WASHINGTON (WUSA) — Winston Churchill fell to Quince Orchard in the Maryland 4A West region final last year, a heartbreaking defeat.
Now, on the eve of his fourth season with the Bulldogs, head coach Joe Allen (a 21-10 career record) is confident in his squad’s ability to build on the success of 2011. Why? This year’s team is not that new. Allen’s players from the class of 2014 are experienced, focused and poised to make noise in Montgomery County.
Record Last Season: 10-2
Big Question: The Bulldogs lost 25 seniors last year. This season, Allen says he has 25 seniors “… coming up in their place.” Will the class of 2013 match the caliber of 2012?
Strengths: “We’re more dimensional as a team this year than we were last year,” said Allen, who is returning five starters on offense and seven on defense. “We seem to have reloaded as opposed [to] rebuilt … We had more depth than people gave us credit for last year.”
Best Player: At 6-foot-3, 340 pounds, center and defensive lineman, Darrion Locke is a sheer force with NFL size. On defense, his style of play can be described as a search and destroy mission. The rising senior expertly seeks out and blocks opponents with alarming speed and agility — often taking them to the turf without a full-on tackle. Locke has an offer from the University of South Dakota and is garnering interest from Monmouth, UConn and Temple.
Breakthrough Player: Senior wide receiver Dominique Williams has incredible speed — comparable to that of a track athlete. He is routinely open for deep passes and can beat safeties on intermediate passing plays. At 6-foot-1, 175 pounds, Williams — the son of 13-year NFL veteran, Willie Williams (the Bulldogs’ defensive coordinator) — is receiving interest from Bucknell, U-Conn, the University of New Hampshire, Temple, Monmouth, Villanova and Stony Brooke.
Why fans should be excited: In 2011, Churchill’s only regular season loss was to Seneca Valley. When we asked “What’s the biggest game on your schedule this year?” coach Allen immediately replied: “Seneca Valley.” The Bulldogs are hungry for an undefeated season, which will impact their level of every Friday night. Expect a particularly fierce showdown when the Bulldogs take on their foe from the 3A West, the Screamin’ Eagles.