COACH GETS HOMECOMING
Landstown coach coming ‘home’ to Todd Stadium, where he starred with Carver
In his upcoming matchup with Woodside High, Landstown coach Tommy Reamon will be returning to Todd Stadium, where he was a part of memorable moments as both a player and coach.
When Tommy Reamon brings his Landstown football team into Todd Stadium on Friday to play Woodside in the Region 6A playoff quarterfinals, he says “I’ll be returning home.”
Indeed, few have been as intimately identified with the 51-year-old dwelling as Reamon, who has been part of some of its most memorable moments as a player and coach.
He first played there as a senior at Carver High in 1969, when he led the Trojans to a 9-0-1 record in their first season in the Peninsula District. Carver had labored in relative obscurity in the black schools’ Virginia Interscholastic Association prior to that season, but when Reamon ran for four touchdowns and returned a punt for a TD in a win over highly regarded Ferguson, he and the Trojans were on the area map.
“Ferguson was (considered by some to be) the top dog at the time, so for a (predominantly) black school to beat them was a big thing,” Reamon remembered. “It was a fantastic game.”
He would have many more as a running back in the years that
followed. He led Fort Scott of Kansas to a national junior-college title, started for Missouri in college and won MVP honors in the World Football League that rivaled the NFL in the mid-1970s.
Reamon played a season for the Kansas City Chiefs of the NFL, another in Canada and then went into acting, playing Delma Huddle in the 1979 motion picture “North Dallas Forty.”
But his path eventually led him back to Todd Stadium, where, from 1991-95, he coached Ferguson.
One of his first hires was a youngster named Danny Dodson. Dodson, who was Reamon’s defensive coordinator at Ferguson, is now in his 20th season as head coach at Woodside and will be on the opposite sideline from Reamon in a playoff game for the third consecutive season.
Their teams have split the meetings, Woodside winning 31-0 two years ago and Landstown prevailing 14-10 last year, thanks to a fourth-quarter stop of the Wolverines at the Eagles’ 1. Their friendship is never dented by the competition, and Dodson considers Reamon a major career influence.
“I learned so many things from Tommy, but the main thing is the relationshipwiththekids,”Dodson said. “You try to help them understand who they are, and you realize the relationships are bigger than football.”
Reamon said, “I’m so proud of Danny and the success he’s had. It’s a treat competing against him — just part of the business and the sport.”
Reamon said what he remembers most about his time with Ferguson was his quarterback, future New Orleans Saints standout Aaron Brooks, trying to complete passes against future Basketball Hall of Famer Allen Iverson in a loss to Bethel. Reamon says Iverson, who ran for three touchdowns and intercepted a pass that afternoon, could’ve been a great pro football player had he chosen.
“He would’ve started in the defensive backfield for any NFL team,” Reamon said.
The most high-profile game Reamon was ever involved in at Todd Stadium came in 1997, a year after he had moved from Ferguson (which closed in 1996) to Warwick. His quarterback, Michael Vick, dueled Hampton High legend Ronald Curry before almost 10,000.
Surprisingly, at the time, Vick held his own in the matchup of future NFL players, although Hampton pulled away to win.
“Greatest high school game in area history,” Reamon said.
One of Reamon’s other favorite memoriesatToddcameascoachof Gloucester in 2005 against Warwick. His son, Tommy Reamon Jr. — now a scout with the Saints — scored a late touchdown to give the Dukes a 21-20 win over Warwick.
“That took me back almost 40 years at Todd Stadium, to when I played,” Reamon said.
His memory makers for Landstown (6-4) on Friday could be cornerback Carlton Winston (six interceptions), defensive end Taeveon Lane (22 sacks) or defensive tackle Denzel Lowry, who was all-region a year ago as a freshman.
“We have a good defense,” Reamon said.
He’ll need it. Woodside (8-2), which mostly runs the ball out of the Wing-T, is deep in skill talent with quarterback Tyler Thompson, D’onte Chesson, Bryce Phipps and Desmin Wright.
Reamon boasts his share of offensive talent, with a capable thrower in Chris Price (1,200 yards), a two-way threat in Luqman Haskett (1,302 total yards, 14 touchdowns) and an emerging rushing threat in Winston (462 yards). Reamon will need that, too, as the Woodside defensive line, led by Josh Hartley and Jordan Hardick, has been stellar.
In short, the table is set for a competitive game and perhaps more lasting Todd Stadium memories for a man with so many already.
“Of course the Landstown kids are my children now, and we’re going there to win, but I’m a representative of Newport News,” Reamon said. “I live there, pay taxesthere,andanytimeIwalkinto Todd Stadium, it’s a trip down memory lane.
“I appreciate the past and I’ll appreciate the kids on both sides because there might just be another Tommy Reamon. Dreamin’.”
Tommy Reamon, shown in his days coaching Gloucester, is bringing his Landstown team from Virginia Beach to Newport News’ Todd Stadium to face Woodside and his former assistant Danny Dodson at 7 p.m. Friday. It’s the first round of the Region 6A playoffs.
Tommy Reamon, seen coaching Warwick in 2004, coached Michael Vick and Aaron Brooks at Todd Stadium. Allen Iverson and Ronald Curry are among the players against whom Reamon has coached.