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Roaders raise the bar, their game

November 11, 1999

By MARK KELLER / Sports Editor

Photo by RICHARD T. MEAGHER / Staff Photographer


BRUNSWICK, Md. - Mark Mitchell is all for setting goals, as long as they're set high.

So when mapping out the plan for his Brunswick football team this year, Mitchell looked back at his 1998 team - and decided he may have set the goals for that team too low.

"The big goal for us last year was to make the playoffs, which we did," Mitchell said. "We had a good year, and it was like, 'All right, we made the playoffs. Yeah. Now we have to play.'

cont. from sports page

"I think I made a mistake by making that our goal last year."

While the Railroaders reached the goal they set at the beginning of that year, a quarterfinal loss to Cambridge-South Dorchester brought that season of achievement to a screeching halt.

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One year later, the Railroaders (8-2) are back in the Class 1A playoffs, beginning their road toward a state title at home against tonight at C.H. Hickey. And in 1999, getting there is not good enough for Mitchell or his team.

"It was nice to be there last year, and it was good for the team," Mitchell said. "But I think they're still hungry. To lose in the first round this year will be unacceptable. They've been there, and now they want to go farther."

In order to go farther, the Railroaders will need to stop a Hickey team that is built for speed - the kind of speed a team from the MVAL doesn't get to see on a weekly basis.

"We respect their speed a lot," Mitchell said. "The one scary thing is that when you make a mistake against speed, it's usually a touchdown. You can play well against that 47 plays out of 50, but on those other three plays, you've given up 21 points. That's the scary thing."

What's not scary for Brunswick is the fact they get to open the playoffs at home because Hickey does not have a home field.

"I'd say that's a big advantage for us," Mitchell said. "I don't care what sport it is, there's always an advantage at home. And Brunswick is a sports town. There have been a lot of people there to support us, and I'm sure there will be Friday."

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