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Sorrentino takes over at Mountain View

The AAA Commonwealth District football landscape just got a whole lot more difficult.

Just two months after Commonwealth District teams claimed five of the Northwest Region's 12 playoff spots, Mountain View hired Lou Sorrentino to become the second football coach in the school’s five-year history on Tuesday night, plucking him from Hylton.

Sorrentino won a pair of Virginia AAA state titles at Culpeper (1999) and Hylton (2002) but chose to take a job closer to his Stafford home. It's also a job that allows Sorrentino to basically write the program's history from scratch.

"The climb to the top was a heck of a lot of fun for me, and I’m hoping for the same thing at Mountain View," Sorrentino said. "I wish I had a crystal ball, but I’m excited about the opportunity. In a lot of ways, I almost feel rejuvenated."

Sorrentino has posted a career record of 166-62 during stints at George Mason (1990-91), Culpeper (1992-2001) and Hylton (2002-09). He has also won or shared 10 district and six region titles. Though his Hylton tenure began with a 47-6 record over four years, the Bulldogs have gone 23-18 over the past four seasons and have not made the playoffs.

Of the Commonwealth District’s eight teams, four now have Prince William County ties. Colonial Forge’s Bill Brown preceded Sorrentino at Hylton, winning a pair of state championships while going 51-3 over his last four years there. North Stafford’s Joe Mangano coached at Gar-Field for four years, compiling a 19-23 record while making the playoffs twice.

The most interesting fellow émigré is Riverbend Coach Todd Campbell, who worked as Sorrentino’s offensive coordinator from 1996-2007. Not surprisingly, both downplayed the notion of facing each other. But, as an old pitching coach of mine used to say, I’m not exactly buying what they’re selling.

Think about someone you’ve worked with for 16 years, and you finally get the chance to compete against that person. Even if we're friends -- which Sorrentino and Campbell most certainly are -- I’d rather play wiffle ball in traffic than lose to that person.

“He’s a great guy and worked hard for me,” Sorrentino said of Campbell. “We talked about it and said for one game a year, we’re going to compete.”

“We’ve been on the same sideline for many years,” said Campbell, who turned a moribund Riverbend program into a winner, going from 3-17 during the 2007 and 2008 seasons to 8-3 in 2009. “It’ll be one game, and it’ll be fun -- not just for us but for our families.”

Under Eric Cooke, the only coach in program history, Mountain View finished 4-6 a season ago. In five years, the Wildcats are 13-37 and have never made the playoffs.

Athletic Director Chris Courtney’s eyes must have lit up when he saw that Sorrentino had applied. After all, Courtney has a prior coaching history in Prince William County and knew Sorrentino well from Courtney's time as AD at Brooke Point.

“We were excited to see his résumé and application come through,” Courtney said. “We’re talking about a guy who turned a program around at Culpeper, then went up to Hylton and did what he did. His experience with taking programs to the next level … it was exciting to see that come across the desk.”

By Jason Mackey  |  January 26, 2010; 10:15 PM ET
Categories:  Football , Mountain View , Northwest Region  
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