NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) - The last time the Heritage High School football team started off 6-0, it finished with the top prize in the state. That was 13 years ago, when the Hurricanes finished the season without a blemish on their schedule and as the 2000 state champions.
Fast-forward to 2013, Heritage is 6-0, with wins over Woodside High School (4-2), Bethel (4-2-1), Denbigh (4-2), and Hampton (2-2). That record comes as somewhat of a surprise, considering the team didn't win a game in 2009 or 2010.
"People are starting to talk about Heritage football these days," said Head Coach George Massenburg III. Massenburg took over the program in 2011 and won three games that year. He points out that some of his players were still wearing diapers when Heritage won it all.
"A lot of these kids were like two or three years old. So, they don't know about the tradition that was once here at Heritage," said Massenberg.
The Hurricanes aren't crowning themselves just yet, but folks around Newport News can't help but think of the unbeaten squad of 2000 when looking at their team today.
"It means a lot to know that they appreciate us in the school, and around town," said junior receiver Dimitri Holloway.
Juanye Patillo, a senior running back and linebacker who's seen the team grow since that three-win squad, says it's hard for the 2000 team not to pop up in conversation. "We talk about it often, because we're on a great path," he said.
Are the comparisons flattering? Sure. Motivating? Absolutely. Do they come with expectations? No question.
"We're trying to stay on the great path, so we can be like the 200 team or even better," said Patillo.
Massenburg says the words "state champions" don't come up. Then again, he says, they don't have to. "We put harder expectations on ourselves than anyone else can."
A routine traffic stop in Chesapeake resulted in a three-city pursuit Friday morning.
Wet weather is expected to move into the area over the weekend, forcing some areas to cancel or change their holiday events.
Four vehicles were involved in a crash on Route 17 in Gloucester Friday morning.