Senior-led S. Carroll stronger this fall Football: With some in their fourth year together and work in the weight room, the Cavaliers are playing with confidence.

September 17, 1998|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,SUN STAFF

Even though he is still the starting quarterback, John Luster is in a new position for South Carroll.

The senior -- surrounded by a solid group of classmates, most of whom have been together since they were freshmen -- is much more comfortable than he was last fall.

Luster was the Cavaliers' starting quarterback for the last seven-plus games, but he had opened the season as a defensive back, and fitting into a senior dominated-lineup took him awhile.

The change came at halftime at Rockville, with the Montgomery County team ahead 14-12. Coach Gene Brown sent quarterback Lee Windsor, a 6-foot-4 senior, to wide receiver -- "to take better advantage of his abilities," Brown said -- and brought Luster, a former JV quarterback, to the offensive spot.

The two worked a 71-yard touchdown play, but the Cavs lost, 21-18. The two teams renew that rivalry tomorrow night at South Carroll.

"The rest of the year was definitely a learning experience," the 5-11, 165-pound Luster recalled before practice yesterday. "I'd go in the huddle, where I was just about the only junior, and I was telling seniors what to do. I had to prove myself."

He did that effectively, guiding South Carroll to the county championship (3-0). For the year, Luster led the county in pass completions and yardage, finishing 74-for-169 for 952 yards and six touchdowns, plus nine interceptions.

"It was a big jump from the JV to the varsity, bigger than I imagined. But my brother helped me out, telling me what to expect," Luster said. Tom Luster was a starting quarterback for South Carroll before his graduation in 1995.

"We had to replace almost the entire offensive line, but the new group has been great," said tight end David Keefer, a two-year starter. "Our summer work in the weight room is paying off, because we're stronger and blocking better -- really moving some people."

Luster concurred. "Coach teaches a class in weight training, and there is just more emphasis on the weight room. You can tell the difference. The lines are the biggest difference, especially on offense. That's their dedication."

Several players declared this team is much closer than a year ago, that it is all about having fun while getting the job done.

Senior running backs Mike Muller and Jason Tourangeau are two-way starters, with Tourangeau a defensive end and Muller, a cornerback. Both were All-County last year.

"I feel more comfortable this year," said Tourangeau (6-4, 205), who rushed for 550 yards and eight touchdowns and led the county in punting with a 38.1-yard average as a junior.

Muller, a 6-foot, 230-pounder, rushed for 592 yards and five touchdowns and highlighted his defensive work with two interceptions in a season-ending 30-14 victory over Westminster.

"We came on to play well at the end of last year, but now we want to start playing well right from the start. Our work ethic is better, too. Last year, we had good seniors but not good practices."

Clarke Griffin, who, with Keefer, has been on the varsity since his sophomore year, said this team is working harder, and is more dedicated to winning.

As Muller said, "If we keep going the way we have been, I don't see why we can't keep winning."

Pub Date: 9/17/98

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