Experience is abundant – and quite significant – when it comes to the ageless football coaching staff at Bolles (Jacksonville, Fla.).
Start with ultra-successful head coach Corky Rogers, who is 69 years old and has come back strong following some heart problems. Rogers is Florida’s all-time winner and No. 6 in national history with a 428-75-1 record to go with 10 state championships.
The Bulldogs (5-2) will try to give their coach his 429th win Friday night when they play host to Jackson (Jacksonville, Fla.).
Among Rogers’ long-time assistants are defensive line coach John Howard, also age 69; defensive coordinator Mike Barrett, 66; linebacker coach Rich Thomann, 63; offensive line coach Wayne Belger, 58, who has been with Rogers for 37 years; and kicking coach Allan Leavitt, also 58.
Rogers told USA Today High School Sports that friendships and consistency weigh heavily in his success since becoming a head coach at Lee (Jacksonville, Fla.) in 1972. He has been at Bolles since 1989. During his Bolles tenure, Rogers has sent 123 players to Division I college and seven to the NFL.
He noted, “As we get older you seem to run into people who enjoy the same things that you do. In the off season we play golf – even though we’re not very good – and we fish. Our families are all friends, too. After games every Friday night our wives fix food.”
On the field he adds, “It’s the consistency. They (his players) look for that. We still play a base “34” defense. Offensively we use the spread a little bit, but we are a base wing-T for over 30 years.”
Rogers pointed out that not many teams run the Wing-T any more, so that is to his advantage. Since he sees many no-huddle, spread attacks, he also is experienced in defending them.
He revealed, “I sat down with Nick Saban for an hour the year before last (to discuss how to defend the no-huddle, spread). He said, ‘Coach, it’s killing me. We can’t get our substitutes into the game.’ “
The veteran coach points to such things as competitive fire, longevity and basic good health for his great success.
He explained, “We want to work hard and do things the right way. It just happened. We don’t have all the right answers and know it. We don’t ever want to cheat our kids. There’s a fire to still be successful. Even if we don’t win, we can do it the right way and compete.”
Concerning the future, Rogers related, “Because we’ve been together so long, we kind of talk about it as a group. (When he retires they may all go with him.) We still enjoy what we’re doing and it keeps us young. I feel in my heart that we still have something in us.”
McCarthy nears new record
Ed McCarthy will seek a Connecticut state-record 322nd career football coaching victory on Friday when West Haven plays at Hamden (Conn.). He tied the record last week with a 35-34 overtime victory against Xavier (Middletown, Conn.).
Curry seeks 432nd victory
In his second stint as head football coach at Berwick (Pa.), George Curry is rejuvenated after dropping 80 pounds with a strict diet. The svelte 69-year-old coach (now 185 pounds) guided Berwick to a pair of USA Today national championships and now ranks No. 5 in national history with 431 victories. He will seek No. 432 Friday night when his 8-0 Bulldogs play host to Coughlin (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.).
Herrington notches 400th win
John Herrington won his 400th game when Harrison (Farmington Hills, Mich.) defeated city rival Farmington Hills 46-0. His record is 7-1 this year.
Monte Reed is perfect
Quarterback Monte Reed completed all 10 of his passes as Hamilton Heights (Arcadia, Ind.) routed Peru (Ind.) 64-27. Five of the completions went for touchdowns.
Fisher ties Nebraska record
Clay Fisher scored six touchdowns to tie the Class A state record while leading Millard North (Omaha, Neb.) to a 42-35 upset of previously unbeaten Westside (Omaha, Neb.).
Ithaca win streak at 50
Ithaca (Mich.) set a school scoring record with a 76-0 rout of St. Louis (Mich.) and will seek its 51st straight victory Friday night at Shepherd (Mich.). The Yellowjackets are tied with Regina (Iowa City, Iowa) for the longest active 11-man football winning streak in the nation at 50 games.
A truly dramatic victory
They don’t get more dramatic than this: Zach Bock fielded a missed 57-yard field goal attempt and ran it back for a 99-yard touchdown as time expired to give Detroit Catholic Central (Novi, Mich.) an incredible 20-14 victory over De La Salle (Warren, Mich.).
Morrissette carries 56 times
Sophomore Jamarcus Morrissette (6-0, 185) carried 56 times (tied for No. 7 all-time) as Chapel Hill (Douglasville, Ga.) defeated B.E.S.T. Academy (Atlanta, Ga.) 38-28. He finished with 385 yards and four touchdowns. The national record is 72 carries.
WDM Valley scores 88
Valley (West Des Moines, Iowa) routed Thomas Jefferson (Council Bluffs, Iowa) 88-0 for the highest score by a Class 4A-sized school in the state since 1969.
Central Massachusetts record
St. Bernard’s Central Catholic (Fitchburg, Mass.) outlasted Quabbin Regional (Barre, Mass.) 62-47 to set a Central Massachusetts record for combined points in a game.
Record 54-yard field goal
Dylan Klumph kicked a school-record 54-yard field goal to help Crespi (Encino, Calif.) defeat Loyola (Los Angeles, Calif.) 32-14. Making the feat even more impressive – he had torn the ACL in his plant leg while snow boarding in January.
Indiana tennis record
Though bound to a wheelchair for the past eight years, Rick Miller of Floyd Central (Floyd Knobbs, Ind.) has broken Indiana’s tennis coaching record with 668 career victories. Scheduled for more spinal surgery, Miller also has 270 wins in girls tennis and is 23 short of the state record for combined wins.
Sherwood streak ends at 68
Damascus (Md.) ended a 68-match volleyball winning streak for three-time Class 4A defending state champion Sherwood (Sandy Spring, Md.) by winning a thriller, 25-19, 25-23, 28-30, 21-25, 15-6.
Millard South repeats
The Millard South (Omaha, Neb.) softball team won its third consecutive Class A state title the hard way by defeating previously unbeaten Papillion-LaVista (Papillion) three straight times after losing to the same team three times during the regular season. The tourney scores were (in order) 9-1, 7-4 and 13-4 in six innings.
Sherm Sylling to retire
Sherm Sylling has announced his retirement, effective on June 30, after 15 years as Executive Secretary of the North Dakota High School Activities Association.
St. Benedict’s streak ends at 71
The nation’s No. 1-ranked boys soccer team, St. Benedict’s (Newark, N.J.), was handed its first loss in 72 games Wednesday when Salesianum (Wilmington, Del.) eked out a 1-0 victory in overtime. The streak started in 2010 following a 1-0 loss to the same team.
Nevarez has 141 consecutive PATs
College football recruiters need to take a chance on a national-record placekicker who could be the difference between winning and losing every Saturday.
Chance Nevarez, a 5-9, 145-pound senior from Aledo (Texas), has kicked a national-record 141 straight extra points since the state playoffs in 2011. The previous national record of 134 had stood since 1968. In four years he has kicked 239 of 253.