Brian Scriven, Woodlawn's new football coach, is well aware that expectations are high.
After all, he is succeeding retiring coach George Goudy, who compiled a 73-41 career record in 11 seasons and is well respected.
Goudy's Warriors compiled their second straight 8-2 season, ended the year ranked No. 15 in the area -- having been ranked as high as No. 4 -- and shared last year's Baltimore County 4A league title with Perry Hall.
Scriven isn't concerned about winning titles or the fact that he is just the fourth black head high school football coach ever in Baltimore County Public Schools.
Joe Yates was the county's first black coach, holding that position at Parkville from 1972 to 1981. Bob Greene became the second serving at Milford Mill in 1991-92. The other is Lansdowne's first-year coach Terrance Brooks, a graduate of Linganore High and Towson State.
"I can't let anything affect me or the staff in terms of what we have to do, although I'll have to admit -- it makes me want to get the job done," said Scriven, 28, a Pennsylvania native, who is not related to former Woodlawn standout Brian Scrivens.
Scriven's mentor is assistant coach John Pasteur, 46, who served 14 years as an assistant to Randallstown's John Buchheister when he was at Milford Mill.
Pasteur is the staff's elder statesman, with offensive coach Dave Savick, 25, a former linebacker at Ohio State, and junior varsity coach Lawrence Williams, 27, a former player at North Carolina Central.
"Brian's got a very good knowledge of the game both offensively and defensively, so I've mostly just told him to be himself," said Pasteur. "I think he's got the potential to really build this program and be one of the best."
A former high school and college player who was briefly with the Canadian Football League, Scriven is used to scrutiny.
"I know the eyes will be on me, but I don't feel any pressure to have a certain record or make predictions. I'll just do everything that's necessary as a coach and just hope the kids respond," said Scriven.
"There's no reason we can't have a good team, but I'm just laying back and hoping to come out of the gate and surprise some people."
Scriven played at Cheltenham High outside Philadelphia as a running back and defensive end, making first-team all-conference.
He was a multi-dimensional Division II player at Bloomsburg State, graduating in 1987 with all-conference honors as a safety. The team went 12-1 in his sophomore season and won the Pennsylvania Scholastic Athletic Conference title.
Scriven signed with the CFL's Toronto Argonauts as a linebacker in 1986 but was sidelined with a thigh injury before playing a down, ending his career.
"I lost my edge after that," said Scriven, who was a Bloomsburg assistant coach for three years until the fall of 1991.
He took a year off to earn his certification in business education, a course he teaches at Woodlawn.
"He's the kind of guy who can get the best out of both his athletes and his students," said Pasteur.
Last year's Warriors narrowly missed the playoffs, and Scriven has "lost between 20 and 24 seniors" from that squad, including All-Metro quarterback/punter Rodney Pettit. Leading rusher Omar Johnson was killed in a cycling accident last month.
Of his eight returning players, Scriven said he will depend heavily upon guard/linebacker Darrell Mance (6-foot-1, 235 pounds) anddefensive end Tre'vor Walker (6-1, 205) -- each of whom he considers a Division I prospect.
Then there's stocky senior fullback Kevin Charles (5-9, 225), whom Scriven says "is built like Craig 'Ironhead' Heyward" -- a 260-pound running back for the Chicago Bears.