Patrick Brown has precious memories of his 26 years as the Brentwood school football coach.
He easily recalls the many years of fielding eight-man teams and playing on a smaller field off Barrington Avenue, and then the construction of a regulation field on spacious grounds, also on campus, when land was leased to the school five years ago.
“In the first game on the new field we had a 99-yard touchdown pass,’’ he says. “In another game there was a 106-yard interception return. We won our first playoff game that year when our opponent fumbled at our goal line as time ran out and lost the next game exactly the same way.’’
The program is solid in regulation 11-man play now and the Eagles often do well in the CIF’s Division 13. Brentwood was 8-3 last season and won the Delphic League with a 3-0 record. The league had only four teams but will add Whittier Christian this season, which is moving down a notch from Division 12.
Several key returnees give Brown reason to believe his team will be a league contender again.
Running back Kevin Yamazaki is only 5-foot-6, 145 pounds, but was the league’s offensive player of the year last season as a junior. Fullback/linebacker Bret Hanson-Ashkar was all-CIF first team and tight end Austen Marrs and inside linebacker Malcom Henderson were first team all-league.
Some other players expected to be leaders are sophs Ian Shaw, Nicky Lee, and Andrew Boggs, who played defensive tackle as a freshman and is moving to defensive end. Boggs is 6-foot-3, 210.
Brown will choose between senior Drew Stern and sophomore Mason Moss for quarterback and will break in an entirely new offensive line.
“All the offensive line starters were seniors so that’s an area of uncertainty,’’ said Brown. “It’s pretty much the same story in the defensive backfield.’’
The squad turnout is currently 27, which is about normal for a school in Brentwood’s division.
“We’re very quick and the players work hard,’’ said Brown, who cites an excellent staff as a major factor in his longevity. Several assistants have been on the staff between 15 and 20 years.
Brown also coaches softball.
The 2004 season ended in a second round 28-21 playoff loss to St. Margarets. Brentwood had a first down on the opponent’s five-yard line with a minute left and was stopped at the one on the final play.Just another memorable game in a long career.