WDBJ7 Sports Reporter
11:08 AM EDT, August 3, 2012
MAX MEADOWS, Va.
The Fort Chiswell football team is looking to build off some late-season momentum from last year.
The Pioneers went 5-5 in 2011 but dropped a number of close games in the closing moments. Stephen James' crew plans to be right in the thick of the Mountain Empire race, in what has turned out to be a top-tier district, with Galax and Grayson County leading the way.
"The M.E.D used to be considered a weak district and in the past few years it's obviously progressed," coach Stephen James said. "We're hoping to be in the mix at the end of the year."
A big force in Fort Chiswell's success will be Coleman Thomas.
"You can't take a game off. You gotta come out ready to play every game and be focused in practice and it will just lead over to the game. Hopefully everything that you learn in practice will carry over to the game," Thomas said.
Coach James added, "We had three games last year that could have went either way. We lost late, coulda probably put us at 8 and 2 and got us in the playoffs in a good situation but we just weren't able to finish them."
The Pioneers scored 40 or more points in three of their final four games and bring back junior Coleman Thomas, a six foot six, 295 pound center, to pave the way.
He already has an offer from West Virginia and says Virginia Tech is showing interest.
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