The 2011 high school football season gets under way today (Friday) and all three area teams will begin play with new faces at the top.
Longtime Havre de Grace head coach Johnny Brooks moved over to lead the Aberdeen Eagles, while his longtime assistant, Greg Long, takes over the vacancy left by Brooks, to lead the Havre de Grace Warriors. At Perryville, Chris Johnson takes over for the Panthers after assisting at Edgewood the past several seasons. Johnson coached at Perryville prior to his time at Edgewood.
All three teams will be in action at home tonight in season openers. Aberdeen will host Edgewood; Elkton will visit Havre de Grace and Perryville will host Kent County. All three games begin at 7 p.m.
Head coach: Johnny Brooks (first year)
2010 record: 1-9
Top returners: Kenny Faulcon, Sr., (QB/LB); Christian Carpenter, Sr., (WR/S); Quintel Kelly, Sr., (RB/DB); Kory Sampson, Jr., (OL/DL); Austin Bonsall, Jr., (RB/DB); Anthony Russ, Sr., (OL/DL); Phillip Peregino, Sr., (Ol/DL)
Key newcomers: Traveres Payton, Jr., (WB/DB); Chavez Cheatam, Sr., (WB/DB); Brenton Barnes, Sr., (OL/DL); Devin Kossakowski, Sr., (OL/DL)
Outlook: After building a successful program in rival Havre de Grace, Brooks takes over at Aberdeen. Brooks says that if the Eagles can stay healthy, there's a possibility of a good season. The Eagles are coming off a 1-9 season and Brooks thinks that early success is important, coming off such a season.
Havre de Grace
Head coach: Greg Long (first year)
2010 record: 11-3
Top returners: Chris Askew, Sr., (WR); Tyler Coakley, Sr., (DL); Terrell Booth, Sr., (LB); James Smith, Sr., (WR)
Key newcomers: Cameron Doe, Jr., (RB)
Outlook: Having served as an assistant on the Warriors sideline for many years, Long gets his first crack at calling all the shots in Havre de Grace. With the loss of all but two starters, Long may have a tough challenge. Given that, Long said, the Warriors are simply looking to rebuild and compete.
Head coach: Chris Johnson (first year)
2010 record: 5-5
Top returners: Gabe Sherrod, Sr., (QB); Jacob Morgan, Sr., (LB/OG); Daryl Johnson, Jr., (NG/C); Trent Neary, Jr., (LB/TE); Joe Peaker, Jr., (TB/DE); Jesse Ellis, Sr., (WR/S); George Skinner, Sr., (DT); Matt Owens, Jr., (OT/DT); Nehamiah Wallace, Sr., (WR/DE); Gaige Padgett, Sr., (S); Eddie Escobar, Sr., (CB/TB)
Key newcomers: Brian Matthews, Jr., (WR/S); Ethan Griffin, So., (TB/CB); Cameron Cunningham, So., (QB/WR/S); Logan Kelly, So., (OL/DL)
Outlook: Johnson says he has high expectations for the Panthers, who he helped coach a number of years ago. Since, Johnson has assisted at Edgewood, which coincidentally closed out its 2010 season with a win at Perryville, which kept the Panthers out of the playoffs. Johnson is impressed with the size and speed and says this group of Panthers feels like they have underachieved and that they have something to prove. There were over 30 kids in the weight room throughout the summer. Johnson says the kids are about whatever it takes to help team do well, it's all about the team. Johnson also notes he has a good staff and he believes the Panthers will have a really good year.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun