The record book sold senior Phil Riley on coming to Huntingtown.
"Coach [Jerry] Franks was telling us that the first time you touch the ball, you're going to set records here," said Riley, a fullback/linebacker who transferred from Calvert.
Okay, maybe that wasn't the only thing that piqued Riley's interest. What really got him interested was the potential for some depth to those records.
Huntingtown is not your typical first-year program. The Hurricanes will probably win more than a game or two not only because they have seniors on their roster, but also because they have veteran coaches leading them. Franks is a proven winner at every coaching stop, and that has raised expectations at Huntingtown. Plus, he has assistants like former Patuxent Coach Rich Esposito, who took Patuxent to the 2001 Maryland 3A title game.
"We've got some kids with some experience," Franks said, "and that should help."
The question for Huntingtown is: Will they play like a first-year program trying to establish an identity, or will they overachieve? Judging by the many opposing coaches and players who keenly watched Huntingtown's opening scrimmage against McNamara, opinion seems to favor the latter.
"It's a lot of pressure," said senior quarterback Tyler Herrick, who also transferred from Calvert. "Everybody is watching us. Everybody is expecting a lot from us."
Nobody expects more than Franks.
"We're coming out here with a bang," said Riley, who wrestled last year at 189 pounds on Calvert's 3A champion team and has added about 40 pounds. Franks "wants us out there not missing a beat."
Herrick recalled an episode from a practice in which the Hurricanes had trouble perfecting a drill. He said Franks had the players repeat it seven or eight times until he was satisfied.
"Most coaches will give up after a while," Herrick said. "I think it's encouraging. He wants to get it right."
What would "right" be for this season? For the Hurricanes to exceed whatever expectations are set before them.
"We were talking about Huntingtown after last season ended," Herrick said. "We do think we'll go pretty far this year."