Friday, December 28, 2007

Stone Bridge football makes history

Stone Bridge football makes history

Stone Bridge coach Mickey Thompson had two previous shots at a state football title – in 1999 with Park View and 2005 with Stone Bridge; both losses – but apparently neither of these meshed with the magical storyline that developed this season.

With one of his sons lined up at quarterback and the other starting on the defensive line, the gutsy Thompson was eventually doused with Gatorade at the University of Virginia's Scott Stadium – the very campus where Thompson played college football.

“It looked like it was meant to be, but you never know,” said Thompson, following his team's 38-0 win over Potomac to capture its first-ever state title. “There's hardly a parent who I don't know, and then to have that happen and come back [to the University of Virginia] on top of it with your kids is pretty special.”

Senior standout Jeron Gouveia led the Bulldogs (14-1) all season from his safety and running back positions, posting 22 total offensive touchdowns, 73 tackles and five interceptions (including two in the title game), but junior quarterback Patrick Thompson and senior wide receiver Ryan Moody stole the show on that blistery Saturday afternoon.

Thompson threw for 286 yards and four touchdowns, while Moody caught six passes for 158 yards and three scores.

Fairfax County Times

Single-Wing Sentinel Update!

As of 12/25/2007

I put a hit counter on the site 3 months ago and in that time over 20,000+ hits.
That's a lot of intrest in the Single-Wing!

There are over 325+ articles posted.

We have 170+ coaches/teams that have signed the Single-Wing Coaches Map (guestbook)

We're showing that there are Coaches/Teams in 48 states, plus the District of Columbia and 6 other nations.

The six countries other than the US are: Canada, New Zealand, France, England, Germany and Austria.

The States without a coach/team showing are:
1. Delaware
2. Vermont

Have you signed? Is your state represented? If not take a second to sign below!
If you know of a team any of the States not showing a team, let me know.

Off-Season: The thought is that the articles won't be as many during the off season, but I will post as many as I come accross.

Thanks, to all for making the Sentinel a success!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Single-Wing Sentinel Recognized

A few final thoughts on Pinkerton football

Ryan Lambert

Now that enough time has passed and we've been able to step outside of the hustle and bustle of football season, it strikes me as pretty impressive that Pinkerton won its third straight state championship.

"This is unbelievable," senior quarterback Peter Mazzola said after the championship game. "So many people don't have the chance to get one championship, and we've been here four times and won three straight. That's amazing."

In 2006, the closest game Pinkerton played in was a 17-14 win over Nashua South. The next smallest margin of victory came in a 27-7 win over Salem in the state title game. Apart from one game, no one came within three scores of the mighty Astros.

This year, the Astros had a handful of games that were blowouts (a 53-6 win at Memorial springs to mind), but many more were very close. Pinkerton had to do something to which it was unaccustomed: find ways to claw out the win instead of executing an impressive scorched-earth policy across a swath of Division 1 opponents.

Plus, the Astros actually lost, twice, which they hadn't done in what seemed like forever. The two losses, by the way, were by a combined score of 84-26 and account for almost half of the total points Pinkerton gave up this season.

The Astros haven't struggled in the past as they did this year, but they almost always rose to the challenge. Under head coach Brian O'Reilly (whom the players, to a man, came just short of calling a genius), the Astros settled for grinding out tough wins because, frankly, they didn't have the superstars of years past. However, if the Astros' dominant performance in the championship game proved one thing, it's that it's pretty much impossible to beat Pinkerton twice.

Bryan Farris, Ryan Lambert and Graeme Clohosey weren't walking through that door, but Pete Mazzola, Josh Lane and Bobby Dattilo didn't need them to.

Despite a paucity of players putting up big individual numbers, Pinkerton still scored the second-most points in Div. 1 (294, behind Londonderry's eye-popping total of 346) and allowed the third-fewest (182, behind Salem's 153 and Londonderry's 181). Salem, of course, played two fewer games than did Pinkerton, and one fewer than Londonderry.

But what should be the most frightening prospect for Div. 1 going forward isn't that Pinkerton doesn't have to blow you out to win, but the fact that they're only going to get better. Yes, the aforementioned trio of this season's big-time seniors will be tough to replace, but Pinkerton got big-time play out of a bunch of underclassmen too.

Look no further than Eric Guinto, who piled up 237 on 20 carries in the two playoff games. He also scored twice in those games, on a 33-yard run against West and the back-breaking 82-yarder against South. Guinto, whose speed, according to several Astros, is unmatched in New Hampshire, is only a sophomore.

But what of the hole at quarterback left by the departure of Peter Mazzola? Luke Somers, who took just a handful of varsity snaps this year in mop-up duty, seems to be O'Reilly's guy going forward. All reports indicate O'Reilly is high on the sophomore field general, though, and the few plays he did run that I happened to see were impressive. He was at least as poised as a few senior quarterbacks from around Div. 1.

For an Astros team that won three straight, the fact that its future is brightening does not bode well for Div. 1.

Online honors for Theodhosi

Apparently, there are more devotees of the Wing T [Single-Wing] than I thought.

The distinctive offensive style that Londonderry ran so well this year is the subject of an entire blog, the Single Wing Sentinel (

The reason it came onto my radar is because Londonderry's Alex Theodhosi, the first area running back since at least the early 1990s to break 2,000 yards on the ground, earned the Sentinel's "prestigious" Single Wing Running Back Athlete of the Month award. They even used a picture from the Derry News and will be hearing from our team of lawyers (not really).

By the way, the Sentinel does keep a very good record of a number of football teams that run the single wing. If you really like the way Londonderry runs its offense, you might also like hearing about the Colonial Beach (Calif.) Drifters or the Stone Bridge (Va.) Bulldogs.

Just further proof that the list of things that people will dedicate a Web site to is seemingly endless.

Derry News
P.O. Box 307
Derry, NH 03038

Sunday, December 23, 2007

With hard work, Jack restored Drifter pride

With hard work, Jack restored Drifter pride
December 15, 2007 12:36 am


Jeremy Jack was able to draw on past experiences as a player to help transform the Colonial Beach football program.

The Drifters head coach played on a winless team as a sophomore and junior at Keystone High School in western Pennsylvania.

That's why Jack didn't panic when Colonial Beach went 3-17 in his first two seasons, including a winless 2003 campaign.

"Having been at the bottom," Jack said, "I knew what we had to do get better."

Jack and his teammates at Keystone won four games his senior season and the program went on to five consecutive playoff appearances after he graduated.

Since the painful 2003 season, Colonial Beach has gone 39-6.

The Drifters entered the Virginia High School League for the first time since 1974 this past season with a bang.

They [the Single-Wing Drifters] went 10-3 while capturing Tidewater District and Region A championships.

They were the only team to advance to the state playoffs in the Fredericksburg area, helping Jack earn The Free Lance-Star coach-of-the-year honors.

"He should get that award because he's put in so much effort and time," Colonial Beach senior running back Brandon Foster said. "There are so many great things you could say about the man."

Jack attributes patience, positive thinking and a coaching staff with five former Colonial Beach players with turning the Drifters around.

But he added that a team can't improve simply because it wants to get better.

"We had to work hard and do things that are manifestations of winning itself," Jack said. "That's working in the weight room, conditioning workouts in the spring--just dedicating ourselves to winning."

The Drifters did plenty of winning from 2004-06 as an Independent school, but many people outside the program thought that would change when the Drifters entered the VHSL this season.

However, Colonial Beach--a school with just 185 students in grades 8-12--showed it can defeat schools with much larger enrollments.

When the Drifters finally bowed out of the playoffs with a hard-fought 48-39 loss to Buffalo Gap in the Group A, Division 1 state semifinals, they earned more respect from their supporters.

Colonial Beach athletic director Wayne Kennedy said he initially thought 5-5 would be a successful first season in the VHSL.

"But as I watched them work every day, I started thinking, 'I've undersold these guys,'" Kennedy said. "I knew they were good kids. I knew they were hard workers. But I don't think I realized [Jack] had developed some real intense competitors. There were a lot of kids on that team that refused to lose."

The Drifters started off the season 0-2 with close losses to Group AA King George and Goochland.

It was the 29-27 loss to the defending state champion Bulldogs on Sept. 7 that gave Colonial Beach confidence for the rest of the season.

They blitzed past their next 10 opponents, increasingly earning respect around the state with each win.

"In the long run, starting 0-2 was good for us," Jack said. "It put us in those tough games early."

The next step for Jack and the Colonial Beach program is to show it can be consistent winners in the VHSL.

That may be difficult next season because they lose several key seniors, including Foster, who has a full scholarship offer from Delaware State.

But Kennedy points back to some of the lessons Jack taught his players during the difficult times as to why the winning can continue.

After the Drifters' winless season, Jack gave his players an article about a team in California that went 2-8, but rebounded to go 10-0 the next season with just 17 players.

It reminded Jack of the Drifters.

"He said, 'They're no different than us. We can accomplish the same thing. We're the same size,'" Kennedy recalled.

Kennedy's confidence in Jack also goes back to when he first accepted the job in 2002 after a short stint as a Drifters assistant coach.

"He said he was committed to bringing back Drifter pride," Kennedy said. "He certainly made all of that come true."


The Free Lance-StarFredericksburg, Virginia

Modern Day Rushing QB - Sets Record

Locker has chance to be better than Heisman winner

By Blaine Newnham
Special to The Seattle Times

In the wake of Tim Tebow's winning of the Heisman Trophy, fans in Florida are sure that Superman wears Tim Tebow pajamas. And not the other way around.

Is there anything this quarterback of the future can't do?

Possessor of a linebacker's mentality with stunning speed and a strong arm, Tebow was an easy choice to win the Heisman even as a sophomore, the first in history to do so.

He was also the first player to both run and throw for more than 20 touchdowns.

But I wonder if in a few years Washington's Jake Locker might be better.

The descriptions are striking similar. Both are 6 feet 3, 235 pounds, chiseled, courageous, charismatic.

Clearly, Tebow at this point plays on a better team and is a much, much more accomplished passer. He threw for 3,122 yards — completing 60 percent of his passes — while Locker threw for 2,062 yards and completed only 47 percent.

While Locker ran for more yards, the key for any quarterback is to stay healthy. The spread formation in which Tebow and Locker operate — as did Oregon's wily Dennis Dixon until he was hurt — puts the quarterback at great risk.

[Editor's Note: Locker, a redshirt freshman from Ferndale, established a modern Pac-10 record for most yards rushing in a season by a quarterback with 986. He scored 13 rushing touchdowns. He also passed for 2,062 yards and 14 touchdowns. He was intercepted 15 times and completed 47 percent of his passes. He was named Pac-10 freshman of the year in voting by the conference's coaches.]

It may take Superman to survive, or at least a quarterback who knows when not to fight for an extra yard in the interest of playing another down.

I'm old enough to remember the single wing, to remember Billy Kilmer at UCLA weaving his way down the field. Happy days are here again.

Today's running-throwing quarterbacks are better than the veer option quarterbacks of the '70s who relied almost exclusively on quick feet. They were just average passers who threw only when they had to.

Locker must perfect his passing, to make the long pass when the defense invites him to, to be as much a threat with his arm as he is with his feet.

But if he does, he could be better than Tebow because he is faster than Tebow and may have a stronger arm. Tebow's 40-yard time is listed as 4.5 to 4.6. Locker is 4.4 to 4.5.

Seven of the eight Heisman Trophy winners before Tebow had played in the national-championship game. Tebow didn't as Florida stumbled to a disappointing (for it) 9-3. Tebow didn't go unrecognized, and Locker wouldn't if Washington were to climb back into national-championship consideration.

While it's clear that Locker was Tyrone Willingham's job-saving recruit, don't overlook the recent commitment of Lakes tight end Kavario Middleton, the state's top-rated high-school senior.

It reminded me of when Don James recruited Mark Bruener, a tight end from Aberdeen who seriously considered Notre Dame, USC and Stanford before staying home.

Bruener, now with the Houston Texans, caught a touchdown pass in the 1992 Rose Bowl as a just-out-of-high-school freshman. He played in the Super Bowl as a rookie for the Pittsburgh Steelers, with whom he toiled for 10 years.

An impressive thing about Bruener is that he routinely donates money to the UW athletic department. He went out of his way to visit the Huskies in the Bay Area before their game with Stanford.

"I wanted to meet with coach Willingham and I wanted to talk to the team," said Bruener.

Bruener said his choice to play at Washington was an easy one.

He said he knew what he was getting from Don James, and said he believes today's recruits should feel the same about Willingham.

"I'd heard a lot from other NFL players about him, and wanted to meet him," said Bruener. "I realized almost immediately what a great person and coach he is. I see the similarities with coach James, the quiet confidence and the requirement that the players and coaches be accountable."

Bruener said he would like to see the time when the best players in the state routinely stay home as he did.

"With such a great university and a great football tradition," he said, "there is no reason to go anywhere else.

"But you need stability in the coaching staff. I had it at Washington and with the Steelers, where they had had two coaches in 50 years."

The words of not only a former player, but of a current donor to the program. Words of wisdom.

The Seattle Times

Mr. Everything in Single-Wing Offense -- a Defensive All Star

Londonderry, Senior, Defensive Back
Named to the 2007 Football All-Stars - Defense

See the excerpt from an article from December 16, 2007, below:

2007 Football All-Stars - Defense


Londonderry, Senior, Defensive Back

The 6-6, 220-pounder transferred in after three years at New Hampton and made an immediate impact. All-Division 1 pick had 28 solo tackles and 40 assists to go with a team-leading four interceptions. Was Mr. Everything in single-wing offense, rushing for 757 yards, recorded 154 yards receiving and passing for 146 yards. Scored 11 TDs. Committed to UConn. Also a standout basketball player.

Eagle Tribune -- 100 Turnpike Street -- North Andover, MA 01845