For those of you following (and not following), the Charlestown Townies and first year head football coach Darrell Ramsey are in the midst of a major revolution.
To say any less of their resurgence in the Boston North would be an understatement to the demeanor of this team and the amount of hard work these players and their very vocal and motivated coach put in this offseason.
Charlestown was an abysmal 2-19 in two full falls of football. A pushover. Just another team to stack league wins against during the season.
But in 2010, things are certainly changing quickly with coach Ramsey’s taking over the head coaching position and his influence trickling down to the players’ work ethic and team spirit.
“Part of my philosophy is to teach these young men about life after football,“ Ramsey said. “I use this sport to teach young men.”
The change has sprung Charlestown into prominence this season, even moving up to No. 89 on the Boston.com 100, a huge step for the team, says Ramsey.
“There’s definitely progress here. To go 0-and-10 and be ranked at anything, it’s a positive step for us,” said Ramsey.
The Townies have left all doubters, and as coach Ramsey put it, “everybody and their cousin,” in a collective hum.
The team is in first place in the Boston North going into Week 4. They're defense has allowed a very stingy 6.3 points per game. And the team's only loss came against O’Bryant in Week 2 (13-12) which ended on a a failed 2-point conversion pass by Charlestown on the final play of the game.
A team winless last season missed out on the chance at a 3-0 start, by only one point. Just one. How remarkable is that?
It seems the Townies are rallying around a new team concept and have developed a new found pride for winning under Ramsey, who is constantly heard on the sideline encouraging his players and reminding them of what they’ve learned and how to execute it.
“First off, we weren’t in shape last year," said sophomore Jalen Felix, a member of that 0-10 team. "This year, we’re in shape and we’re playing together. We’re not fighting like we used to, and that’s a big accomplishment for us.”
And one thing is clear, seeing this team play, the coach is coaching and the young team made up of 18 boys, mostly sophomores and freshmen, are allowing themselves to be coached.
On Friday, while playing West Roxbury, a perfect scene painted a picture of how absorbed the coach really is in his team, and just how important “getting the program back to the ground,” really is for him.
“Come on, which side (are) they going to now ... you know which way they’re going!” shouted Ramsey, addressing his team’s defense from the sideline during a key defensive down against the Westies. And he got results.
"Let’s go, let’s get amped,” he bellowed, finding himself on a number of occasions being hurried back onto the sideline by his assistants to avoid penalties. Ramsey just couldn’t help but to engage in teaching -- even during a live game. A common symptom among good coaches.
Realizing that an offensive output of 9.7 points per game couldn’t cut it for an entire season, Ramsey made another decision to move toward progress. He added offensive coordinator Clarzell Pearl to the team. Pearl was an all-scholastic as a quarterback back in his day for Boston English. He believes adding on Pearl will “without a doubt” bolster the team's offensive productivity.
“It was important to hire an offensive coordinator,” Ramsey said. “Pearl coached with me at Boston Latin while I was there and helped bring offense there. I’m sure he will do the same here.”
Only one thing now can dispel the notion C-town is back, and that’s how well, or bad for that matter, the Townies come out and play against perennial Boston North powerhouse East Boston (2-1, 0-0 Boston North) on Friday.
Should Charlestown win that matchup, the team would improve to 3-1 and 2-0 in the league. The possible win would essentially be catapulting the team into contention for the Boston North championship.
“Respect everybody, but fear no one is what I teach this team” said Ramsey, commenting on the big game against Eastie. “We’re going to play with the same approach and aggressiveness that is Charlestown football. And from there, let the chips fall as they may.”
Several reporters and editors contribute updates, news and analysis to the High School Sports Blog.
- Bob Holmes: A Reading resident (Go Rockets!) and Boston College graduate, Holmes is the Boston Globe High School Sports Editor. We remind you now that his weekly picks are often made in jest so everyone just calm down when he picks against Everett for 11 straight weeks. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeHolmes.
- Craig Larson: A native of West Springfield (Leo Durocher anyone? Tim Daggett?) and Curry College graduate (a proud Colonel!), Larson is the sports editor for the Globe's regional sections: South, West and North, as well as a frequent contributor on the college beat. Abington to Xaverian: it all starts with the schools. Have a compelling story idea? Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeLars.
- Zuri Berry: Berry attended the same high school as sports legends O.J. Simpson and Joe DiMaggio. (Guess which one is his hero.) He's a South Boston resident (formerly of Eastie) and the editor of the High School Sports blog as well as the go-to-guy for everything high school sports on Boston.com. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @ZuriBerry for all of the latest updates.
Then there are our winter correspondents:
- Alex Hall | @AlexKHall | Baseball
- Colleen Casey | @ColleenCasey226 | Softball
- Mike Giesta | Boys lacrosse
- Catherine Calsolaro | @catrenee13 | Girls lacrosse
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Boys volleyball
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