The newest Jaguar
Jan 08, 2015 08:31PM
● By Kerigan Butt
Brian Timpson, the new head varsity football coach at Appoquinimink High School.
By Richard L. Gaw
Brian Timpson knows it's not logical.
Recently, he left his position as an assistant on the powerhouse football program at Middletown, with its five championship appearances and three rings, to assume the head coaching role at Appoqunimink, who finished 1-9 last season. And yet, Timpson will be the first to say that this move isn't about wins and losses, at least not in the beginning.
“It's tabula rasa, a blank slate,” said Timpson, who is not only a history teacher at Appoquinimink, but the girls' softball coach. “What I saw were the kids walking through the halls and the type of men they're developing into. I quickly realized that there are kids who are just as talented as those anywhere else, and I want to give them something to drive and work for. Once they get that, the sky will be the limit, not only for them, but for the entire program here.”
In the game of coaching, it's one thing to have experience, but something else to chalk up a proven track record, and the Appoqunimink football program is getting a shot of coaching know-how. From 2003 to 2006, Timpson served as an assistant football coach at Glasgow High School under Mark DelPercio, where Timpson played in high school. For the next eight seasons, he was an assistant at Middletown under coach Mark DelPercio, where the team went to five state championships and won three of them. During part of his time at Middletown, Timpson served as the team's defensive line and wide receivers coach, and among the players he tutored were wide receiver Chris Godwin, who will be playing at Penn State this upcoming season; and quarterback Darius Wade, who is playing at Boston College.
Yet, after being transferred as a teacher from Middletown to Appoquinimink four years ago, he began to feel comfortable at the new school across town. “I fell in love with Appoquinimink High School – the faculty, the administration, the students,” said Timpson, who was voted Teacher of the Year at the school in 2013. “This place is the best place I've ever worked at, and I felt that if I could coach football here, that my professional life would feel complete.”
In many ways, the 2014 Appoquinimink varsity football season has already begun, not only for Timpson, but for his players. He supervises his team every Monday, Wednesday and Friday during weightlifting and agility drills. The Jaguars will attend the NFL's High School Payer Development camp in the spring, and soon after, will compete in the New Castle County Seven-on-Seven League. Once training camp begins in August, the players will meet new coaches and be introduced to Timpson's offensive and defensive systems. The offense, he said, will be more spread out and his defense will be aggressive.
“I don't want to try to take square pegs and fit them into a circular hole,” Timpson said. “I want our offense to spread the field as wide as it can, for a good blend of passing and running. There are athletes here who we can get the ball to, and allow them to use that wide space.”
“It's great news for the Jags,” DelPercio said. “Brian knows what it's like to build winning teams. He knows the players and he knows the school. He's been watching them closely, so he understands what needs to be done with the program, and he will hit the ground running.”
Timpson grew up watching his father watch football on television. His father was a soccer player – his mother did not allow him to play football – so when the younger Timpson came of age, his father encouraged him to try the gridiron. There, he went from asking coaches questions to becoming a coach and answering them. Learning about the game of football is more than executing the contents of a playbook, he said. It's about developing an appreciation for teamwork and teammates.
“X's and O's are great, but building a sense of bonding the togetherness is what's going to get you over the top when things are tight,” he said. “Athleticism is one thing, but if you can trust the guy to your right and trust the guy to your left, the better you will be.”
In the 18-team Delaware Division I standings for 2013, Appoquinimink finished tied for last place, while scoring the fewest total points of any team in the league. The fact that his former team, riding the long crest of tradition and success, is only two miles away from his club's home field is not lost on Timpson, but for the moment, it's tucked away. When he speaks of where he sees the Appoquinimink team in three years, he does not answer with numbers.
“If you judge a team's success on wins and losses alone, there's only one team that's happy at the end of the year,” he said. “Being a young school and not having the traditions to lean on, the best part of it is that they're on the ground floor to make those traditions. The kids now can be the guys that can come back in 20 years and tell the young players what it means to be an Appoquinimink High School football player.
“I've told them, 'We need to be able to walk proudly and not be ashamed to wear that Appoquinimink T-shirt at a Walmart, or at the movies, or at Buffalo Wild Wings, and telling the kids in the Middletown T-shirts that we're on their level,” he added. “We can gain the respect as the young program continues. It comes from wins, but it also comes from how we handle ourselves and what kind of character we have, and the young men we're going to try to build.”
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
2014 Varsity Football Schedule
Appoquinimink High School
Date Time Opponent Location
Sept. 5 7 p.m. Woodbridge Woodbridge Athletic Complex(Away)
Sept. 12 7 p.m. Glasgow Appoquinimink (Home)
Sept. 19 7 p.m. Delcastle Delcastle (Away)
Sept. 26 7 p.m. William Penn Appoquinimink (Home)
Oct. 3 7 p.m. AI duPont AI duPont (Away)
Oct. 11 2 p.m. Archmere Archmere (Away)
Oct. 17 7 p.m. Newark Appoquinimink (Home)
Oct. 24 7 p.m. Middletown Appoquinimink (Home)
Oct. 31 7:30 p.m. Concord Appoquinimink (Home)
Nov. 8 11 a.m. Charter School Charter School (Away)