The joy of teaching football

AT PLAY

Helping kids learn and improve skills rewarding for Bayne

November 22, 2006|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,Special to The Sun

Saturday will be a long day for Brian Bayne.

He's the coach of the GORC Wildcats 160-pound football team, which reached the Anne Arundel Youth Football Association championship game after a tough semifinal win last weekend.

The Wildcats are to meet the Cape St. Claire Cougars for the title Saturday at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis. Bayne's problem is that the game will be at night - possibly 7:30 p.m.

"Waiting [that long] will be tough," he said with a laugh.

It will be even tougher for another reason. Bayne's been coaching for seven years, but this is the first time one of his teams has gotten to the championship game. His Wildcats have made the playoffs the last four years.

While most coaches in recreation-league sports do the job because they have children on the team, Bayne doesn't even have any kids - though he's expecting to become a father in March. He coaches because he loves football.

"Football is my passion," he said. "But the most enjoyable part is teaching and making them understand the game and making them be better football players and better students, too."

The 28-year-old Odenton resident's job as a mechanical engineer keeps him busy. But he spends 20 to 25 hours a week on tasks associated with coaching the Wildcats.

The players, ages 13 to 15, practice for two hours three nights a week, and Bayne plans all of the drills and teaching that go into those workouts. He also has a film review session on Fridays when the Wildcats watch their previous game plus any tape they have on their next opponent. In addition, Bayne scouts other teams by going to their games.

"This is the best part of the year for him," said Bayne's wife, Christina. "He loves teaching others football. He would love to be a teacher and coach football at the high school level, but since he can't, this is the next best thing for him."

Christina Bayne, an attorney, attends all of her husband's games. The coach's parents also make sure to show up.

Bayne also plays flag football in an adult league in Anne Arundel County and is an avid Redskins and Terrapins fan.

Bayne played youth football with the Crofton Cardinals. He later played for Arundel High, starting on the 1995 Wildcats team that went 10-0 in the regular season before falling to rival Meade in the state playoffs.

When he got out of college, he wanted to be an assistant coach but found that the Gambrills-Odenton Recreation Council had a head coaching job open.

"When I played at Crofton, I had fantastic coaches," Bayne said. "I want to teach these kids everything [my coaches] taught me and everything they didn't teach me. I want them to know more than I did at their age."

During his team's final regular season game this fall, Cape St. Claire pulled out a 14-8 victory by scoring a touchdown on the game's final play. They made it to the championship game by beating the second-seeded Panthers and the top-seeded and unbeaten Chargers in their first two playoff games.

Those wins improved Cape St. Claire to 8-3 overall, the same record as the Wildcats, and gave coach Mike Bullock his first trip to a championship game.

The Wildcats made the finals thanks to a 6-0 victory over the Edgewater Blue Devils. Quarterback Mark Davis scored the game-winning touchdown on a 45-yard run in the third quarter.

"I wasn't sure what kind of team we were going to have at the beginning of the year," Bayne said. "Roughly half of the team is first-year players. They've just shown me every single game that they're learning and progressing, and I'm real proud of them."

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