MOORESTOWN – With the sound of construction equipment loudly at work on his team’s football field, coach Beau Sherry summed up Moorestown High School’s 2014 season.
“We were in some of those games and we couldn’t find a way to close them out,” Sherry said of the 1-9 finish. “I think we need to be mentally tougher in the fourth quarter.
“I think that’s something we try to get better at each day.”
The reference point stands as three losses by two touchdowns or fewer. Two of the games — a 13-8 loss to Winslow and an 18-17 disappointment against Triton — stand out above the rest.
In both games, Sherry’s team faltered in the fourth quarter.
Now, determination is preached. Thanks to the backhoes and bulldozers, the Quakers will play a slate that includes only two home games. The coach hopes his team can withstand the grueling schedule.
Sherry can lean on senior quarterback Mike DiMarino for strength on the mental side of the game.
A three-year starter, the 6-foot-3 signal caller has a hold on offensive coordinator Bill Donoghue’s schemes. He meets the bar off the field as well with a 4.1 GPA.
“He’s smart, very intelligent,” Donoghue said. “He has an above-average arm. He’s got the experience to be a strong quarterback.
“I expect him to take off this year. He threw for about 600 yards as a sophomore, 1,200 as a junior. I told him I’d like to see him double that this year.”
The veteran assistant laughs, but he may need it from DiMarino. His playbook will help the righty in the pocket.
With only two returning offensive lineman, Moorestown will rely on the outside screen game and quick hits in the pass game.
A spread offense can thrive with good playmakers. One such skill guy is junior speedster Brandon Outlaw, who runs a 4.5 40-yard dash. He’ll carry the load in the backfield and at receiver.
Senior wideout Greg Gamble gives DiMarino another pair of hands he can trust.
“It’s really good to have those guys,” the quarterback explained. “You don’t have to rely on the deep ball or doing it yourself.
“You can get it to those guys on the outside and in space.”
Outlaw, who has sprinted the 400-meter dash in 48.5 seconds, is happy to have his quarterbacks’ faith.
“I expect to move around a lot,” the speedy 5-foot-8 back said. “I love the outside edges. I can get outside and make plays with a lot of room.”
As for the finished product, Sherry paces himself when it comes to predictions.
This season is another of rebuild for the coach in his third year at the helm. He stresses the focus needed to hang tough in the game’s final moments.
“We’re excited for the future but our focus is on now,” Sherry said. “Any time you go 1-9, everyone wants to find out why. There isn’t one reason. It’s a lot of reasons.”
Mark Trible; (856) 486-2424; email@example.com
@ Winslow Twp.
@ Burlington Twp.
Cherry Hill West
@ Paul VI