Coach of the year says thanks to ‘a great group’

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 19, 2002

Brian Maus wasn’t the only Nansemond River sports coach to have a successful fall. But he did get an award that none of his colleagues received: the Coach of the Year Award.

In his third year of leading the Warriors, Maus, who turned a football team that had accumulated three wins over his first two years into district contenders in 2002, became the only sports coach in Suffolk to snare such an award.

&uot;I’d like to thank these guys,&uot; said an emotional Maus at the Fall Sports Banquet on Tuesday, indicating his team. &uot;Most of them were here when we were 0-10 (2000) and 3-7 (2001), so I’m very proud of them.&uot;

Email newsletter signup

For the first time in Maus’ tenure, the Warriors defeated district rivals Lakeland, Oscar Smith, Hickory, Great Bridge, and Deep Creek (becoming the first Suffolk team ever to defeat the Hornets).

Junior Eric Berry, who lead the team in tackles and was voted to the second All-District team, was named the Defensive player of the year, while sophomore Trayce McPherson, who led the district with 1,196 yards, 16 touchdowns, and 7.5 yards a carry (all while playing in only eight games) received the Offensive honor.

For Most Valuable Player, however, the award was tough, in Maus’ eyes. &uot;It’s hard to give out, because this is such a great group of guys,&uot; he said. &uot;But in this guy’s first year as a starter, he got the (tar) kicked out of him, and he still played his heart out every week.&uot; He was referring to quarterback Dominic Strand, the team’s only four-year letterman.

&uot;I didn’t expect to be so emotional up there,&uot; said Maus. &uot;It just hit me all at once that this season’s over. These guys have been through (heck) with me.&uot;

For Strand, the 7-3 season that gave the Warriors’ their first ever second-place district finish was worth the wait. &uot;I wanted to go unbeaten my last year, but this is great,&uot; Strand said. &uot;I wasn’t surprised (that Maus won), because we went from bad to good so fast.&uot;