Brooks likes his view of Lansdowne's future Other metro schools get new coaches

August 15, 1993|By Roch Eric Kubatko | Roch Eric Kubatko,Staff Writer

For Terry Brooks, the offer was too good to pass up.

Not many people have viewed the job of football coach at Lansdowne High School in quite the same manner recently. But as practices started yesterday, Brooks wasn't concerning himself with the past.

All he wanted to do is look ahead. And so far, he likes what he sees.

A program that nearly disbanded last fall is showing signs of life, Brooks believes, and he considers himself fortunate to be a part of the resurrection in his first year as coach.

"The type of person I am, I have a lot of confidence in my ability as a coach," said Brooks, 29, who served as an assistant at Linganore for two years. "My goal or fantasy was to get the head job where a team was down, but not out."

The Vikings barely qualified.

Last August, co-athletic director Ed Walker said there was a "99 percent likelihood" that the school wouldn't field a varsity team under coach Gary Hesselbein because of a lack of players and the fear of injuries. But after forfeiting their first three games, the Vikings suited up 13 players and took their chances against Dundalk -- and lost 22-0.

Similar results occurred throughout the rest of the season, as they had the previous year, when Lansdowne went 0-10. And as the losses piled up, morale sank even lower.

"One of the big things is the [negative] attitude around this place, toward the school and each other. I think if I can get that changed around, or just have a couple of positive things happen this year, that will help us in the long run and we'll end up with more kids," said Brooks, a corporate fitness specialist at the Social Security Administration in Woodlawn.

"From the kids I've talked to, we might be able to double what they had last year on the varsity, which I guess isn't hard to do, but it is one positive. As of right now, we'll definitely have at least 20."

Though he's a novice head coach, Brooks brings lots of playing experience to the program. He was an offensive guard at Towson State from 1981-84, and spent one season with the NFL's Cleveland Browns. He also has worked at summer football camps at Linganore, Brunswick and Thomas Johnson, totaling seven years.

As his players soon will find out, Brooks is a stickler for fundamentals and discipline. And as a 6-foot-1, 255-pound power-lifter who has won two lifetime drug-free national championships, he says, "I know how to condition athletes, and I practice what I preach.

"My background is strong in every area of the game, not just X's and O's. I can't wait for the season to start."

Brooks is one of several new coaches in the metro area this year.

In Baltimore County, six of the 21 schools that offer football will have new coaches.

At Chesapeake, Rick Zentz replaces Ken Johnson, who moved on to Liberty in Carroll County. Zentz was the head coach at Dundalk two seasons ago.

Dundalk turned to its athletic director, Ron Shultz, as a replacement for Dave Dixon. Shultz coached at Milford Mill in the mid-1970s, before moving to Overlea.

Robert Mehno, an assistant at Randallstown last fall, has replaced Bob Greene at Milford Mill. This is Mehno's first head coaching job.

Former assistant Al Bennetta has been elevated to head coach at Patapsco, replacing Richard Marion. Bennetta was the head coach at Towson for one season in the late 1970s.

And at Woodlawn, former Bloomsburg (Pa.) assistant Brian Scrivens has replaced George Goudy.

"This is the largest turnover we've had in the last five or six years," said Ron Belinko, the county's coordinator of athletics. "Usually, we might get one or two new ones."

In Baltimore City, Wayne Jackson has taken over for Paul Shuford at Northwestern. A former player at Poly, he worked as an assistant at Southern last year.

Dunbar named Stanley Mitchell as interim coach Friday, replacing Pete Pompey, who remains on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation of alleged misuse of athletic department funds.

There are three changes in Harford County for the coming season.

Aberdeen has replaced Macon Tucker with former Edgewood and Brunswick head coach Kevin Reilly. Bel Air called on junior varsity coach Bruce Riley to replace Gene Blizzard. And when Joppatowne's Karlis Larson decided to return to his home state of Ohio, his spot was taken by Buffalo native John Kling, who has coached in Florida and New York.

In Anne Arundel County, Alan Pastrana was hired to replace Jim Doyle at Severn School, which won its first eight games last year.

Pastrana is an associate professor of health and physical education at Anne Arundel Community College, where he was head football coach from 1980 to 1989, when the program was disbanded. He was a tri-captain at the University of Maryland in 1968 and played professionally for the Denver Broncos in 1969-1970.

At Meade, Jerry Hartman will try to revive a program that went 8-22 in three years under Hayse Henderson. Hartman has been an assistant at the Naval Academy, Colgate, Pennsylvania and Kansas State.

Carroll County also has two new coaches. Johnson has taken over for John Magee at Liberty, and William Rumbaugh has replaced Randy Clark at North Carroll.

C7 Howard County reports no new head football coaches.

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