Wednesday, January 24, 2007

More Recruiting Updates

The recruiting news keeps trickling in, and the mavens over at the VOY Ivy Sports Board continue to beat me to the punch.

It looks like Penn has the inside track on Bradford Blackmon of St. Andrew's in Mississippi. You can read about him here: Clarion Ledger

However, at least I can offer a few more details about new commit Zack Kourouma from Massachusetts. Here's an article about him and a teammate from "The Republican" newspaper from Springfield, MA.

Minnechaug doubles up // Kourouma, Jolicoeur fly alike for Falcons
672 words
28 November 2006
The Republican
Copyright (c) 2006. The Republican All Rights Reserved. Used by Factiva with Permission.


Zack Kourouma and Dave Jolicoeur are not the same person.

But according to coaches and teammates, when they step onto the football field, they aren't far from it. And that's just how the Minnechaug Regional High School likes it.

Kourouma and Jolicoeur lead a balanced rushing attack that will take on St. John's of Shrewsbury Saturday in the Division IAA Super Bowl at Worcester State College at 5:30 p.m.

Minnechaug enters at 9-1, while St. John's is 8-3.

The senior duo comes as advertised. They lack flash, but that has proven irrelevant as the Falcons have taken the pair's straightforward attack and fit it with a strong aerial game to create what can be a potent offense. Quarterback Ed Burnham said the presence of Kourouma and Jolicoeur makes his job a lot easier.

"It's a huge deal for us. We try to keep everything balanced," Burnham said. "With two guys like Zack and Dave running the ball, it makes it easier for me and the wideouts, and it kind of opens everything up."

Minnechaug coach Dan Donovan struggles to find a difference in the style of play between the two running backs.

"I don't know that there is a difference between the two. They're both skill athletes," he said. "You're really splitting hairs if you're going to find a difference in these guys."

Kourouma (14 touchdowns) was not a big part of last year's offense, but he played an important role in the Falcons' defense. However, this year, the senior began to get more carries, which he said has been an obvious key to his success.

"Last year I didn't really get as many reps as I have this year, so just being able to get the ball a few more times has really helped me develop."

Along with the extra carries, Donovan says Kourouma's attitude had been important as well.

"The key to his development is simple. He works incredibly hard, he's coachable, he listens," Donovan said. "He works his tail off and has since the day he got here, and he's really unselfish."

Kourouma is also an important member of the Minnechaug defense, which he says helps him when he gets the handoffs.

"I take kind of the same mentality onto both sides of the ball. I love to tackle, so on offense I like to break tackles, run over people and keep running."

The football field is not the only place that Kourouma has had success, as one of his post-graduation aspirations is to attend an Ivy League college. Kourouma says his hard-hitting nature in between the white lines is evident in his classes as well.

"There is definitely a similarity between football and school. The discipline that I've learned on the field carries over to the classroom."

On the field, Donovan said the biggest key to the team's balanced ground game is selflessness.

"We told them, if you want to carry the ball you're going to have to block. The first time I see you aren't blocking for the other guys, you're not playing," said Donovan. "That was not a tough sell at all because they are both really unselfish guys."

Jolicoeur (11 touchdowns) takes as much pride in opening a hole as he does running through it.

"Throwing a good block for Zack feels just as good as scoring a touchdown," he said.

Kourouma knows why Jolicoeur has been so successful running the ball, and on the other side of the ball at defensive end.

"Dave works really hard. He is really a workaholic, and it really shows on the field," he said.

Pic of the Day

Former Columbia footballer Edward Botwinick sent me this picture of the 1953 varsity team. You can click here for a larger-sized version:
'53 Varsity

Notice the squad has just 36 players. My have times have changed.


At Thu Jan 25, 02:57:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is some news for you, Safety/Kicker Joe Stormont from Stillwater, MN committed earlier this week.

At Thu Jan 25, 03:12:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger Jake said...

Thanks! See the newest post above.

At Thu Jan 25, 05:48:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great to see the old 1953 picture.

At Thu Jan 25, 06:19:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's single platoon football. Columbia's fortunes started to dive when the NCAA went to two platoons.


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