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Mike Henderson

On Wednesday, Powhatan named Mike Henderson its football coach, selecting a veteran with strong ties to the community.

For 15 years, he was the coach at Blessed Sacrament Huguenot, which is located down the road from Powhatan High. Henderson won five Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association state championships in a span of nine seasons there.

He lives in Powhatan, has three kids in the school system, and his wife, Kristy, coaches the girls basketball team at Powhatan High.

"It's a very special place to me," he said. "I've lived here for 21 years. I feel like I'm coming home."

In 2012, he left for Douglas Freeman in Henrico County, where he inherited a team that had lost more games than it had won three years in a row. But Henderson turned Freeman into a consistent winner, going 53-24 and winning 10 games in a season twice.

"Freeman's been an absolutely terrific place to me for seven years," he said. "We're like a family."

His job now is to replace the winningest high school football coach in the Richmond area, Jim Woodson, who stepped down in the fall after his 34th season as head coach. Woodson won 280 games during his tenure, eighth most in the state.

"Obviously there's a great program in place," he said. "In some ways it's easy because the kids have a winning tradition. But to live up to that is a tall task."

He says he'll continue Woodson's best traditions and sprinkle in a few of his own.

Sports reporter

Eric Kolenich writes sports stories for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, focusing on local athletes and teams. He graduated from the University of Virginia in 2008 with a BA in English and joined the paper in 2009. (804) 649-6109

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