WILLIAMSBURG– “Friday Night Lights” is a series looking in on area high school football programs ahead of the 2023 season.
The Jamestown High School Eagles have bought into its coaching regime change and are ready to tackle the 2023 football season.
First-year Eagles varsity head coach Scott Lambin has taken over the program and is instilling in his men the importance of playing for something larger than football. Lambin was the interim head football coach during the 2022 season after serving as the JV football head coach in 2021.
After going 0-10 last year, Lambin has taken a lot of time to analyze what happened.
“I’ve had a lot of hours of looking back on the ‘whys’ and ‘who’s and the ‘shoulda, woulda, coulda’ stuff. At the end of the day, I take full responsibility in the outcome of our 2022 season. A lot of things played a factor in it. Being a first-year varsity head coach, I thought I had all my i’s dotted and t’s crossed, but in the thick of it, there were things that happened that I couldn’t all the way prepare for,” Lambin said.
The Eagles this season will see 17 rising seniors take the field. Varsity wide, the Eagles team is made up of 44 players.
“We weren’t young by any means last season, but we had significantly more juniors than we did seniors,” Lambin said.
Lambin’s five captains include senior linebacker Sam Tighe, senior receiver and defensive end Jayden Cory, senior running back and linebacker Jimmy Moore, senior offensive and defensive lineman Tyron Henderson, and senior kicker Luke Pelletier.
The offensive line and backfield roster includes junior center Evan Rabinowitz, senior guard Michael Cypress Jr., junior guard Zyquan Chapman, junior tackle Jake Podolin, sophomore tackle LaBron Henderson, senior tight end Nick Napora, senior split end Jayden Cory, sophomore quarterback Ben Hanchett, junior running back Jordan Lambin, junior fullback Jaquari Waller, and senior running back Jimmy Moore.
The defensive line and backfield roster includes senior defensive end Jayden Cory, senior defensive end Nick Napora, senior defensive tackle Tyron Henderson, junior nose guard Drew Williams, senior linebacker Sam Tighe, junior linebacker CJ Peay, junior linebacker Jimmy Moore, junior cornerback Massimo Serio, junior cornerback Mortima Goodridge, sophomore safety Brayden Strouse, and junior safety Jaquari Waller.
Taking over the program, Lambin is proud to contribute to changing the culture when it comes to Jamestown High School football.
“Jamestown High School football, we need a culture shift. That culture shift needs to come from nothing but consistency. The best NFL or college coach can come in here and bring the most complex playbook that anybody has ever seen, but we’ve got to show our community and student base that the football team is making a change,” Lambin said.
Lambin, who was in charge of the weight room and strength and conditioning regimen for a long time, asks three things of his players.
“I have three main principles that I make all my players agree to. Before they step into our weight room in the offseason, I have them line up outside the room and I ask every single one of them, ‘are you ready and willing to act as a gentleman first, a student second, and a football player last?’ and they say ‘yes coach’ and then we shake hands and they go start their lift,” Lambin said.
Lambin reminds his players of that promise throughout the season.
Lambin’s keyword? Consistency.
“I’m very traditional in my belief that consistency breeds success. Every kid is different, but for me, from Dec. 9 until we put cleats on our feet, I make it a point to get to know everybody on our team. I make it a point to have multiple conversations with the parents. On a game field, you won’t hear me screaming and yelling. I hold our entire program to a very high standard,” Lambin said.
Lambin believes fully that in order for his team to be successful, he must lead by example.
For Lambin, the 2023 season is full of hope and excitement. Starting with training camp, Lambin changed up the practice flow. He hopes to equate the experience on the practice field to game situations.
“We were inefficient in our practice flow last year. This year, I’ve completely rearranged our practice plan to where it’s nothing but efficient. This year, I’ve really looked at who we have and what we’re running on offense and defense. Our team is going to look significantly different than it did last year. With that thought, we’re still focusing on mastery of the basics,” Lambin said.
Not one to get ahead of himself, Lambin looks at rivals Lafayette and Warhill to present a challenge this season on the gridiron.
“The Lafayette and Warhill games for us are always the barn burners, only because we’re crosstown rivals. Outside of Williamsburg, our Poquoson game is going to be a scrap, they are always tough. York is always a good game because they are coached well. Out of the gate, for the last three seasons, we’ve played the 1A and 2A powerhouse schools. Essex is going to be a scrap as well,” Lambin said.
Jamestown’s away opponents this season include Smithfield, Poquoson, Grafton, and Warhill high schools. Jamestown’s home opponents this season include Nottoway, Essex, Tabb, York, New Kent, and Lafayette high schools.
Game one of the 2023 football season for Jamestown High School kicks off at home against Nottoway High School on Aug. 25 at 7 p.m.