That was the first word out of Williamstown head coach Frank Fucetola’s mouth when he was asked to describe the personality of starting quarterback Doug Brown.
“He has a great rapport with the seniors and the rest of the team,” Fucetola said of the junior. “He knows his role. He is a team player.”
Brown, who has led the Braves to the Group 5 regional championship game for the second year in a row, said he learned to be a leader throughout his childhood. It was something his father, Randy, who died last December, wanted his son to understand.
“You want people to look up to you, not the other way around," Brown said. "I try to be a leader on the field and off the field. I try to help people in school, out of school and on the field.”
Brown dedicated this season to honor his father and used that idea as motivation to train vigorously last summer.
“If anything it has made him practice harder,” Fucetola said of Borwn’s loss. . “He has handled it with tremendous character. He has handled it with great maturity. He is going to make his dad very proud.”
Brown said the support he got after his father’s passing was “crazy” from everyone at Williamstown. It was especially overwhelming from his teammates and coaches on the football team, and Brown said family-like relationship the team encourages is one reason why the program is so successful.
“When we cross those white lines we know we have each other’s backs,” Brown said. “When somebody makes a mistake we are all right there to pick them up. In school, we have each other’s backs. I don’t think there is a team in South Jersey, or even New Jersey, that has the family atmosphere we have.”
Nowhere is that more evident than in the team’s tradition of having “wing night.” The night before their next game --usually on a Thursday -- the Williamstown players get together to eat wings and pizza, play Cornholeand bond.
Though a simple idea, it may be the key to the program’s 23-2 record in the last 25 games. That, and the play of Brown, who has 1,488 passing yards and 24 total touchdowns this season.
“What stands out is his knowledge of the game,” Fucetola said. “He isn’t your typical 6-foot-2 quarterback. He is probably 5-11” 180, 185 [pounds]. He is very smart. It is like having another coach on the field.”
Brown said he tries to study film every night in preparation for that week’s opponent.
“It is all mental,” Brown said. “If you come up to the line and you know what the defense is going to do before the snap, it makes it that much easier.”
Williamstown’s opponent for the regional championship on Saturday at Rutgers is Cherokee. So Brown and his teammates will step on the field with one goal, to avenge last season’s championship defeat at the hands of Sayreville.
“Before this season started it was our expectation, both as a team and for me personally, to go back repeat [as sectional champions] and make it back to that final game,” Brown said. “Our saying all offseason was, “We are going back to make it right.”’