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Jags Reload for 2018 Campaign, Prepare for Opener Against Wootton

For most teams, reaching the 4A Regional Finals in the playoffs can be considered a success.

The Northwest Jaguars — who won the state title as recently as 2013 and 2014 and have made the playoffs every season since 2012 — are not like most teams.

“We had goals of getting to the state championship, so in that respect, we underachieved a bit,” Head Coach Mike Neubeiser said. “With our talent level, we should have done better. Ultimately, we had injuries to some of our best players and it really, really hurt us. But it is part of football.”

The Jags have been a consistently formidable team with Neubeiser at the helm the past seven seasons. He says the key to that consistency has been strong offseason training and workouts, which the team starts in December right after the previous season ends.

The Jags will have a new look on offense this year as longtime offensive coordinator Justin Sickeri has left to become head coach at Poolesville High School. Coach Pat O’Donnell has moved up from coaching the junior varsity to take over as the offensive coordinator spot for the Jags. Neubeiser has also added Northwest alum and Virginia Tech quarterback Ike Whitaker to the coaching staff for a second stint as an assistant at his alma mater; he is working as the quarterback coach.