Fishburne football improved from two wins in 2011 in Coach Dan Baranik’s first year to four wins in 2012 in year two. Baranik has high hopes for his third team at FMS.
“This will be our most positive experience. There’s a lot to be said for continuity. This will be our third season. As a result of that, players are familiar with me, and I’m familiar with our players,” Baranik said.
Key returning players include offensive lineman/linebacker Antwon Brown, lineman Chandler Bryant and newcomer Russell Holland-Simpson, a tight end/linebacker who is receiving recruiting interest from several colleges.
The strength up front is important.
“Line play is so important to the success of a football team. That really gives me hope going into the season. I think we’ll be pretty good up front,” Baranik said. “That’s usually the slowest area to develop, but we’ve got some players there coming back, and that’s going to be a foundation for us to build on.”
Baranik expects his squad to get stronger as the season unfolds. He won’t start practice until Aug. 16, so the first couple of games could be a little sloppier as the players acclimate themselves to football.
“Most of our kids aren’t from the local area. That puts us at a disadvantage,” Baranik said. “We can’t work with them until they get here. We can’t spend the summer going to 7-on-7 passing leagues. We can’t do things in the weight room and with conditioning that we’d like to do. That just is what it is. We have to play catchup from the start.”
That’s where the building blocks that have been put in place the past two seasons will be key.
“The expectations have been set. This is the way we do things. That gets passed on from the veteran players to the newcomers. You can talk about it all you want, but there’s theory, and there’s reality. There’s not a lot of questions. They know what we’re doing and how we want it done.”
More on Fishburne Military School online at www.Fishburne.org.