Something historic is happening in Ashburn when it comes to high school football. And it's not a "good" historic.
I moved to Ashburn Farm, and chose the neighborhood I have lived in the last 15 years partly because a brand new high school was being finished that would open in the fall of 2000. Its name was Stone Bridge. I was pretty surprised when the football program became a winner almost overnight, and by 2003, the team was so good it made it to the state semifinals, losing to Powhatan.
After that, an Ashburn team that went deep into the playoffs became the norm. Stone Bridge would lose in the championship game to Hampton in 2005, then won the title in 2007. In 2008 and 2009, Broad Run joined the party, winning state titles both years, while Stone Bridge made it to the semifinals in 2008 and the finals in 2009, losing both times to Phoebus.
In 2010, Stone Bridge again lost to Phoebus in the title game, and the Broad Run state title streak came to an end. But another Ashburn school - Briar Woods - took up the championship mantle, winning state titles in 2010, 2011 and 2012. Stone Bridge made it back to the state title game in 2012 too, losing to Norfolk's Lake Taylor.
Briar Woods played in a fourth straight state title game in 2013 and finally lost one, then last year for the first time since 2006, no Ashburn team was in a state championship football game, although they all went several games deep into the playoffs.
So against that backdrop, it is indeed surprising that after Friday night's games, one of those three schools will not finish the regular season with a winning record. It's entirely possible a second one won't either.
Briar Woods has stumbled, going 2-5, so even if the Falcons were to sweep their remaining three games against Chantilly, Potomac Falls and Stone Bridge, they would at best be .500. Chantilly and Potomac Falls are both 4-2, while Stone Bridge is, well, Stone Bridge.
But the Bulldogs don't have the bite of the last decade either. At 3-3, this marks the first time Stone Bridge has lost three regular season games since 2001. The school went 3-7 in its inaugural season, then went 6-3 in its second season of 2001. They've never lost more than 2 regular season games in a year since, which is quite remarkable.
But getting a winning record this year will require winning 3 of the last 4. The next two are against undefeated Broad Run and undefeated Tuscarora, the two best 5A teams in the area. The Bulldogs close with 4-2 Potomac Falls and 2-5 Briar Woods, meaning 5-5 is a strong possibility....at best.