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Warriors prepared to weather playoffs

November 18, 2005|by MARK KELLER

keller@herald-mail.com

BOONSBORO - Clayton Anders was prepared for the weather.

Wearing a sweatshirt with a hood covering his winter hat and heavy gloves on his hands, the Boonsboro football coach watched over his team's final practice before today's Class 1A West playoff game against Beall at Frostburg State University.

Anders, however, appeared to be one of the few on Warrior Field who took steps to protect himself from the cold. Most of the players practiced in short sleeves, leaving their skin exposed as the temperature hovered around 25 degrees - without figuring in the wind chill.

"It's actually a good thing that it's cold tonight, because it's definitely going to be cold tomorrow," Anders said. "We might as well start dealing with it now."

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While some might think the Warriors (8-2) will be playing at a disadvantage because of the projected subfreezing temperatures tonight, Anders isn't necessarily buying it.

"We like to think we're not that much different than them," Anders said. "There is the Western Maryland school of thought that the cold will affect us, but we're far from a bunch of urban kids."

Anders sees more similarities between his team and the Mountaineers (8-2) than most people will see.

Some of those similarities are obvious, such as the teams' records against common opponents this season. Boonsboro and Beall both lost close games to Berkeley Springs and defeated Moorefield and Catoctin by large margins.

Others, like the offenses the teams run, might not look like similarities to the naked eye. Beall plays out of the Wishbone, Boonsboro uses the Wing-T. While employing different looks and formations, both utilize three backs.

"There are obvious differences in the alignment, but there are a lot of similarities in what we do out of them," Anders said.

Anders said his coaching staff scouted Beall the last three weeks in anticipation of a possible playoff meeting and has studied several game films of the Mountaineers. No film has gotten as much scrutiny as the Berkeley Springs game.

"I'll just say we've covered that one pretty closely," Anders said. "Berkeley Springs plays well at home and they're well coached, but I'm sure if you asked people from Beall, they'd tell you they didn't play very well in that game.

"We'd say the same thing. We weren't awful, we just didn't play particularly well. We both had chances to win in the end, we just didn't get it done."

While Boonsboro names like Zach Shoemaker, Adam Rippeon and Kyle Kane have gotten plenty of ink and air time in this area, the Warriors could be something of an unknown quantity in the Cumberland area, which claimed the other three spots in the four-team regional playoff.

That air of mystery could play as big a role in the outcome of the game as the temperature of the air.

"They're more familiar with each other up there. They've already played each other," Anders said. "I'm sure that they've seen us, but we do some things that they maybe don't see much of."

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