High School

Herman Boone, legendary T.C. Williams football coach in 'Remember the Titans' dies at 84

herman_boone.png
T.C. Williams High School

Herman Boone, legendary T.C. Williams football coach in 'Remember the Titans' dies at 84

Iconic football coach Herman Boone who integrated T.C. Williams High School's football team in the early 1970s died at 84, according to WTOP.

His actions and experiences of race, perseverance and triumph were portrayed by Denzel Washington in the legendary sports film "Remember the Titans."

As canonized in the movie, Boone inherited the T.C. Williams football program in 1971, the same year Alexandria, Va integrated their public school system. That very season, overcoming issues of racial discrimination and the challenges of merging a white and black team, the Titans would finish the season undefeated and win a Virginia state championship. 

In 1979 Boone was fired from his position for allegations of abuse from his players and assistant coaches. Since his removal, Boone had served as a public speaker.

Earlier this year, Bill Yoast, an assistant coach under Boone at T.C. Williams also died at 94. 

WCAC Tournament Preview: DeMatha is the top seed but not necessarily the favorite

WCAC Tournament Preview: DeMatha is the top seed but not necessarily the favorite

The WCAC is home to some of the most prestigious basketball programs in the country. When the conference tournament tips off Thursday night, the league's highly-recruited, nationally-ranked and uber-talented young men will put their collective games on display for the nation to see. Needless to say, the WCAC tournament is going to be a movie.

Here’s the breakdown:

TEAMS TO WATCH:

#1 seed DeMatha (27-3): At one point, the Stags were winners of 22 consecutive games en route to finishing league play 19-1.

Led by Miami commit Earl Timberlake and 7-foot-2 Michigan commit Hunter Dickinson, DeMatha is a force to be reckoned with. In addition to its stallions, coach Mike Jones’ team boasts stellar guard play and showcases the skill of dynamic wing Jordan Hawkins.

DeMatha may have already booked their ticket to Monday’s final.

#3 seed Gonzaga (21-9): Coach Steve Turner’s Gonzaga squad has a propensity for showing up big in big moments. The defending champs are battle tested and won’t be intimidated by what could be a daunting path to this year’s championship game.

Vandy commit Myles Stute and Michigan commit Terrance Williams have displayed an ability to dominate from both the interior and the wing; their versatility will cause match-up nightmares for the Eagles’ opponents.

#7 seed Archbishop Carroll (17-13): Archbishop Carroll can defend and if a team can prevent the other from scoring easy baskets, they can keep themselves in ball games. Carroll allowed the third-fewest points in conference play -- only St. John’s and DeMatha gave up fewer. Expect Archbishop to put the squeeze on The Heights Thursday night.

Additionally, the Lions notched key victories over Good Counsel and St. John’s during the regular season. Overall, they are winners in seven of their last 10 -- they’re playing their best ball at the right time.

SLEEPER:

#5 Seed Good Counsel (19-11): The Falcons clawed their way to a cinderella season thus far and they may not be finished dancing. A perennial bottom-dweller, Good Counsel resurrected its program this year to the tune of a 5-seed and first-round bye.

On Saturday, Good Counsel plays 4-seed St. John’s. Head-to-head, the Falcons lost both of their games to the Cadets, but if they can control pace and keep their quarterfinal contest a low-scoring affair, the Falcons will upset St. John’s and waltz into the semis.

FAVORITE:

Paul VI (22-7): Top-to-bottom, PVI may be the most talented team in the WCAC. The Panthers have seven losses, but they played one of the toughest schedules in the nation.

Under the leadership of coach Glenn Farello, PVI plays the game the right way. Farello's squad is hard-nosed and unafraid to sacrifice personal numbers for the benefit of the team.

Tournaments such as this one are often dominated by guard play and the Panthers are loaded with playmakers in the back court. Look for big performances from Doug McDaniel and Will Paige, while Duke commit Jeremy Roach paints his final masterpiece.

DeMatha suffered only one defeat in conference play -- it came on February 16th, at the hands of PVI.

Full schedule and list of seedings can be found on the WCAC website.

Gonzaga's Caleb Williams has all the talent, but it's his poise that sets him apart

Gonzaga's Caleb Williams has all the talent, but it's his poise that sets him apart

Caleb Williams is a consensus 5-star student athlete and according to multiple sources, the top ranked quarterback in the class of 2021. As such, coaches of blue blood programs bide for his attention, collegiate fan bases stalk his social media, and recruiting services follow his every move in hopes of being the first to accurately update his 'crystal ball.'

Physically, Williams checks all the boxes sought after in a top-tier QB: arm strength, velocity, accuracy, mobility, and he can make every throw in the route tree. On the field, Williams embodies everything coaches look for in a football player -- but it’s who he is off the field that makes him a generational student athlete.

“Mentally, he sees it; he sees the game,” said Williams’ offensive coordinator, Danny Schaechter. “Kind of like Mozart could look at a piano and he could see music. Einstein looked at a blackboard with numbers and he could see the universe. Caleb can look at a defense and he can see patterns in the open grass.

“He can see what another person is doing and anticipate what’s going to happen. You’ve got guys who are great athletes but not great football players because they can’t see it the way someone like Caleb can.”

Williams was highly-touted before he ever stepped foot on a high school field. His accomplishments in youth football led to him being recruited by the top programs in the region. Once he chose Gonzaga, Schaechter said it didn’t take long for Williams' way of being to outshine his arm-talent.

“This is how Caleb really took over as our starting quarterback going into his freshmen year,” Schaecter remembered. “We were at Penn State for a 7-on-7 tournament and he was in a high-pressure situation, but when you looked at him, it was as if he was somewhere on the beach.

“Everyone else was frantic, but he was poised, calm and relaxed. Making big plays against teams filled with great players, and he’s out there leading us to wins.”

Schaechter says Williams led by example in those early days, but by way of personal growth and work ethic, he has become one of Gonzaga’s vocal leaders in present day. His knowledge of the playbook and ability to communicate with his peers allows him to serve as an on-field extension of his coaching staff.

“Every single year he gets better and better about understanding offenses and defenses and how to properly prepare on the practice field. He’ll coach the receivers and tell them, ‘this is what I need you to do when the defender is doing this,'” Schaechter said. “He’s taking exactly what we’re coaching and giving it to his teammates, just in his own way. That’s a testament to the time he puts in and his commitment to this program.”

Last season, Williams accounted for 40 touchdowns and amassed nearly 3,000 yards from scrimmage en route to being named the NBC Sports Washington Offensive Player of the Year. In his three seasons as Gonzaga’s starting quarterback, he has led the Eagles to two WCAC championship games, winning it all as a sophomore. According to his OC, it’s Williams’ intrinsic drive that fuels his desire to succeed at the highest level.

“The guy is ultra competitive. He loves to be the best," Schaechter said. "He has a chip on his shoulder at all times. He’s always trying to show how great he can be, and that stems from his belief in himself, his confidence in his ability and the work he puts into it all.”

With all the accolades and accomplishments, it would be understandable for a student athlete in Williams’ position to adopt a “me-first” attitude. The feeling at Gonzaga, though, is Williams values being a great teammate above all else.

“The whole recruiting game has never gotten to his head to the point that he’s arrogant or that he thinks he’s better than other people,” Schaechter said. “He’s a great teammate and a great guy. He knows he’s lucky to have the talent that he has and he just wants to use his platform to help others.”