Given that the Boonsboro football team was coming off a 2010 season in which it finished 2-8 and once had a 17-quarter scoreless streak, expectations weren’t especially high for the Warriors in 2011.
The Warriors fielded one of its smallest teams ever, both in physical size and in numbers.
Only 30 players were listed on the Boonsboro roster.
Only eight players were listed at 6 feet or taller.
Only four players were listed at more than 200 pounds.
“If you looked at the roster, you’d be shaking your head and wondering, ‘How are they going to make this work?’” said Boonsboro coach Clayton Anders.
A few tweaks to the traditional Wing-T offense and good old-fashioned hard work — from players and coaches — made it work for the Warriors.
They went 9-1 in the regular season and not only got back to the postseason, they won their first playoff game in 10 years.
For those reasons, Anders is The Herald-Mail’s Washington County Football Coach of the Year.
“I’m really proud of these guys and what they accomplished this year,” Anders said. “The dynamics this year were great and that helped us achieve what we did.”
Anders coached Boonsboro’s state champion team in 1993 and state finalist in 1994. While not comparing the teams, he said this year’s squad probably maximized its potential more than any of his other teams.
He also deflected some praise to his coaching staff.
“I’m really proud of what the staff did this year. It’s just like when a running back is recognized. You realize they didn’t get there without other people blocking,” Anders said.
In preseason meetings with assistant coaches, Anders concluded that the Boonsboro offense would still run its standard Wing-T, but it would do so in no-huddle style.
That change energized both players and coaches.
And defensively, Anders pointed to the energy of defensive coordinator Pete Yurish.
“Nobody can outwork that guy,” Anders said. “The amount of time he puts into scheming and planning ... it’s his college (coaching) background. The stuff we’re doing is the same as colleges do. We’re just doing it with high school kids.”
Buddy Orndorff, coach of the rival Smithsburg Leopards, said near the end of the season that this was Anders’ best coaching job.
“That’s a fair reflection of how I feel my coaches performed,” Anders said.