There will be a significant absence fans are sure to notice when they flock to the Eagles’ Nest next fall, a popular stop during the game and at halftime. Cheeseburgers and cheese fries are the most-requested items at the concession stand that has won several Lancies (for their delicious crab cakes) in the past.
“It’s been a great ride, but it’s time for new blood and energy,” said Patricia Lewis, who will step down following 22 seasons of serving the culinary needs of fans from the Northern Neck. Amy Carter will take over as manager.
Lewis, a member of the county school board, first became involved when her husband Malcolm became head football coach in 1996. Initially, she was in charged of cooking the fries and was assisted by her parents, Larry “Popeye” King and the late Barbara King.
“I’ve been doing it so long, I’ve gotten pretty good at guessing what food to order,” she said. It helps that there is considerable storage in the concession stand so there is little waste.
Supported by the school’s booster club, there are usually 2–3 team members providing service at every game, whether it be varsity, JV or youth home football games.
Early kudos were in order for the Eagles’ offensive line that coach Joe Taylor cites as “the most impressive position group” over the off-season. “Their commitment has been amazing to see,” he said. For the third season in a row, the Eagles will operate out of the triple option. Christian Mountjoy appears comfortable at quarterback; James Kelley Jr., Dewayne Reynolds, Kindrick Smith and Craig Shepherd headline a deep stable of running backs and receiver Shane McNeill is viewed as a college prospect (like his brother J.J., now at Virginia-Wise). The passing game will be predicated by how successfully the Eagles manage to run the ball.
Dewayne Reynolds, Brian Johnson and Smith have been impressive at linebacker and Kentay Jones provides depth there. Freshman Jordan Saunders has forced his way into the starting lineup at cornerback; while Mahki Conley (Chancellor), Turrae Jones (Maryland) and Smith (Colonial Beach) are transfers who figure to contribute immediately.
This group produced several touchdowns a season ago and should be even more explosive with the addition of kicker Eduardo Santiago, a product of the boys soccer team. Shepherd and Smith are slated to handle the kick and punt return duties.
THE BOTTOM LINE
The Eagles have the experience, depth and talent to make a playoff push, but Taylor cautions that there is only a chance to be good and a lot of work remains. The coaching staff has been bolstered with the addition of Nick Lee and having Malcolm Lewis and Spencer Sadler take the reins of the JV team.