New Head Football coach, Karl Buckwalter, may be the key to getting the Fauquier Falcons football team back on their feet. After this past seasons record of 0-10, Joe Prince resigned in November with an overall record of 11-29 for over 4 seasons. A new change is taking part in our school’s football program which has deep roots in Fauquier County as well as in FHS. Many are excited to see what this year has in store for the FHS Falcons football team.
Buckwalter grew up in Mclean Virginia and graduated from Mclean High School, having played football, basketball, and soccer. He continued to play football at Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota. However, since 2008, he has been a resident in Warrenton. He came back to teach and coach at McLean. “I have been a Head Football Coach for 3 High Schools in my career: McLean, Colonial Forge, and Dominion High School.” Karl Buckwalter’s oldest daughter, Paige, is a 2nd grade teacher in Kentucky. His youngest daughter, Karlyn, is currently attending Brumfield Elementary; while his two step-sons, Brandon and Michael, both graduated from FHS a few years ago. Previous to applying for Head Coach at Fauquier he taught Physical Education at Dominion High School and ran a successful football program there for 11 years.
Buckwalter said, “Growing up in Virginia and being able to come back here after college to teach and coach is very exciting. I truly enjoy the atmosphere and it is fantastic having my daughter around practices and games. It is a great environment and I feel very fortunate.” When asked what football meant to him Buckwalter stated, “Football is a fantastic team game. It is a game that everyone has to do their own job on each play in order for the play to be successful. It also teaches life lessons such as facing adversity and how to respond.” His plans for the season so far include weight room on Monday and Wednesdays from 6-7:30 pm and a start on the schematics. Buckwalter added, “Each year is a challenge… I am looking forward to the journey as we have already started preparing. We are looking to have a 7 v 7 tourney along with a Combine and Camp this spring.” He also has a “Midnight Madness” planned for August 1st at 12:01 in the FHS stadium. Buckwalter has a goal, to get to the 11th game. “I tell the team we have 10 opportunities to get the 11th one. 10 Fridays go very quickly when you think about it… Playoffs are always the goal and once you get in anything can happen.”
When asked if finding a new coach Mark Ott responded with, “many coaches come into a place that already has success and will result in an easy transition. These coaches are hard to come by for all sports. We are glad to have the opportunity to have one who lives here and wants to continue out his career here.” Coach Ott stated that Buckwalter’s “background and his ability to turn around and start programs at other schools” were the prominent factors in his hiring at FHS. Many at FHS are expecting a more successful season with the new head coach and the larger amount of seniors and their “senior leadership.” Buckwalter’s known experience and outcomes with past teams might be all the Falcons need to get the competitive spirit of the past back.
by Catherine Smith–Staff Reporter