Unselfish Brown leads Glenelg to soccer success

September 30, 1994|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,Contributing Writer

Glenelg forward Reg Brown is seemingly a coaches' dream.

Using his quickness and precise field vision, Brown always looks for an open teammate. Distributing a team-best nine assists last season, he proved to be extremely unselfish and the consummate team player.

"We're trying to change that," Glenelg coach John Bouman said. His first two years as a starter, he has been the big assist man. We want him to take more shots, and he's done that so far this year. But he's got to learn to finish, and find that killer instinct."

But that's the only skill he needs to find.

Brown has two goals and four assists in three games and is one of the most talented technical players in the area. He beats opponents with a slashing first step, and uses a controlled dribble to set up a teammate for a score.

Brown acquired these skills at an early age out of necessity. At 5 feet 4, Brown said he needed some edge over the physical defenders.

"Being smaller, I had to learn that I couldn't stop and look around or I would have the ball taken away," Brown said. "I knew I had to improve.

"Sometimes they try to hit me and get me early on. But once they bite, I just go around them."

Brown, who concentrates on soccer nearly all year, credits his abundance of assists with the depth of goal-scoring weapons on the 10th-ranked Gladiators (3-0). Glenelg, which lost in last season's Class 2A state semifinals to Fallston, returns midfielder Jeff Cline and forward Tony Marchegiano, who teamed up for 13 goals.

Cline has witnessed the result of opponents' underestimating Brown because of his size.

"I'm sure they don't put their best defenders on him," Cline said. "He usually hurts them and makes them look bad."

The first players to get exploited by Brown's finesse game were his brothers. Brown is the middle child of five brothers.

His brother Rocky was a member of the Gladiators soccer team from 1984-1988, and his other older brother, Raynard, played for Glenelg from 1988-1992.

"It was a constant rivalry between us," Brown said. "We always had games in the neighborhood. It gave me a chance to play with the bigger guys."

Reg Brown spent his freshman season on varsity with Raynard as Glenelg won the state title. He wasn't satisfied with only making varsity his freshman season, but played his way into becoming one of the first players off the bench.

"To be honest, I didn't think he would make that much of a contribution," Bouman said. "He was even smaller then. He came off the bench, and probably ended up playing more minutes than the starters."

Because of this two-year varsity experience, Brown is a team captain in his junior season. Bouman said as a captain, Brown should not only lead the attack, but produce more goals.

"They said they want me to take on more of the offense and shoot more," Brown said. "It feels different becoming more greedy."

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