The Magruder High School boys basketball team’s bid to earn the program’s third state title fell short on March 8 in the Class 3A West Region championship game. [See more from the regional championship game here!] Thomas Johnson of Frederick County advanced to the state semifinals by capturing a 55-51 victory over the Colonels.The Patriots, […]
ROCKVILLE – Damascus High School running back TD Ayo-Durojaiye headlines a contingent of four Montgomery County senior student-athletes selected to compete for Team Maryland in the Big 33 Football Classic. The annual matchup features the top high school football players from Maryland against Pennsylvania’s top players. The 62nd edition of the Big 33 Football Classic is […]
There’s a new king of the castle in Germantown. Seneca Valley has named Justin Sickeri as the Germantown public school’s new head football coach. “It’s a huge honor to coach at Seneca Valley,” said Sickeri, who began his coaching career at Frederick High School in 2005. Sickeri, who spent last season at the helm of […]
A former Georgetown Prep football standout has a new job title. The Tennessee Titans have promoted Arthur Smith from tight ends coach to offensive coordinator. Smith, who was inducted into the Georgetown Prep Athletic Hall of Fame in 2017, was ecstatic about the job promotion. “I’ve always just tried to do a good job, the […]
Former Bullis quarterback Dwayne Haskins has announced that he’s leaving Ohio State University for greener pastures. Haskins, who earned All-Sentinel honors during his tenure at the Potomac private school, is ready to earn an NFL paycheck. The Ohio State sophomore signal-caller released a statement via his Twitter account @dh_simba7 earlier this week. “Buckeye Nation, I […]
Bethesda native Dan Engelstad has begun his first season as a Division I men’s head basketball coach. Engelstad was named the head coach at Mount St. Mary’s earlier this year. He replaced Jamion Christian who was named the new head coach at Siena. Engelstad, a former assistant coach at the Mount under Milan Brown, spent […]
By Brandy L. Simms @bls1969 Montgomery College honored a living legend on Dec. 7. Steve Hobson, who coached men’s basketball for nearly three decades, was celebrated by those who know him best. During his tenure at Montgomery College, Hobson took the program to new heights. Hobson was responsible for guiding Montgomery College to 11 national […]
By Brandy L. Simms @bls1969 ANNAPOLIS — Wale, a high profile rap artist who once attended Quince Orchard High School, has long been an ardent supporter of his alma mater. On Friday night, Wale, who also played football at Quince Orchard and ran track for the Firebirds, was in the front row at Navy-Marine […]
By Brandy L. Simms @bls1969 In 1970, Stevie Wonder released the single “Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours,” which became an enormous hit on the music charts. The song spent six weeks at No. 1 on the U.S. R&B chart and peaked at No. 3 on the U.S. Pop chart. During November’s early signing period, […]
By Brandy L. Simms One of Montgomery County’s top student-athletes has found a new high school in which to showcase his talents on the hardwood. The Richard Montgomery Rockets boys varsity basketball team, which captured the Maryland Elite Summer League Championship in August, is expected to contend for a state title this season but when […]
By Brandy L. Simms Montgomery County is known for producing talented student-athletes in a variety of sports including football, basketball, baseball and lacrosse among others. This fall, Rockville, Paint Branch, Magruder and Springbrook high schools all held recognition events to honor their former student-athletes.
Former Bullis quarterback Dwayne Haskins, Jr. has been honored by the Big Ten Conference. Haskins, a former All-Sentinel quarterback at Bullis, was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week. Making his first career start, Haskins threw for 313 yards and five touchdowns Saturday to lead Ohio State to a 77-31 victory over Oregon […]
Denver Broncos defensive lineman Zach Kerr made a triumphant return to his home state of Maryland. Kerr, who played high school football at Quince Orchard, registered a tackle in the Denver Broncos’ 29-17 victory Friday over the Washington Redskins. Kerr was delighted to play in front of relatives including his mother, sisters, nieces and nephews. […]
The Bethesda Big Train celebrated their 20th anniversary this year.
The brainchild of Bruce Adams and John Ourisman, the Big Train compete in the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League and derived its team name from the nickname of Hall of Fame pitcher and former Bethesda resident Walter Johnson.
Since its inception in 1999, the organization has produced 14 Major League Baseball players including Brian Dozier and Hunter Renfroe.
Adams, a former Montgomery County Council member, said he enjoys keeping track of the Big Train alumni once they leave the organization and become professional players.
“From low A ball up, it’s fun to go see them,” said Adams.
The 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.
Earlier 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.
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.”
There’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.
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.”
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.”
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!”
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?”
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.
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.”
Over the years, Alex Tsironis has been a coach, teacher and mentor to countless students throughout Montgomery County Public Schools.
Tsironis, who was born in Silver Spring, currently heads up the Physical Education and Arts Department at North Bethesda Middle School.
However, Tsironis, a Watkins Mill High School graduate, is perhaps best known as the creator of the popular MoCo Snow website and blog, at www.mocosnow.com, which began in 2010.
“I loved snow days,” recalled Tsironis, “so I would always share my opinions with my kids.”
The Quince Orchard High School community is mourning the death of senior football star Tyler Terry.
Terry, a two-way standout at the Gaithersburg school, died Sunday at Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C., nearly two weeks after being hospitalized with a heart condition. He was 17.
“For those of you who knew Tyler, we ask that you remember and celebrate his passion for football, his love of his family and friends, and his great big infectious smile,” Quince Orchard Principal Carole Working wrote in a letter addressed to the Quince Orchard High School Community. “For those of you who did not know him, we ask that you support Tyler’s friends and family during this time of loss.”
Former Wootton wide receiver Mack Hollins is a Super Bowl champion.
The Rockville native celebrated the Philadelphia Eagles’ 41-33 victory over the New England Patriots Sunday in Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
The Eagles’ rookie wide receiver and special teams contributor earned a Super Bowl ring in his first season on the job. Not a bad way to begin your NFL career.
Wootton head coach Eddie Tolliver said he watched the entire game from start to finish and beamed with pride over his former pupil.
“It just shows if you put the hard work and effort into it where you can go,” explained Tolliver, who noted that Hollins took a roundabout way to the NFL.
Scotland community native Paul “Boo Boo” Palmer was honored this week with news that he would be enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2018.
The former Churchill running back did his damage at Temple University in Philadelphia before he was selected by the Kansas City Chiefs in the first round of the 1987 NFL Draft.
“The honor of earning admittance to the College Football Hall of Fame is overwhelming, and I can’t thank the committee enough for both my nomination and selection,” said Palmer, who became the first former Temple player selected for this prestigious honor. “I wouldn’t be able to accept this honor without the contributions of my teammates, coaches and the entire Temple community. With Temple football on the rise, I only hope my induction will crack the door for a number of other deserving Owls to gain entrance to the Hall of Fame down the road.”
Dallas Cowboys running back Alfred Morris could see significant playing time this weekend after Ezekiel Elliott was denied a preliminary injunction blocking a six-game suspension.
Through five games this season, Morris has rushed for 105 yards on 13 carries including three yards in Sunday’s 33-19 win over the Redskins, his former team.
As a Redskins rookie in 2012, Morris rushed for 1,613 yards and 13 touchdowns, finishing second in the league in total rushing yards and second in rushing touchdowns.
Meanwhile, former DeMatha standout Arie Kouandjio was re-signed to the Redskins active roster from the Baltimore Ravens practice squad.
Philadelphia Eagles rookie wide receiver Mack Hollins reeled in a pass from quarterback Carson Wentz and scored on a 64-yard touchdown reception during Monday night’s game against the Washington Redskins.
For Hollins, a Rockville native who once played at Wootton, the score marked his first career touchdown as an NFL wide receiver.
I spoke with Hollins in the Eagles locker room following Philadelphia’s 30-17 victory over the Redskins in the season opener at FedEx Field.
Although he didn’t get much playing time that day, he was happy to be back in familiar surroundings.
POTOMAC — There was a buzz in the air last weekend at the Bullis Holiday Classic.
The nation’s top-ranked boys’ high school basketball player was back in Maryland.
Cameron Reddish, a high school senior who plays at Westtown School in suburban Philadelphia, has already been labeled as the next Lebron James by his coach, Seth Berger.
“I don’t feel any pressure there,” said Reddish. “He’s the greatest player in the world.”
Montgomery County’s version of musical chairs has already begun on the gridiron.
Rockville graduate Jason Lomax has stepped down at Springbrook in order to accept the same position at his alma mater.
“It is with mixed emotions that I am stepping down as head varsity football coach at Springbrook to take the head coaching position at Rockville High School,” Lomax wrote in a letter addressed to the Springbrook Community. “This was a difficult decision that was made with my family in mind. The demands of coaching are very stressful and taxing on a family. This move allows me to spend more time with my family, coach at the school me and my wife graduated from, and coach in the community in which I live. This was a unique opportunity that my family could not pass up.”
POTOMAC — The boys’ basketball program at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School has modest goals for the 2017-18 campaign.
The Lions compete in the Mid-Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAC) along with Flint Hill, Georgetown Day, Maret, Sidwell Friends, St. James and the Potomac School.
The league received some notoriety this summer when Silver Spring native Josh Hart became the first Sidwell Friends graduate ever selected in the NBA Draft. Hart, who was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers with the final pick in the first round, played for current Sidwell Friends head coach Eric Singletary.
LANDOVER — Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs made a triumphant return to Maryland on Sunday.
Diggs, a former Good Counsel and University of Maryland standout, said he had about 17 friends and family members in attendance at FedEx Field for his homecoming game against the Washington Redskins.
“It felt good,” Diggs said following Minnesota’s 38-30 victory over the Redskins. “I love being around a lot of love. It’s kind of like a home game for me. Especially when I come home, they show me a lot of love. It feels good.”
The former All-Sentinel player didn’t disappoint his supporters, finishing with five receptions for 78 yards including a three-yard score from quarterback Case Keenum that put the Vikings ahead, 14-10, early in the second quarter.
Maryland junior wide receiver DJ Moore was a bright spot in the Terrapins’ 32-21 loss to Northwestern Saturday in College Park.
Moore, a Philadelphia native, became just the seventh player in school history to record 200 yards in a game, registering 210 yards receiving and two touchdowns.
“He’s been that way pretty much every week,” said Maryland head coach DJ Durkin. “He’s a really talented guy that plays hard. He runs good routes and has good ball skills. We do a lot to get him the ball and design it that way and he always answers the call.”
We lost two individuals with deep roots in Montgomery County athletics during the past two months, a former athlete, and an alum and coach.
Eric Nichols, the popular Gaithersburg quarterback who guided the Trojans to their first state championship in 1986, died in August at the age of 48.
Nichols was also the DC Touchdown Club’s Maryland High School Player of the Year in 1986 and led Maryland to a victory over Pennsylvania in the 1987 Big 33 All-Star football game.
Maryland’s 26-22 victory over Pennsylvania at Hersheypark Stadium marked the first time in history that a team from Maryland had beaten Pennsylvania in that game.
“That was one of the baddest quarterbacks I’ve ever seen in this area,” said former Seneca Valley standout Wayne Turner, “[He’s in the] top ten.”
Legendary WRC-TV news anchor Jim Vance lost his battle with cancer on Saturday. He was 75.
He was an icon, trailblazer, pioneer and a D.C. legend.
He influenced generations of broadcasters both local and national.
Magruder graduate and former Channel 4 sportscaster Dan Hellie shared the news desk with Vance before he left D.C. for the NFL Network in 2013.
“Sitting on the desk w/ Jim Vance is one of the great honors of my career,” Hellie posted on Twitter. “Genuine, loyal & smooth. A D.C. Treasure. Much love. RIP Vance.”
Congratulations to the D.C. Sports Hall of Fame 2017 induction class that includes Bethesda native and Olympic swimmer Katie Ledecky along with Paul Tagliabue, Juan Dixon, Tom McMillen, Brenda Frese and former Washington Redskins defensive back and kick returner Mike Nelms.
Additionally, the class also included media celebrities Glenn Harris, Tony Kornheiser and Ron Weber who was a long-time Washington Capitals game announcer before he retired in 1997. These individuals were honored Sunday before the Washington Nationals-Atlanta Braves game at Nationals Park in Southeast D.C.
The first round of the 2017 NBA Draft was bookended by a pair of local products – Upper Marlboro’s Markelle Fultz and Silver Spring native Josh Hart.
The Philadelphia 76ers selected Fultz, a 2016 DeMatha graduate, with the first overall selection. Fultz, who attended James Madison Middle School in Upper Marlboro, became the first Prince George’s County product to ever be selected No. 1 overall.
“It is with great Prince George’s County pride that I congratulate Upper Marlboro’s very own Markelle Fultz on becoming the top pick in the 2017 NBA Draft,” Prince George’s County Councilman Mel Franklin said in a news release. “Markelle’s work ethic and determination are a result of his outstanding character and the wonderful influence of his family, especially his mother, Ebony Fultz, and the community that nurtured him. Markelle overcame being cut from his high school basketball team as a sophomore to become the country’s most sought after college talent. In three and a half years’ time, Markelle went from being a junior varsity high school basketball player to the top pick in the NBA Draft. Markelle, Prince George’s County congratulates you. We celebrate your incredible successes and are excited about the promise of your next great steps in the NBA. May God bless and guide your future, for the best is yet to come.”
On June 19, 1986 we were all shocked and saddened by the news that University of Maryland basketball star Len Bias – a Prince George’s County product – had passed away from a drug overdose at age 22.
Just two days earlier, Bias had been selected by the Boston Celtics with the second overall pick in the 1986 NBA Draft. He was destined for NBA stardom until tragedy struck on that fateful June morning.
Former Maryland guard Jeff Baxter, who was Bias’s roommate at the time of his death, described the chiseled 6-foot-8, 220-pound forward as a naturally defined physical specimen with no body fat.â¯ “He was a docile person yet extremely aggressive on the court,” Baxter said.
Baxter was awakened by the news that Bias had fainted so he returned to their room to find his friend and teammate on the ground, motionless.
WASHINGTON – The scene at the Verizon Center for the big announcement on a Saturday in December looked like a who’s who among local basketball aficionados.
Coaches, parents and players from around the area converged at the arena for the Hoop Culture Capital Classic DMV Top 100.
Montgomery County basketball gets overlooked oftentimes, but I think we made a huge statement with our performances this month in the MPSSAA Boys Basketball State Tournament at Xfinity Center.
Quince Orchard knocked off previously unbeaten Wise, 55-52, in what will likely go down as the biggest win in program history.
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.”
Former Good Counsel wrestler Kyle Snyder will be allowed to compete at the 2017 Freestyle World Cup.
Snyder, who last year became the sport’s youngest Olympic gold medalist in history, was granted a visa along with the other members of the U.S. wrestling team.
Former Gaithersburg High two-way standout Billy Brown participated in the East-West Shrine Game on Saturday at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. Brown, who recently finished his collegiate career at Division II Shepherd, was a member of the West squad.
Alex Bazzie, a former All-Sentinel linebacker at Northwood, has signed a reserve/future contract with the Indianapolis Colts.
Bazzie announced the deal on January 9 via his Twitter account.
“Extremely Blessed to announce that I’m officially an Indianapolis Colt,” Bazzie tweeted. “Time to put the hard hat on again for this next journey.”
The Avalon-Good Counsel connection was alive and well on Monday night in the College Football Playoff national championship at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
Seneca Valley came within a game of playing for a Maryland 3A state title last season but the Germantown public school has one of the county’s top returning players in senior guard Brandon Simpson.
A four-year varsity performer, Simpson averaged 13 points per game last season in leading the Screaming Eagles to a 3A state semifinal appearance.
Quince Orchard boasts perhaps the county’s top returning backcourt in seniors Johnny Fierstein and Matt Kelly who combined to average nearly 40 points per game last season.
After capturing the 4A state championship last season, the Whitman girls basketball team enters the 2016-17 campaign with a target on its back.
The Vikings boast highly-touted senior Abby Meyers, who scored a game-high 21 points against Western to propel Whitman to the program’s first state title in more than two decades.
COLLEGE PARK – Maryland’s 28-17 victory over Michigan State Saturday marked a milestone win for the football program.
Not since 1950 had a Maryland football team beaten a Michigan State squad before Saturday’s masterpiece in front of 41,235 spectators at Maryland Stadium.
Maryland quarterback Perry Hills was back under center after injuring his shoulder in a loss to Penn State earlier this month.
“That was a great win Saturday night,” Maryland head coach DJ Durkin said on Tuesday. “I thought it was a great atmosphere. Our players really fed off of the crowd. I was very pleased with how our guys approached the game. We had really emphasized having fun and having enthusiasm with what we’re doing. And they did that. I think our players responded to having Perry back playing. There was a noticeable spark in the offense.”
The Colin Kaepernick national anthem protest has reached Montgomery County.
During the NFL preseason, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback refused to stand during the playing of the national anthem.
Instead, Kaepernick decided to take a knee to protest racial inequality in our society.
Last Friday night at Gaithersburg High School, the Watkins Mill football team knelt during the national anthem to show support for Kaepernick’s protest against racial injustice in American society.