Washington-Lee and Yorktown have finally given in to peer pressure.
This year, for the first time, the two Great Falls District schools have moved their boys soccer schedule to the spring. The pair resisted the change when other Northern Virginia schools switched from fall soccer.
By playing in the Metropolitan Independent A League in the fall, Washington-Lee and Yorktown forfeited the opportunity to compete for the Virginia state championship and lost the natural rivalries they had with other public schools in other sports.
In the Independent A, they also were competing against private schools not bound by Virginia High School League rules. While some of those schools played over 20 games a season, Washington-Lee and Yorktown were limited to 12 regular-season games.
"The two of us seemed to be just hanging out," said Washington-Lee's Roger Coggins, who became head coach this season after 10 years as an assistant. "In that Independent League, there was not as much status as there would be in winning a district title or a state championship."
Neither Washington-Lee nor Yorktown stayed with fall soccer strictly because of tradition. Both shared problems such as a shortage of students to draw from (compared to other AAA schools) during the busy spring season. There was also a shortage of coaches and a problems with sharing spring facilities.
Washington-Lee may have been most affected. Coggins had coached tennis in the spring for the past decade and was forced to give up that sport. Del Norwood, who started the Generals' soccer program 22 years ago, also was forced to make a choice. He decided to stick with baseball, which he has coached for 26 years.
"It's probably the best for the school and all the boys involved," said Norwood. "I think they should have the opportunity to play for a district title, but if all the teams played in the fall, I still think that is the best time of year to play soccer."
Washington-Lee initiated its spring soccer season with a 2-0 victory over Wakefield as Alberto Cantillana and Andrea Russo scored. Friday, the Generals lost to W.T. Woodson, 2-1.
Gus Hill of Flint Hill scored eight points in 13 minutes Sunday for the Capital All-Stars as they lost, 142-120, to the United States All-Stars in the Capital Classic basketball game at Capital Centre. Although he was the only Northern Virginia player in the feature game, there were some local representatives in the preliminary game.
Ed Tiernan, in his second year at Stuart, coached the Suburban All-Star team which defeated the District All-Stars, 101-99. Tracy Scruggs of Mount Vernon, who made just three of 14 shots for the game, came through with an important one as his basket with eight seconds left in overtime was the winner.
James Clark of T.C. Williams, who had an inconsistent senior season, was among the most impressive players in the preliminary, making eight of nine shots from the field and finishing with 17 points.
Some local players did not do so well. Brian Allen of South Lakes missed all five shots from field and did not score. Jay Dennis of Stuart finished with eight points and five turnovers in 17 minutes, but Dwain Coller of Stuart played only eight minutes (scoring six points) and 7-foot-1 George Burgin of W.T. Woodson had six rebounds and four points, although he played only 11 minutes of the 53-minute game.
The playing time on the Suburban team varied from the 34 minutes of Springbrook's Mike Mundy (seven of 26 from the floor) to the six minutes of Wootton's Jack Lynch. Conversely, no player on the District team played less than 14 minutes or more than 25 in a game which is intended to benefit players who have not yet gained college scholarships.
Glenn Williams, the three-sport star of T.C. Williams, has accepted a basketball scholarship from Holy Cross. Williams quarterbacked the Titans' football team to the 1984 state championship, and was an all-Northern Region basketball selection at guard. . . Bob Pollard, Ireton's 6-8 1/2, 299-pound junior, has become the tallest and heaviest player ever selected to the Virginia All-State Catholic basketball team. Also chosen by Catholic coaches were Ireton's Sean Smith and Sean Gallaher of O'Connell. Jeff Paciolla of Ireton was named to the second team. . . Possibly a reflection of this year's caliber of Northern Virgina's public school basketball: not one local player was named to the Associated Press' first or second all-State teams.