McDonough alum Briscoe named Rams foot­ball coach

Maryland Independent - - Sports B - By TED BLACK tblack@somd­

Dur­ing his play­ing days as a mem­ber of the foot­ball team at Mau­rice J. McDonough High School in Pom­fret, Jonathan Briscoe re­calls how read­ily the Rams were viewed as the lit­tle kid on the block in the South­ern Mary­land Ath­letic Con­fer­ence.

Last month the McDonough alum and Sal­is­bury Uni­ver­sity grad­u­ate was named the Rams head coach for the 2016 sea­son, suc­ceed­ing Ryan Gick whose team went 2-8 last fall af­ter go­ing 5-5 the year be­fore.

Briscoe, a school coun­selor at Matthew Hen­son Mid­dle School in In­dian Head, had been an as­sis­tant coach and head ju­nior var­sity coach at Wi­comico High School the pre­vi­ous five years.

“I’m ex­cited about com­ing back to my alma mater and tak­ing over as head coach,” said Briscoe, who will also as­sume a coun­selor role at McDonough. “I have a lot of re­spect for the coaches that suc­ceeded me. McDonough has al­ways been the small­est school in SMAC and now we’re the only 1A school. So, we’re al­ways go­ing to be fac­ing big­ger schools.”

McDonough lost its first eight games last fall be­fore win­ning its final two con­tests against North­ern, 28-25, and La Plata, 27-21. The Rams vic­tory over the Pa­tri­ots oc­curred on a night when the school cel­e­brated a pre­vi­ous state ti­tle and af­ter trail­ing at half­time against the larger Pa­tri­ots squad they ral­lied to es­sen­tially elim­i­nate the Calvert County school from the post­sea­son.

“When I looked at the scores of the games last sea­son, I no­ticed that [McDonough] was in a lot of the games,” Briscoe said. “It’s not like they got blown out the first eight games, but they showed a lot of heart win­ning their last two games. I’m hop­ing to build on that mo­men­tum head­ing into this sea­son.”

McDonough also named Pam Van Bollen as its new ath­letic di­rec­tor last month, tak­ing over for Dave Brad­shaw and Dave Rooney, who had split the chores as ath­letic di­rec­tor on an in­terim ba­sis af­ter for­mer Rams ath­letic di­rec­tor Jason Bur­sick left dur­ing the school year to take a po­si­tion with the Mary­land Public Sec­ondary Schools Ath­letic As­so­ci­a­tion in Bal­ti­more.

Van Bollen, a teacher at Mary Neal Ele­men­tary School in Wal­dorf, could not be reached for com­ment this week.

“I haven’t met the new AD yet, but I’m look­ing forward to meet­ing her,” Briscoe said. “The prin­ci­pal, Mr. [Brad] Snow called me and told me that I had been hired. At first, I was sur­prised. But by the same to­ken I’m very ex­cited to get started. Mr. Brad­shaw and Mr. Rooney were both very sup­port­ive of me through the whole process. I’m grate­ful to get a chance to coach at my alma mater.”


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