The first Earl Richards Memorial Interhigh League football doubleheader at Eastern was a big success last Friday.
Cardozo defeated Anacostia, 12-0, and host Eastern got past Theodore Roosevelt, 18-12, before more than 2,000 fans attending the doubleheader named after Richards, a former Eastern coach Richards who died two weeks ago after a heart attack.
Always a staunch supporter of athletics in the Interhigh League, Richards was an assistant principal at Roosevelt.
"Everyone thought the doubleheader was different, refreshing," said league athletic director Otto Jordan. "We were playing in a new stadium of sorts and we had a good crowd. We had hoped for a few more people, but it is early in the school year and things will get better."
Because Richards was so interested in athletics and the future of the young athletes, Roosevelt football Coach Jim Tillerson took his team to pay its final respects at Richards' wake at Shiloh Baptist Church in Northwest before its game Friday night.
"I thought it was the right thing to do," said Tillerson. "Earl knew all these kids and the kids felt close to him."
Leading the list of early surprise teams is Einstein, which pulled off another major shocker last week with its 23-7 triumph over defending Maryland Class A state champion Magruder. The victory also ended the Colonels' 13-game winning streak.
Another team raising eyebrows is Gwynn Park. The Yellow Jackets, who are more widely known because of their basketball prowess, won their second straight game, besting Potomac, 12-7, for first-year head coach Mike Cavallini.
One year ago, Gwynn Park finished 0-10, failing to score a point in its last nine games. The team snapped its 10-game losing streak with a 14-0 season-opening win over Leonardtown.
Teams off to slow starts include Mount Vernon, which was blanked in its first game, 24-0; Gar-Field, which has scored only one touchdown in its first two games; and High Point, which has also managed only one touchdown in two games.
There are some very interesting games this weekend. For openers, second-ranked Courtland (2-0) can take the excitement out of the Virginia AAA Commonwealth District race by beating visiting Woodbridge (2-0) Friday night.
Courtland, which has won 25 of its last 26 games over a three-year period (it lost to eventual state champion Salem, 21-7, in the state semifinals in 1986), defeated what was throught to be its toughest district foe, Potomac, 14-0, last week. Wooodbridge is much improved over last year's 5-5 team, but can it stop Courtland?
Another interesting contest is the H.D. Woodson-McNamara game Saturday. Although Woodson lacks the huge size it has been known for in recent years, Coach Bob Headen says this is one of his better teams. The Warriors have a fine quarterback in Henderson Mosley, who threw four touchdown passes in a 51-6 win over Roosevelt.
To no one's big surprise, T.C. Williams is once again one of the best defensive football teams in the Washington area. In fact, after Williams held West Potomac to less than 120 total yards in a 21-7 victory Friday night, Wolverines' Coach Danny Meier said the Titans had probably the best defense he had seen in his 10 years of coaching.