Navy's football family Profile: An evening of videos means game film, not HBO, for Midshipmen coach Charlie Weatherbie, his wife Leann, and their son Jonas, Broadneck's quarterback.

November 07, 1997|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Mom charts the plays and takes notes as dad, the college coach, and his son, the high school quarterback, break down still another game film.

It's just another night at the Weatherbies, where HBO takes a back seat to football videos.

Broadneck senior quarterback Jonas Weatherbie knows he is fortunate to have more than normal support from his parents.

His dad is Charlie Weatherbie, Navy's third-year coach, and his mom, Leann, makes football family fun in their Annapolis home.

"My wife is the scribe as Jonas and I talk through each play," said Charlie Weatherbie after putting his son through some drills downstairs. "She loves it and attends every one of his games. When we're [Navy] on the road, she stays home and watches Jonas play."

Charlie Weatherbie grew up in southeast Kansas and played quarterback at Oklahoma State, leading the Cowboys to bowl victories in 1974 and 1976 while making the dean's honor roll. He also played a couple seasons in the Canadian Football League before getting into coaching as an assistant at Wyoming.

Jonas did not start playing football until ninth grade at Logan High in Utah, where his father coached football at Utah State for three seasons.

"My mom wouldn't let me play -- thought I would get hurt," Jonas said. "It didn't matter that dad played, mom just didn't want me playing until high school, and she's been 100 percent behind me. The support I get from my parents means a lot to me."

When Charlie was named Navy's coach in 1995, the Weatherbies moved to Anne Arundel County.

"Being the son of the Navy coach," Jonas said, "I took a little ribbing that first year [Navy was 5-6]. But when they started winning [9-3 last season], they shut up real quick."

As a sophomore, Jonas played quarterback behind his older brother, Lance, who attends Anne Arundel Community College. Last season, he took over the Bruins' starting position and has become one of the metro area's top high school quarterbacks.

As a junior, Jonas completed 89 of 152 passes (.585) for 1,023 yards and five touchdowns and was intercepted eight times. Those numbers have improved substantially this season.

Going into tonight's final regular-season game against North County (3-6) in Cape St. Claire, Jonas has completed 78 of 117 passes (.667, tops in Anne Arundel County) for 1,293 yards (second in the county), 16 touchdowns (first in county) and has been intercepted just once.

Jonas has led the No. 11-ranked Bruins (8-1, 3-0) to a school record for wins, the county Class 2A-3A league title and possibly their first playoff berth -- if they win tonight and get enough bonus points. In last week's 42-12 win over Southern, Jonas passed for a school-record 352 yards and four touchdowns.

Constructive criticism

He credits much of his improvement to his dad and mentor.

"When I bring home my game films, normally every Monday, he goes over every detail, and his criticism is constructive," said Jonas, who is 6 feet 3 and weighs 200 pounds. "He lets me know if I missed a read, or should keep my arm or elbow up, if I'm carrying out my fakes, how my technique is.

"We go over schemes and strategy, and having a great guy and coach like Mr. [Jeff] Herrick, I've learned a lot."

He sometimes shares that knowledge with his father during Navy games.

"If I see something [play or scheme] that will help, I tell him down there on the sidelines and, yes, he listens to me," said Jonas.

As much as he enjoys being around the program and his father, Jonas said he will not be playing for Navy because "the military is not for me."

About that, his father, who has seen him play four games this fall, said: "I know he wants to go somewhere they throw the football a lot, and I would love to see him play at the highest level.

"It's hard as a dad to be objective about your son. I consider him a dedicated and very sharp young man. He's gotten more physical and can play college football."

Maryland, North Carolina State, Florida, Richmond, Boise State and Oklahoma State have shown interest.

Wherever he goes, Jonas plans to major in business and to be a college coach one day. Asked about joining his dad's staff, he replied: "That wouldn't be a bad place to start, would it?"

Pub Date: 11/07/97

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