Le’Shon Washington’s football journey started during offseason workouts at the school gym prior to his freshman year at Goochland High School. It was Joe Fowler, then the head football coach before becoming the athletic director, who got him into the game.
Washington would become part of the varsity team in his junior season, starting on the offensive line and playing both ways in key games.
During Washington’s junior year, left tackle Tyler May taught him a lot.
“He was football 24/7, working out, eating right,” Washington said of May. “He got me on the path to become a better lineman myself.”
And with the help of his teammates, his coaches, his team’s focus on getting the job done and his own focus on staying in shape, working out and eating right, Washington has followed the path to playing football at the collegiate level.
He will attend and compete for Ferrum College after committing to the school three weeks ago.
“The coaching staff . . . they stood out the most to me, the way they tried to stay in touch,” Washington said. “It just felt like a family. It felt like it was the right fit.”
Washington said that coach Bobby James, who had come down to scout him, has been in touch with him ever since Washington sent him his film.
“He’s been in touch with me every single day, checks up on me,” Washington said. “The coaches are just very supportive.”
He will play offensive guard for the Panthers. He feels that his speed and athleticism will be key components in helping him be strong at that position.
In high school, he described himself as an aggressive player, and he noted that he would try to get into the opposing players’ heads.
In addition to guard, Washington played at defensive tackle in games where his team switched to a five-man front. On the offensive line, he helped pave the way for Goochland’s offense to tally up 3,591 yards total, including 2,151 rushing.
He and his Bulldogs, under current head coach Alex Fruth, went 26-3 in two seasons, won two regional championships, played in two state semifinals and reached the state title game in 2018.
“When we went to states, that was a very big accomplishment,” Washington said. “Not many of us thought we could make it that far, but coach Fruth, he’s a very analytical coach. He likes to take risks and I believe he’s the reason we made it that far the first year.”
Goochland’s coaches, Washington said, were get-to-the-grind coaches.
“We got done what needed to get done,” he said. Focusing on that, Washington felt, separated them from most other teams in the state.
He also felt that the team bond has been key to Goochland football’s strong stretch of seasons.
“Most of us had played since eighth grade and before that,” he said. “I think it’s the bond we all have with each other, knowing our weaknesses and knowing our strengths, putting it to use on the field.”
In his preparation for playing at the next level, Washington has been using the TeamBuildr app, throughout which his coach has been sending out workouts each week, to stay in shape.
He’s looking forward to the experience of the stadium and the fans, as well as to how the athletes move and work on the college field.
His goals for his first year are turning around the team’s record (Ferrum last year went 4-6 overall and 3-5 in Old Dominion Athletic Conference play), bringing home the ODAC championship and making it to the NCAA playoffs.