decide to be great on Friday night. You have to be great in the building, you have to be great in the community, you have to be great when you’re someone’s neighbor. Greatness is something that becomes a habit in all facets of your life.”
Freeman handled the Atlee Raiders last week, winning 38-6. They have already played a majority of their away games for the season and will play a string of home games after this Friday.
The Mavericks take on Mills Godwin (0-3) on Friday and Bland said his boys underestimate no team.
“A big message each week is humble yourself. Don’t let the game humble you,” he said. “We have all been involved in sports and there are times where we get too big for our britches and the game can humble you quick. We take each game one week at a time.”