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Scott reflects on three local coaching legends

October 03, 2007|By LARRY YANOS

Washington County and the Tri-State area have lost two outstanding football coaches last month - former Hancock High School mentor Paul Imphong and former Frederick and Thomas Johnson leader Jack Molesworth.

The deaths come just months after the passing of former South Hagerstown High School football coach Douglass Cochran.

"Three great individuals and three superb coaches," former Boonsboro High School football and track and field coach Dwight Scott said. "I coached against all three men in my years at Boonsboro and all three were respected both on and off the playing field. Another accomplishment - they were all World War II veterans."

Scott, who now resides in Frederick County, has recollections of all three former opponents.

Imphong arrived at Hancock in 1957 and started the football program. He had some outstanding players, Scott said. The school was small, lacked numbers, but Imphong's teams were well-coached and always sound fundamentally. Two quarterbacks under Imphong were Danny Kerns and Terry Truax. Rich Hawkins also coached with Imphong for a long time.

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Molesworth's first coaching job was as an assistant with Herb Ruby at Westminster in the fall of 1952. He decided to go to Frederick High School as an assistant under Gene Hummell, but Hummell then decided to take the baseball coaching position at Gettysburg High School and Molesworth was named the head coach, Scott said. He later coached at Thomas Johnson and Western Maryland (now McDaniel) College but made a name for himself as State Supervisor of Physical Education. In 10 years (1972-1982), he did a masterful job. He developed the state playoff system for all sports, one would be hard-pressed to find anyone who has done more for state athletics from that position than Jack Molesworth, Scott said.

Cochran started football programs at two high schools which later fielded undefeated teams - Clarke County (Va.) and South Hagerstown. He was followed in the coaching ranks at Clarke County by Don Maphis and Carroll Reid. He stopped coaching too soon, Scott said. Eddie Semler wanted Cochran to succeed him as Washington County Supervisor of Physical Education. The Board of Education hired him as Pupil Personnel Director before he took over for Semler.

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