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Former Football Coach Red Stickney Passes

Even though he was only in
Prince William County for two years as a high school head football coach,
Red Stickney left a lasting impression.
Stickney, who died Monday at
his home in Virginia Beach at age 68 of a heart attack, directed the team that
put the county on the map for high school football.
In 1974, Woodbridge High
School became the first county team to play for a state championship, going 12-0
before losing in the Group AAA final to Bethel, 24-21.
Arguably the most talented
prep team ever fielded in county history, the Vikings produced eight Division I
players, including running back Russell Davis, a Parade All-American who went on
to play at the University of Michigan and then for the Pittsburgh
Steelers.
"That's what really put
Woodbridge on the upswing," said Bill Holsclaw, who was an assistant to
Stickney for both seasons before taking over as head
coach for the 1975 season when Stickney left to become
an assistant coach at Virginia Tech from 1975-77. "That year was something
special."
Stickney spent 43 years as a
coach and totaled over 200 victories in his career that included stints at 10
different high schools.
His best team, though, was
the 1974 Woodbridge team.
"He was really good at
getting kids to play," Holsclaw said. "All the kids liked him. He was
a good football coach."
Stickney's son Bill, who was
a sophomore on the 1974 Woodbridge team, remembered his father having high
expectations for that team.
"He left a program that
was well-respected throughout the state," Bill Stickney said.
So much so that Bill Stickney
said he remembers a team from California calling to see if Woodbridge was
interested in a home-and-away series.
Stickney, whose given name
was Ravis, was called Red because of the color of his hair when he was young.
Stickney began his coaching
career in 1960 after graduating from Alabama, where he played running back and
linebacker and was on Bear Bryant's first Crimson Tide team.
Besides Woodbridge, Stickney
also coached at Maury, Kempsville and Franklin County, among others.
His final head coaching stop
was at Greenbrier Christian, which he led to the state private school playoffs
for three seasons before stepping down in 2002.
Last season, he served as an
assistant at Bishop Sullivan in Virginia Beach.
"It was his tendency
that once he succeeded somewhere, it was time to move on," Bill Stickney
said. "He wanted another challenge."
Bill Stickney said a memorial
service for his father will be held Friday at 11 a.m. at the First Baptist
Church in Norfolk.
He said his father's wishes
were to be cremated.
"He didn't want anyone
to make a big deal out of [his death]," Bill Stickney said.
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