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A little vindication for James River coaching staff

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CHESTERFIELD (WTVR) – Greg DeFrancesco isn’t an “I told you so” kind of person.

But if he was, he would have reason to shout it from his rooftop.

DeFrancesco has his James River Rapids back in the VHSL football playoffs for the first time since his inagural season back in 2000. In between have been some good, but more not so good seasons to the tune of a 53-77 overall record before this year began.

That absence of success, from one of the biggest schools in the area, had some parents in the James River system calling for a change in direction with the program.

A petition surfaced on Change.org calling for DeFrancesco’s ouster. One mother even commented that the family would move rather than have their son play one more year under DeFrancesco.

“I tried not to take it personally” DeFrancesco said this week. “But it’s difficult not to. Especially some of the things that were said that were not factual.”

Behind Quintrell Chung, the Rapids went 6-4 this year and have won five of their last six. All of their losses have come to fellow playoff teams and they are the 8th seed in Division 6A south, taking on top seeded C.D. Hylton this Friday night.

“You can only control the things that are within your realm of control” DeFrancesco said.  “I think for the staff, we’re going to look in the mirror when we go to bed at night and like what we see.”

“Our kids have worked tremendously hard for this. It’s good for the school, good for the community and everyone is excited about it. I don’t think we’ve played our best game yet. Hopefully we’re saving that for Friday night.”

As for the coach, was he ever tempted to get back on line and find all of his detractors to ask their opinion of his program now?

“There’s a large number of supporters that we have in the school and the community who are on the outside of all of that” DeFrancesco said. “I think more for them, there’s a greater sense of satisfaction or vindication.

And I think for our kids, it is. Our kids were aware of all of that stuff. We never really discussed it as a group, but I think it’s really important to them.”