Coach Ken Belchik is hoping two things can carry over from the 1998 season, when a young and inexperienced Spartans team posted an 0-10 record: the toughness shown by the players, and their work ethic.
"Our seniors last year really set the precedent for our work ethic," Belchik said. "If you had seen us practicing after the seventh game, you would have thought we were undefeated. Hopefully, that kind of work ethic can carry over into this year."
Broad Run is again young--the team has only five seniors (compared with 14 last year)--but the players are stronger, more experienced and more familiar with Belchik's system.
Junior quarterback Matt Gordy (5-11, 165) is back; he ran for four touchdowns and threw for three in 1998.
Three newcomers are vying to join Gordy and junior fullback Jacob Davis in the backfield: junior Dion Mitchell (5-11, 185), a transfer from Ohio; and sophomores Jeff Shuster (5-10, 170) and Eugene Bedell (5-8, 155).
Shuster and Bedell played on the freshman team, which had a successful year in 1998.
"We've been talking about the future and what we can accomplish," Belchik said. "The focus this year is knowing our assignments, being in the right place at the right time and using proper technique. We want to be as competitive as possible."
FB Jacob Davis (5-9, 160, Jr.)--Davis was a tough but undersized fullback as a sophomore last year. He hasn't gotten taller, but he has gotten stronger, thanks to hard work in the weight room.
Other offensive players to watch: QB Matt Gordy, Jr.; C Aaron Schaffer, Jr.; G John Pascoe, Jr.; T Wyatt Oliver, Sr.
DT Jared Toler (6-3, 240, Jr.)--Toler is the biggest player on the Spartans' roster and one of two returning starters on the defensive line (Derek Hamlin is the other).
Other defensive players to watch: DE Derek Hamlin, Jr.; S Matt Gordy, Jr.; CB Garret Smith, Sr.
* District/Division: Group AA Northwestern/Division 4.
* Coach: Ken Belchik, second season.
* Last year's record: 0-10 overall, 0-7 AAA Liberty District.
* Most recent playoff appearance: 1992.
* Starters returning (offense/defense): 5/4.
Osbourn Park, 7:30
at Colonial Forge, 7:30
Potomac Falls, 7:30
at Warren County, 7:30
at Loudoun County, 1:30
Loudoun Valley, 7:30
at Liberty, 7:30
at Park View, 7:30
14 at Potomac Falls 37
6 at Stuart 49
0 Chantilly 55
14 at Fairfax 34
13 Madison 42
14 at Lee 48
7 Langley 42
2 at McLean 49
27 Marshall 40
6 Park View 53
CAPTION: Broad Run tackle Jared Toler, left, and quarterback Matt Gordy, both juniors, are expected to help lead a young team that has established a strong work ethic.