Varsity Letter: 11 Stories That Got Our Attention
The hammock beckons, but so does the urge to take a chronological spin through the top high school sports stories of the 2008-09 school year.
Dunbar Charges Racism
Dunbar football coach Craig Jefferies pulled his team off the field during a Sept. 19 game at Cumberland, Md., school Fort Hill, alleging that Fort Hill players, most of whom are white, directed racial slurs at the Dunbar players, who are black.
Fort Hill players and coaches said no such comments were made. The Office of Civil Rights in the Maryland attorney general's office investigated. The teams' coaches and athletic directors met with a U.S. Justice Department mediator.
Dunbar was leading 14-8 with about four minutes left in the third quarter when Jefferies halted the game, which went in the books as a Dunbar forfeit.
"The worst-case scenario was a fight, which was inevitable at that point," Jefferies said at the time. "You could feel the sense of being uncomfortable in that stadium, and I had to do something proactive."
Another District school, McKinley Tech, was scheduled to play at Fort Hill on Oct. 3, but D.C. school officials decided not to allow McKinley to make the trip.
Good Counsel Is Tops on TV
Attracted by one of the Washington area's sturdiest rivalries and the presence of Good Counsel linebacker Jelani Jenkins, an uncommitted national recruit, ESPN2 televised the Oct. 2 game between No. 10 DeMatha and the No. 2 Falcons, in which home team Good Counsel rolled to a 41-21 win. Maryland recruit Caleb Porzel scored untouched on three runs in the first quarter totaling 101 yards.
"Unreal," Jenkins said then of playing before a national audience. He later signed with Florida. "It's just an unbelievable experience."
Good Counsel's Kline Stadium had to be revamped for the event, with more lighting and bleachers, and with cameras planted at various vantage points. There were 12 TV timeouts.
"Distractions?" Good Counsel Coach Bob Milloy said afterward. "You bet. You're a 15-year-old kid looking around at all this going, 'Wow.' I'm a 65-year-old man and I'm looking around going, 'Wow.' "
The 21-point loss tied the most lopsided for DeMatha since 1980. The Stags avenged it with a 34-7 win over Good Counsel in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference final, their sixth in a row.
Broad Run Defies History
Broad Run, with one football playoff victory in 40 years, swept four postseason games to claim the Virginia AA Division 4 title over two-time defending champion Amherst County.