Two seasons removed from his coaching days at Seneca Valley, Terry Changuris still has an impact on the Screamin' Eagles' on-field success -- even if indirectly.
In 2001, following a triple-overtime playoff loss to Urbana, Changuris hung a sign in the team's weight room that read: "What shape will you be in . . . in the third overtime?"
Current coach Fred Kim, previously an assistant under Changuris, has left the sign hanging in the weight room. And on Friday, Seneca Valley answered Changuris's question on the field in a thrilling 45-39 triple-overtime win against Urbana in a 3A West Region semifinal.
"It's a reminder to the kids that you have to put in that maximum effort in training and lifting weights," said Kim, noting that in the 2001 game against Urbana, the Screamin' Eagles appeared worn out by the third overtime. "I vowed as a coach to never let that happen again. It's a reminder to me to always keep the team in shape."
Changuris still teaches at Seneca Valley and, Kim said, is still a big fan of the program despite serving as an assistant at Sherwood. He wasn't able to watch the game -- Sherwood was busy routing Parkville in a 4A North semifinal -- but he still managed to stay tuned in to the events.
"He was getting the play-by-play [on his cell phone] from his wife [who also works at Seneca Valley]," Kim said. "He was happy as heck. He still bleeds green and gold."
No player seemed to have more in reserve late in the game than Seneca Valley running back Shawn Perry. The junior scored the game-winning touchdown -- his fifth of the game -- on a six-yard run in the final overtime period. Perry finished with a game-high 189 yards.
It is only fitting that Perry lifted the Screamin' Eagles to the brink of the state tournament considering the team's late-season surge has coincided with his return to the lineup. Perry missed three weeks with a knee injury, including Seneca Valley's lone loss of the season to Sherwood on Oct. 7.
Perry returned on Oct. 21 and rushed for 202 yards and four touchdowns in a 29-21 win over Gaithersburg. In the past five weeks, he has totaled 900 yards rushing and 16 touchdowns.
"We're a much better team with him -- he's a great running back," Kim said. "He's a legitimate superstar. He runs hard and gives great effort."
Seneca Valley will need a stellar performance from Perry when it plays at Westminster tomorrow night with a state tournament berth on the line.
Westminster (10-1), a Carroll County school whose football team is ranked second by the Baltimore Sun, features a dynamic offense capable of putting a lot of points on the scoreboard.
"They're every bit as good as Urbana," Kim said of Westminster, which knocked off both Urbana and Linganore this season. "They're tough. They're not a huge team, but they're tough, nasty kids that get to the ball."