Spartans' Renner Keeping Options Open

By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Even though he is leading the Washington area in scoring with 28.3 points per game, West Springfield junior Bryn Renner can't see a future in basketball.

But he hasn't ruled it out, either.

"It would be better for baseball and football to work out, but maybe basketball, too," said Renner, who ranked fifth among Washington area quarterbacks this fall with 2,749 yards passing and second in touchdown passes with 32.

Renner, an honorable mention All-Met at quarterback, said he is being recruited by Notre Dame, Penn State, Virginia Tech, West Virginia and Maryland.

Also a shortstop for the Spartans' baseball team, Renner hit .333 with three home runs, 23 RBI and 13 stolen bases last spring, drawing interest from North Carolina, Virginia Tech and Maryland.

"I'm just trying to keep my options open," said Renner, whose father Bill -- West Springfield's football coach -- was a punter with the Green Bay Packers.

The 6-foot-4 junior guard heads into tonight's game against Lake Braddock second in both three-pointers made (39) and three-pointers per game (3.5).

A first-year starter, he also scored a Northern Region-high 43 points -- including five three-pointers -- in West Springfield's 82-69 loss to Riverbend on Dec. 29.

Renner said he expects that his recent success on the basketball court will "help in recruiting, because in basketball you have to have a lot of athletic skills and in football you have to have the same."

Jackets' Sting Is Back

The Osbourn Park boys' basketball team has a mantra this season: Forget last year.

A season ago, the Yellow Jackets lacked any semblance of chemistry, leading to internal bickering, dysfunction and a dismal 3-19 record. The atmosphere was so bad some players and coaches prefer to not speak about it.

Osbourn Park may have finally erased the memories of last season's tumult altogether with its 73-65 victory over Potomac (Va.) on Saturday, marking just the fourth time the Yellow Jackets have beaten the tradition-steeped Panthers.

In addition to Potomac, the Yellow Jackets have beaten last year's Cedar Run District champions -- Fauquier and Osbourn -- as well as district upstart Loudoun Valley. A season ago, Osbourn Park won only one district game; today, it is the Cedar Run favorite.

"I think the biggest thing is people believing," Yellow Jackets Coach Bobby Lake said. "That's really what it boils down to, is people believing and working hard."

Clark Still Growing

All-Met guard Jason Clark missed nearly half of O'Connell's 53-45 loss to Good Counsel last week after spraining his ankle, and was held to a season-low 10 points. But the Georgetown recruit made sure he was heard in the Knights' next two games, scoring a season-high 31 points and then 28 in victories over St. Mary's Ryken and Paul VI Catholic, respectively, as O'Connell improved to 14-3, 5-2 in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference.

Clark has plenty of ability: He is averaging 21.5 points and 9.7 rebounds while shooting 56 percent from the field and 52 percent from three-point range. However, with three sophomores in the starting lineup, Coach Joe Wootten went to Clark and asked him to be a more of a leader.

"I get fired up inside, but I'm kind of a quiet guy," said Clark, a 6-2 senior. "We talked about it and I said I'd see how it works. I tried it in practice and it seemed to make the team focus even more."

That Clark has to work on being heard is not surprising to Wootten, who noted that despite Clark's talent, it never seems like he is imposing himself on the flow of the game.

"That's what I think is so impressive about Jason," Wootten said. "He's one of the most efficient players I've seen. He doesn't need 50 shots to score 30 points."

Special correspondent Matthew Stanmyre and staff writer Josh Barr contributed to this report.

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