Northern Virginia football notebook: Mount Vernon is back in a major way

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Mount Vernon running back Darrien Newton runs for a touchdown in the Majors’ season-opening win against Washington-Lee. (Courtesy of Monty Fritts)

When Monty Fritts took over as Mount Vernon’s football coach in August, the team had 40 players and a few extra helmets. It was the smallest roster, he guessed, of any Virginia 6A team.

“My freshman year, I remember dressing for varsity and there were only 26 kids on the busses,” junior quarterback Tim Heltzel said.

Now the Majors are undefeated, off to their first 3-0 start since 1988. Fritts has ordered more helmets twice already since the season started. More than 60 kids have joined the program, and they’re still coming.

It turns out winning at Mount Vernon makes you popular.

“I think it was just a school that was waiting on somebody to come in and tell them they believed in them,” Fritts said. “Right now, my biggest task is to just calm everybody down. We’re all just so excited to be 3-0.”

What’s more, on Friday the Majors defeated West Springfield, a Conference 7 contender last year and a nearby rival.

In the offseason, Mount Vernon’s players said they knew they’d be better than years past, but hanging with the likes of West Springfield wasn’t supposed to happen this season, Fritts said. The Majors didn’t even have an offseason weight room plan since Fritts couldn’t formally start head coach until August.

But there was Mount Vernon, clinging to a lead with 5 minutes to play Friday in Springfield. Heltzel hit Bobby Dixon on a quick slant that went 60 yards for a touchdown, one of Heltzel’s five scoring passes on the day. The Majors’ sideline went wild.

We’re for real, Heltzel told his team. We’re no fluke.

“That feeling that we could hang with the best in our division, it blew our minds,” he said.

Mount Vernon gets a bye week to revel in that feeling. The Majors next faceT.C. Williams on Sept. 24 — a team they haven’t beaten since 2008.

The Big number: 28

The number of years since Mount Vernon last started a season with three consecutive wins. The year was 1988. A gallon of gasoline cost 84 cents that year, according to federal data. The top pop song was George Michael’s “Faith.” Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” was fourth on the charts.

Northern Virginia player of the week

RB Reid Scarborough, Robinson, Sr.

When in doubt, feed Reid. Scarborough ran for 107 yards and three touchdowns on 12 carriers in the Rams’ win over W.T. Woodson. No. 20 Robinson (2-0) will face No. 7 Lake Braddock on Friday in what’s shaping up to be the game of the week in Fairfax County.

Warhawks start hot, upset No. 8 Stone Bridge

Madison is off to an undefeated start after beating Stone Bridge, 19-15, on Friday for just the second time since 2009.

The Warhawks went 9-2 last year before losing to Chantilly in the Virginia 6A playoffs. But Madison was a combined 5-14 in the two year prior.

Senior quarterback Jacob Choutka is completing 62 percent of his passes and averaging 227 yards a game. He has five touchdowns through the air, and has yet to throw an interception.

And senior wide receiver Nick Conforti is catching everything Choutka throws his way. He has 11 receptions through two games, 192 yards and three touchdowns.

“I know he can make any play,” Choutka said after the Warhawks’ Week 1 win against Oakton. “No matter what kind of ball I throw to him I know he’ll make a play on it.”

Madison hosts McLean on Friday.


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