Which is the best football team in Bedford?

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By Rod Short

By: Rod Short
Sports Editor


    Months of work in the weight room, weeks of time on the practice field and days on anticipation are all about to come to a head as two of Bedford’s three high school teams take the field for the 2019 season opener.
    Liberty will take on Franklin County at 7:00 PM on Friday, Aug. 30 at home while Staunton River opens on the road at William Campbell on the same date and time.
    Jefferson Forest will be idle with a bye on the first week of the regular season.
    Liberty, which made it to the regional championship game last season, finished 7-6 overall while Jefferson Forest came in at 8-4. Staunton River finished with a winless 0-10 season.
    Which was the best? Some might point to JF’s eight wins while others would say Liberty since they advanced further in the playoffs.
    Others looks at pre-season rankings. Liberty has been ranked #11 out of the 14 Lynchburg area football teams while Staunton River came in 13th. Jefferson Forest came in with the highest ranking at number four.
    According to the Virginia High School League, Liberty was ranked 7th overall in the state within its division, JF was ranked number 13 and SRHS was no. 41.   
    With each team facing some new opponents this season, a look at the strength of schedule changes the perspective. JF has the easiest 2019 schedule with each opponent averaging 6.2 wins last year. Liberty faces teams that averaged 6.8 victories while SRHS has the toughest schedule with teams that averaged 7.7 wins.
    Another way to look at it is whether or not it was the quality of the opponent based on school size. SRHS which is a Class 3 school, for instance, will open this season against Class 1 William Campbell. Franklin County, which is a much larger Class 6 program, will play Liberty and Staunton River, which are both Class 3 schools.
    The number of returning players and the experience they bring with them are huge factors also, which is why many high school programs don’t have consistent win-loss records year over year.
    Throw injuries, academic issues, field conditions and weather along with all the other intangibles into the mix as well. With all of these considerations added, one might see that determining if one team is better than another isn’t really black and white.
    If reputation, last year’s record and even talent was all that it took to win, then there would never be any upsets. That’s why they play the games!