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THE GAME: Brennan's the propellant for Rockets' offense (Needham Times)

Varsity vs Wellesley HS on 11/25/2010 10:00:00 AM
Posted Tuesday, November 23, 2010 by Freshman VPs
 By Gethin Coolbaugh, Times Sports Correspondent
Posted Nov 23, 2010 @ 08:24 AM
Last update Nov 23, 2010 @ 08:25 AM

Having a fundamentally sound quarterback is an important key to success for any football team.

Luckily for Needham High football coach Dave Duffy, he has one in senior Kevin Brennan.

“He’s unique in our offense,” said Duffy, who has guided the Rockets to an 8-2 record this season. “Our quarterbacks in the past have never really been fast, quick athletes until this year. He opens up a whole new dynamic. It gives our offensive coordinator more things to do and take advantage of it.”

Brennan, a two-year starter for the Rockets, has had a tremendous season. Through eight games, he has thrown for 1,005 yards and 13 touchdowns while rushing for more than 700 yards and seven touchdowns.

“I think I have performed pretty well,” Brennan said. “I have been scrambling and running with the ball a little more than in years past.”

The only two games Brennan did not play in were against Weymouth and Natick because of a back injury. His absence hurt Needham, especially against Weymouth, who won the Carey Division title.

“Maybe, maybe not,” Duffy said when asked if not having Brennan hurt Needham against Weymouth. “In terms of playing head to head, it would have been big to have him.”

In his career under center, Brennan has a very impressive 15-5 win-loss record for the Rockets.

“My approach is the same every game - do whatever I can to get a win, get everyone in the offense involved, and mix in the run and the pass,” said Brennan.

Brennan has one more game left in his high school career, and it comes against archrival Wellesley in the annual Thanksgiving Day clash.

“It means a lot to take part in this game,” said Brennan. “I had the opportunity to dress for the Thanksgiving game when I was a freshman and got a feel for how strong the rivalry is.”

That experience was great for Brennan, but nothing would mean more than being able to lead his team to victory on Thursday.

“It would mean everything to me to win this game, especially my senior year and at home,” said Brennan. “It’s the longest public high school rivalry in the nation, no one on the team needs to be told just how big the rivalry is, we know its big.”

All throughout his time at Needham, Brennan has been an ideal player and teammate.

“He’s a pleasure to coach,” said Duffy. “He does everything you ask. He’s a quiet kid by nature, and it works. There’s always somebody stepping up and yelling, and he’ll yell when the opportunity presents itself.”

Brennan has not committed to a college as of yet, but is being recruited by schools in the Ivy League, as well as Division II and Division III programs.

According to Duffy, any of them would be lucky to have him.

“He has the tools and the speed, athleticism to really excel anywhere,” Duffy said. “He’s got a lot of intangibles. Whoever gets him will be happy to have him.”

And whenever Brennan does decide to hang up his cleats, Duffy knows he will be successful.

“A lot of kids don’t realize that your grades are very important,” said Duffy. “He has a good work ethic and the respect of the teachers to get into college and do well when he gets there. The way he handles himself every day in practice and in school is definitely a recipe for success.”

Many of the life lessons learned for Brennan have come through Duffy’s guidance.

“Coach Duffy has been a great coach to look up to,” Brennan said. “He has helped me develop as a player by helping me out with my receivers and during film. He's helped me with deciding when to run with the ball on passing plays as well. I couldn’t ask for a better coach than him.”

And of course, the game of football has taught him a lot too.

 “Football has taught me how to be a team player and it’s taught me to know that people can depend on me and I can depend on them because we are a part of a team,” said Brennan. “We have a great group of seniors that I'm honored to have played with the last four years.”

Gethin Coolbaugh can be reached at 774-279-1995 or at gethin.coolbaugh@yahoo.com. Follow him @GethinCoolbaugh on Twitter.

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