#16Camps | Pace brings revamped energy for hometown Flucos
PALMYRA, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- A spark has been reignited in Fluvanna County for football lead by a hometown Fluco in new head coach Mitchell Pace.
"It's a good addition for Coach Pace to come bring a new energy, a new vibe to Fluvanna and that's what we needed," senior offensive tackle Christian Lambert said, "We needed a new energy, we needed someone who could really feel for the players and have a connection with us."
"Basically he came with a purpose and he knew what he wanted to change and how he wants everything to be," senior RB/DE Marcus Dickerson.
A Fluvanna alum, Pace has coached in the county for 17 years at all levels and all sports, now he has the big whistle.
"It's home, it's like a cliche, but I love being here," Pace said, "It's where I grew up and I love being able to get back and work with the same kids, family names that I knew and played with."
The Flucos have a staggering 100 players out for fall practice and players credit Pace as the reason why so many have come back to the sport.
"Always grew up he was always at my little league games, always out there," junior TE/LB Benny Denby said, "Knew he knew what he wanted to do with the team and bring it back to life, so I was excited when I heard the news and I knew as soon as I heard the news I was going to play."
"Oh it's crazy there were 100, I've never seen that," senior OL/LB Linwood Perkins said, "Usually were looking for players, begging everybody 'hey come play', but this year everybody came out, everybody is wanting to put in the work."
Fluvanna County finished winless last season for the first time since 2015, but with a revamped roster Pace sees an athletic Flucos team that can make noise in the Jefferson District.
"The opportunity is always there we always have athletes, we always have hard-working kids. Just trying to bring some discipline to it and revamp it with my style," Pace said, "Think we're pretty quick, I think people are going to be surprised we have some athletes that can spread the field a little bit."
"Ready to prove them wrong, we've got some of the fastest, strongest, biggest kids in the district," Denby said, "A lot of skill in the backfield and out wide."
The fire has returned to the Flucos on the field, now Pace sets out to reignite his hometown fanbase.
"Those stands to be packed, I want the community to get behind this," Pace said, "I think Fluvanna County is hungry for successful football, something they can be really proud of every Friday night. So trying to bring that back to where this is where you need to be on Friday nights."