It may not provide all the answers, but on Oct. 25 at Lee High School, the first salvo will be fired in the war over whether the caliber of high school football is better in the Virginia or Maryland suburbs.
For no concrete, logical reason, public high school teams from the states bordering the District of Columbia have refused to cross the Potomac River, even to play a team geographically closer than some intrastate opponents. The tradition ends, however, when Lee plays its homecoming game against Einstein from Silver Spring.
"Playing a Montgomery school will be a first for a Fairfax school as far as I know," said Lee Coach Steve Sengstack. "But it has turned out to be even more of a natural rivalry than I even imagined. Montgomery and Fairfax counties are competitive in a number of ways such as whose schools are better, politics and general way of life. Why shouldn't they be rivals in football?"
This bold step was not an all-out effort to break tradition. When Fort Hunt and Groveton high schools merged to become West Potomac, Gunston District schools were left with an open date on their football schedules.
Last year, Lake Braddock's football team was 5-1 when the discovery of an eligible player forced the Bruins to forfeit all five victories. The emotional jolt led to Lake Braddock losing its final four games on the field.
"That's the worst thing that has ever happened to me, except for someone dying in the family," said Joe Clark, who has been coaching in Fairfax County for 12 years. "I think it's all been forgotten, but maybe not. This is the quietest bunch of kids I've ever seen. They might be playing so well this year because of what happened last year."
The Bruins have not allowed a touchdown this autumn in victories over Jefferson and Annandale. Senior 5-foot-8, 165-pound running back Roger Boone rushed for 208 yards against Jefferson, and followed with a 245-yard performance against the Atoms. Last year, 1,345 yards rushing and nine touchdowns earned Boone all-Met honorable mention honors.
Clark's optimism rises in mentioning that senior fullback Chris Coleman, who is nursing an ankle injury, should rejoin Boone in the backfield tomorrow night at Lee.
The Wakefield Invitational girls tennis tournament, which opened the 1985 season for eight Northern Virginia schools, will have an unexpectedly long wait to be decided.
W.T. Woodson defeated Robinson, 7-2, in one semifinal match last week and Lee defeated West Springfield, 6-3, in the other. The two traditional Northern Region powers were scheduled to meet in the championship match last Friday, but that was postponed at the request of the Lancers so they could play a previously postponed match with Langley that had also been scheduled for Friday.
"Apparently, the only time Langley could reschedule the match was on that day," said Lee's Rick Bradley.
No date has been established for the tournament championship, but Woodson Coach Barbara Rogers will use the time to solidify her lineup. Juniors Mary Margaret Pauley, Vicky Maddox and Lara George started as the Nos. 1, 2, and 3 players, respectively, but Rogers said there has been great competition between the teammates in challenge matches. .
Chantilly's 14-10 victory over Langley Friday dropped the Lancers' football team to 0-2-1. Langley tied Hayfield (1-1-1) two weeks ago, 10-10, but the score was incorrectly stated in last week's Notebook.