W.T. Woodson-Lake Braddock Among Top Games
W.T. Woodson-Lake Braddock gets the blurb treatment in Friday’s paper as one of our Games To Watch, but here’s an extended take on one of the better football matchups in the Northern Region this weekend.
It was Lake Braddock’s 23-22 win over Woodson last year that helped convince the Bruins that their offense of the future would not be the single wing that they were running but instead a spread passing attack, led by capable young quarterback Michael Nebrich, now a junior.
Lake Braddock trailed Woodson 20-9 last year before Nebrich, throwing for 137 yards and running for two scores, rallied the Bruins to victory.
“We knew we had something special in him, it was just when were we going to make the move,” Lake Braddock Coach Jim Poythress said. “We knew our team was mainly young, and that was the direction we needed to take.”
As colleague B.J. Koubaroulis wrote about in an earlier blog posting, former West Springfield coach Bill Renner has helped install his spread offense at Lake Braddock and works there as an assistant coach.
“No sense in trying to reinvent the wheel when a guy had invented his own sort of wheel to begin with,” said Poythress, who in the late 1980s as a first-year teacher interviewed with Renner for an assistant coaching position when Renner was head coach at Mount Vernon.
Poythress said there ended up not being a teaching job for him at Mount Vernon, but that encounter helped lay the groundwork to bring Renner on as an assistant 20 years later to work with the Bruins’ offense and special teams.
“The bottom line is, very few people have these innovations,” Poythress said. “I’m not too proud to copy somebody’s stuff. I don’t care. We just want to try to win and we thought hey, he might have the answers. I think a lot of it depends on the ego of the person, in this case, me. Mine’s been slapped down so many times, it’s almost nonexistent.”
Renner’s involvement might not be particularly good news to Woodson: With Renner on the sideline, West Springfield hung 72 points on the Cavaliers last year in a playoff game. Nebrich threw for 298 yards and two touchdowns last week in Lake Braddock’s 38-0 win over Langley.
Woodson has a nice attack of its own, led by Temple-bound senior Connor Reilly. He threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more last week in a 33-14 win over Fairfax. He connected with six receivers. In 2008, most of the action went to the now-graduated Max Waizenegger.
“We have four guys on the field who I feel legitimately can catch and score,” Woodson Coach Trey Taylor said. “We don’t have the one big playmaker like we did last year, and we have a little more depth.”
Seniors Mike Le and Brendan Breslin and juniors Paul Fridley and Tim Collins are the Cavaliers’ primary receivers_they combined for 11 catches last week_and seniors Josh Hogan and Colin Dempsey are part-time offensive players. Hogan caught a 37-yard touchdown pass from senior Bertrand Ngampa on a halfback option last week.
Woodson’s top running back, sophomore Jonathon Stokes, sprained his shoulder in the opener and will miss a few weeks. Stokes had run for four touchdowns in the team’s second scrimmage.
“It hurts pretty bad, because he was our only full-time running back,” Taylor said.
Lake Braddock has beaten semi-neighbor Woodson_the schools are 4.5 miles apart_each of the past two seasons, by a combined total of eight points. This will be Woodson’s first Patriot District game since moving over from the Liberty.
Game time Friday is 7:30 at Lake Braddock.
September 10, 2009; 3:47 PM ET
Categories: AAA Patriot District , Football , Northern Region | Tags: Lake Braddock, W.T. Woodson
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