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Renner's 5-Wide Attack Fuels Lake Braddock

I just got off the phone with Lake Braddock Coach Jim Poythress, who was doing his best to deflect all the preseason hype circling Burke and Northern Virginia about how good the Bruins are supposed to be this season.

"I guess the word is out," Poythress said.
Thumbnail image for Bill Renner.jpg
But, despite Poythress's pleas, the Bruins can't hide behind coaching cliches about "proving themselves."

Not when they have back two preseason All-Mets in 6-foot-6, 325-pound offensive linemen Khamrone Kolb and Keli Doe, a 6-2, 310-pound defensive lineman.

Not when they've got back 17 other starters, including brainiac quarterback Michael Nebrich.

And, especially not when they've added one of the most influential offensive minds in the Northern Region's storied coaching history in former West Springfield head coach Bill Renner, who signed on as an assistant this summer.

Renner, a former punter with Virginia Tech and the NFL's Green Bay Packers, went 57-47 at West Springfield in the past 10 seasons, most recently producing top quarterback prospects in former University of Virginia quarterback Peter Lalich (now at Oregon State) and Renner's son Bryn, who threw for 3,123 yards and 35 touchdowns last season before heading to the University of North Carolina for football and baseball.

Bill Renner stepped down from West Springfield in order to be able to watch his son Bryn's games as the Tar Heels travel the country. His limited availability is why Lake Braddock assistant Coach Chris Weiler retains the label of "offensive coordinator."

Lake Braddock started its evolution from what Poythress called a mundane smash-mouth running approach at the tail end of its 5-5 finish last season. But now the Bruins have completely adopted Renner's no-huddle approach -- a fastbreak, no-huddle, five-wide attack.

"The kids love it," said Poythress. "It's like going in the back yard and playing catch. Particularly for me. I'm used to more of a smash-mouth approach. Practice use to be mundane, lining up in practice to run the same play over an over and over."

Renner's no-huddle attack made West Springfield one of the area's most potent offenses, as the Spartans finished ranked in the top two among area teams for points per game in two of the past three seasons. Last year, they scored an average of 43.9 points per game.

How is the makeover fitting the Bruins?

Last season Lake Braddock averaged 22.7 points per game. Headed into Friday's game against Langley, Lake Braddock is 2-0 in preseason scrimmages and has outscored Gar-Field and Fairfax 97-14, an average of 48.5 points per game.

The no-huddle asks Nebrich to make decisions quickly and get rid of the ball, but Poythress said the Bruins can rely on Nebrich's smarts.

"He's a smart kid," said Poythress. "He gets good grades, but he's smart, and there's a difference between the two."

As smart as Nebrich might be, sources have whispered reads are often pre-determined, force-fed from Renner to the quarterback before the snap.

"How many times did [Bryn] Renner throw a pick last year?" said Poythress. "Three times. One was a tipped ball, and the other two were when he didn't listen and threw it where he wanted to."

Kolb will most likely sit out against Langley Friday with a sprained anterior cruciate ligament from which he's nearly recovered, but his size makes him a threat Poythress is excited to utilize.

He'll line up on offense and defense and play fullback. Last year I remember watching Kolb throw a crisp pass, making him a near impossible cover.

"There's going to be some scared linebackers out there," said Poythress. "How'd you like to see a kid 6-6, 325 pounds that can run a [4.9-second 40-yard dash] running straight at you?"

By B.J. Koubaroulis  |  September 4, 2009; 2:00 PM ET
Categories:  AAA Concorde District , AAA Liberty District , AAA National District , AAA Patriot District , Football , Northern Region  | Tags: AAA Concorde District, AAA Liberty District, AAA National District, AAA Patriot District, Northern Region  
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