Richmond, VA (WWBT)- Collegiate knows what it takes to reach the state championship game, as the Cougars advanced to the title match-up last year, only to fall to Fork Union on their home field. This season finds Collegiate hitting the practice field hard early with the hope of returning and avenging that loss.
Head coach Mark Palyo returns for his fifth season at the head of the Cougar sidelines and has his work cut out for him. Collegiate must replace seven starters on offense and eight starters on defense, but still returns several key skill players from 2010. Palyo says that the first week has gone extremely well and that his team has set goals and is working hard towards those goals. The team is using last year's state title loss at home as motivation and it is fresh in the memory of those who played in that game, as the Blue Devils nipped the Cougars by the slim margin on 16-14. It marked the second time FUMA had beaten them that season, as Collegiate fell to the Devils by a 46-21 score in the regular season.
Collegiate finished 6-5 in 2010 and high scoring games seemed to favor it during last season. The Cougars scored 14 points in three of their five losses, with the others being the loss to Fork Union and a 35-28 overtime defeat at the hands of Saint Christopher's. On the other hand, they seemed to be offensively dominant in wins, scoring at least 39 points three times, including a 41-34 win over eventual Division I champion Saint Anne's Belfield.