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Frederick fortunes revolve around young backs, big line

September 05, 2000

Frederick fortunes revolve around young backs, big line



By CURT HORNBECKER / Staff Correspondent


FREDERICK, Md. - As a sophomore, Jerrod Brown provided his fair share of highlights for the Frederick football team last year and Vince Ahearn expects "more of the same" in the 2000 season.

"Last year we put in a new offense," said Ahearn, in his fifth season with the Cadets. "We got more into the triple option - like Navy uses - and Jerrod would probably have had better year, but teams were keying on him. This year we're a little bit more prepared for that."

Brown will join a backfield comprised completely of underclassmen, but a solid, experience offensive line should more than compensate for that lack of experience.

Akil Patterson, who has committed to the University of Maryland, is a 6-foot-3, 270-pounder will start at one of the tackles, and according to Ahearn, the remainder of the offensive line weighs in excess of 220 pounds.

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Adam Wetzel (tackle) and his brother Justin (center) will join Zack Ross and Josh Spencer to provide the holes for Brown.

"We have a lot of experience up front," said Ahearn, and these kids have all been playing together since they were sophomores, so they should know each other pretty well."

An area of concern on the offesive side is in the passing game. Junior Kyle Pittman is expected to get the nod at quarterback, and at just 5-8, Ahearn is making some adjustments to compensate for Pittman's lack of height.

"I don't know how much passing we'll be able to do this year," said Ahearn. "I'm a little nervous about it. The kind of passing game we've always used won't work with (Pittman). We've always used a two or three-step drop, so we're making some adjustments there."

Defensively, the Cadets made a dramatic improvement last year over the 1998 season, and having lost just "three or four starters on the whole team",

Ahearn is hoping to take another gigantic step this year.

"On defense we lost a real good linebacker, and a real strong leader," said Ahearn, "but if we can cut own on our turnovers this year, we'll give our defense a better chance."

Patterson will also be counted on to anchor the defensive front at tackle, along with Adam Wetzel at the other tackle, and Elijah Sum and Chris Malamet (a tight end on offense) at the ends.

Three-year starting linebacker Mike Harrison will be joined by Brown and Spencer, with Warren Holloman, Troy Ward, Kurt Bryant, and Ryand Smith handling thins in the secondary.

"A big thing for us is the confidence factor," said Ahearn. "I think the kids know that if they get up (in a game) they can't let down. We didn't win a game two years ago, and I think the kids are a little more mature now in terms of winning."

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