"I want a quarterback who hates losing more than he likes winning."
-- Coach Dave Mencarini, Quince Orchard High School (Gaithersburg, MD)
On a blistering hot August afternoon, Chris Baucia gathered his coaching staff to discuss final preparations for the quarterback training that awaited. The former Virginia Tech signal caller and current Gilman School (Baltimore, MD) offensive coordinator has been directing the Quarterback Factory since 1999.
"Our camps are an opportunity for players from middle school through rising seniors to improve their technique on the field," said Baucia, on the field at the Severn School. "As an educator, I can emphasize the importance of performing even harder in the classroom and being the kind of high-character student-athlete that colleges look for in their programs."
One of Baucia's star performers, Gilman quarterback Shane Cockerille, a 6'2", 210-pound southpaw, models many of the drills for his fellow campers. Coming off an appearance on ESPN's New York City Elite 11 in April and in Las Vegas in late June, Cockerille is the definition of a dual-threat, racking up 1,100 passing yards, 1,300 rushing yards and 26 touchdowns for the Greyhounds. The University of Maryland secured the services of the lefty gunslinger in April, making second-year coach Randy Edsall a very happy man.
Another camp standout, William Crest, has not finalized his plans. The highly recruited 6'4", 190-pound junior's raw athleticism stood out at the Quarterback Factory, making it obvious why he already has offers from 17 colleges, including the University of Virginia, Virgina Tech University, University of West Virginia, Maryland, Rutgers University, Purdue University and Ohio State University. He also has an early invite to the Under Armour All-America Football Game in January of 2014.
Camps such as this one are not only vital for skill-set development, but for getting exposure through scouting outposts such as Rivals and recruiting services such as Upper Hand Promotions, which covered the event.
"If these kids are able to parlay their football skills into a college education someday, that is the ultimate achievement," Baucia said.
Baucia brought in top-notch coaches from the college and high school ranks to provide expert instruction. Kyle Smith played quarterback at Purdue from 2001 to 2005 and served as the Boilmakers' graduate assistant coach. The personable Smith fired up the players on the field with his hard-nosed Big Ten-style of play and enlighted them in the classroom film session.
"I learned a lot from Drew Brees and Kyle Orton at Purdue," said Smith, who now is the position coach at Catholic University. You don't play for as long and as well in the league (NFL) as those two have without having the mental intangibles and leadership to go along with the physical tools."
Dave Mencarini is entering his ninth year as the head football coach at Maryland's powerhouse Quince Orchard High School in Gaithersburg. He has amassed a record of 85-14 including eight consecutive playoff appearances. He became one of the youngest head coaches to win a state championship (2007) when his Cougars rallied with 29 fourth-quarter points to stun Arundel High School. But it was the last-play loss in the title game a year ago to Old Mill Senior High that he spoke about in length to a mesmerized crowd of young quarterbacks.
"I've replayed that game a thousand times in my mind. We had the lead with two opportunities to salt it away late. I am chomping at the bit to get back to practice with the Cougars this week," said Mencarini, who won the All-Met Coach of the Year Award last season.
Summer camps are over for the prestigious Quarterback Factory. Coaches Baucia, Smith and Mencarini will return to their schools to begin preparation for their own 2012 regular seasons.
"We hope the training we've offered today makes you a little more confident, a little more prepared with the new season looming," said Baucia, in wrapping up the event yesterday. "And even if we (Gilman) play any of you this season, I wish you the best of luck in the gridiron campaign ahead."