The Numbers

Coach: Steve Lindsay, fifth season

Record: 27-15

Region: 4A East

Past five seasons: 32-20, one playoff appearance

Starters back: Four on offense, four on defense

The Breakdown

Coaches often say they want to pick up where their team left off the previous season. Not at Thomas Stone. After winning their first five games, the Cougars lost five straight and did not have a winning record for just the second time in a decade.

One big reason might have been fatigue. The Cougars shouldn't have that problem this season, with a 47-man varsity roster, nearly double what they showed last season. More than half of Thomas Stone's starters last year played both offense and defense. There should not be more than two or three this year.

"We should be able to throw fresh bodies in there for every play for the first time," Lindsay said. "We're going to use our numbers to our advantage."

One body, however, that always seems to be fresh is senior Patrick Swearinger, who will take over at quarterback. He will play the position in the mold of Thomas Stone's successful recent signal-callers Antonio Lewis (now playing at West Virginia) and Frankie Warren (an honorable mention All-Met in 2003). Like those two, Swearinger is an explosive runner who excels when forced to improvise.

"We want to go back to what we were doing with Antonio and Frankie," Lindsay said, "and Pat gives us that chance."

After a standout season on the Cougars' junior varsity, look for junior Wiley Brown, brother of standout linebacker Nekos, to shine at outside linebacker and fullback this season.

The Countdown

Sept. 9

at Huntingtown, 7

Sept. 16

Northern, 7

Sept. 23

at McDonough, 7

Sept. 30

La Plata, 7

Oct. 7

at Chopticon, 7

Oct. 14

Calvert, 7

Oct. 21

Lackey, 7

Oct. 28

at Leonardtown, 7

Nov. 4

Great Mills, 7

Nov. 11

at Westlake, 7

The Rewind

2004 Results

Sept. 3

defeated Leonardtown, 28-6

Sept. 10

defeated Great Mills, 33-7

Sept. 20

won at Patuxent, 21-7

Sept. 25

won at Calvert, 28-16

Oct. 1

defeated Chopticon, 33-6

Oct. 8

lost at McDonough, 41-11

Oct. 15

lost to Westlake, 47-7

Oct. 22

lost at Lackey, 34-6

Oct. 29

lost at La Plata, 7-6

Nov. 5

lost to Huntingtown, 10-6