Brashear looks to rebound after rocky start with new coach
Wednesday, August 21, 2019 | 9:25 PM
Don Schmidt had a rough start to his coaching tenure at Brashear last season. Schmidt hopes a new Bulls squad led by underclassmen will right the ship as they look to fly under the radar in the City League.
Last year, the Bulls (3-6, 2-3) were plagued by injuries and turnovers. Aside from a 56-0 win over a struggling Carrick program and a win by forfeit over Vincentian Academy, the Bulls’ only other win came against Westinghouse, 27-14.
Brashear’s season ended with a 38-7 loss to Hollidaysburg in the semifinals of the PIAA Class 5A Districts 6-8-10 playoffs.
“It was a welcome-back- to-football type of season,” Schmidt said. “I inherited a group of seniors who were very athletic but we never found a leader in that group. They were pretty good football players and kids, but we never had the leadership that was needed.
“Our expectations were high, but mistakes and injuries just crept up. It killed us last year. I don’t think I was part of a team where turnovers were brutal. We certainly had the talent, but mistakes just haunted us the entire season.”
This season, Schmidt will lean on sophomore safety Kevin Smith to provide some much-needed leadership for the young Bulls team. The 6-foot-1, 180-pound athlete will be used all over the place on offense as he will see time at running back and wide receiver.
“We need to make sure we’re on the same page. We need to come together as a team. We need to play as a team,” Smith said. “We’re young, so it’s going to take some time for us to jell. We need to listen to each other and not have a lot of arguing or disputes.”
The Bulls will be led by sophomore quarterback Sincere Kimbrough, who took valuable snaps for the junior varsity team last year. Sophomore Taj Coleman, brother of Pitt defensive back Therran Coleman, was battling with Kimbrough for the starting spot during the offseason.
“They are both learning the offense,” Schmidt said. “Because they are so young, I need to lean on them to be leaders. They still want to be that athletic and flashy kind of guy. I need someone that can be out here and be in control of that huddle.”
Schmidt is excited to have the depth at the skill positions this season. The Bulls will feature a running back by committee, including seniors Daquon Lewis, Sterling Penn and Kuayshaun Matthews.
The Bulls will look to get the ball out quick to their skill-position players, including a stable of tight ends that Schmidt is excited to use. The big, athletic targets include senior Ronald Shanks (6-3, 225), senior Dorian Butler (6-2, 215) and senior Andrew Cagey (6-0, 190).
“I made it very clear to all my skill players: If you put the ball on the carpet, you won’t play,” Schmidt said. “Last year, I didn’t have the luxury of depth at the skill positions like I do this year.”
Schmidt will keep a close eye on how the Bulls handle the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball as Brashear’s depth on the line isn’t at the same level as the skill positions. The Bulls will lean on returning starters Zach Munn (guard) and Jahmari Watkins (center) to stabilize the offensive line.
The Bulls will kickoff their season when they face Beaver on Aug. 23 at 7 p.m. at Cupples Stadium.
“I’m excited I can start injecting my beliefs into the Brashear program,” Schmidt said. “Brashear has a great history in the City League. I want to continue with that.
“The City League is a crazy league. Anybody can be there. We are going to take it game-by-game and try to stay healthy. There are no expectations with us this year. We can quietly go by our work and see what happens.”
Coach: Don Schmidt
2018 record: 3-6, 2-3
All-time record: 256-174-8
Date, Opponent, time
8.23, Beaver, 7
8.29, at Perry*, 7
9.6, Albert Gallatin, 7
9.13, Grove City, 7
9.20, at Brooke, W.Va., 7
9.26, Westinghouse*, 7
10.3, at University Prep*, 7
10.10, at Allderdice*, 7
*City League game
Passing: Keshawn Townsend*
764 yards, 21 TDs
Rushing: Anthony Carrington*
53-481 yards, 3 TDs
Receiving: Daquay Brown*
723 yards, 5 TDs