Monticello’s football team is making some significant adjustments to their out-of-district schedule this season, and the changeup will bring one of the state’s premier programs to Charlottesville next season.
The Mustangs will host Group 4A state champion Lake Taylor out of Norfolk in the program’s season opener. The Titans, who went 15-0 last year have two unbeaten state title campaigns to their credit in the last three years, with a 10-3 mark in 2013 sandwiched in the middle. That’s a 40-3 record the last three years.
“We’re very excited about our football schedule for the next two years,” said Monticello athletic director Matthew Pearman. “Lake Taylor, we believe, was the best football team in the state this year at any level. For us to have the opportunity to compete with them is a tremendous win-win situation for our program.”
The addition of Lake Taylor and Spotswood to the schedule was revealed at the school’s fall athletic banquet this week. The Lake Taylor matchup should be an intriguing one state-wide, and Spotswood, who has been tough the last few years under coach Chris Dodson should be a clear step up in caliber from George Wythe who has been on the Mustangs’ schedule for several years. George Wythe has won just one game in the last 10 years of football.
Even a loss to Lake Taylor in 2014 would’ve netted Monticello just as many playoff points as the Mustangs’ victory over Wythe provided.
Heritage-Lynchburg will be the opponent in Monticello’s benefit game a week before Lake Taylor comes to town. Monticello will travel to Lake Taylor in 2016.
Other schedule changes
Albemarle is also changing up its schedule too, dropping 6A Stafford and 5A Massaponax in favor of 3A Kettle Run and 3A Brookville.
Along with 6A Patrick Henry, the Patriots will face three solid programs. Kettle Run is only two years removed from a strong 2011-2012 stretch where they went 24-4, and the Cougars went 6-5 last year. Brookville won state titles in 2011 and 2012 under current Monticello coach Jeff Woody, and went 8-4 last year under current coach Jon Meeks, who moved to Brookville from Louisa.
Charlottesville is shaking up its schedule a little too, switching from Culpeper and Eastern View to Dominion (Loudoun County) and Harrisonburg. The Black Knights will continue to play William Monroe, traveling to Stanardsville in 2015 and host the Dragons in 2016.
For Western Albemarle, Brookville and Broadway will replace Waynesboro and Fort Defiance while Spotswood will remain on the Warriors’ schedule.
William Monroe will now open at home against Brentsville and will face Culpeper instead of Manassas Park late in the season. The Dragons will continue to play Broadway and Charlottesville too. Bull Run teams have four out-of-district slots to fill while Jefferson District teams have just three.
Madison County plans to add King William and Rockridge to their schedule while maintaining dates with Luray and East Rockingham.