FNE 16 CAMPS: Fork Union relying on family

FORK UNION, Va. (NEWSPLEX) -- The Fork Union football team has a new coach this season but he's a familiar face.

"I've always known him. I have him as a teacher and he's always been a nice guy so it's not much of a difference,” said Fork Union senior Zachary Pace.

"It's really nice because you don't have to get to know somebody as well. You already know them coming in. So, it's better like one on one communication, we can talk to him about anything. I mean you know him already so it makes it a lot better,” said Fork Union senior, Brennon Garrison.

Mike Hooper was the junior varsity football coach at FUMA and plans to run the same system on varsity this season.

"I've been there for three years so we have some continuity there. Traditionally we have a lot of transfers about 40 to 50 percent of our players. We keep it simple, give them an opportunity to play and make plays,” Hooper said.

Hooper is bringing something else up from that JV team.

"It's a Polynesian saying, Ohana. It means family because that's what we are here, we're a family,” he said.

"I mean we live together so we pretty much can't get closer to that. That's pretty much why we always say family,” Pace said.

"We're all one, we're all a team. We like to call ourselves family. We like to call ourselves brothers. It helps us play together it helps us work together. It helps us win,” Garrison said.

But this season that family is smaller than usual.

"We are low on numbers. We probably have about 26 to 28 out so practices have to be managed well,” Hooper said.

"We're trying to find a lot of people to play. We don't have any depth. Our offensive line we have five people. We have two subs. It's hard going into the games not knowing what's going to happen if somebody gets hurt. We have to stay healthy and play our best,” Garrison said.

"I think it's very important because now they're playing for each other and they play well. They play harder. They don't want to let their brother down. You don't ever want to let your family down,” Hooper said.