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Barons look to right ship after 0-2 start / September 11, 2019

Off to an 0-2 start to an already tumultuous season, the Bluestone Barons varsity football team opens James River District competition Friday in Victoria when the team meets Central Lunenburg.

Bluestone lost its season opener to John Marshall High School on Aug. 30 after a fight broke out on the Barons sideline following a routine play about a minute before halftime. Bluestone had three players ejected from the game and John Marshall also had several players ejected.

Bluestone Principal Magie Wilkerson called an end to the contest. According to Virginia High School League rules, players who were ejected will have to sit out two games before returning to play.

John Marshall was up 14-0 at the time and Bluestone had to take the defeat. The team’s second loss of the season came about as a by-product of the John Marshall scuffle.

Bluestone was scheduled to meet cross-county rival Park View in the annual King of the County game on Friday. But that game was cancelled and forfeited to PV due to the incident with John Marshall.

In a message issued Wednesday before the King of the County cancellation, Superintendent of Schools Paul Nichols explained, “This action is taken as a disciplinary matter for the actions of the Bluestone football team at last Friday’s game against John Marshall. This decision was made after significant interaction with the School Board, administration and coaches at Bluestone High School, as well as the Umpire’s Association and the VHSL. The cancellation of the game will count as a forfeit for Bluestone.”

Park View was denied the opportunity to take the field for the season opener, but the Dragons come away from the experience with a 1-0 record as they head into the heart of their schedule.

For the Barons, the challenge is to put the past behind and salvage the long season that lies ahead.

Bluestone now must concentrate on making the best of the eight games left and hopefully advancing to post-season play.

Both of Bluestone losses were to non-district teams, so the Barons can still have a successful season. Central Lunenburg enters the game also sporting an 0-2 record. Also, both of their losses were to non-district opponents; Luneburg fell to Altavista 28-8 to open their season, and dropped a Sept. 6 game to William Campbell 34-20.

Bluestone’s defense had a very good game in the loss to John Marshall. The Barons kept the Justices on their heels except for one miscommunication that led to a John Marshall TD.

The Baron offense struggled at times, but head coach Harry John said overall, he thought the offense did a nice job.

“We have some things that need to be fixed up front, but we didn’t have any major miscues on offense aside from [a] lost fumble touchdown. Defense played well aside from one major communication breakdown which led to a score,” John said after the 14-0 loss.

Game time is 7 p.m. for Friday night’s district opener at Central.

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