Wakefield football player

Isaiah Mefford will be a key returner on offense and defense for the Wakefield Warriors this season. (File Photo by Deb Kolt)

With many returning starters and players back from a year ago, including No. 1 quarterback Cason Poythress, head coach Wayne Hogwood is highly optimistic the Wakefield Warriors have the potential to be considerably improved this fall.

The 2018 high-school football season ended with Wakefield finishing 2-8 overall and 0-5 in the National District.

“We have a ton of players back and we have the talent to be competitive with any team we play,” Hogwood said. “Last year we never put a full game together. With more continuity and communication this year, we believe that can change.”

Wakefield opens play on the road Friday, Sept. 6 at 7 p.m. against the Fairfax Rebels.

When play begins, Hogwood said Poythress will be more polished and improved to lead the offense, which also includes returning running backs Dante Clark and wide receivers/tight ends Isaiah Mefford, Lukai Hatcher and Izaiah Lang.

Wakefield’s offensive line returns key players Reese Creadon and Luis Aliaga-Corvera.

On defense, Lang, Hatcher and Mefford will play in the secondary. Milo Clark and Fabio Perla are linebackers returning. Lineman Ethan O’Mara was the team’s leading tackler a year ago and he returns. Luis Pinto returns as the place-kicker and punter.

“We are set at our positions pretty much everywhere. Now we need to fine-tune,” Hogwood said.

The coach, in his seventh season in charge of the Wakefield program, said a team goal is to challenge for a district title. Falls Church is the defending champion.

NOTE: Wakefield’s varsity and junior varsity rosters have a combined 85 players, numbers way up, according to Hogwood. “We had some players move into the area, but kids are talking to other kids about coming out for football. That’s what you want. We had to order more helmets,” he said.

SCHEDULE: Friday, Sept. 6 at Fairfax, 7 p.m.; Friday, Sept. 13 vs. Yorktown, 7; Friday, Sept. 20 at Washington-Liberty, 7; Friday, Sept. 27 at McLean, 7; Friday, Oct. 4 vs. South Lakes, 7; Friday, Oct. 11 vs. Edison, 7; Friday, Oct. 18 vs. Lee, 7; Friday, Oct. 25 at Falls Church, 7; Friday, Nov. 1 at Justice, 7; Friday, Nov. 8 vs. Marshall, 7.

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