Victory Christian Patriots – Bidding for repeat

In their first varsity season, the Victory Christian Patriots recorded an unbeaten regular season and captured the District 2 Division 2 championship.

But for all the accomplishments, the Patriots are still smarting from the close to the year – a 44-38 loss to district foe St. Paul’s Prep in the semifinals.

“That’s still on our minds,” said Victory Christian receiver Justin McBride.

St. Paul’s Prep went on to win the Texas Christian Athletic Fellowship Division II crown.

“It was hard to swallow getting beat and watching them beat that team easily in the state championship game,” said Victory Christian coach Joe Berry. “I heard the kids talk about it in track. I know it’s been on their minds for eight months.”

So the Patriots’ goal entering 2016 is winning two more games.

To accomplish that task the Patriots must fill some holes on both sides of the ball.

OFFENSIVE BREAKDOWN

On offense, Victory will need to find a running back. Cole Reeves returns but will not be in the lineup for a few more weeks.

Quarterback Giddeon McPeek is back after running for 1,007 yards and throwing for another 915.

“Giddeon looks awesome. He’s put on 10 to 15 pounds and is throwing the ball great,” Berry said.

He has capable receivers in McBride and Jackson Shriver. McBride had 17 touchdowns last season.

“In practice, Giddeon is hitting me every time,” McBride said.

DEFENSIVE BREAKDOWN

The Patriots graduated a pair of strong defenders in linebacker Dalton McPeek and defensive end Bryce Miller.

“We have some big shoes to fill,” Berry said.

Jesse Thompson is stepping in at linebacker. Kevin White may also see some time at linebacker.

Giddeon McPeek, McBride and Shriver help lead the secondary.

OUTLOOK

The Patriots should have enough offensive weapons to battle for the district title again. Victory is hoping for a shot at St. Paul’s in the playoffs.

MCBRIDE STAYS ON RUN FOR PATS

It’s not an exaggeration to say Justin McBride is always on the run in the fall.

From the football field to the cross country course, he’s not just on the move but usually leading the pack.

Last fall, McBride led the Victory Christian Patriots in receiving with 615 yards and 17 touchdowns on the grid iron. He also won the Texas Christian Athletic Fellowship state title in cross country, running 18:11.

He admits it’s tiring balancing the two, but says it’s worth it.

“I really enjoy non-stop being able to do a sport,” McBride said. “Cross country takes a lot of time and effort out of you but once that meet is over, my head’s on to the next football game.”

He said a higher power helps him get it all in.

“I think it’s just God. He gives me the strength to do it,” McBride said. “I give him all the praise for it.”

On the football field, he was a favorite target of quarterback Giddeon McPeek. The two hooked up for several long passes for touchdowns.

“When we’re on the field we just click,” McBride said. “He just throws it up and it comes right to me.”

And with the ball, McBride is always ready to run.

VCA 2016 ROSTER

1 … Luke Mosley … 9
2 … Jackson Shriver … 11
3 … Justin McBride … 12
4 … Lance Caraway … 9
5 … Austin Howell … 10
6 … Gideon McPeek … 12
7 … Steven McGee … 12
8 … Garen Webster … 9
9 … Cole Reaves … 10
10 … Logan McNamara … 11
11 … Ben Arant … 9
12 … Jesse Thompson … 10
20 … Andres Roldan … 9
44 … Kevin White … 11
50 … Justin Foster … 9