FB Preview -- Warriors' questions outnumber answers

September 02, 2009|By BOB PARASILITI/

Preparation for Boonsboro's football season is like a twisted game of Jeopardy.

All the categories on the board are set, but there are a lot of blank spaces behind the dollar values.

"We have a lot more questions than answers right now," said Boonsboro coach Clayton Anders. "Last year, we had questions, but we knew the answers."

Starting quarterbacks for 200, Alex. ... Tight ends for 4. ... We'll try defensive starters for 800. They are all legit answers for the questions gnawing at Anders and his staff.

The Warriors are coming off a 9-1 season and a berth in the Maryland Class 1A West playoffs with a team that was overflowing with talent and experience.


The 50th anniversary season of Warriors football is a classic optimist/pessimist quandry. Is Boonsboro half empty or half full?

"We graduated a really nice team last year," Anders said. "We are still trying to find some people for some positions. We have a core of juniors who are coming back, but we are a little thin in depth. A lot of players are able to do it athletically, but they haven't been able to follow the road map to do it right all the time."

Boonsboro will be starting with its strengths and building a supporting cast around them.

If that's the case, the Warriors' hopes are pinned directly on senior halfback Branden McLean. McLean was an All-Area performer who rushed for 1,145 yards and 17 touchdowns in Boonsboro's diverse offense last season.

This year, the Warriors fortunes are attached to his legs and to those of running mate Drew Lowery.

"We are going to have to establish McLean and Lowery," Anders said. "They are a good tandem who work well together and then we will have to work from there."

Next in line are the quarterbacking and receiving duties, which will be controlled by new faces. Those were positions that enjoyed a lot of depth last season after the early-season questions were answered.

This year could be a little different.

"We had an all-league tight end and wideout last year," Anders said. "Now we don't have one in the system that has any experience."

Gone are tight end Sean Colgan, receiver Seth Poffenberger and quarterback Tyler Walsh, who was one of three possible signal callers for the Warriors.

Andy Sigler moves into the quarterback slot after two successful seasons of guiding the junior varsity teams.

"He has the experience, but it's not varsity experience," Anders said. "He will be OK, but he's different than Walsh. Walsh didn't run with the ball. Sigler will make things happen with his feet."

Boonsboro's offensive line will be anchored by Luis Alvarez and Scott Haupt.

On defense, Boonsboro has eight players with starting experience, but many are two-way players and all are in the middle of the defense.

McLean is returning at safety with Drew Lowery and Haupt coming back as inside linebackers. Broc Kline and Josh Harwood are starting tackles.

"We have to find the outside people to help funnel plays into the middle," Anders said. "We have a good core ... I just felt a lot better about things last year."

With only 32 players and limited experience, there is a very small margin for error for Boonsboro and many questions to be answered.

"Our schedule is tougher this season and our first group of players will be good, but there is a dropoff from our ones to our twos," Anders said. "If we stay healthy, I'm confident we will scratch out a winning season. But if we lose a couple of kids, it will change things dramatically."

Click here for Boonsboro football roster and schedule.

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