LAKE BRADDOCK SECONDARY SCHOOL: Lake Braddock has named Stan Kemp as its new head football coach.
Kemp, 32, fills the vacancy created when Dave Puddington resigned last fall, one week after ending his first season as coach.
This is Kemp's first head coaching position. He spent one year as an assistant coach at Albermarle High School in Charlottesville and nine years as an assistant to some of Fairfax County's more highly regarded head coaches.
Kemp spent three years at Woodson High School under former head coach Dick Pugh, three years at Marshall under Ed Henry (now at Robinson), two years under Don Noll (one at Lee and this year at Herndon) and one under Mickey Simpson at Lee.
The combined record of those schools during Kemp's years was 74-255, including three regional playoff games. "If I could maintain that pace here, I'd be happy," Kemp said.
For Kemp, being chosen by Braddock athletic director Bob Carson and Principal John Alwood meant success after two failures. Six years ago he was not selected at Braddock and last year he was bypassed again.
"I liked his determination," said Carson, who said he interviewed about 30 candidates for the job. "He has worked with some fine coaches. We wanted a person who would stay with the program. We think and hope he will."
Kemp cited the enrollment at Braddock (more than 4,000 students in grades seven through 12) as an attraction of the school. "With that many kids, you should be able to find some athletes," he said.
The major problem Kemp faces will be turning around a team that went 3-7 last fall despite having 29 returning seniors on the squad. "A winning attitude starts at the top," Kemp said. "You have to show the kids you're interested."
Kemp said he thinks he has learned from each of the coaches he has worked under, particularly Henry, Pugh and Noll.
"Dick (Pugh) was a fundamentalist," Kemp said. "He had the whole year's practice schedule made out in advance. He knew how long it took to get from the dressing room to the field at a walk, a trot and a run.
"Ed (Henry) always got the most out of his marginal players. He's probably the best high school coach in Virginia.
"Don (Noll) really gets into players' heads so they want to play. Gets them motivated.
"I'd like to try to combine those positive traits."
WOODSON HIGH SCHOOL: In a never-ending search for new ways to attract fans, athletic director William Caudill of Woodson says he is "becoming a hustler." But it's his athletes who are doing the hustling.
Since 50 percent of Woodson's students participate in at least one sport, Caudill decided to use them for the first time as salespeople. They are hawking special season tickets, at a 33 percent discount to three winter sports - wrestling, boys' basketball and girls' basketball.
Season tickets for six home wrestling matches cost only $6 instead of the $5 it would cost to buy them at the door. Ten boys' basketball tickets went for $10 instead of $15, as did girls' tickets.
The special ticket campaign brought in about $1,500, according to Caudill. Wrestling accounted for nearly $900, boys' basketball, about $600 and girls basketball, about $40.
"We decided to try the season ticket to assure some kind of crowd, especially for girls' basketball," Caudill said. "I just hate to see them play in front of only 20 to 30 people."
Caudill was pleased with the overall success of the season ticket campaign, and plans to try the same procedure for soccer.
O'CONNELL HIGH SCHOOL: O'Connell's attempts to gain entrance into the Virginia High School League (VHSL) in time to compete with local public schools in spring sports received another boost recently.
Last October, the Arlington school won a court case when U.S. District Court Judge Oren R. Lewis ruled that VHSL attempts to keep O'Connell from joining were in violation of the 14th Amendment. The VHSL governs high school athletics and other extracurricular activities for most Virginia public high schools, including 26 Northern Region public high schools. No private schools belong.
The VHSL appealed Lewis's decision and petitioned him to stay his ruling until a judgment was reached by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Virginia. Lewis, however, denied the motion, opening the door to O'Connell's membership in time to compete this spring.