After three straight losing seasons in which the team went 10-20, Western Branch (Chesapeake, VA) was one of the Tidewater’s best in 2012, finishing with a 9-3 overall record that included a playoff win. The Bruins return a senior-dominated squad, led by versatile athlete TJ Boothe , in 2013.
“We’re getting back up,” Boothe said of the Western Branch varsity football team. “My freshman and sophomore years, we were in a slump. We just got a brand new set of coaches this past season. We went 9-3 and made it to the second round of the playoffs. Next year, we are returning all five linemen and a couple of skill players. Our goal is the state title and nothing less.”
The standout rising senior is set to take the reigns as the Bruins’ starting quarterback. Boothe played some quarterback his freshman year before moving to wide receiver as a sophomore. The almost 6’3″ (he says he is over 6’2″ but not quite 6’3″), 200-pound prospect primarily played tight end as a junior in the Bruins’ run-oriented offense, earning second-team all-district honors for his performance.
Boothe has also played outside linebacker, cornerback and safety in his 3-year varsity career.
“I played on the varsity as a true freshman, but the difference from my freshman to my sophomore year was night and day,” Boothe said. “The game slowed down. I became more of an impact player. I realized I might be able to earn a scholarship.”
Indeed, Boothe has become a college recruit. He is receiving serious interest right now from UNC-Charlotte, James Madison, ODU, Richmond, Wake Forest and others. He claims offers from Virginia Tech and Hampton.
“Coach [Cornell] Brown came to my school one day earlier this year,” Boothe recalled. “A few days...
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