Season of improvement
Published 6:42 am Tuesday, November 2, 2004
By By ADAM FISHER / Niles Daily Star
Brandywine's stats from the 2004 football season may not be eye-catching, and their win total definitely won't turn any heads.
But head coach Terry Borr has no regrets about the past season because the Bobcats accomplished the two objectives - to improve every game and to have fun doing it.
From the start of the season, Borr knew his team wouldn't win any championships. After Jim Myers stepped down as head coach after 18 years, Borr inherited a squad with just three returning varsity players.
Knowing his team was young and inexperienced, Borr wanted to make sure his players learned the game of football and enjoyed playing it so they could build a foundation for next year.
The beginning of the year was a sharp learning curve for the Bobcats, who lost their first four games by a combined score of 173-18. Although they suffered four blowouts, Brandywine was able to do more things offensively as its players, many who had never played football before, developed.
That development culminated with the Bobcats' first victory of the year, a 33-7 win over River Valley on homecoming. They won their next game at Bridgman 22-17 and still had a shot at a winning season.
Those dreams were dashed by Lakeland Conference champion Berrien Springs the following week in a 63-0 loss.
Still, Brandywine stayed tough in its final two games. The Bobcats were 1 yard away from pulling to within a touchdown of playoff qualifier Coloma on Oct. 15. Against Edwardsburg on Oct. 22, Brandywine was only down 7-0 at half. But inexperience led to mistakes that cost the Bobcats both games.
Borr and his coaches and players have already started preparing for next season by hitting the weight room. He said he's had almost 30 players lifting weights since Monday.
The coaches have began evaluating their teaching techniques and figuring out how to coach better next year.
The Bobcats lose nine seniors from their roster of about 30 players for next year. But Borr takes consolation in his junior varsity team that went 5-3 even though it was composed of a majority of freshmen.
Borr said he is hoping to have 30 players return for next year. So far, he has gotten a positive response from this season's players. He also said many of the freshmen from this year's junior varsity team should compete for starting positions next year.
While this year's goals were to have fun and improve, Borr and his coaches, not to mention his players, have lofty goals for next season.
Brandywine is holding its end of the year team banquet Nov. 9 at the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Ind.
At the banquet, Borr and his staff will hand out team awards and letters.