Four years ago, when Greg Taylor heard that Maret wanted to give him a scholarship to play basketball, he said that "he had never heard of the place."

This winter, in his fourth year of varsity basketball at Maret, he has helped to lead the small, private Upper Northwest high school's team to a 7-3 record, with losses only to DeMatha, Dunbar (in overtime) and Archbishop Malloy, traditionally one of the top teams in New York City.

"I liked Maret because it is a small school," said Taylor, who has signed to play basketball at William and Mary next year. "It would be all right to be ranked, but that doesn't really bother me. Coming out of junior high school, Maret stayed with me and gave me the scholarship. That way, I came right out of junior high school and played for a decent high school team."

"It's not like having a good athlete come to the school and playing a weak schedule," said Maret Athletic Director Nick Markoff. "We offer a good schedule with teams like Flint Hill, Gonzaga, DeMatha, and Cardinal Gibbons of Baltimore ."

Basketball, however, isn't the only sport at which Maret excels.

The girls basketball and softball teams are defending titlists and the girls soccer team recently won the Independent tournament championship.

"We have the smallest ratio of boys, only 120, in the District," Markoff said, "and we have so many different sports."

"I only carry 16 players," Markoff said of his football team's roster.

Why?

"It goes along with my philsosphy," he said. "I want all these kids to play and experience a game. It's important to find a kid, who probably wouldn't get a uniform at other schools, playing and even starting here. Sometimes I suited up the JV just so I'd have someone to talk to on the sidelines."

"We take everyone that wants to play," said Carter Wertheim, a senior on the 3-5 football team which played in the Potomac Independent League. "We became a lot closer this season because at one point we were down to 14 players."

That is the key to sports at Maret -- every boy or girl gets a chance to play a sport. "I like the idea where kids can compete and do different things," Markoff said.

He admits that sometimes, because so many students are involved in their own sport, attendance at some games may be lacking. "On any given day I can't fill up the stands because of other teams playing games," he said.

"The school is very supportive when something big happens," said Lisa Schule, a senior on the girls basketball team. "In the big games, people always try to come out. For a small school, the sports are great. Everyone is so involved at Maret."

"The spirit's getting better because the teams are getting better," Taylor said.

Markoff says the teams do compensate for attendance by shortening practices so one team can attend another's big game. Also, the utmost support is given by the administration, according to Markoff and his players.

"I remember the one year we were playing for the football championship, the second half of school was called off so everyone could make the two-hour drive to see the game," Wertheim said.

Markoff said Maret will continue to maintain a solid athletic program, even though recognition is scarce. The basketball team will continue to produce players such as Taylor and former star Terry Coffey, who now plays at Connecticut. And all Fightin' Frogs always will get a chance to compete.

"That's what's important," Markoff said. "It's those little things that everyone appreciates."

It doesn't bother Markoff that Maret may always be "that little school down the hill from St. Albans on Cathedral Avenue."