Eric Rainear grew up with Buena Regional High School football.

Rainear's father, Chris, played for the Chiefs in the early 1980s and later coached at the school. Eric watched his current quarterback coach Andrew Mack lead Buena to the 2002 South Jersey Group II final.

Now, Rainear is getting his chance on the field. A junior, he started six games at quarterback as a sophomore. Buena finished 2-8 last season but Rainear and a number of other young players gained valuable experience.

Buena hopes to contend for the Cape-Atlantic League National Conference title and a playoff spot this season.

Opening week did nothing to diminish those expectations.

Rainear completed 4-of-6 passes for 62 yards and a touchdown as the Chiefs beat Vineland 20-6. Rainear also ran 12 times for 77 yards.

Buena plays at Ocean City (0-1) at 7 p.m. today. In a telephone interview Tuesday, Rainear answered several questions, including how he became a quarterback.

On playing last year as a sophomore: We just had to battle each game. Most of them turned out to be losses. But it's all part of (building) a program and accomplishing what we're trying to do. Those games gave me experience and helped me read defenses better.

On the Vineland win: It was a big win. It gives us a lot of momentum knowing we beat a Group V school. Everyone around school was excited. A lot of people congratulated me.

On how he became a quarterback: I started at the age of 6 playing for the Buena Braves (of the Atlantic County Junior Football League). I started out at quarterback. I always liked the position. I always wanted to be a leader. My favorite player at that time was Kurt Warner, and I just did whatever he did.

On having Andrew Mack as an assistant coach: He's a great guy. He's really mellow. He gets really excited when I do well. When I was growing up, that's really who I dreamed of being.

Told to Michael McGarry