At 8-0 Broadneck, it starts at top

Football: Having had a strong sense of unity and purpose instilled by coach Jeff Herrick and staff, the No. 2 Bruins roll along.

High Schools

October 30, 2003|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Broadneck coach Jeff Herrick and his staff are passionate about football, and their intensity and thoroughness have made an impression on the Bruins.

"I like the way Coach Herrick carries himself," said senior linebacker Tyler Moyer, who leads the team in tackles with 51. "He's a role model, and because of the way he functions with his staff and us, we function well as a team."

Senior linebacker C.G. Scott said of the coaching staff: "They're almost like brothers, and it funnels down to us."

Herrick's ability to mesh everyone and everything involved in his program has produced a model operation. The old maxim, "Play one game at a time and play every single game like a championship game, no matter who it is," works well for him and his staff.

The No. 2-ranked Bruins are 8-0 and on their way to their sixth playoff berth in a seven-year period in which they have gone 63-12 overall, the best of any Anne Arundel County team.

Last week's 48-8 rout of North County made Herrick the eighth coach in Anne Arundel history to win 100 games (100-54, .649, 14th season) and left the Bruins two wins from posting their second unbeaten regular season.

A pair of 4-4 teams stand in the way of the Bruins becoming the county's 12th team to go unbeaten over at least a nine-game regular-season schedule. They will face much improved South River at home tomorrow and then will visit Severna Park.

Broadneck was 10-0 in the county in 1998 and finished 11-1 overall, losing in the Class 3A state semifinals. The Bruins finished 10-2 in 2000, losing their 10th game to Annapolis, 26-19, and in the Class 4A state semifinals.

Herrick, who was 2-8 in his inaugural 1989 season, has assembled what is now the county's longest-running coaching staff.

The coach said, "The combination of the continuity of our staff and some great players and athletes over the seven years" has resulted in the team's success.

A key addition to the staff came in 1997 when Jeff Tonini came from North County to Broadneck as chairperson of the math department and also became defensive coordinator for the football team.

Tonini said Herrick "wants his players to be model men and students and he commands the utmost respect of his assistants and his players. He is the driving force behind the team, is very passionate about his sport and playing for him is like playing for your father."

Tonini added that the coach, a standout running back/punter at Arundel High, Anne Arundel Community College and Towson University, lets his "coordinators coordinate and doesn't tell us to do things. He suggests things to us. Ours is an environment that every coach would like to be in."

Veteran Bob Beauchemin, who once coached at Arundel and whose son, Bryan, was an All-County quarterback/kicker for the Wildcats in the mid-80s, is the offensive coordinator.

Former Andover standout baseball/football player Joel Sowells, who has had three sons play at Broadneck, including current junior linebacker Nick Sowells, handles the special teams.

Other assistants include Bruce Villwock, Ross Stimely, John Cavallaro and Dan Burke, all of whom work with both the JV and varsity.

"We have high expectations every year because all of our coaches know what they're doing," said Bruins two-way lineman Ben Gabbard.

Broadneck is averaging 27.8 points per game while yielding only 5.6. The Bruins have posted four shutouts, tying a school record. Junior quarterback Tony Marino has passed for 746 yards, seven touchdowns and been intercepted only once, while sophomore running back Brandon Johnson has run for 817 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Broadneck's team concept is reflected many ways, including by its punter, Dan Rosenblum.

"[Rosenblum] is one of the county's best, but his average [30.0 yards] doesn't reflect it because of what we ask him to do," said Herrick. "We ask him to punt away from people or punt it out for no return at all. Our kids do what they are asked to do and that's another reason why we win."

Undefeated

Anne Arundel County football teams unbeaten in the regular season (at least nine games) since 1960:

Year School Coach Record*

1998 Broadneck Jeff Herrick 10-0 (11-1)-a

1995 Arundel Bill Zucco 10-0 (10-1) -- b

1984 Annapolis Al Laramore 10-0 (11-1) -- c

1980 Severn Peter Dewald 9-0

1979 Arundel Buddy Hepfer 10-0 (11-1) -- d

1978 Annapolis Al Laramore 10-0 (12-0) -- e

1978 Arundel Buddy Hepfer 10-0 (10-1) -- f

1978 St. Mary's Mike Busch 9-0-1

1967 Glen Burnie Joe Papetti 10-0

1966 Annapolis Al Laramore 9-0-1

1962 Annapolis Neville Leonard 10-0

*-(overall in parentheses).

Notes: a - lost in 3A state semis; b- lost in first round of 4A playoffs; c - lost in AA (now 4A) state final; d - lost A (now 3A) state final; e - Class AA (now 4A) state champion; f -- lost in first round of A playoffs.

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