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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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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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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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Sportsman from Georgetown Prep nominated for Supreme Court

Brett Kavanaugh.  COURTESY PHOTOSupreme Court nominee and Georgetown Prep alum Brett Kavanaugh.   COURTESY PHOTO  Georgetown Prep – widely known for producing nationally-ranked boys’ lacrosse teams over the years – is on the verge of having yet another monumental distinction.
The North Bethesda private school could soon boast two United States Supreme Court Justices.
Brett Kavanaugh, who graduated from Georgetown Prep in 1983, was nominated by President Donald Trump on July 9. If he’s confirmed by the United States Senate, Kavanaugh would join fellow Georgetown Prep graduate Neil Gorsuch on the nation’s highest court.
Gorsuch, who graduated from Georgetown Prep in 1985, was sworn into office last year.
Kavanaugh, a 53-year-old Bethesda native, has served as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit since 2006.
“I would like to congratulate Judge Kavanaugh on his nomination to serve on the nation’s highest court, said Rev. James R. Van Dyke, S.J., president of Georgetown Prep. “I had the opportunity to meet Judge Kavanaugh at Georgetown Prep’s alumni business network event in May 2018; he is a proud Prep alumnus and holds the school in the highest regard. Judge Kavanaugh has Georgetown Prep’s prayers and support as he faces the confirmation process.”

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Remembering beloved local coaching legend Walt King

Former Bullis head football coach Walt King.  COURTESY PHOTOFormer Bullis head football coach Walt King. COURTESY PHOTO  We recently lost a Montgomery County coaching legend.
Former Bullis head football coach Walt King died on April 2 at a Pennsylvania nursing home after suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. He was 77.
He is survived by three children, Kevin A. King, Rachel J. Linder and Natalie A. Hagle, and seven grandchildren, Courtney, Ashley, Megan, Kyler, Karley, Zachary and Melanie, and one great-grandson, Tanner.
King spent more than three decades at Bullis where he compiled a career record of 116-91-5 on the gridiron. In 1979, he led the Bulldogs to their first IAC co-championship. After serving as the head coach from 1976-1986, he had a brief stint as the school’s athletic director from 1979-1994. He assumed his role as head coach in 1992 and guided the Potomac private school to an undefeated season in 2000, a feat that helped King earn Montgomery County Coach of the Year honors.
“I just remember what a legend he was,” recalled Stan Gelbaugh, a former Bullis assistant under King. “He was at Bullis for a very long time and really left his mark as a coach and teacher on a lot of kids.”

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Bullis junior switches to Ohio State while MC hoops standout soars

Wisconsin’s loss is Ohio State’s gain.
Bryson Shaw, a talented junior two-sport star at Potomac’s Bullis School, has verbally committed to play college football at Ohio State University.
Shaw, who announced his pledge to Wisconsin in January, flipped his commitment to Ohio State in a Twitter post on Saturday.
“Please respect my decision,” he wrote. “My recruitment is now closed. Go Buckeyes!”

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Driesell to be inducted into Naismith Hall of Fame

Lefty Driesell, seen here during his first season at University of Maryland.  COURTESY PHOTOLefty Driesell during his first season at University of Maryland. COURTESY PHOTO  Finally.
Former University of Maryland head coach Charles “Lefty” Driesell will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
It’s about time.
Driesell, a former Silver Spring resident, was honored over the weekend with the announcement of the crowning achievement of his coaching career.
The father of Springbrook High School graduate Chuck Driesell, Lefty will be enshrined in the Hall of Fame on Sept. 7 in Springfield, Massachusetts.
“He deserves it,” said Rockville High School graduate Brian Howard, who played at Georgia Tech in the 1980s, “How can he not be in the Hall of Fame?”

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MoCo's deep NBA and NCAA connections

Chris Heck and his son Peyton. COURTESY PHOTOChris Heck and his son Peyton. COURTESY PHOTO  Gaithersburg native Chris Heck has a busy schedule to say the least.
The Philadelphia 76ers President has the difficult task of running an NBA franchise and following his son’s college basketball team.
Heck, a Villanova graduate, is also the father of Villanova basketball walk-on Peyton Heck.
On Sunday, Villanova advanced to the Final Four for the second time in three years and the 76ers clinched a playoff berth for the first time in six seasons.
This weekend, Heck and his wife Mary Beth plan to fly to San Antonio to watch their son and his teammates compete for another NCAA championship.

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Jairus Lyles leads UMBC to upset win over No. 1 seed UVA

Jairus Lyles.  COURTESY PHOTOJairus Lyles.       COURTESY PHOTO  What. A. Game.
The Retrievers of University of Maryland, Baltimore County pulled off the unthinkable on Friday night by dismantling the overall No. 1 seed, Virginia, in the NCAA Tournament.
The win marked the first time in NCAA Tournament history that a No. 16 seed beat a No. 1 seed.
The Retrievers were led by Montgomery County product Jairus Lyles who finished with a game-high 28 points and added four rebounds and three assists in UMBC’s 74-54 victory.
“I think we had the confidence coming into the game,” said Lyles. “I don’t think there was a point in the game that we thought we couldn’t play with them.”

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