LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) - There are not many teams in our area that have the luxury of throwing the football 30-plus times a game.
The Brookville Bees, however, are one of those teams that have the ability to do so, on the arm of senior quarterback, Tanner Bernard. Bernard has been chucking it down the field all season long, but he also has the legs to get the job done on the ground.
In the previous three years, Brookville ended their season in the second round of the playoffs. But in 2017, the Bees got over the hump to advance to the state quarterfinals. But it hasn't been an easy ride.
Bernard stated, "We've faced a lot of adversity with this team. From the beginning of the year to now, I wouldn't ask for another team, especially our lineman, our receivers. People say that we weren't going to have anything this year, we were going to struggle. We proved a lot of people wrong so far."
And Tanner Bernard himself has been one of the main reasons the Bees continue to prove others wrong.
The senior quarterback completed 20 passes for 309 yards and all three touchdowns Brookville scored against Monticello last Friday, including the go-ahead touchdown that led the Bees to the 19-15 victory.
Brookville Head Coach Jon Meeks said, "He did what he's been doing all year, for the last two years, and that's just making plays when we need them. The kid's a phenomenal athlete. I think one of the best quarterbacks in central Virginia. Right now, in two years time, we're talking about 7,000 yards of offense, I mean, that's pretty impressive, and over 90 touchdowns combined passing and running. So I'm not amazed anymore by what he does, I'm so used to seeing it in practice and in games, it doesn't surprise me. I think it surprises everybody else, but he does that everyday."
"On Friday night, we played good, I played good, and I really can't talk all about me. It starts from the line. I starts from running backs, receivers catching the ball, defense being able to let the offense have the ball. It starts from there," stated Bernard.
And while Tanner is quick to give credit to the guys around him, his decision-making at the line of scrimmage is some that has helped his progression as a dual threat quarterback.
"I always read downfield first, and before I snap the ball, I see what the linebackers are doing. I read the linebackers, and then I can read the DBs and safeties and see what they're doing. And then I can tell if my receiver is feeling it, and if he's feeling it, I can give them a chance, and usually it's a right decision."
Tanner has made plenty of right decisions and big plays for the Bees this season, earning him a helmet full of accolades.
Meeks said, "We do award decals every week. This year, we shifted. It's all team-oriented. Everybody's got about the same number. It's really hard to get an extra one this year, but I think he's earned those extras with some of the throws and plays he's made. He probably has the most on the team, but I think if you watch a game, you can probably agree that he earned them."
And as Tanner's career at Brookville is nearing the end, he says there's a lot he'll take away from his time as a Bee.
"Definitely the memories. The teachers here, the coaches, everything you ask for is here. You never regret what you have done here. I mean, it's always a blessing to be here," stated Bernard.