Glen Burnie coach plays game of who's the quarterback?


It's as though Dave Rigot is a contestant in a game show, rather than the head football coach at Glen Burnie.

Let's call this, "Which Passer Is Right?"

The object is to choose a quarterback who will open the season as your starter. The players up for bid include two returnees to the varsity in senior Dave Brewster and sophomore Rocky Newton, and two newcomers in junior Matt Shiring and #i sophomore Jay Sponaugle.

Before making your selection, keep in mind that Newton burst onto the scene last year as a freshman defensive back, grabbing three interceptions and earning high praise from the coaching staff.

Brewster gained notice last year for his hustle on special teams.

And Shiring -- the tallest candidate at 6-foot-1 -- was the junior varsity starter before going down with an injury and being replaced by Sponaugle, who also is auditioning at running back.

Dave Rigot, come on down.

"All four are about the same right now," he said last Tuesday. "We're just looking for someone to pop up. Probably, Rocky has got the edge because he is a little quicker. But we're still trying to evaluate them."

Rigot, in his 16th year, has seen what an unsettled situation at quarterback can do to a team, after the Gophers lost starter Dave Lanham to a broken leg in the second game last season and finished at 5-5.

He knows that their chances of advancing to the bonus round -- the Class 4A state playoffs -- depend greatly on the emergence of a reliable signal-caller.

Then again, he's looking for new talent to emerge at just about every offensive position after losing his entire backfield and all but one lineman either to graduation or academic restrictions.

"We're so new and have so many kids in different places this year," he said. "We're not real aggressive and we don't play as aggressively as we should. The reason for that is they're still thinking, they're still learning their positions.

L "As time goes on, we're going to be a better football team."

His worries aren't confined to the personnel. The unseasonably cool temperatures that accompanied the early practice sessions may have kept his players from being "properly acclimatized."

"We really work on conditioning. It just doesn't seem the conditions are right now, and that's not just us, it's everybody in the area."

Back to the playing field, Rigot must rebuild an offensive line that lost first-team All-County guard John Spencer and returns only senior center Jeremy Lee.

The backfield, minus second-team All-County speedster Alphonso Generette, will have an entirely new look. One returnee -- senior Larry Kouns -- and nine newcomers make up the list of potential replacements.

The defensive line, minus second-team All-County tackle Matt Griffith, also will require some tinkering.

Glen Burnie's first game is at home against Duval on Sept. 4. Then comes a procession of in-county clashes before a "reprieve" at Queen Anne's on Oct. 24.

"We don't have an easy game on our schedule," Rigot said. "I know it sounds kind of trite, but we honestly play them one game at a time. We try to prepare for the whole year, but we can only play one game at a time."

"They've come a long way in a short amount of time," Rigot said. "I'm optimistic. We've got a good, hard-working group of kids. We have good senior leadership. I just hope we can bring it all together before too long."

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