Story by Malcolm Johnson
WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- Battlefield is accustomed to playing in the Virginia state playoffs and expects this year to be no different. The Bobcats start the season against a formidable opponent in Gar-Field, a consistently strong team coming off a playoff berth in 2011.
Record Last Season: 10-3
Biggest Question: With basically a new offensive line and unproven running backs, will the Bobcats be able to establish a consistent running game?
Strengths: Nick Newman and Trent Saflin are returning at wide receiver, as well as quarterback Ryan Swingle. With all three heading into their senior year, Battlefield will rely on making big plays through the air. The three leaders advanced to the state championship last season, so the necessary experience is there.
Best Player: WR/ILB Nick Newman is 6-foot-4, 210 pounds, and is Battlefield's toughest receiver to cover. Newman has played varsity football since he was a freshman. Over the years he has played many positions on the football field, making him possibly the most versatile player in Virginia's Northwest region. Newman's wide range of skills has attracted college coaches, including Temple which has offered Newman a scholarship.
Breakthrough Player: At one point last season, wide receiver Trent Saflin was leading Prince William County in receptions. He was also first team all-district in 2011 and will be a primary target on an offense that lacks established playmakers. With defenses focusing their attention on Nick Newman, Saflin should be able to make big plays in opposing secondaries.
Why fans should be excited: Head coach Mark Cox on Battlefield's new rivalry with Patriot High school:
"Patriot High school was added to the Cedar Run District this year. They were there last year but they didn't play football, they didn't play a varsity schedule. They've become Battlefield's newest rival because a lot of our kids had to go to that school. They ended up taking a lot of our ninth and tenth graders."