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Local players earn honors on the college gridiron

Dwayne Haskins.  FILE PHOTODwayne Haskins.    FILE PHOTOThe University of Maryland’s season opener at FedEx Field is just days away but the spotlight surrounding the circumstances of Jordan McNair’s death has given the football program a black eye.
However, despite all the negative publicity revolving around the program, there is some good news emerging from College Park.
Maryland running back and kick returner Ty Johnson along with wide receiver Taivon Jacobs have been named to various preseason watch lists.
Johnson, a senior from Cumberland, has been named to the 2018 Paul Hornung Award Watch List.

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Maryland cuts ties with coach in wake of scandal

  • Published in Sports

University of Maryland logoIn the fallout from Jordan McNair’s death, the University of Maryland has parted ways with strength and conditioning coach Rick Court and placed head coach DJ Durkin on paid administrative leave.

Matt Canada, who was hired by Durkin in January, has been promoted from offensive coordinator to interim head coach.

Court, who was hired by Durkin in 2015, sent a resignation letter on Monday addressed to University of Maryland staff which included Durkin and Maryland athletic director Damon Evans.

“As a coach, it is critical for me to live what I strive to instill in my players, which is to be committed to the welfare of the team and to be a good man on and off of the field,” he wrote. “After thoughtful reflection, prayer and support, I have offered my resignation to the University of Maryland.”

McNair, a 19-year-old offensive lineman, died on June 13 after being hospitalized following a workout on May 29. The cause of death was ruled as heatstroke.

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Warrior Dash obstacle course makes its Montgomery County debut

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Participants in the 2018 Warrior Dash in Clarksburg use different strategies to maneuver through the mud pit and barbed wire. PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE Participants use different strategies to maneuver through the mud pit and barbed wire section of the 2018 Warrior Dash obstacle course in Clarksburg.    PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE  CLARKSBURG — The Warrior Dash made its Montgomery County debut over the weekend.

Dozens of weekend warriors made the trek to spacious High Point Farm Saturday to participate in one of the nation’s dirtiest events.

Runners from all around the region and points beyond competed in the 5k obstacle course race and festival that attracts more than three million participants worldwide.

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Redskins looking forward to coming season

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Washington Redskins' Simmie Cobbs, Jr. (15) makes a catch as safety Troy Apke (30) tries to cover at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center in Richmond,Virginia on Fan Appreciation Day, Saturday.  PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITHSimmie Cobbs, Jr. (15) makes a catch as safety Troy Apke (30) tries to cover at Washington Redskins Training Center on Fan Appreciation Day. PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITH  RICHMOND, VA. — Washington Redskins diehards got a chance to watch their beloved Burgundy and Gold during Fan Appreciation Day Saturday at Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center.

Fans lined up one by one outside the facility before practice to get a glimpse of the NFC East title contenders.

“It’s awesome,” said Redskins head coach Jay Gruden. “The fans come out here, we’re very appreciate of our stay here in Richmond. They have been great to us. Bon Secours has been excellent to us, the Omni has been great so, it’s a first-class organization here and we’re happy to be part of it.”

Redskins defensive end Jonathan Allen, who was selected with the 17th overall pick in last year’s NFL Draft, enters his second season with high expectations. He was glad to see the fans in attendance.

“Oh I love it, man,” said Allen. “I love D.C. fans and it’s kind of crazy just ‘cause, like five or six years ago, that was me out there when we had the camp back in Ashburn. So, just being able to come out here and talk to the fans, you know sign stuff for them, just really just hang out with them, it’s fun, I enjoy it.”

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480 Club produces top DMV gridiron talent with top training

480 Club logoEarlier this summer, Jordan Addison received his first scholarship offer from the University of Maryland.
Addison, a rising junior at Tuscarora High School in Frederick County, is among a growing list of local student-athletes that have participated in the 480 Club, the brainchild of Watkins Mill High School graduate Joseph Hooks.
The 480 Club, established four years ago, offers training for student-athletes and the 480 Club Elite, which has been in existence for the past two years, features Montgomery County’s top players crisscrossing the country to compete in seven-on-seven tournaments.
“I’m the only Montgomery County team ranked top 15 in the country,” Hooks admitted.

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Wootton’s Lewis hopes to follow in his father’s NFL footsteps

Ralin Lewis hopes to follow in the footsteps of his father, former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, who was recently inducted into the Pro Football Hall of FameRalin Lewis hopes to follow in the footsteps of his father, former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, recently inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. COURTESY PHOTO  Former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis is scheduled to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame this weekend.
Lewis, a Florida native, spent 17 years in the NFL and the fruits of his labor will be rewarded on Saturday with the ultimate prize.
Ralin Lewis, a rising Wootton High School senior, is among those who plan to be in attendance at his father’s induction ceremony in Canton, Ohio.
“I’m proud to see that my father finally made it after all his years of hard work,” said the 17-year-old. “It’s just great.”

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Ituka leads team to victory in Maryland Elite All-Star game

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Jao Ituka scored a game-high 25 points to lead Team 495 to a 92-89 victory over Team 270 in the Maryland Elite All-Star Game. PHOTO OF GEORGE SMITHGaithersburg's Jao Ituka scored a game-high 25 points to lead Team 495 to a 92-89 victory over Team 270 in the Maryland Elite All-Star Game.        PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITH  ROCKVILLE — The stars came out to shine Tuesday in the Maryland Elite Basketball All-Star Game at Jewish Day School.

Team 495, wearing black shirts, featured Gaithersburg’s Jao Ituka and Jordan Hawkins, Richard Montgomery’s Djordje Orcev and Miles Gally along with Rockville big man Jimmy Sorunke.

Ituka, a highly-regarded Division I prospect, scored a game-high 25 points to lead Team 495 to a 92-89 victory over Team 270, who wore white shirts.

“It was fun,” said Ituka. “It was a good game. Good competition. Everybody here is pretty good and I’m happy I was able to be part of the Maryland Elite All-Star Game.”

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Bethesda Big Train heads to Ripken League Championship Series

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Bethesda Big Train logo

BETHESDA — The Bethesda Big Train advanced to the Cal Ripken League championship series Thursday by virtue of their 14-8 victory over the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts at Shirley Povich Field.

Bethesda outfielders Tyler Villaroman and Jacob Westerman helped the Big Train’s cause by posting some gaudy statistics.

Villaroman went 3-for-5 and scored three runs and registered four RBI’s while Westerman batted 3-for-3 with an RBI and scored a run.

Big Train catcher Carson Taylor added two hits and four RBI’s to help Bethesda move into the championship round.

Bethesda took a 2-0 lead early in the game thanks to Fox Semones, Villaroman and Alec Burleson.

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Summer proves to be the best time for high school hoops action

Outdoor Basketball in HoopThere’s nothing like summer league basketball in the DMV.
Arguably the nation’s No. 1 hoops hotbed, the basketball culture in our area is perhaps second to none.
I was born in Oakland which boasts the distinction of producing scores of great NBA players including Bill Russell, Jason Kidd, Gary Payton and Damian Lillard among others.
However, when it comes to producing NBA talent per capita, the DMV rises to the top of the list.
Ricky Goings, founder of Everyone Deserves A Shot (EDAS), a non-profit that helps kids find basketball scholarships, can certainly attest to that notion.
“I think our area really took basketball seriously before the nation did,” said Goings.

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RM Rockets blast Einstein 49-43, advance to Md. Elite hoops semifinals

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RM Rockets vs. Einstein TitansROCKVILLE — Richard Montgomery advanced to the Maryland Elite Basketball Summer League semifinals with a 49-43 victory over Einstein on Monday at Jewish Day School.

Richard Montgomery’s cast of characters included Djordje Orcev, Kordell Lewis, Devin Liyanamana and Ryan Cornish who combined to score the majority of the Rockets points.

Orcev and Lewis finished with 15 points each and Liyanamana added eight points while Cornish dropped six points for Richard Montgomery.

“They are a great defensive team,” said Einstein senior guard Camren Ashby. “Their help defense is amazing and I give them props. They made shots when they were supposed to and they played great defense.”

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