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Posted August 27, 2010 | comments Leave a comment

Colonels junior prepares to take charge

James Wood junior linebacker Mark Bean
James Wood junior linebacker Mark Bean has inspired his twin brother, Christian, to hit the weight room during the offseason. Dennis Grundman/Daily

By Tommy Keeler Jr. - tkeeler@nvdaily.com

WINCHESTER -- Mark Bean doesn't have to worry about having someone to lift weights with in the offseason. The James Wood junior and his fraternal twin brother, Christian, lift at least five days a week together in the offseason.

Being able to help each other out in the weight room has helped both of them elevate their game for James Wood.

"I actually like getting stronger because it makes you that much better on the field," Mark Bean said. "If you're not strong enough to play a position, you're going to get blown off the ball."

Mark Bean didn't have to worry about getting blown off the ball last season. When a James Wood starting linebacker was injured, Bean had to fill in and started the second game for the Colonels.

James Wood beat Musselman, 35-14, and Bean was the second-leading tackler for the Colonels. He held on to the starting spot for the rest of the season.

"I was scared, I really was," Mark Bean said of his first start. "I thought I would end up making too many mistakes."

He didn't make many mistakes last year, finishing with 84 tackles, which was second on the team.

James Wood coach Mike Bolin said Mark Bean is a natural at the linebacker position.

"Physically he's built to play the position," Bolin said. "He squats 440 pounds, he benches upwards of 340 pounds. He's got the strength to play linebacker where he can take on big, strong linemen."

Mark Bean also saw a little time at fullback, and will be the back-up at the spot behind senior Cory Schrock.

At linebacker, Mark Bean said he enjoys the hitting part of the game the most.

This season, he has an added challenge -- he will be the leader of the huddle for the Colonels this season.

"He's in charge of what everybody's supposed to do," Bolin said. "And he's accepted that role. So far he's done a great job. He's the guy in that huddle that we look to make sure it's going the way it's supposed to go."

Bolin said that, even though he's only a junior, many of the players look up to Mark Bean. He's also had a big influence on his brother.

Christian Bean is in a battle for a starting linebacker spot, and the closeness and competitiveness of the two brothers has played a part in Christian's progress in the last year.

"I think the success Mark had last year motivated Christian to do a better job," Bolin said. "Not that Christian didn't do a good job last year, but he wasn't physically ready last year. Christian has attacked this offseason like Mark has. They worked together in the weight room. They both got bigger, stronger and faster.

"He's Mark's biggest fan and Mark's his biggest fan."

Bolin said Mark Bean is a coach's dream. He listens to what he's told to do and he's not afraid to ask questions. Mark Bean just wants to keep improving.

"He motivates himself, he wants to win," Bolin said.

"That makes it easy as a coach. You get 10-11 Mark Beans out there, and you got a team."

The Colonels went 7-5 last year, advancing to the playoffs for the third consecutive year.

James Wood won its first playoff game since 1970, upsetting Loudoun County, before falling in a rematch to district rival Sherando in the Region II, Division 4 semifinals.

After coming close last year, Bean said the team wants to go a couple steps further this season.

"I want my team to get to states," Bean said. "We have the capability. We just gotta play it out right."

Bolin
Bolin

BREAKING DOWN THE COLONELS

    Coach: Mike Bolin (third year, 15-8)
    League: Group AA Northwestern District
    Offense/Defense: Multiple, Split 4
    Key returnees: QB/DB Matt Copley, RB/LB Joel McGreevy, FB/LB Mark Bean, FB/LB Cory Schrock, WR/DB Tripp Lewis, OL/DE Chase Tyler, TE/DE David Alaniz
    Key losses: C Stephen Spence, RG/DT Jesse Barnes, LT Austin Woodall, TE Brandon Sinecoff, QB Trae Tinsman, RB/OLB Brock Lockhart, RB Brandon Shiley, OLB Devin Stonier, FS Harlan Robinson

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