More than a game, more than a championship

Something big happened when the Marguerite Christian Junior football team won their Chesterfield Quarterback League Super Bowl Championship Saturday 18-0 over Clover Hill led by Head Coach Brian Foutz with touchdowns scored by Kameron Lewis, Maxwell Oxendine and Tre’ Tillman.

While the game itself had its appropriate significance, culminating an undefeated season by the Panthers with a championship trophy to go along with that year’s district and conference championship trophies, the air was filled with the bittersweet knowledge that something very special was coming to an end. And that was the 34-year era of Head Coach Brian Foutz.

“He’s been legendary in this league for years,” commented Foutz’s long time assistant coach Haskel Goodman, “He coaches these kids straight out of the heart. And his heart has always been there for the kids and for the game of football.”

Officially the CQL has Foutz’s record at 101 wins to 8 losses. When the coaches stopped long enough to think back even further than when the CQL kept records, the record was more like 205 wins to 30 losses, 8 trips to the CQL Junior Super Bowl and 5 Super Bowl Championships. Foutz’s impact on youth football and beyond in Chesterfield will not be duplicated for quite some time.

“I just felt after 34 years it was time to step back a little,” said the Coach. “I’d like to take a year off and see how it goes. I might get the itch to come back, but for now I am content to be the team’s biggest fan.”

There are very few better ways to shape and mold the character of boys and girls that match the impact of youth sports. Lessons of sportsmanship, discipline, working together for a common goal and the value of hard work are some of those ways. “The most rewarding thing for me,” admitted Foutz, “is to be affiliated with these players and to have played a small role in their success.”

Indeed, at the game Foutz was deluged by former players who had moved on to successful lives both on and off the football field. “I got hugged by some of my boys and some of their parents,” recalled Foutz. “It was a very emotional kind of thing.” Some of the kids he has coached have ended up playing professional football. William “Boogie” Henderson (Green Bay Packers) and Ken Oxendine (Atlanta Falcons) are just two examples. His coaching touched players’ lives and helped them be successful on the field, in the corporate boardroom or whatever field they chose. Some have gone into coaching. The current coach at Thomas Dale, Kevin Tucker, is ‘one of my boys’ as Foutz likes to put it. “I am so very proud of all of them.”

Foutz started building young boys and yes a couple of young girls as football players at the ripe old age of 17. It’s 1977 and whilemost kids that age are more worried about learning to drive and going to Kings Dominion for a day, Foutz was beginning an era as an assistant coach at Wells. The next year, when the former Wells head coach stepped down, at 18 Foutz became the youngest head coach in CQL history and the next three plus decades, as they say, is history. From coaching at Wells, Foutz would help rebuild the Enon program and then to build Marguerite Christian

In his early years of coaching, Foutz had a couple of mentors that liked him and tried to help him along. “I can remember sitting on an old metal barrel at the Exxon station and listening to Raymond Hevener and Billy Sinclair, the founding fathers of CQL, talk about football,” recalled Foutz.“I learned a great deal and while I have taken a lot of their advice, I also added a bit of my own twist over the years.

“I have been truly blessed over the years to work with the greatest parents, the greatest coaches and the greatest kids. And I had tremendous support from my family and especially my wife,” added Foutz. “We may not have been the smartest coaches, but we all gave it the same we asked of the players, 110%.”

It’s only fitting the last game he coached would be for the Super Bowl Championship and it is only fitting that his opposing coach for Clover Hill, Will Pritchard, would be a former player that helped Foutz win his first Super Bowl Championship at Wells over 30 years ago.

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