Flint Hill Football Rebuilds with New Starters, Coach

Huskies look to turn around rough 0-2 start to the 2012 season

After graduating nearly its entire starting lineup and naming a new head coach, the Flint Hill football team is working toward a winning season despite its inexperience and 0-2 start.

In both losses the Huskies started slow then fell short of a comeback once they finally found their footing. 

Tom Verbanic, who was named head coach this summer to replace nine-year coach Michael Wright, said the Huskies' rocky starts can be attributed to nerves and inexperience — two things he expects his players will overcome by the end of the season.

"We're getting better and we're way above where we started. But it's a new offensive system, and it takes a little while and we're working hard at it," said Verbanic, who earned a spot in the Virginia Hall of Fame for his coaching achievements at Westfield High School. "Our one goal is to get better every day."

While Verbanic, who served as defensive coordinator for the Huskies last year, has switched up the offensive system to suit his style, the defense is largely the same as last year.

Ben Kase, a four-year varsity player and co-captain who plays both ways, said having that bit of consistency has helped anchor a team that has seen changes throughout the program this season.

"I played defense, so I was used to Verbanic and his style, but I think the transition is going well overall," Kase said. "It's different, but I think everyone likes Coach Verbanic even though we miss Coach Wright, too. We're definitely an energetic team. Everyone wants to get better, so we're taking one game at a time."

Taking one game at a time is the overall philosophy for the Huskies this season. Verbanic's one goal for the team is to get better every day, which will hopefully result in a winning season despite starting the season with two losses.

In addition to a strong coaching staff, Verbanic is relying on good senior leadership on the field and off to guide the inexperienced team through the season. So far, seniors Kase, Conor Chess, Jesse Anderson, Stevie Peterson, Jerrod Reed and Kevin Abt have not disappointed.

"This school has great kids, so I have a lot of faith in their leadership," Verbanic said. "They'll help us through the season."

The Huskies will look for their first win of the season when they face John Paul the Great at 1 p.m. today.

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