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Gilman's Biff Poggi 'would've liked to coach' his son one more time

FootballUnder Armour Inc.Hersheypark

Gilman's Biff Poggi was looking forward to one final chance to coach his son, Henry Poggi, the Greyhounds standout and Michigan-bound defensive lineman.

"I sure would've liked to coach him one more time," said Biff Poggi, the original coach of the Maryland team in Saturday's Big 33 Football Classic at Hersheypark Stadium who stepped down from the position last week for reasons he discussed in a phone call Friday afternoon.

"It's a different schedule than I thought it was going to be," said Biff Poggi, who coached in this year's Under Armour All-America Game and was previously on staff in the 2011 Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl and Chesapeake Bowl. "Not better, not worse, just different."

He said he had originally planned to commute each day from his home to central Pennsylvania, where many players stay with host families while practicing one to three times per day in between community service commitments in the week leading up to the game.

"It's a full day for the kids and a full day for the staff," he said.

In addition to Biff Poggi's departure from Team Maryland, Henry Poggi will not be playing Saturday night. Gilman linebackers Micah Kiser and Miles Norris also were replaced on the squad, but Greyhounds quarterback Shane Cockerille and defensive lineman Nick Fertitta are scheduled to play in the game.

Biff Poggi said he spoke with his former Gilman players before stepping down.

"I told them I didn't think I could fulfill my commitment as a coach," he said. "They were understanding."

Quince Orchard's Dave Mencarini will now coach the Maryland team as the state returns to the Big 33 game for the first time since 1992.

"They're in good hands with Dave," Biff Poggi said.

He said his son will report to Michigan in a week.

"As time gets short with these kids in the summer, they're looking to spend more time with their family and friends," Poggi said. "I think it worked out for everybody."

sboster@baltsun.com

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