Over the past seven seasons, Willie Stewart always scheduled preseason games against Northern Virginia public schools despite the losses he said were imminent.
"We knew we wouldn't see any teams on par with the Virginia schools when the league began, so after those games we were ready," said Stewart, who won three league championships in five years at Eastern before moving to Anacostia two years ago. "Although the losses hurt my spirit, I didn't mind too much because the kids benefited some and we made some money. The Virginia schools were just too strong."
Before this year, Northern Virginia schools, Gar-Field and Woodbridge in particular, had beaten Interhigh teams 21 times in 23 meetings (two ties) and outscored them, 661-51. Stewart suffered the most embarrassment, losing eight times by a combined score of 248-18.
Stewart ended his seven-year drought Friday night as Anacostia opened the 1983 season with an impressive 29-6 victory at Potomac (Dumphries, Va.). The fourth-year school defeated both Woodbridge and Gar-Field last year and missed out on a state playoff berth when it lost to Fauquier, 26-18, the final week of the season.
"If our bus driver hadn't insisted we leave, we would still be standing there on that field grinning," Stewart said. "It was fantastic. This was history for the Interhigh, beating a Virginia (Commonwealth District) team. I can't wait to see the films. I'll look at them every day."
Stewart said his offense and defense played so well, he smiled constantly throughout the game.
"On our first drive, we marched down the field and should have scored," Stewart said. "Big (Martin) Chesley caught a pass and thought he scored. But he was standing at the one with the ball raised over his head. A Potomac player hit him and he fumbled. I told him next time run all the way through the end zone. He did, all the way through the end zone and halfway up the hill.
"I had been telling the kids how the Interhigh teams can't win over here and they came out and really played well. After all those losses, this one felt really good."
The other Interhigh schools didn't fare too well in their openers against non-District schools. Gar-Field continued its mastery over Interhigh teams, topping last year's No. 1 team and defending Interhigh League champion H.D. Woodson, 18-8; Cardozo was crushed by Central Virginia power, Highland Springs, 52-0; Ballou was shut out at O'Connell, 42-0; Wilson lost to St. John's, 7-0; and Eastern wilted at Carroll, 24-0.
Top individual performances: Anacostia's Joe Clark threw four touchdown passes, three to Purnell Moore in the win over Potomac; Dunbar's Maurice Vaughan with two touchdown passes in an 18-0 win over spingarn; Carroll's Brian Murphy had an interception, scored a touchdown and set up another with a 42-yard reception in a 24-0 victory over Eastern.
All-Met basketball player Wally Lancaster has transferred from St. Anthony's to Coolidge. Lancaster played two years st St. Albans before transferring to St. Anthony's where he averaged 20 points, nine rebounds and three steals for the 26-3 Tonies . . . UDC announced the signing of H.D. Woodson high jumper Richard Evans, half-miler Euugene Singletary, sprinter Thomas Woodruff and long jumper John O'Brien, Ballou quarter miler Vincent Phillips and T.C. Williams quarter miler Gregory Wright . . . Basketball Officials of D.C. Board 9 will conduct training classes for interested persons beginning Sept. 12th at the Department of Labor, room C-5515. For further information, contact Bob Brevius at 530-5535 . . . Cardozo swimming Coach Stanley Gainor has been selected District 2 Coach of the Year by the National High School Athletic Coaches Association.
The Catholic-Interhigh championship football game has not been played since 1974 but defending Metro champion De Matha and Interhigh winner H.D. Woodson will play for the first time Sunday at Northwestern at 1.