Chesapeake-BC football hits stride early
Chesapeake football coach Mark Junker said he has always heard that the fourth year of your program is when things should all come together. He's a bit ahead of schedule.
The third-year head coach guided his Baltimore County team to perhaps the biggest upset of the season, beating then-No. 6 Eastern Tech, 15-13, on Saturday.
The Bayhawks rallied from 6-0 down at the half to get the winning edge on two Corey Polston touchdowns in the third quarter. The win, which improved the Bayhawks to 4-0, ended a 23-game regular-season winning streak for the Mavericks, who reached the state Class 2A championship game the last two seasons.
Junker said his team might have been intimidated a bit at first, but that turned around quickly.
"They drove down right away on us and they gave us a break and fumbled inside our five, but then they stymied us. We got back on the 1-yard line," Junker said. "We punted and [Emmanuel Gbor ran] the punt back. It was an auspicious start for us. I give our kids credit. They could easily have gone in the tank after starting out the first quarter like that, but we moved the ball a little bit and that gave us some confidence in our second drive. I think our kids are just tough and they stuck with it."
In addition to Polston's heroics, the Bayhawks got a stellar game from their linemen -- Nestor Navalo, Elijiah McClain, Chris Brown, Pascal Tshiams, Edwin Thomason and Matt Meyers -- as well as fullback/linebacker James Bedgood, who had 12 tackles.
Junker said his he learned his approach from one of the deans of area coaching, Poly coach Roger Wrenn, who spent many years at Patterson.
"I was very fortunate as an assistant coach. I worked for nine years with Roger Wrenn at Patterson, so really I consider him a mentor and I coach a lot of the way he does," Junker said. "It's a lot of fundamentals, a lot of discipline, an old-school football theory. That's the mentality I brought into Chesapeake and the kids have responded. They're really taken ownership into the program. I'm getting the kids now who, the first year I was there were freshmen and sophomores and have been in the program for a few years. They say the fourth year in the program you should start hitting your stride, because you've had the freshmen for four years underneath your game plan and if you're doing anything right, you should start to see some success."