Big Train proves to be Giant Killers 15-3

BETHESDA – On Saturday, the Bethesda Big Train used its strong batting to beat the Gaithersburg Giants at Shirley Povich Field, 15-3.

At first, it was the Giants who looked as if they would be the team to dominate the game. On the first pitch at the top of the first inning, outfielder Daniel Cabrera hit a leadoff home run to left field to put Gaithersburg up, 1-0.

Then it was the Big Train’s turn. With the bases loaded, pitcher Truman Thomas walked outfielder James Outman, which allowed outfielder Zach Jancarski, the walk-off hero from the previous night, to score. Then third baseman Luke Heyer hit a sacrifice fly to center field to drive in a run by shortstop Fox Semones and give the Big Train a commanding 2-1 lead.


Rosemary Hills Lacrosse Club is more than a program and all about the kids

SILVER SPRING – The gym door at the Gwendolyn Coffield Community Center burst open, and a gaggle of children came swarming through.

One little boy, clad in a red Tshirt and khaki shorts, skipped toward a large duffel bag and shouted, “Yes! Yes! My favorite game!”

Tiny lacrosse sticks were pulled out of several duffel bags. Goggles to protect the eyes were strapped around every head. Colorful, decorated nametags hung on long strings around each child’s neck.

This is the Rosemary Hills Lacrosse Club.


Big Train outlast Thunderbolts, 4-3

BETHESDA — Bethesda Big Train outfielder Zach Jancarski came through in the bottom of the 10th inning with a walk-off RBI single to lift the Big Train (16-6) to a 4-3 victory against the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts (8-15) at Shirley Povich Field Friday.

At the top of the first inning, Thunderbolts outfielder Brodie Leftridge hit a leadoff single and stole second and third bases. Then third baseman Carl Colbert hit a sac fly to right field to score Leftridge, giving the Thunderbolts a 1-0 lead.

But Bethesda responded with some scoring of their own. At the bottom of the first inning, infielder Kevin Milam doubled to drive in Jacob Koos, who had hit a leadoff triple. Then, outfielder James Outman drove Milam home with an RBI single, earning the Big Train a 2-1 lead.


Long-awaited renovations in Potomac greeted with enthusiasm at tourney

POTOMAC — The Quicken Loans National golf tournament was played for the first time at the newly-christened TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm. With the renovations now finally complete, the golf course was set for a new beginning.

In 2006, the same tournament, then known as the Booz Allen Classic, had been held almost exclusively at the location then called TPC Avenel. However, that would be the last year that the venue hosted a PGA Tour event for over a decade.

Maligned for its poor design as well as drainage issues, PGA golfers no longer wanted to play an event at TPC Avenel. Numerous complaints from many pro golfers, most notably Tiger Woods, led to redesigning and renovating the entire course.

The vast majority of golfers had never seen the course before, and many did not know what to expect coming into the tournament given the history. But after four rounds of golf, the reviews from the golfers of the TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm golf course were a total reversal from 11 years earlier.

“Yeah, it’s really good,” said Kyle Stanley, the winner of the 2017 Quicken Loans National, “One of the most difficult courses we’ve played this year.”

“I think that this is a good venue for the PGA Tour,” said Billy Hurley III, who won the tournament in 2016.

“I love the challenge, I think it’s a very difficult golf course,” said Bryson DeChambeau, “It’s a great golf course, great conditions, and hopefully one that we will come back to in the future.”

“I love it, I think it’s a great golf course,” said golfer Patrick Reed, who is ranked 17th in the world, “It’s hard.”

“It’s hard, but very fair,” said Lucas Glover, “...You hit a good shot, you get rewarded. You hit a bad shot, you get penalized. But that’s how a tough course should be.”

The positive feedback did not stop with just these golfers. All across the board, players love the challenge that TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm presented. Some thought that the high, thick rough and firm greens were similar to what one would see a major championship like the U.S. Open.

“You could 100 percent host a U.S. Open here starting tomorrow,” said 12th-ranked golfer Justin Thomas after the Pro-Am on June 28, “I mean, you really could.”

“You definitely could,” Reed said when asked if a major championship like the U.S. Open could be played at this course, “and it would be a hard U.S. Open if they got the rough even thicker.”

While many golfers also seemed to like the possibility of rotating the event between Congressional Country Club and TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm, it was clear that the renovations have changed the way this course is viewed in the eyes of PGA Tour golfers, and have set the stage for years to come with future PGA Tour events.

TPC Avenel first opened in 1986. It was the home of the PGA Tour’s annual event, the Kemper Open, which existed from 1987 until 2002. When the tournament’s sponsor changed in 2003 from Kemper Insurance to the investment banking firm Friedman Billings Ramsey, the tournament was renamed the FBR Capital Open. Then the technology consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton became the sponsor of the event in 2004, and it was renamed the Booz Allen Classic. In 2007, AT&T and Tiger Woods took over as sponsors, and the event was renamed the AT&T National.

It became known as the Quicken Loans National after Quicken Loans replaced AT&T as tournament sponsor in 2013.




You Reach and I Teach comes to Churchill H.S.

Two Montgomery County residents are joining forces this month to teach youngsters the fundamentals of basketball.
Germantown’s Joel Barkers and Mamadi Diane of Potomac are teaming up for the “You Reach I Teach” boys and girls basketball camp at Churchill High School.
“I think it’s a great way to stay connected to the area,” said Diane, a 2005 DeMatha graduate who played collegiately at the University of Virginia before embarking on a professional career overseas.
Barkers, who played professional basketball overseas for five years, said he and his staff will be “actually trying to teach the kids the right way how to play basketball.”


Bullis Bulldogs dominate Little Hoyas in summer league basketball, 58-32

ROCKVILLE — In a rematch of the 2017 IAC championship basketball game, the Bullis Bulldogs dominated the Georgetown Prep Little Hoyas June 26 in the Maryland Elite Summer League at Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School, winning 58-32.


Round One recap of the QL National Golf Tournament

MPI QLN 0190bDavid Lingmerth chips onto the 14th green on Day Three of the Quicken Loans National Golf Tournament. PHOTO BY MARK POETKER  POTOMAC — On Tuesday and Wednesday, the golfers competing in the 2017 Quicken Loans National Golf Tournament commented over and over about the difficulty of the remodeled golf course at TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm. “It’s hard,” Justin Thomas, who shot a 63 in the U.S. Open just two weekends ago, said,  “You could 100 percent host a U.S. Open here starting [Thursday].”

In his Tuesday press conference, 2016 Quicken Loans National champion Billy Hurley III said talked about the “penal rough” and the importance of keeping tee shots on the fairway.

As the first round began on Thursday, the course lived up to the reputation it had garnered on the days leading up to the tournament. Just 26 of the 116 players shot under par rounds. The firm greens forced golfers to change their tactics on approach shots, and in addition, the greens were difficult to read when putting. “I don’t know how to read any of them, to be honest with you,” said Hurley after his opening round, “Every single one of them seems to have a double break in it.”

However, there were a select group of golfers that were able to stay on the fairways, and produce strong rounds. After round one, the tournament’s outright leader is David Lingmerth, who shot a five under par 65.


Wednesday recap of the Quicken Loans National Pro-Am Golf Tournament

Group photo National Pro Am Golf TournamentRickie Fowler, Adam Schefter and J.R. Smith pose for a group photo on Wednesday's playing of the QL National Pro-Am Golf Tournament. PHOTO BY MATT COHEN  Celebrities across many professions descended upon the newly redesigned TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm Golf Course on Wednesday to take part in the 2017 Quicken Loans National Pro-Am Golf Tournament.

Redskins head coach Jay Gruden, Redskins outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan and Washington Capitals defensemen John Carlson and Justin Williams were among those to join the professionals. The marquee group of the day, however, was made up of professional and the ninth-ranked golfer in the world Rickie Fowler, Cleveland Cavaliers starting shooting guard J.R. Smith, ESPN NFL reporter Adam Schefter and Bill Emerson, the vice-chairman of Rock Holdings, the parent company to Quicken Loans.


Madlax lacrosse tournament features teams from around the county

POOLESVILLE – Sunday marked the 10th anniversary of one of the biggest youth tournaments on the East Coast.

The Madlax 2017 Capital Classic Lacrosse Tournament at Polo Grounds at Summerhill Farm featured teams from across the United States including Texas, Georgia, Michigan, Maryland, Virginia, New York and Pennsylvania.

“We had a great, great event,” said Tournament Director Coleman Walsh. “It was far better in terms of just the flow of the days and all the parents and families were incredibly happy.”


Baltimore Dodgers dominate Thunderbolts 13-4

1005 20170626 Dodgers vs TboltsSecond baseman Patrick Burke for the T-Bolts gets the toss a moment too late as Brian Tagoe of the Dodgers slides into second base. PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE  SILVER SPRING — The Baltimore Dodgers dominated the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts with a resounding 13-4 victory, with a late rally by the home team preventing a blowout.

The Thunderbolts never had the lead, and were always distant from catching up. A few opportunities came up for the Thunderbolts to come back, but even then it was a long shot.

On the other hand, the Dodgers’ defense made quick work of the Thunderbolts’ offense, forcing short innings and fostering frustration.