Former Western Maryland College football standout Joe Brockmeyer began setting football records at age 11 with the George Fox Little Buccaneers in Anne Arundel County in 1962.
By the time he finished his college career at Western Maryland in 1973, Brockmeyer established three school rushing records that have stood up pretty well over the years.
"Records were more of a personal goal to better yourself. It gave me a competitive edge, but winning games was always more important," Brockmeyer said.
"Now, I look back and they give me a sense of accomplishment and can set an example for my children to stretch themselves to put forth the best effort possible."
After a standout football and track career at Northeast High in Anne Arundel County, Brockmeyer chose Western Maryland over seven other colleges and academies -- largely due to former Western Maryland College football coach Ron Jones.
"Somebody sent us a film of Joe and after seeing it I said 'We have to have this guy' ", Jones said. "Joe could cut better than anyone I had ever seen. He also was one of the easiest players to coach I've ever run across, a team player in the first order."
Going into the 1990 season, Brockmeyer owned the single season rushing record (1,041 yards in 1970); the single game rushing record (312 yard against Johns Hopkins in 1970) and the career rushing record (3,022 yards set in 1972).
After 18 years, it appears Brockmeyer's career rushing record will be bettered, as junior running back Eric Frees needed only 14 yards to surpass the mark going into yesterday's game against Franklin & Marshall.
In much of the same fashion as Brockmeyer, Frees is focusing more on winning games at this point then thinking about the record.
"I never saw any films of him (Brockmeyer), but I understand he was an excellent back. The record means a lot to me and will be even more rewarding if we can keep winning," Frees said.
After graduating from Western Maryland with a degree in studio art and design, Brockmeyer was signed by the Hamilton Tiger Cats of the Canadian Football League as a free agent in 1973.
He was placed on waivers shortly after injuring his left shoulder. It was his first bad taste of football.
"The professional attitude was poor. Everybody had personal physicians and steroid use was everywhere," Brockmeyer said. "I didn't know how to compete with that."
After a short stint with the Carroll County Chargers semi-pro team, Brockmeyer hung up his cleats for good in 1974 and began focusing on other career prospects and building a family.
Brockmeyer, now a process safety engineer for the Baltimore plant of Proctor & Gamble Manufacturing Co., lives in Anne Arundel with his wife, Debbie, whom he met at Western Maryland, and their three children -- Joey, 7, Justin, 3, and Jessica, 8 months old.
It wasn't until this year when Joey signed up to play football for those same Buccaneers that the elder Brockmeyer said he really missed the competition of athletics.
"When I took him to his first practice, it was like an explosion of nostalgia," Brockmeyer said. "It was then I felt the need to be active and again feel the reflexive action of an athlete."
Since then, he has taken up karate, which he has found challenging and competitive.
"It is a much more personal sport than football, where you 'Do it for the team.' Because of my prior athletic abilities, my instructor says I am catching on quick. In three years I would like to be a black belt," Brockmeyer said.
On Nov. 10, Brockmeyer will be inducted into the Western Maryland College Athletic Hall of Fame.
"It will be a crowning moment, hanging up my cleats for good and sort of a thank you from all who supported me. It will definitely be something special," he said.