Falcons complete first undefeated regular season; Mustangs win Baltimore City’s Division I
Two coaches who guided their football teams to Baltimore City football titles this fall – Reginald Lewis’ Elwood Townsend and Mervo’s Patrick Nixon – share the Week 10 Baltimore Touchdown Club Coach of the Week award, the final one of the 2016 season.
Townsend, in his first year at Reginald Lewis after a highly successful tenure at Douglass, has turned around the Lewis program, leading the Falcons to a 10-0 regular season, the Baltimore City Division II championship and the top seed in the 1A South Region. He believes a change in the mindset of his players is the biggest difference for the Falcons.
“Just changing the thought process and attitude that the kids had before I got there,” said Townsend when asked about the biggest difference this fall. “Changing the culture is tough, but having kids that want to win is a great recipe for success.”
Townsend also explained what needs to be done to sustain the success.
“To continue build the program from our JV to Varsity, and become a consistent winner year and year out,” are Townsend’s goals.
Helping him in this process are his assistant coaches.
“Defensive coordinator Corey Young has been instrumental in the rebuilding of the program and Coach Glover and Coach Tolbert have helped develop a solid offensive and defensive line, which has been key to our success.”
The remainder of the staff includes Tim Smith, who coaches the receivers and helps with the kickers, Trevor Walker, a former Towson University football player in his first year of high school coaching who has helped mold a young group of linebackers and bring an energetic attitude to our program, and Coach Falcon, who leads the special teams and has guys flying to the ball.
Townsend also credits his JV staff of Johnny Witherspoon (head coach), Anthony Paye and Bernard Morgan for putting a JV team on the field for the first time in three years and producing a 4-4 record.
Townsend also expressed pride in being honored by the BTC, not only for himself, but his staff and players.
“Being selected is an absolute honor and I'm more excited for my coaches for all of the hard work that they have committed to this program,” said Townsend. “More importantly, I'm overwhelmed with joy for our kids at Reginald F. Lewis, because they deserve to be a part of a season like we're having.”
While Townsend is just getting started at Lewis, Mervo has quietly become the top program in Baltimore City’s Division I under Nixon, besting traditional powers Dunbar, Poly and City over the last three years.
“We have had a long history of not being successful from a stand point of not being able to win the big games vs. above mentioned teams,” said Nixon. “We have used our past failures as motivation for success these past three years. We also know that we must take that next step of having some playoff success to totally change the perception. We kinda like flying under the radar.”
One of the keys to the rise of Mervo is the team’s offseason dedication.
“I’m proud of all the hard work that the coaches and players put out in during the offseason. We have been in the weight room since December,” said Nixon. “The guys have been consistent in the weight room and in summer workouts. Because of our previous success, the kids and staff believe in the direction of the program and each other. That wasn’t always the case in previous years.”
Nixon point to several individuals who have stepped forward.
I’ve been very impressed with the development and leadership of our seniors and underclassman. Carlos Davis (quarterback), Rykim Lemon (running back), Terry Jones (wide receiver) and Armorni Addison (slot), as well as improved play by the offensive line has been the key to our success on offense. Our defense is led by Dwayne Mclaurin (LB), Keon Branch (LB), and Ahmad Townes (FS), and solid play from our secondary and defensive line.”
Nixon also shared credit for this honor with his coaches.
“Sean nelson (offensive coordinator) has played a huge role in our team’s success. He helps out in the weight room and is the coordinator of the offense. The others are James Clash (LB coach and assistant defensive coordinator), Kevin Young (QB coach and coordinator of strength and conditioning), Al Cotton (running backs coach and defensive backs coach), Aaron Dshazio (defensive line coach) and Ryan Slade (wide receivers coach).”
Nixon admitted to being humbled by the BTC award.
“It is an honor to be recognized by my peers by doing something that I truly love to do. This award is important to me and my staff because as coaches we all know that this can be a difficult and thankless job. To be recognized is truly a blessing.
“As a member of the BTC I’ve seen first-hand what a wonderful impact this organization has had on student athletes. The BTC has given student athletes an opportunity to display their talent in front of college coaches at numerous combines, camps, 7-on-7 tournaments and all-star games. The fact that all of their events are well organized and cost efficient, makes this organization irreplaceable. On behalf of the entire Mervo football program we are thankful.”