In late March, the prospects of the Rockville baseball season looked dim. Not only had the Rams, last year's Montgomery County A League champion, moved up to Class AA, but freak injuries to two returning All-Met players might have ruined the season before the first game was played.
But Rockville has regrouped around a host of veteran players and an unlikely star, a transfer student from Arkansas who filled in just where Coach Tom Manuel needed help.
"He came out of nowhere," said Manuel. "Craig Fletcher and Jeff Bonner were both out with leg injuries, but transfer Doug Goodman stepped right in and helped.
"Now I've got a new problem, but it's a lot more pleasant than the first. Now I've got to figure out how to get playing time for all the guys who have been playing well for me."
Sliding accidents resulted in leg injuries for Fletcher and Bonner four days later, but both are back now. Fletcher is back at third base, but his biggest asset is at bat, where he earned All-Met designated hitter honors as a junior. He hit .571 through his first four games this spring.
Bonner pitched Saturday and beat Bethesda-Chevy Chase, but Manuel concedes Bonner's knee is not completely healed.
If not for Goodman's heroics and those of his teammates, however, their return may not have mattered in the competitive Montgomery AA League, where Rockville was a surprising first with a 8-0 record before to Tuesday's game against Wheaton.
"Doug's won three games for us without a loss, has 21 strikeouts, a 1.00 ERA, and is batting .429 through last Thursday ," said Manuel. "He's a very good athlete who helped us right when we needed it most. He's been the best pitcher in the county this season."
But Goodman didn't do the job alone. Jovi McAndrew, last year's Montgomery County earned run average leader, has been just as tough this season with a 2-0 record and a 2.10 ERA as of last Thursday.
The stage is set for an extremely tight regular season race that may not be decided until the last week of the schedule, but one special matchup will occur May 5. In that key meeting, Churchill is expected to send ace pitcher Scott Sorkin (4-0, 39 strikeouts and 0.00 ERA through last weekend) against Rockville.
Marv Garlick, a former football assistant to the late Brady Straub at Northwood and Kennedy, has been selected to succeed Straub as Kennedy's head coach.
Straub died earlier this year after a bout with cancer.
Kennedy also filled its head basketball coaching vacancy by naming Al DeStefano to the position. Currently Kennedy's golf coach, DeStefano was a former assistant basketball coach at Mackin.
Riverdale Baptist football coach Bill Edwards will not have his contract renewed for next season. Edwards led the Crusaders to a 7-3 record last season. A year earlier, his team finished 4-8. Riverdale Baptist was winless the year before Edwards' arrival . . . Prince George's County soccer coaches have voted not to expand their regular season from 12 to 14 games . . . Churchill All-Met defensive tackle Armin Moshyedi has decided to attend the University of Pennsylvania. Bulldogs tight end Paul Dougherty has signed with Catholic University . . . Northwestern softball pitcher Karen Goheen threw a 13-0 no-hitter against Suitland. Goheen struck out 11 and walked only two. Grace Brethren's Dawn Lawson pitched her second no-hitter of the season, a 30-0 victory against Evangel. Michelle Carmassi pitched another no-hitter recently to give Douglass a 23-1 victory over Fairmont Heights. Carmassi struck out 11 and walked seven . . . DeMatha defensive back Francis Cager has accepted a football scholarship to Virginia Military Institute.