Over past 17 seasons, teaming up together on the sideline at Dennis-Yarmouth High School, head coach Paul Funk and Joseph Jamiel, his offensive coordinator, have put together a winner.
Off to a 4-0 start in advance of Friday night’s Atlantic Coast League clash against Falmouth (3-1), the Dolphins have qualified for the state playoffs six of the past seven years, advancing to the Division 4 Super Bowl against Doherty in 2013.
Joseph has done more than coach his players to victory — he has raised a trio of impact performers who have played pivotal roles in D-Y’s success.
The eldest, 27-year-old JoJo, a football-hockey-lacrosse letter winner for the Dolphins, went on to play receiver at Sacred Heart University. Andrew, a 20-year-old sophomore at Stonehill, was the NE-10 Rookie of the Year last fall after leading Division 2 with 9.1 catches per game. And now there is 14-year-old Geoffrey, a 5-foot-6, 140-pound freshman whiz with 27 catches and seven TD catches in his first four starts for an offense averaging 45.3 points per game.
Quite an impressive debut.
“My older brothers and dad have just helped me the whole way through,” said the youngest Jamiel. The rest family includes his mother, Christine, along with his sisters Jacqueline (25), Sabrina (22), Paris (21), and Martene (17).
“I’ve seen [my brothers] play, I go to their games, I talk to them all the time, and they’re at my games on Fridays, and they really just teach me basically everything I know.”
That wisdom is paying off. Teaming up with sophomore QB Jacob McCarthy (9 TD passes, 6 rushing scores), Jamiel’s seven touchdown catches lead Division 5.
Putting the father/son and coach/player relationships under one roof has its challenges. But the third time around, it’s business as usual for the Jamiels.
“I pretty much have that down by now,” said Joseph Jamiel with a laugh.
“I explained to my boys long ago that they have to be clearly better at what they do than the next person, and I have to be clearly harder on them than anyone else. We talk about it at home, so when we hit the field, it’s never an issue.”
Added Geoffrey, “he’s always been around my teams, always coached me.
“[My brothers] obviously came up the same way, became stars in high school, and both played college football like my dad, so I’m just trying to live up to the hype.”
Athleticism runs in the family. As a senior at Brown University in 1977, Joseph Jamiel finished seventh in the nation in kick return average. In 2003, he was named to the Bears’ 125th anniversary team.
Paul Funk has played a recurring role in family affair, and he, like the rest of the Jamiels, is used to the coach-player/father-son dynamic.
“There’s never an issue,” he said. “It’s not even a discussion at this point.”
No, his focus is on Friday night and Falmouth, the defending Division 2A Super Bowl champion.
“The next couple weeks we’ve got a real tough schedule, so we’ll see how it plays out,” said Joseph Jamiel.
“We don’t know how good we are yet, and the competition level is definitely going to step up in the next few weeks, so we’ll figure it out.”
League showdowns are not limited to the Cape.
Old Rochester (4-0) can lock up the South Coast title with a win over a 3-0 Somerset-Berkley (3-0) squad that has allowed 6 total points in three games . . . In the Northeastern Conference, five unbeatens are in action: Lynn Classical (4-0) at Danvers (4-0); Lynn English (4-0) at Swampscott (4-0); and Marblehead (4-0) at Malden (0-4). In the Middlesex, Stoneham (4-0) travels to Melrose (4-0) . . . In the Catholic Conference, Catholic Memorial welcomes in seventh-ranked St. John’s Prep (2-2) . . . On the nonleague slate, top-ranked Everett (3-0) tackles host Lowell (4-0) and Xaverian (1-3) hosts Brockton (1-3).Henry Brecher can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.