In One School Year, Triumphs and Tragedy

By Preston Williams
Thursday, June 12, 2008

Before bidding adieu for the summer, let's take a spin through some of the top stories from the 2007-08 school year.

Prince George's Football Forfeits

Six Prince George's County schools, including then-No. 1 Friendly, had to forfeit football games for using ineligible players, and some programs faced allegations of recruiting, using false addresses and lying to county school officials investigating the matters.

Friendly, which had won the Maryland 3A title in 2006, gave back six victories against teams that the Patriots had outscored 224-24. Gwynn Park also forfeited six victories, Eleanor Roosevelt four, C.H. Flowers four, Crossland two and High Point one (a victory it had originally gained by another team's forfeit).

In some cases, the school system dispatched investigators from its internal audits division to follow players home and verify their stated places of residence.

Some football coaches were suspended for games, and Roosevelt Coach Rick Houchens (now at Carroll) was handed a season-long suspension in September.

Crash Kills 4 La Plata Athletes

Four La Plata boys' basketball players were killed in a car accident Nov. 6 in Dentsville, nine days before the start of practice.

Tavonne Alston, Jonathan Chapman and Dionnte Swinson died at the scene. Donte Segar died at Prince George's Hospital Center the next day.

Coach 'Maus' Collins Dies at 76

Maurice "Maus" Collins, 76, who built Carroll into a longtime football power and resurrected the Gonzaga program, died Nov. 19.

He retired in 2000 with a 322-74-9 record. At Carroll from 1960 until 1988, his Lions went 237-45-7 with 14 league titles. Later, at Gonzaga, his teams went 85-29-2 with two league crowns, the school's first since 1958.

Carroll's field and the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference's football championship plaque are named after Collins.

Unbeaten Seasons

The River Hill football team, with All-Met Coach of the Year Brian Van Deusen, went 14-0 and outscored its opponents 551-21 en route to winning the Maryland 2A title with a 14-7 victory over unbeaten Eastern Tech of Baltimore.

The Westfield football team, led by quarterback Mike Glennon, the All-Met offensive player of the year, capped what is believed to be the state's first 15-0 season -- the Northern Region added an extra round of playoffs -- with a 42-14 win over Woodbridge in the Virginia AAA Division 6 football championship. Six players scored the six touchdowns.

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