Always Defensive, Bulls Are Charging, Too

Posted: September 06, 1990

The ear-to-ear smile on Joe Ferrainola's face said it all.

The fourth-year Glen Mills coach had just watched his team dismantle Blue Mountain in the first scrimmage of the year. As Ferrainola prepared to leave the field, defensive coordinator Dennis Clisham gave him the unofficial final numbers.

"We held them to 20-some yards total offense," Clisham said. "And we gained close to 500 yards."

Holding opponents down isn't unusual for the Bulls, who have had one of the area's top defenses in two of Ferrainola's first three years.

After the Bulls averaged only 4 points a game last year, the offensive explosion was novel.

"The assistant coaches and I sat down after last season and made some changes," Ferrainola said. "We were too predictable. We used a double tight- end set, and other teams knew we were going to run the ball. So they would

put eight or nine guys right at the line of scrimmage and smother us.

"But we've added some new formations. And with Michael Young back at quarterback, we'll look to throw the ball more."

While the Bulls have made changes offensively, one thing hasn't changed - their difficult early-season schedule, highlighted by a Sept. 28 date with Berwick. The Columbia County school is rated the No. 1 high school team in the country by one national publication.

COACHING. Ferrainola, 14-14-2 overall record. Assistant coaches: Clisham, Pete Forjohn, Tony Miles, Kevin Owens, Mel Mustaccio, Ron Foulks, Jeff Seagraves, Jim Chobany, Jeff Hill, Doug DeLong, Ken Banks, Jim Welsh, Pedro Segarra, Jim Moore, Tim Fox and Mike O'Neill.

LAST YEAR. 2-3-1 Del-Val National Conference, third place, 2-6-2 overall record.

LETTERMEN LOST (8). Ferrainola must replace a trio of linebackers from last year's stellar defense - 6-foot, 2-inch, 230-pound linebacker Mike Tennant (signed with Virginia Tech), Gary Gilchrest (now at Bloomsburg) and Michael Peart (returned to his New York high school).

LETTERMEN RETURNING (11). Offensively, the Bulls have returning six starters: senior quarterback Young, senior tight end Chris Sterner, senior right tackle Dan Reading, senior left tackle Larry Winder, senior tailback Demetrius Johnson and sophomore fullback Chris Dickerson.

On defense, five players are back: senior defensive end Jamere Montgomery, senior safety Lenny Mathis, senior safety Bobby Couvillion, junior cornerback Ron Neely and junior outside linebacker Robert Sample.

NEW PLAYERS. Offense: Victor Garcia (junior, center), Damian Jackson (sophomore, guard), Dave Bradley (junior, guard), Orlando Curry (junior, fullback), Chuck McBride (junior, wide receiver) and Jimmy James (senior, wide receiver).

Defense: Ted Jones (senior, defensive end), Will Hall (junior, defensive tackle), Omar Teagle (sophomore, defensive end), Lamont Garmon (junior, defensive tackle), Shannon Stevens (senior, linebacker), Terrence Gray (senior, linebacker), Dorian Hutson (senior, linebacker), Navaro Birch (sophomore, linebacker) and Jameel Smith (junior, safety).

SPECIAL TEAMS. Tenoah Williams, kicker; Sterner, punter; Neely and Mathis, kick returner.

OUTLOOK. Once again, the Bulls should have one of the best defenses in the area - led by 6-2, 240-pound Shannon Stevens from Maryland. According to Ferrainola, Miami (Fla.), Penn State, Tennessee and Arizona have expressed early interest in Stevens. The secondary also should be strong with Mathis, Neely and Couvillion (who Ferrainola said was being looked at by West Virginia, Virginia Tech and Syracuse).

Offensively, the Bulls are loaded at the skill positions with Dickerson, Johnson and James, all possessing 4.5 speed. The key will be whether the Bulls can mix in a passing game to keep opponents off balance.

SEASON OPENER. At home against Pennsbury, at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 14.


Glen Mills senior Chris Sterner is a versatile performer.

He plays tight end.

He punts.

And he makes a mean bowl of chili.

Sterner, a 6-foot, 1-inch, 200-pounder, enjoyed a productive 1989 season. He caught 23 passes for 313 yards and a touchdown. His play earned him a selection as one of the top 100 players in the state by the 1990 Pennsylvania

College Football Report, a statewide recruiting publication.

"Chris is a great competitor; a guy who always puts the team first," Glen

Mills coach Joe Ferrainola said. "He's a very good receiver. In fact, the University of Maryland - who is recruiting Chris - compares him to Steve Largent.

"He's that type of player. He finds the open areas and has outstanding hand-eye coordination. Plus, he's one of the better punters in the area."

Sterner's all-around ability has caught the attention of the scouts. Virginia Tech, Maryland, West Virginia, South Carolina and Penn State have shown early interest, Sterner said.

"Glen Mills, and particularly, coach Ferrainola have turned my life around," Sterner said. "He's been a father to me. . . . He's always there for me.

"He's taught me that with hard work I can do something with my life."

Sterner has a special place in Ferrainola's heart as well.

"Chris has been here for four years," Ferrainola said. "He could have left after two years, but he saw how he was growing here and decided to stay.

"And now he should have a good year and get the opportunity to attend

college. He's really come a long way."

Sterner already knows what he wants his major to be in college - culinary arts.

"When I was home, I cooked dinner for the family, and I enjoyed it," Sterner said. "I always tend to experiment with different spices."

His desire to cook has been further cultivated at Glen Mills. Sterner's chili is sold at the concession stands at the Bulls' home football games.

"It must be pretty good," Sterner said. "From what I'm told, the chili always sells out before the first quarter. "And no one has had any complaints about it."

The same can be said for Sterner's work on the field.

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