Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Doubles Wins Carries Churchill to Title
By B.J. Koubaroulis

Special to the Washington Post
Wednesday, October 31, 2007; E05

Churchill's Robyn Segal and Alyssa Perez finish each other's sentences and often steal each other's thoughts. Yesterday at Blake, Segal and Perez -- Churchill's top doubles team -- appeared to be of single mind as they rectified their only loss of the season and dispatched Walter Johnson's Daryl Oh and Jimena Talavera, 6-3, 6-3.

Segal and Perez's win helped Churchill to its fifth Montgomery County girls' tennis title in six years.

"Everyone came in here," Segal said. "Determined to get it done," Perez interjected.

Perez and Segal had their undefeated streak stopped by Oh and Talavera last week as Walter Johnson defeated Churchill, 4-3, in the teams' regular season meeting.
Walter Johnson (13-0) won the regular season title, but Churchill (12-1) had representatives in all seven of yesterday's finals comprising four singles and three doubles matches.

Churchill won all three doubles events en route to a 23-19 win over second place Walter Johnson.

"This time around we knew what was coming," Perez said.

Blake senior Carmen Jackman (12-1) used a mixture of deceiving drop shots and short touch shots to neutralize Churchill sophomore Elizabeth Kaufman's power en route to a 6-3, 6-1 win in the top singles match.

"I was trying to keep it out of her strike zone because it's a lot more difficult to power the ball when you are off balance," said Jackman, who became the first Bengal to win a girls' county tennis title. "Hopefully that will motivate other girls to come out and do the same thing."

Sunday, October 28, 2007

O'Connell Soccer

O'Connell Wins 4th Straight League Title

By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Saturday, October 27, 2007; E07

O'Connell senior defender Brandi Lacoe wore the evidence of her efforts yesterday like a wet badge: blades of grass and dirt stains on her face, a rain- and sweat-soaked jersey, dinged-up shin guards.

Each was a tiny trophy left over from the battles she fought holding St. John's All-Met forward Tiffany McCarty scoreless in the Knights' 2-0 victory over the top-ranked Cadets at Bishop Ireton.

McCarty, a Florida State-bound All-Met, has scored 183 goals and 78 assists in her career and is averaging 1.5 goals per game in a high-powered Cadets attack that is scoring 3.27 goals per game this season.

"I enjoy marking her because we have the same exact speed," said Lacoe, who is considering Penn State, Florida and N.C. State. "We give each other good competition and I think we are getting each other ready for college."

Junior midfielder Danielle Corey scored her 19th goal and added an assist to provide the Knights all the offense they would need.

The victory gave third-ranked O'Connell its fourth consecutive regular season Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championship and the top seed in next week's conference tournament.

The Knights (15-3-3, 13-1-2 WCAC) are allowing 0.62 goals per game, have shut out six of their past 10 opponents and have 11 shutouts this season.

St. John's (18-2-2, 13-1-2 WCAC) suffered its first loss since it fell, 1-0, to Pennsylvania power Villa Joseph Marie on Sept. 16.
In the 34th minute, Corey had her low corner kick bounced out of the penalty box.

"It came back to me and I just curved it in," said Corey, whose second right-footed 25-yard send-in bent into the back right corner of the goal for a 1-0 lead. "This helps us confidence-wise a lot to know we can beat them and they are our big rivals."

No. 3 O'Connell 2 No. 1 St. John's 0 McCarty's Mark: Cadets forward Tiffany McCarty (183 career goals) has already passed the scoring records in Virginia and D.C. and needs six more goals to pass former McDonogh star Laurie Schwoy (188 goals from 1992 to '95) to set the Maryland record.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Arundel Football

Elko Has His Way for Unbeaten Arundel

No. 15 Arundel 24, Severna Park 14
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Thursday, October 25, 2007; AA11

Standing at midfield, nearly 50 yards from Arundel football coach Chuck Markiewicz on Monday, Severna Park Coach J.P. Hines reminisced about the days he spent playing linebacker at Arundel in the late 1970s.

He remembered the time Markiewicz, then an Arundel junior varsity coach, wore full pads to help Hines's defensive unit prepare for a meeting with an opponent's oversize tailback.

"It wasn't easy getting a hit on" Markiewicz, Hines said.

In the week leading up to 15th-ranked Arundel's 24-14 win against visiting Severna Park, there wasn't a Falcons player or coach who could have emulated Arundel quarterback Nick Elko.

Elko, a 6-foot-3, 200-pound senior, completed 21 of 33 passes for 238 yards and two touchdowns, rushed for a five-yard touchdown, connected on a 22-yard field goal attempt, accounted for 15 of the Wildcats' 16 first downs, converted every extra point attempt, punted twice and handled kickoffs.

"Elko is, everybody knows, one of the best quarterbacks in the state, and our game plan was to keep their offense off the field," Severna Park senior quarterback Pat Morrison said.

Severna Park (4-3, 4-3 Anne Arundel) was able to do that by intercepting Elko in the first quarter and by stopping the Wildcats (7-0, 7-0) from scoring on fourth and goal from the 1-yard line at the start of the second quarter.

The Falcons scored on a 20-play, 75-yard drive that featured two first downs, three Falcons penalties and a punt that deflected off of an Arundel player and was recovered by junior Will Crawford at the 9-yard line to extend the drive. On fourth and goal from the 2, Morrison hit junior wide receiver Anthony Jackson to give the Falcons a 7-0 lead three seconds before halftime.

"They did a good job by keeping the ball out of our hands," Elko said. "It really showed us how to match adversity. We kept our heads together and pulled together in the end."

Elko hit four receivers for his 134 second-half passing yards, including a perfectly timed five-yard fade pass to junior Alec Lemon to tie the game at 7 with 9 minutes 29 seconds left in the third quarter.

Morrison answered by orchestrating a 12-play, 72-yard drive capped by a 10-yard strike to junior Zack Karr to put the Falcons up 14-7 with 4:21 left in the third quarter.

On the ensuing drive, Elko converted five first downs, four of them on passes, and scored on a five-yard run that tied game at 14 just before the end of the third quarter.

Senior wide receiver and defensive back Brandon Johnson-Farrell (seven catches, 134 yards) intercepted Morrison and then caught a 25-yard touchdown pass from Elko to give the Wildcats a 21-14 lead before Elko kicked a 22-yard field goal.

"It was a good win. It helps us keep our momentum going into another big game against Old Mill next week," Johnson-Farrell said.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Girls' Soccer

River Hill Sinks Centennial in Final

Eagles' Vorce and Hawks' Yancey Lead Their Teams With 3 Goals Each
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Wednesday, October 24, 2007; E09

During River Hill's 4-3 victory over visiting Centennial in last night's Howard County girls' soccer final, there were 22 players on the field.

Two of them made it their personal playground.

Centennial senior forward Alyssa Vorce and River Hill junior midfielder Brittany Yancey scored three goals apiece before the Hawks' Erica Suter touched in junior defender Amy Song's throw-in for the winner in the 75th minute.

Fourth-ranked River Hill (13-1-1) claimed its second consecutive county title and improved its unbeaten streak to 11. The Hawks, who went 20-0 in winning last season's Maryland 3A state title, have since dropped down a classification and enter the Maryland 2A South Region tournament as a No. 2 seed.

"Amy Song threw it in, and it was crazy in the box," Suter said of the winning goal from four yards. "The ball just found my foot, and I wasn't even looking; I just put it in."

Yancey's left-footed touch shot on a cross from Suter (16 goals) gave the Hawks the 1-0 lead in the third minute. Yancey sent a 30-yard corner kick that cleared the waiting mix of her teammates and defenders and bent in just behind the outstretched hands of Centennial's leaping goalkeeper to give River Hill a 2-1 lead in the 39th minute.

"I think we made a statement today," said Yancey (10 goals, 12 assists), who scored her third goal on Song's 25-yard throw-in to tie the game at 3 in the 64th minute. "It shows that any team that works the hardest can win."

River Hill has scored 11 times this season on throw-ins by Song.

"It's definitely an advantage when we get closer to the goal," said Song, whose two throw-in assists helped the Hawks rally from a 3-2 deficit in the second half. "It's almost like a corner kick, I guess you could say."

Vorce's second-half hat trick helped Centennial (11-3-1) rally from a 2-0 halftime deficit.

"I did not expect this," said Vorce, who has 12 goals this season. "I expected a low-scoring game where one goal makes the difference."

The Eagles will enter the Maryland 3A East Region tournament as a No. 2 seed.

Hawks Take Boys' Title, Too

River Hill junior midfielder Moni Sallam headed home junior defender Mike Doyle's cross in the 31st minute in the Hawks' 1-0 victory over visiting Oakland Mills in last night's Howard County boys' final.

The win helped the Hawks continue their rally from a 1-4 start. They have won 10 consecutive games since.

"It's a really good feeling to show everybody that we are still a big power," Sallam said.
River Hill (11-4) enters the Maryland 2A South Region tournament as a No. 2 seed, and Oakland Mills (9-3-1) will be seeded fourth.

Girls' Soccer

Gwynn Park Says It's Time
Wednesday, October 24, 2007; E09

Gwynn Park and Eleanor Roosevelt meet today at High Point in the Prince George's County title game for the third time in four seasons. Gwynn Park Coach Toni Gale believes this is the year her Yellow Jackets break through.

The reason: defense. "This team has a strong midfield and defensive line," Gale said.

The Yellow Jackets (10-0 overall, 10-0 Prince George's 3A/2A/1A) rely on a trio of lockdown defenders -- junior Kirstin Mobley, senior Sharde Estep and freshman Christina Wright.

All three will be crucial if the Yellow Jackets are to slow the high-powered attack of Eleanor Roosevelt (11-3, 11-0 Prince George's 4A). The Raiders average 4.5 goals per game and are led by Joy Doucette (12 goals).

Eleanor Roosevelt, which has been at least a state semifinalist every season since 2001, also has a stout defense that has a 26-game shutout streak against county opponents.

-- B.J. Koubaroulis


At Oakton, Sharing the Ball Works for the Players -- and on the Scoreboard
Tuesday, October 23, 2007; E08

When Oakton won the AAA state title in 2005, running back Keith Payne (University of Virginia) and fullback Taylor Naleppa combined for 2,925 yards rushing and 35 total touchdowns. "If you stopped Keith or Taylor, you stopped us," Oakton Coach Joe Thompson said.

This season, Thompson has spread the ball among 10 runners and two quarterbacks to help the Cougars overcome an 0-2 start -- the team's worst since 1994.

Oakton (5-3, 3-1 Concorde District) has won five of its last six games, including pivotal back-to-back conference victories over Centreville (5-3, 2-2) and Robinson (4-4, 1-3) that has the team looking for its sixth playoff berth in seven seasons. Six rushers have scored a touchdown for Oakton, which is averaging 28.3 points per game in its last six games.

"Once these guys started to find their roles and realized that, by sharing the ball, we could get a lot accomplished -- I think they've taken to it," Thompson said.

In Saturday's 40-14 win over Robinson, Oakton used nine rushers, and the team's quarterbacks, juniors Ryan Harris and Chris Coyer, completed passes to nine receivers for a combined total of 120 yards and two touchdowns.

-- B.J. Koubaroulis

Sunday, October 21, 2007


Stonewall Gets Outscored by Fauquier

Star Running Backs' Return Restores Hope but Can't Deliver Enough Offense:
Fauquier 54, Stonewall Jackson 16
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Sunday, October 21, 2007; PW11

After starting the season with three straight wins, Stonewall Jackson suffered its fourth consecutive loss Friday -- 54-16 to visiting Fauquier that eliminated the Raiders from the Northwest Region playoff race.

Even with the return of Damien Thigpen and Ryan Williams, the team's star running backs who missed both games following a 24-21 loss to Battlefield on Sept. 28, Stonewall Jackson (3-4, 0-4 Cedar Run) was unable to stop a well-balanced Fauquier attack that amassed 89 yards rushing and 308 yards passing.

"We are extremely banged up," Raiders Coach Loren Johnson said. "We tried to give the kids an opportunity to play, but it just didn't go our way tonight."

Williams, a 5-foot-10, 201-pound senior, and Thigpen, a 5-9, 158-pound junior, combined for 793 yards rushing and eight touchdowns to propel the Raiders to a 3-0 start before both were lost to high ankle sprains against Battlefield.

In those four games, the Raiders averaged 22.3 points, and Williams and Thigpen, who doubled as defensive backs, helped fortify a defense that allowed only 11.5 points.

Without Williams and Thigpen, the Raiders were outscored 49-6 in losses to Liberty and Loudoun Valley. Their return Friday night restored hope but did not produce enough of a punch to derail Fauquier (7-0, 4-0 Cedar Run).

"We didn't execute," said Thigpen, who finished with 11 yards on two carries and spent the majority of his playing time as a defensive back. "We have everybody down and hurt. We need to get healthy and execute on every play."

Williams finished with 11 carries for 29 yards in an offense that produced 141 total yards and yielded three turnovers.

"Losses are going to hurt anyway, but we have to come in on Monday and get ready for another team," Thigpen said.

Fauquier junior quarterback Ryan Steves hit senior wide receiver Aubrey McClean for a 21-yard touchdown pass and senior wide receiver David Lewis for a 65-yard score to give the Falcons the 14-0 lead with 8 minutes 5 seconds left in the second quarter.

Steves completed 8 of 12 passes for 128 yards and two touchdowns in the first half before junior Kyle Neumann took over in the second half and completed 5 of 11 attempts for 180 yards.
After Raiders freshman running back Chris Mason answered with an 18-yard touchdown, the Falcons scored on an 85-yard kickoff return to push their lead to 21-6.

Stonewall Jackson's Nathan Stepp recovered a fumble that set up a 29-yard field goal by Patrick Diamond to cut Fauquier's lead to 21-9 before halftime.

The Falcons scored on passes of 20 and two yards and runs of one, five and seven yards to lead the Raiders 33-7 in the second half.

Stonewall Jackson quarterback Breon Shelton added the Raiders' only score of the second half on a six-yard run early in the fourth quarter.

"This program is down, but it is definitely not out," Johnson said. "We have to put the pads on and go out next week and play another game. You can't concede the season."
Stonewall Jackson was penalized eight times for 80 yards.

Girls' Soccer

Nat'l Cathedral Upsets Falcons On Notaro Goal
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Sunday, October 21, 2007; D05

During its pregame homecoming ceremony yesterday, members of National Cathedral School's coaching staff gave each senior flowers and a helium balloon that had a note tied to its ribbon.

The notes had scribbled messages from teammates, but one of those purple balloons escaped, and senior goalkeeper Katie Davis may never know what hers said.

But following National Cathedral's 3-2 win over fifth-ranked Good Counsel, the Eagles' message was clear.

"We can win against anyone," said freshman forward Camilla Notaro, who tapped in the Eagles' third goal of the second half 30 seconds before the final whistle to seal the comeback win.

"We were a lot more aggressive in the second half than in the first," said Notaro, whose team was outshot 4-0 in the first half, but responded with six shots on goal in the second. "Overtime would have been tricky. We didn't want to go to overtime."

It was the first meeting between National Cathedral (11-1, 6-1 Independent School League) and Good Counsel (14-4-1, 11-2-1 Washington Catholic Athletic Conference), both powers in their respective leagues. The teams have combined for 13 titles in two decades.

Good Counsel senior midfielder Katie Pecoraro scored her 12th goal of the season after she controlled junior defender Alex Stadnik's long send-in and converted a left-footed boot from 15 yards to give the Falcons a 1-0 lead in the seventh minute.

National Cathedral junior defender Libby Ulman headed home Larissa Bortz's free kick from the right corner to tie the game at 1 in the 43rd minute.

Twelve minutes later the Eagles took a 2-1 lead when junior forward Nicole Fossi pushed a leisurely shot into an open goal.

Good Counsel sophomore forward Crystal Koczot drilled an unassisted turn-around shot from 25 yards to tie the game in the 59th minute.

"I thought they controlled the aerial game, and we made mistakes," Good Counsel Coach Jim Bruno said. "This is perfect because their egos have gotten up so high, and maybe this will help us focus on what we have to do in the next few weeks."

National Cathedral 3, No. 5 Good Counsel 2 Last-Minute Changes: The matchup wasn't set until early September, when the Eagles' schedule opened up because Archbishop Carroll dropped varsity soccer because of a lack of participation. Kelly Absent : Good Counsel was without senior midfielder Lauren Kelly (eight goals, seven assists), who was on an official visit to Gardner-Webb University, where she recently orally committed to play soccer.

Friday, October 19, 2007

GIrls' Soccer

Nehemiah Strikes Again for Quince Orchard
Midfielder's Goal Leaves Cougars, Wootton and Walter Johnson Tied for First
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Friday, October 19, 2007; E08

Quince Orchard senior midfielder Ariel Nehemiah scored her third game-winning goal of the season in the 57th minute of last night's 2-1 win at Wootton. The win forced a three-way tie atop the Montgomery County 4A standings.

Sophomore forward Ele Margelos's attempt to head in one of sophomore midfielder Yvonne Latour's corner kicks hit Nehemiah in the chest just in front of the right post.

"It was kind of weird how I got the ball, but I took advantage of it," said Nehemiah, who finished a right-footed chip shot over the goalkeeper's head for her 11th goal of the season.

The goal gave the defending Maryland West Region champion Cougars (11-2, 4-1 Montgomery 4A West) their first come-from-behind victory this season.

Ninth-ranked Wootton (9-2, 6-0 4A East) had its winning streak end at nine.

Because tournament games don't count toward playoff seeding, Wootton, Walter Johnson and Quince Orchard all have identical 9-2 records.

"Now that Wootton, Walter Johnson and us are all tied, the first tie-breakers are head-to-head, but we all beat each other, so it's a coin toss," Quince Orchard Coach Peg Keiller said. "So the three of us should have the top three seeds."

The coin toss will be decided at Monday night's tournament draw meeting.

Wootton took a 1-0 lead in the 39th minute. Sophomore midfielder Allison Yeager (seven goals, three assists) connected on an unassisted right-footed turn-around shot that squeezed under the crossbar from 25 yards. It was Wootton's only shot on goal of the half and one of only four the Cougars allowed in a bout in which the teams combined for 19 free kicks -- most of the stoppages because of physical play.

Margelos recorded her second assist and sixth of the season when she delivered a left-footed cross to the middle of the field where sophomore midfielder Kayla Clarke settled the offering and blasted a right-footed 12-yard dart to tie in the 54th minute.

"I saw Ele running and she was flat with me and I asked for the ball," said Clarke, who took three of the Cougars' eight shots on goal. "It really got the momentum going. Before that we were playing their game, playing long balls and running and that's not our game. After that, we got into passing well."

Quince Orchard 2 No. 9 Wootton 1 Duncan Out: Wootton was without senior captain and defender Katie Duncan (four goals, two assists), who missed her third consecutive game with an injured right ankle. Harper Saves: Wootton senior goalkeeper Sarah Harper recorded six saves, giving her 35 this season.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Girls' Soccer

Chang Helps O'Connell Regain Momentum
By B.J. Koubaroulis

Special to The Washington Post
Thursday, October 18, 2007; E05

Bishop O'Connell Coach Alberto Starace turned and surveyed the group of players behind him unlacing their cleats and changing out of their sweaty jerseys following yesterday's 2-0 home win over third-ranked Urbana.

After a few seconds, Starace abandoned his visual check and went with his voice.

"Brook?" he called out, frustrated.

In a crowd, it's easy to miss 5-foot-4 senior Brook Chang. But on the field the forward has distinguished herself as one of the fastest in the area.

Chang used her speed and footwork to slice through Urbana's defense, which entered yesterday's game having shut out its last five opponents and having not allowed a goal in 415 minutes.

No. 8 O'Connell (12-3-3, 10-1-2 Washington Catholic Athletic Conference), which posted a 1-1-1 record in its three previous games, earned its ninth shutout of the season and second win over Urbana (7-3, 4-0 Monocacy Valley Athletic League) since 2005.

"We were going through a bit of a dry spell," said Chang, who took six shots, three of them on goal. "This game has helped us to regain our momentum. We are looking to keep picking it up until we get to" the postseason.

In the 24th minute, Chang (18 goals, 10 assists) gathered her own shot, which deflected off Urbana's goalkeeper, and passed to junior midfielder Fara Shahryary, who connected on her sixth goal of the season from four yards to give the Knights the 1-0 lead in the 24th minute.

"I think we were all down about not doing well in the past couple games, and now that we got a 2-0 win over a good team, we'll bounce back," Shahryary said.

Chang pushed a no-look pass off her heel to junior midfielder Danielle Corey (15 goals, eight assists), who shrugged off her defender and hurdled the diving goalkeeper to convert an open-goal shot for the 2-0 lead in the 77th minute.

O'Connell outshot Urbana, 11-3, and the Knights' physical approach sent two of Urbana's key players -- senior midfielder Katie Ruhe and senior defender Kelly Mohns -- off the field with injuries and frustrated Hawks leading scorer Julia Roberts (five goals, four assists). Urbana junior goalkeeper Caroline Browning had nine saves.

"They were deeper than we were and more technical," Urbana Coach Chuck Nichols said of the Knights. "We didn't make very many glaring mistakes, but when we did, they made us pay."

No. 8 O'Connell 2 No. 3 Urbana 0 Three's a Crowd: Senior midfielder Katie Ruhe and her sisters, identical twin sophomores Amie and Julie, have combined for five of Urbana's 15 goals this season. Lightning Does Strike Twice: Urbana's last two home games have been either canceled or delayed because of lightning. Urbana's matchup with Thomas Johnson was canceled, and the Hawks' game against Tuscarora was postponed. O'Connell lost, 1-0, to No. 5 Good Counsel last week in a game shortened by lightning.

Girls' Soccer

Seniors Spark Success for Cubs
Wednesday, October 17, 2007; E10

Four days after a 3-1 loss to Potomac School last month, Georgetown Visitation held second-ranked St. John's (D.C.) to a 1-1 tie through 70 minutes before the Cadets poured in two goals to escape with a 3-1 win.

It was during that Sept. 22 loss to St. John's (14-1-2) that Visitation Coach Zeff Yusof watched his seniors "get their vibe back," he said. "It's their last chance at this, and that's the difference between a senior and a sophomore."

Since then, forward Julianne Bausch (six goals, eight assists), defender Pam Andross and midfielder Kelsey MacDonald, all seniors, have propelled Georgetown Visitation (9-2-1, 5-1 Independent School League) through a five-game stretch in which it has outscored its opponents 14-4, posted a 4-0-1 record and upset two of The Post's top 10 teams.

The Cubs notched a 2-0 win over then-No. 10 National Cathedral (8-1) last Tuesday and forced a 1-1 tie with then-No. 5 Bishop O'Connell (10-3-3) on Friday. Last night's 2-0 win over Holy Child helped the Cubs get one step closer to their first ISL regular season title since 1996.

"The seniors are setting the right tone and helping the younger players put things in perspective," Yusof said. "Sometimes it means a lot more for a kid to say the right thing to a kid because they expect the coaches to say it."

-- B.J. Koubaroulis

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Girls' Soccer

Players-Only Meeting Brings Wootton Together
Wednesday, October 10, 2007; E07
The Washington Post

Forward Katie Duncan decided it was time for her and 10 other Wootton seniors to put their egos in check.

The team captain, who has scholarship offers from UNC Wilmington, Drexel and Stony Brook, has scored four goals on 10 shots and two assists to help Wootton (8-1, 5-0 Montgomery 4A East) climb to the top of the division standings.

Duncan is among a large group of seniors who has seen its role reduced by a strong crop of underclassmen, which has strained team chemistry and led Duncan to call a players-only meeting last week.

"I couldn't even tell you what was said," Coach Chris Thompson said. "The players handled everything. . . . By the time I got to practice, it was all done."

The dividends were evident in Monday's 2-0 win over Whitman (6-4, 2-2 Montgomery 4A West). Freshman Abbey Engelman scored both goals.

Wootton's mix includes sophomore Alison Yeager, who leads the team in scoring with six goals on a team-high 17 shots and three assists, and freshman goalkeeper Melissa Shumacher, who has been strong sharing time with senior Sarah Harper.

-- B.J. Koubaroulis

Monday, October 08, 2007


De Butts Is At The Head of Pack
Tuesday, October 9, 2007; E08
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post

Episcopal wide receiver Hunter De Butts doesn't quite get it yet.

"He thinks he's a fullback," Episcopal Coach Mark Gowin said.

The 5-foot-9, 153-pound sophomore speedster has been clocked at a 4.5-second 40-yard dash, but, according to Gowin, De Butts has become junior quarterback Alex Helm's top option because of his toughness. And he seems to have a healthy confidence, that the coaches regard as a good thing.

"We have a great chemistry," De Butts said. "I feel I can get to every ball. If I get a hand on it, I should catch it."

In last week's 18-17 loss to Landon, De Butts caught 12 of Helm's 25 completed passes, 183 of Helm's 323 passing yards and reeled in both touchdowns, including a one-handed grab in the end zone.

"When the ball is in the air, he believes it's his," Gowin said of De Butts.

In Episcopal's 1-3 start this season, Helm (52 for 106, 823 yards) has connected with De Butts 24 times for 390 yards. De Butts has also accounted for three of Helm's four touchdown passes and, as a defensive back, he leads the team with three interceptions.

"I'm expecting that as he gets older, he's going to be pretty special," Gowin said.

Sunday, October 07, 2007


Kicker Defeats Flashback-Inspired Nerves

Potomac's Offense Rules, With Help From All Quarters :
No. 15 Potomac 39, Osbourn 6
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Sunday, October 7, 2007; PW11

As Potomac senior Eric Dobratz's first extra point attempt was blocked in Friday's 39-6 win at Osbourn, the senior kicker thought, "Oh no, please don't let this happen again," he said.

Dobratz missed an extra point last September that helped Osbourn win its closest game of the season, 14-13, before the Eagles reeled off 11 more victories en route to the Division 6 state title.

The missed kick left Dobratz and the Panthers, who finished with an 11-2 record last year, wondering what if.

Following the loss, Potomac Coach Tony Lilly demanded that Dobratz, a soccer player who had become accustomed to hooking the ball, choose between his two favorite sports.

"I think I had more of a future in football," Dobratz said of his decision.

He proved that Friday as he connected on 3 of 4 extra point attempts, averaged 36.5 yards per punt and saddled Osbourn with poor field position all night, recording touchbacks on four of his six kickoffs.

Dobratz also converted an onside kick, and the coaching staff trusted him to attempt a two-point pass attempt, though it failed.

"I've been waiting a long time for this, especially after how things ended last year," said Dobratz. "It was hard on everyone."

Fifteenth-ranked Potomac (5-0) scored its first three touchdowns on a 65-yard interception return by senior defensive back Mulku Kalokoh, a 58-yard run by senior running back Darius Brent and a 67-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback DeAirius Thomas to senior wide receiver Abdul Kanneh to take the 19-0 lead at halftime.

Osbourn, which started its third quarterback this season, fell to 1-4.

"I was waiting on the interception, and I think that got us started with the momentum," said Kalokoh, who also chipped in 52 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 18 carries.

Brent (10 carries, 144 yards) averaged 14.4 yards per carry to spearhead a rush attack that outgained Osbourn 212-148. Thomas kept the Eagles defense off-balance by throwing for 99 yards and two touchdowns.

The Panthers defense, which is allowing 11.4 points per game, recorded three interceptions, recovered two fumbles, stopped the Eagles twice on fourth-and-one and blocked a extra point attempt.

"Our coaches drive us real hard on defense, and that's the main thing we practice is defense, defense, defense," said Kanneh, who grabbed the team's third interception on the first play of the fourth quarter and returned it for 32 yards to set up Kalokoh's final touchdown run, giving the Panthers the 39-0 lead.

Osbourn scored its only touchdown on a 17-play, 80-yard drive in the fourth quarter that was capped by a 12-yard touchdown run by senior quarterback Derek Hyles, who shared time with sophomore Chaz Bates.

"I know there will be tougher tests ahead," Kanneh said.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Girls' Soccer

Two Crosses in Three Minutes Equals One Big Win

Forward, Midfielder Combine to Propel Hawks Past Wildecats:
River Hill 2, Wilde Lake 0
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Thursday, October 4, 2007; HO11

River Hill senior forward Erica Suter knew she just had to get to the right place -- senior midfielder Janie Tankard would take care of the rest.

And sure enough, Suter headed two of Tankard's right-footed crosses into the net for goals in a 2-0 victory Tuesday over visiting Wilde Lake.

The goals came within a three-minute span of the second half and proved to be the difference for the fourth-ranked Hawks (7-1-1, 4-0-1 Howard 2A) against the Wildecats (5-3, 3-1 Howard 3A).

The win also kept intact River Hill's
two-season stretch in which it has gone
undefeated against Howard County competition.
Last year, the Hawks went 20-0 and won the Maryland 3A state title.

"Basically it feels like anything we do will be less than last year," said Tankard. "It doesn't intimidate us, but we feel it's a challenge that we can meet because we want to do it again."

Dropping to the state's 2A classification hasn't cleared the way for River Hill, but it has "eliminated some teams that were a problem for us from the equation," Tankard said.

By halftime, the Wildecats had outshot the Hawks 6-4, and neither team was able to convert on its two corner kick opportunities, leaving the game scoreless and the Hawks frustrated.

"They were beating us to every ball and seemed faster than us," Tankard said. "We haven't lost a county game in two years, and we realized that we don't want to lose it now."

River Hill outshot Wilde Lake 5-2 in the second half, and Suter's headers marked her fifth and sixth goals of the season.

It was also the eighth and the ninth time the Hawks have scored on a cross this season.

"Janie and I have played together for four years, so we have had this connection, and we can read each other really well," said Suter, who headed Tankard's first offering into the back right corner of the goal from seven yards in the 63rd minute. "We've just had so many connections over the years, and there will be more to come, I'm sure. We just know where each other is going to be."

Three minutes later, Tankard won a possession battle inside the penalty box and connected with a diving Suter for the 2-0 lead.

"Suter has an awesome header, and I know if I put the ball in there she's going to put it forward and come out with a goal," Tankard said.

River Hill goalkeeper Carylynne Hudson recorded seven of her 54 saves this season in the win.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Girls' Soccer

Cooper's Return Boosts Undefeated B-CC Squad
Wednesday, October 3, 2007; E08

Despite an ankle injury that has limited Hannah Cooper, who scored 18 goals last season, No. 7 Bethesda-Chevy Chase has still been scoring in bunches.

And the bad new for the rest of Montgomery County?

Cooper appears to be healthy again.

Cooper had two goals Monday in a 5-0 win over Wheaton, and Barons Coach Rob Kurtz, whose team won the Maryland 3A West Region title last season, senses another tournament run "in the makings."

B-CC (7-0, 3-0 Montgomery 3A/2A/1A) is averaging a county-best 5.29 goals per game.

Sonia Rada (six goals, two assists), Hannah Richardson (five goals, two assists), Owyn Manson (four goals, four assists) and Terryn Marette (two goals, eight assists) have led an attack that has had 15 players score in a 3-5-2 setup that uses "a different alignment every single game," Kurtz said.

-- B.J. Koubaroulis

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Girls' Soccer

Walter Johnson Plays by Different Set of Rules in Win
Walter Johnson 4, Quince Orchard 1
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Tuesday, October 2, 2007; E05

Walter Johnson's Roya Hakimzadeh followed the rules. After making eight saves and allowing just her second goal of the season in the first half of the Wildcats' 4-1 win at sixth-ranked Quince Orchard last night, the 6-foot-1 sophomore goalkeeper knew she would be pulled in the second half.

It's the system that Wildcats Coach Tom Wheeler has devised so that all three of his goalkeepers can be worked into the rotation.

"If they pitch a shutout, they start the second half," Wheeler said. "But if they give up a goal, they know they're coming out."

So, during her team's halftime break, Hakimzadeh helped warm up freshman goalkeeper Jessica Goldstone, who, by Wheeler's rule, should have been her replacement.

"She was hot," Wheeler said of Hakimzadeh, who had made just 16 saves on the season before last night's game. "She was making all the saves and dominated the box, so I thought. 'I'm not going to change this because what does that tell her? No matter what she does, it's not good enough?' "

Hakimzadeh made four key saves in the second half, including ripping two shots off the crossbar on leaping efforts to shut down Quince Orchard's high-powered offense and help the Wildcats move into first place in the Montgomery 4A West division.

Walter Johnson (8-1, 3-0 Montgomery 4A West) entered last night's game tied with Quince Orchard (7-2, 2-1) as Montgomery County's second-highest scoring offense. Both squads were averaging 3.75 goals per game and each had allowed less than 10 goals on the season.

The Wildcats' attack got started in the 10th minute, when junior midfielder Christine Walsh scored from 15 yards. Three minutes later, sophomore Catherine Madden scored on a cross that found its way into the net. Two minutes after that, sophomore Lauren Levine right-footed a blast just under the crossbar from 20 yards. Junior Caroline Miller finished the scoring in the 28th minute.

A strong back line of junior Mitra Ebrahimi, junior Tess Petesch, Levine and senior Mollie Reiss frustrated Quince Orchard's attack.

"We've always kind of been in the shadow of the offense and we've been fine with that," Reiss said of the Wildcats' defense. "Today our statement was that we are an integral part of this team and we can shut down those tough offenses."

Walter Johnson 4 No. 6 Quince Orchard 1 Backed Into a Corner: Quince Orchard outshot Walter Johnson, 19-10, but was unable to convert on five corner kick opportunities. Shell's Game: Cougars senior forward Christie Shell scored her sixth goal of the season in the 30th minute to cut the lead to 4-1 just before the half.

Football Note

Everything Is Clicking for the Surprising Saints

Tuesday, October 2, 2007; Page E05

St. Stephen's/St. Agnes School is playing the same nine-game schedule it played last season, when it started 0-3 and finished with just three wins in Coach David Holm's first season.

A year later, the Saints have ridden 5-foot-7, 161-pound senior running back Isaiah Carpenter's eight touchdowns and 8.1-yard average per carry, plus strong play from their defense and special teams to a 4-0 start.

"The key to being successful is functioning well in all three areas and we've been able to do that this year," Holm said.

Heading into Saturday's game against Bishop Ireton (4-1), the Saints' defense is allowing just 8.25 points per game -- less than half of what it gave up last year (17.7).

Junior place kicker Chazzo Habliston, who hit 3 of 4 field goals (including a 38-yarder) in the Saints' 16-13 win over Woodberry Forest on Sept. 22, has "made our special teams click," Holm said.

-- B.J. Koubaroulis