Boog becomes the 'big' man on campus for North Carroll Junior does it all for smallish team

October 25, 1992|By Bill Free | Bill Free,Staff Writer

It's 3 o'clock at the North Carroll football practice field, and coach Randy Clark calls his winless team together for a brief meeting.

The Panthers, small in size numbers, gather around their coach, who is counting the healthy bodies on a Thursday afternoon.

In a little more than 24 hours, Clark would send his team into another mismatch of talent and size, against the Frederick Cadets.

It was the end of the eighth week of the season, and few really expected this to be different from the first seven weeks.

Another loss was on the horizon.

But the team's best player, versatile junior Chris Boog, tried to be as upbeat as possible.

Boog talked about beating Carroll County rival Liberty, also winless, in the final game of the season Nov. 6. He also dreamed a little about some bigger football players moving into the area before next season.

"The guys in school that are big don't care about football," said Boog. "We don't have the size to play against most of the teams. We try hard, but we're just not big enough."

Boog said most of the "big guys" at North Carroll wrestle and a lot of the good athletes play soccer.

"The students come out and watch us play but they don't expect us to win," said the star player who fills three roles -- fullback, linebacker and punter.

"Chris's punting ability has been the most important thing for us this year," said Clark. "He averages 37.5 yards, and believe me, ++ we need it.We punt a lot."

Boog also is the second-leading rusher in the county behind South Carroll's Mike Dodd. He has carried the ball 48 times for 261 yards, 5.43 yards a carry.

Like most of his teammates, Boog, 5 feet 8, 195 pounds, is smallish for all the positions he plays except for punter.

"I hope to get bigger before next year," he said. "Hopefully I'll grow up more than out."

With the rewards few this season, the junior runner has started planning for next year.

"I thought we would do better this year," said Boog. "Our schedule might be too tough for all our small guys. All we can do the rest of the season is play hard, finish strong and hope for a lot better things next season."

The 2A Panthers meet several 3A and 4A schools in the Central Maryland Conference, and they lost to 1A Francis Scott Key in the opening game of the season.

Clark foresaw problems this season from the beginning, saying last August that North Carroll was a slower team than last season (3-7 record) and didn't have much more size.

Asked what kept him going through the tough times this season, Boog said, "My love for the game."

The lowest point of the season for the Panthers came on Oct. 9 when Thomas Johnson was routing them, 21-0, at the end of the first quarter.

Thankfully for North Carroll, a thunderstorm halted the game at the end of the first quarter and it was ruled an official game.

"We were intimidated at first by Thomas Johnson," said Boog. "But once we realized we could stay on the field with them, we played better. But the 21-0 score was the low point for us."

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