Manchester A Young But Talented Team

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After losing 17 starters from last season’s 7-3 squad, expectations for Manchester (Midlothian, VA) were tempered this season. But the Lancers, winners of three straight including key victories over district foes L.C. Bird and Clover Hill, now hold a 3-2 overall record and are undefeated in the Dominion District.

“The kids are really kind of rallying around each other, working hard each week,” said Lancers head coach Tom Hall, who lost 34 seniors in total from the 2010 team. “We don’t ask them to go out there and win. We ask them to go out there and make the guys around them better.”

Prospect-wise, Manchester is led by three junior offensive linemen: 6’5″, 270-pound guard Darius Garcia , 6’6″, 275-pound tackle Zach Goins (brother of 2011 VT signee Jake Goins), and 6’5″, 225-pound tackle Josh Patterson.

“I feel the offensive line is the backbone of our team,” Hall said. “I feel all five will play college football. I think we have three legit D1 players in Darius Garcia , Zach Goins, and Josh Patterson. This is all their first year starting. They are finally getting the opportunity and they are playing very well.”

Never too early to look ahead, Manchester’s 2014 class features Rashaun Conner and Jonathan Duhart. Duhart is a 6’2″, 180-pound wide receiver/defensive back. Conner, whose brother Kavell starred at Manchester before moving on to Clemson and now the NFL, could develop into a very good linebacker prospect.

“Kavell was more tall and rangy. Rashaun is built more like a linebacker,” Hall said. “He is probably 5’11”, 210 pounds, but he is super aggressive like his brother. He’s young, so he’s working on those typical things like gaining strength and experience. He has the genetics to go on the next level.”

Manchester’s senior class is led by middle linebacker Jake Marten and wide receiver/defensive back/return specialist Deshaun Amos. Marten, who stands 6’1″ and weighs 225 pounds, is a team captain and has come up big this season. He had 12 tackles including two tackles-for-loss against Joel Caleb-led Clover Hill and double-digit tackles against Bird.

College interest in Marten is