When Lourdes Academy’s new head football coach Shane Obrigewitch came to the Knights, he was faced with the unenviable task of installing a new offensive system for the Knights in a matter of a few weeks.
But what he didn’t know when he got there is that he would have an ace in the hole. A player who was the perfect fit for the system and already played two years of starting quarterback for the Knights.
A player named Jimmy Brooks.
Brooks has picked up the new offense and flourished this season after having already established himself as a offensive stalwart in his first two seasons with the Knights, leading them to the playoffs both times.
But it didn’t start there for Brooks. It all started his sophomore year when he was brought up to start on varsity, helping to guide the Knights back to playoffs once again.
Where his career really took off was his junior year. Brooks threw for 16 touchdowns and 1267 yards for the Knights and helped lead them all the way to Level 3 in the WIAA Division 6 playoffs before falling to eventual state champion St. Mary’s Springs Ledgers.
“For the past three years it’s been great,” Brooks said. “Being the role I was put in was amazing. Its been fun coming over the years.”
For his efforts, Brooks was named second-team All-Trailways Large at quarterback as a junior.
What helped Brooks out those first two years is the mulitude of weapons that he was able to throw and hand the ball off to, taking some of the pressure off of him and not being the entire focus of the defense.
He knows how lucky he has been with the talent around him.
“To look at the big picture, I’m so blessed,” Brooks said. “Having so many guys who are willing to sacrifice themselves for me, it’s truly amazing.
“There have been so many skilled players that I have been able to trust and go to so many times for countless plays.”
As good as last year was, Brooks may have even taken a bigger step into this year. It all started with Obrigewitch’s system.
It’s a system that requires a good running quarterback, who also has the arm to boot. When Obrigewitch first showed up at Lourdes, he knew that’s what he needed.
He got more than he could’ve even asked for in Brooks.
“We couldn’t have planned it out more perfectly,” Obrigewitch said. “It fit absolutely perfectly. His talents fit perfectly for our offense. He’s the kind of quaterback we hope we could get everytime.”
That has led to an absolute offensive explosion in Brooks game, who has rattled off countless big plays with his feet and with his arm for the Knights this season, all while leading the Knights back to playoffs once again.
He seems to do it effortlessly whether he’s running or throwing, too.
“It’s always fun to lower a shoulder and hits somebody,” Brooks said. “But it’s also a good feeling to see a wide open receiver or not and just trust that they will make the catch.”
What may have been even more important to the Knights this season was Brooks’ senior leadership. Sometimes, with a new coach, a team just doesn’t get the new system and things can go haywire.
For Obrigewitch, having a guy like Brooks in the most important position on the field and be senior with plenty of experience, it made the transition just that much easier and has led to the Knights success.
“Jimmy is our rock,” Obrigewitch said. “He’s a real solid character kid. A fantastic leader. You know a lot of the problems, a first year coach, team problems things like that, Jimmy takes care of them.”
It’s that character and that leadership that Brooks hopes he can instill in the younger players and make the Knights solid for years to come.
“Once a Knight, always a Knight, that’s the motto,” Brooks said. “I will never forget my time here and I hope to instill that in all the guys here, that once you are a Knight, you will never stop being a Knight and just keep giving back to the program.
“Hopefully, those (younger) guys can carry out the pride of Lourdes High School.”