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Broncos break-in new coach

Maurice France, right, new head football coach at Parkrose, plans to guide Parkrose to its first winning season since 2001. Crushing Franklin 54-6 in the season opener, they're off to a good start.
Mid-county Memo photos/Tim Curran
Michael Hurlic, a 6-3 junior who earned second-team all-conference honors last season, anchors the talented receiver corps in the Broncos' spread attack.
Maurice France-or “Coach Mo” as he is known to his players-is the new head football coach at Parkrose High School. France replaces Tim Price, who was 16-32 in five years with the Broncos, last year going 4-6 overall, and 2-5 in the Northwest Oregon Conference. In 2010 under Price, Parkrose made the state playoffs for the first time since 1982, when Ronald Reagan was president. Price was picked up by Milwaukie's first-year coach, Jeff Thomas, to be his defensive coordinator.

The position at Parkrose is France's first head coaching job. Originally from Gary, Ind., France has 15 years of coaching experience. He coached in California for ten years, and then at Jefferson under Anthony Stoudamire. He was offensive coordinator the last two years under Price.

“We're very excited to have him. Just the connection he makes with the kids, it's very positive; they feel very good about it and they're encouraged,” said Dave Richardson, Parkrose athletic director. “He knows the game, he can teach the game.”

Not his first stint at Parkrose, France previously coached quarterbacks and was an offensive assistant under John Taylor, the head coach before Price.

More kids, 48, turned-out for football than any year since he has been at Parkrose, France said.

When it comes to athletics, nothing is easy at Parkrose. They compete in the Northwest Oregon League, the top conference in 5A, home to Sherwood, state champion two out the last three years.

“We've got one of the top leagues in Oregon.” France acknowledged. “With the Sherwoods and the Wilsonvilles and the Milwaukies and the Rex Putnams-right now, we're looking great-as far as this league, but every game is going to be a fight.”

With nine returning starters, France said the team's strength is going to be on defense. “We have both starting cornerbacks [junior Andre Johnson and sophomore Chris Wilson] returning, the middle linebacker, pretty much our whole D-line is back,” he said. He added “With the addition of Trevor Pickeron and Robin Richmond to hold down the middle this year, it'll depend on how we can gel, but they'll be alright.”

France said the spread offense attack he runs, led by junior quarterback Jonathan Boland, will chew up many yards this year with seven returning starters. Senior co-captain Josh Bradford, (5-10, 325 pounds), who was first team all-conference last season, anchors the line at left guard alongside senior center Max Denning (6-2, 220 pounds). “We look pretty good on the offensive line, with a couple of additions at the skill position-Lavelle Lindsay and [junior wide-out] Marshawn Edwards should help us out a whole lot as far as sustaining drives,” France added.

Bradford echoed his coach's sentiments about the competition in the league but is confident, “Our competition is going to be very good, like always, but we'll take it game by game and play by play, but we're gonna be alright.” He added, “With the new coach, we have new energy; we're young [at some positions], but coach is getting us ready to battle.”

France hopes to deliver a winning season, which would be the first since 2001, when Parkrose was 5-4 playing an independent schedule.

France said he's getting support from the community and parents and appreciates it. “A lot of parents came to Seaside for our 707 tournament,” he said. “They've been great to us.”

France is also the new freshman/JV baseball coach.

“We're very happy to have him on staff,” Richardson said. “We're looking forward to a good, solid year as we continue to improve and move this group of boys forward in both baseball and football.”

In the season opener, Coach Mo got his first win as a head coach, cruising past Franklin 54-6.
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