Blue Devils win Watkins Mills Passing League Tournament

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GAITHERSBURG – Members of the Springbrook Blue Devils varsity football team, coming off a 1-9 fall football season, won the 2017 first annual XPro Upper County Classic 7 on 7 Passing League Tournament as the four-round single elimination bracket was a chance to showcase local talent and had a family feel at Watkins Mills High School on Saturday.

The finals had the Blue Devils dismantle the Seneca Valley Screaming Eagles, 23-6, on the strong play of Blue Devils quarterback Trevon Ruffin. The stars of the Blue Devils squad were senior quarterback/ tight end Markell McDaniel and Ruffin. McDaniel and Ruffin were in a heated quarterback duel where both players saw action. Ruffin threw three touchdowns in the final round, including a beautiful one-handed leaping touchdown completion to senior wide receiver Moses Kamara. 

“It feels great,” said Ruffin. It feels great to win a championship … I want to give a shout-out to my senior receiver Moses Kamara for making that clutch play.” 


Churchill narrowly loses LAX championship game to Severna Park

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xChurchill vs. Severna Park LAX FINAL 1While Churchill’s Merrick Willeford (right) won most of his faceoffs, it was not enough to prevent a narrow defeat by Severna Park for the 4A state championship. PHOTO BY MARK POETKER OWINGS MILLS — Despite the best efforts of the Churchill Bulldogs (19-2) in a tight, back-and-forth game, it was not enough to stand in the way of a stunning comeback by the Severna Park Falcons (21-0) in the game’s final moments at Stevenson University’s Mustang Stadium on May 25. Instead, the Falcons earned a second straight 4A boys lacrosse state title, with the final score 7-6.

“Fantastic game,” said Bulldogs head coach Jeff Fritz. “Couldn’t ask anything more from a state championship. The game went back and forth but unfortunately we couldn’t make enough plays to come out on the victor’s side. But I couldn’t be more proud of what we’ve accomplished this year and everything our men have done for us. So, we’re very proud.”

Falcons head coach Dave Earl said, “…hats off to Churchill. What a really good team. Extremely well coached. Great game plan against us…really took advantage of their opportunities. Their game plan — to slow it down — really took us out of our run-and-gun style. I thought Jeff, their team, did a great job.”


Churchill boys blow past Quince Orchard in LAX regionals

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xChurchill vs QO LAX 1b 201700517Churchill's Merrick Willeford wins another faceoff against Quince Orchard.                        PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE  GAITHERSBURG—The MPSSAA Boys Lacrosse Regional Finals at Gaithersburg High School on Wednesday evening matched County powerhouses with identical 16-1 records, the Churchill Bulldogs and the Quince Orchard Cougars, with the Bulldogs scoring a convincing 16-4 victory.

“Churchill was a very good team. They played very hard. It doesn’t diminish that our guys set a school record for wins in a season. We’ve had a great group of guys…But hats off to Jeff, his coaching staff and players who came out and played very well”, said Cougars head coach David Gonzalez.

Bulldogs head coach Jeff Fritz said, “…We thought it was going to be a close-knit game but our kids came out, played very well, executed the game plan.”

Bulldogs senior goalie Alex Crombie explained the difference between tonight’s win and last Monday’s win of the Whitman Vikings, saying, “Offensively, the start tonight was the antithesis of what Monday was. We clicked immediately…that’s not to say we didn’t come out with a lot of energy. We did…”

Bulldogs senior attacker Spencer Knife (2 goals) said of the keys to tonight’s game, “Doing the small things right. The whole year we’ve had issues doing the little things right. We kind of have the big picture…scooping through ground balls. Getting to the right spots on clears. The little X’s and O’s stuff. So, focus on the small things. The key components fell into place.”


Bulldogs crush Vikings in LAX playoffs 10-3

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xChurchill Bulldogs vs. Whitman Vikings LAX 2bChurchill’s Ryan Leonard (5) goes for the goal as Whitman defenders move to intercept.    PHOTO BY MARK POETKER

After a close three quarters, the Churchill Bulldogs boys varsity lacrosse team (15-1) lambasted the Whitman Vikings (11-4), 10-3 in the MPPSSA regional semifinals at Churchill Stadium on Monday evening.

Bulldogs junior attacker Ryan Leonard (3 goals) said of the win, “We always have a chip on our shoulder playing against Whitman. They’re our rivals. So, we knew we wanted to come in and win.”

Bulldogs senior goalie Alex Crombie credited the win on the Bulldogs’ team energy, saying, “We all came out just as we would in a playoff game. Against Wootton we came out with a lot of energy. Tonight was no different. It mostly started on the defensive end. We brought a lot of energy. Although our offense had a slow start. I thought the energy resonated. They picked up as the game went on. They feed off it. A lot of our success came off the energy we had.”


Churchill staves off Wootton for girls LAX win 8-7

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POTOMAC – The Churchill Bulldogs kept the Wootton Patriots at bay for an 8-7 win in girls lacrosse Monday night, suppressing them to the last second after the Bulldogs came back from a point deficit.

It was a game filled with comebacks for both teams. The Patriots led for part of the first half, but then the Bulldogs went on a scoring streak up until they reached eight points.

Once the eighth and last score was tallied for the Bulldogs, the Patriots clawed back and scored another three points, but could not net one more to at least send the game into overtime.

The Bulldogs ramped up their aggressiveness early into the first half, making a tightly-packed Patriot defense separate and exploiting the holes in it.


Former Redskins offensive tackle joins Churchill High School

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xChris SamuelsChris Samuels. COURTESY PHOTO  

Former Washington Redskins All-Pro offensive tackle Chris Samuels is joining the football program at Churchill High School.

Samuels, who served a two-year stint as the head coach at Osbourn High School in Northern Virginia, has been named the offensive coordinator at Churchill.

In January, Churchill promoted former defensive coordinator Willie Williams to head coach after Albert Song resigned following two seasons at the helm of the program.

Williams, a 13-year NFL veteran who played with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Seattle Seahawks, said Samuels is a good fit for the program.

“He had other opportunities,” said Williams. “I’m just so glad he chose Churchill.”


The lingering legend of Montgomery’s Eugene Dyson

The legend of Eugene Dyson still lingers on in Montgomery County.

To this day, local folks still talk about the Churchill High School product when the debate shifts to the county’s all-time great student-athletes.

Dyson, a Scotland native who was a multi-sport athlete at Churchill in the 1980’s, had the Midas touch. He participated in football, basketball and baseball at the Potomac public school.

“Eugene was a beast,” recalled Todd Lancaster, a 1980 Rockville graduate. “He had a motor on him.”


Bethesda’s Pfaff places second overall in diving

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2017 MD State Diving Championship-Maddy PfaffMaddy Pfaff placed second in 2017 Maryland State Diving Championship. PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE 

COLLEGE PARK — Bethesda Chevy Chase junior diver Maddy Pfaff had a chance to pull off a firstplace finish if she finished with a score of 41.96 or higher on Friday evening at the 2017 Maryland State Diving Championship at the University of Maryland Natatorium.

Pfaff completed a beautiful finish but just barely missed the score to win, registering a 41.80.

So Pfaff took second place, behind Oakdale senior diver Melissa Novak, who took first.

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