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Poolesville prepares for the 2011 season

Outlook: First-year varsity players Kirby Carmack and DeAndre Parrott both have the same expectations: 14-0; trip to M&T Bank Stadium; Class 2A state title. It might be a pipe dream, but these aren’t the same old Falcons, literally. First-year coach Will Gant was one of the newcomers, with a new approach to turn around the program. Since 2006, the Falcons have gone 11-38. “One day I was in seventh period Spanish class and he came in; ever since then, my whole mind state has changed,” Parrott said. “The new attitude is to do whatever it takes.” Offense: With a team of just 28 players through the first week of preseason, Poolesville players are usually expected to play both ways. That won’t be the case at quarterback with Carmack, who as a point guard on the basketball team is an established athlete. He doesn’t have the spot locked up though; Parrott, also a basketball player, has taken snaps in the preseason, though would play running back if not asked to use his right arm. Two starters are back to block for them: seniors Stanley Snowden and Chris Oyer. Two other skill position players are expected to figure heavily. Senior wideout Jonah Hessels was the team’s leading receiver a year ago (24 catches, 285 yards), and is the team’s downfield threat. Junior Nikolay Henze is cat-quick coming out of the backfield, and will push for the starting spot. Defense: The leader is middle linebacker Evan Habib, a returning starter who Gant called “the heart and soul of our defense.” “We’re going to go places we couldn’t have reached before,” Habib said. “Even as people view us as small, we’re ready for this.” Parrott and Henze could both start in the secondary, while senior Matt Griffith should complement Habib at the second level. Kevin Connor headlines the defensive line, along with Snowden and Oyer. The Falcons allowed more than 25 points per game last season, but finished with a shutout of Kent County High School. That was just the beginning, Carmack said. “Our 11 best players can compete with the 11 best players of any team we challenge,” Carmack said. Dan Greenberg

@$:Poolesville Falcons

Last year’s record: 2-8

Head coach:

Will Gant, 1st year

League:

Independents

Best finish:

State runner-up (1983)

Breakout player:

Jr. RB/DB Nikolay Henze looked like a playmaker in preseason practices, and could start on both sides of the ball.

2011 Schedule

Sept. 2 at Watkins Mill, 6:30 p.m.

Sept. 9 Richard Montgomery, 6:30 p.m.

Sept. 16 at Williamsport, 7 p.m.

Sept. 23 Walter Johnson, 6:30 p.m.

Sept. 30 at South Hagerstown, 7 p.m.

Oct. 6 Pikesville, 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 15 at Kennedy, 2 p.m.

Oct. 21 at Wheaton, 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 28 Catoctin, 6:30 p.m.

Nov. 4 Rockville, 6:30 p.m.