Brian Winchester of Vineland High School emerged as one of the Cape-Atlantic League's top players in 2008.

Winchester, then a sophomore, rushed for 1,191 yards and scored 11 touchdowns.

His junior season was a disappointment. Winchester was injured and suspended for a game for being ejected from a contest after being involved in an onfield scuffle.

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So far this season, Winchester has fulfilled the promise he showed as a sophomore.

Vineland is 2-0 for the first time since 2003 under first-year coach Josh Hedgeman. Winchester is a prominent reason why.

The 5-foot-9, 172-pound running back leads the Cape-Atlantic League in scoring with six touchdowns and 36 points. He's rushed 37 times for 266 yards, an average of 7.2 yards per carry. Winchester also plays defense and has intercepted two passes at free safety. Vineland plays at St. Augustine Prep (0-2) at 7 p.m. today.

On what he learned last year: I got a little too cocky. My sophomore year I put up big numbers. I came back my junior year and I was like, "I don't need to do this. I don't need to do that." My head got too big. After that year, I realized I needed to train harder and work harder.

On the reaction to Vineland's 2-0 start: Everybody is surprised. They're telling us to keep up the good work. Some people are going around saying the teams we played aren't good. We're going to show them that it's us that's transformed. It's not that the teams we played got weaker. We got stronger.

On tonight's game against St. Augustine Prep: This is real big. Everybody is talking about it on Facebook. Over 200 people are saying they're going. We'll see how it turns out, but this is huge.

On how he started playing football: I started when I was 6 years old. I was always a running back. I was always fast, so my coaches put me at that spot.

On playing free safety: I'm an offensive guy that plays defense (laughs). I enjoy defense. It's fun.

On who should play quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles: Truly, I prefer (Michael) Vick to be the quarterback. He's earned it.

On being the youngest of six children: I'm the baby. I like it. I get spoiled. Everybody calls me "B Love." One of my brother's friends gave me that name. I don't know why. It's just a name they gave me.

As told to Michael McGarry

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