SHENANDOAH COUNTY, Va. -- The football season at Stonewall Jackson High School has been saved by a "hail Mary."
The Stonewall Jackson community can expect more excitement around football in the year ahead. It's all thanks to the 23 players who signed up for this year's team. Earlier this summer, they only had 14 players signed up for practice. That was a problem for the school's football program.
"It's not that you're trying to reach a particular number of athletes, you're trying to get the right mix of athletes, because you know you have to give them breaks," explained athletic director Todd Fannin.
Had several players not signed up at the last minute, the entire valley's football schedule would've been fumbled.
"The coach is my neighbor, and I know he gets excited about football. It would be a shame for him and for the town," shared Mike Showalter. He lives in Mount Jackson near the coach of the football team. That coach couldn't be reached for comment. Showalter says he's glad the team will get to play.
"It's not just about football. It's about the community,” Showalter added.
"Football does have a way of creating a family atmosphere where you realize the guy on your left and the guy on your right are who you're going to battle with," concluded Fannin.
It's an idea that will bring the school and the community in the weeks ahead.
Their first game will be away at Strasburg on Friday, August 29. The first home game is the following Friday against Central.
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