Report cards came out this week for high school students, so with football season ending nearly simultaneously, I thought I would take a stab at grading the county's pigskin coaches.
What I will do is lay out their records and contributions and compare these guys to their NFL and NCAA counterparts.
Let's start with the overall picture. Only seven of the 15 county head coaches had winning records this season; the same ratio have winning career records.
Of the seven with winning career marks, only four have been on the job seven years or more. And of the seven who came out ahead in the "W" column this fall, five of them have winning lifetime records.
The Class 4A League produced three winning coaches this fall, and you can make it a fourth if you include first-year North County High. However, at the coaches' season-ending meeting this week to select their Coaches All-County teams, despite being classified 4A North County was included among the 3A-2A schools since it played primarily a 3A schedule inherited from Andover after the merger with Brooklyn Park.
Pete Regala of Old Mill was tops in the local coaching fraternity with his 9-2 record and 4A Region IV title. Regala was followed by Andy Borland of Severna Park, who guided his Falcons to an overall 7-3 record, 7-0 in the county league for that championship.
Glen Burnie's Dave Rigot was third in the 4A at 6-4, the Gophers' first winning season since 1983.
With the 9-1 campaign, Regala lifted his career mark to 41-40 in eight seasons while Borland closed in on the 100-win milestone at 99-84. With win No. 100 next season -- his 19th as head coach -- Borland would join the county's three greatest football coaches in the 100 circle.
That exclusive club includes Al Laramore, Annapolis (156-67-2 in 23 years); Joe Papetti, Glen Burnie and South River (154-81 in 24 years) and Jerry Mears, Arundel and Meade (129-68 in 19 years).
Laramore and Mears died in the last couple of years and Papetti retired three years ago.
Unlike his Class 4A colleagues, Rigot doesn't have a winning career record. In 12 seasons at the helm of the Gophers, he has gone 52-68.
A fourth winning coach this season was Chuck Markiewicz at North County. Markiewicz, in what was his fourth year as a head coach, led the Knights to an 8-2 campaign. That lifted his career record to 26-15 including one year (1983) at Chesapeake (3-7) and two at Meade (1988-1989, 15-6).
The three other winning coaches this season were Doug Williams of Severn School, Brad Best of St. Mary's and Dave Summey of South River.
Williams and Best each posted 8-2 overall records and gained a share of the MSA C Conference title with St. Paul's of Baltimore County.
Summey had his second straight winning season in Edgewater after years of frustration at Brooklyn Park. The Seahawks were 6-4 under Summey after going 7-3 in 1989. The past two seasons have lifted Summey's 12-year career record to 51-68-1.
Williams completed his seventh season at Severn School and is now 42-33-1 as one of the area's most respected coaches.
Best took the Saints on a whirling U-turn going from 3-7 to 8-2. His two-year career record is 11-9.
Two coaches with winning lifetime records who didn't have winning seasons this fall, but didn't have losing seasons either, are Buddy Hepfer of Arundel (88-55 in 14 years) and Roy Brown of Annapolis (13-8 in two years). Hepfer and Brown both were 5-5 this season.
As for the rest of the football coaches, they all had losing seasons, which is keeping with their career records. With their career records in parentheses, here are the members of the exclusive Dubious Circuit: at 0-8-1 Greg Furhman of Spalding in his rookie year; at 1-9 each Tom Kraning, Chesapeake (8-22, three seasons) and Hayse Henderson, Meade (rookie season); at 3-7 each Bart Rader of Northeast (36-41, eight seasons) and Jeff Herrick, Broadneck (5-15 in two years); and at 4-6 Buck Gardner of Southern (71-99 in 17 seasons).
With that aside, let's look at each coach individually.
CLASS 4A LEAGUE
Andy Borland, Severna Park (7-3, county champs) -- Here is the county's best football coach in the mold of his late best friend, Laramore; a Joe Krivak-type in that he cares about his players and can coach; give him a lifetime contract.
Pete Regala, Old Mill (9-2) -- This was his greatest season ever and this Raymond Berry type deserves a contract extension as long as he keeps Mike Marcus on his staff as defensive coordinator; his low-key approach reminds me of Berry's laid-back style, sometimes it wins, sometimes it doesn't.
Dave Rigot, Glen Burnie (6-4) -- No doubt this is the county's answer to the Seattle Seahawks' Chuck Knox, a guy who's constantly spinning wheels; like Knox, Rigot often offers promise but comes up short; probation.