Loudoun County High School senior Doug Poland knew he had injured his arm. He was tackled midway through the Raiders' scrimmage with Osbourn Aug. 14, and the fullback figured he had a deep bruise, one that might take a few days to heal.
The real diagnosis was much worse: Poland broke the radius bone in his right forearm and will miss the first six weeks of the football season. Poland earned second-team all-Northwestern District honors last year after rushing for a team-high 1,024 yards.
"It's definitely a blow to the offense," Loudoun County Coach Pat McManus said. "Any time you lose an all-district running back [who also is ] a 1,000-yard rusher, it's a blow. He was also our only returning back. Now we'll start the season with no one in our backfield who has varsity experience."
Poland hopes to be playing in time for the Raiders' homecoming game, which is Oct. 9 against Broad Run. In the meantime, juniors Chris Hughes, Jimmy Lee, Chris Geaneas and Mike Zebe will pick up the slack.
"Of course it's disappointing. I wanted to be healthy and have a good senior year," Poland said. "I'm just trying to make the best of it, and I know that I can come back. The rest of our backs will step up. I became a good back last year because of our offensive line; whoever steps in for me will have big holes to run through."
Last season was a breakthrough year for Poland. He ran for 145 yards in his first varsity start, a 31-0 victory over Loudoun Valley in the season opener, and finished the year by rushing for more than 100 yards in each of the last four games.
"Doug is such a good kid," McManus said. "He'll stay in shape, and if there's any way to come back this season, he will find it. The thing about Doug is, he's been out at practice every day since his cast was put on. And he will continue to be out at practice every day. He's one of our captains, and he'll help our fullbacks get ready." . . .
The Park View football team scrimmaged Group AAA Chantilly Thursday night before a crowd of approximately 800 people in Sterling.
"I was surprised at how many people showed up, but I think some of them wanted to see Chantilly," Park View senior offensive lineman Andy Skinner said. "It's always neat to play in front of a crowd, especially when it's only a scrimmage."
Third-Grader Strikes Gold
Casey Oriend, a third-grader at C. Hunter Ritchie Elementary School in New Baltimore, won the gold medal in his age group at the USA Roller Skating National Indoor Junior Olympic Speed Championships. Oriend, 8, finished first out of 36 competitors in the J.O. Primary division (ages 7 and 8) at nationals, which were held in Syracuse Aug. 12 and 13.
Oriend started racing eight months ago, and this was his first national competition. The competition consisted of a 200-meter and 300-meter race, each contested on a 100-meter short track. The overall winner is determined by points earned in both races.
Oriend fell during the semifinals of the 200-meter race and was disqualified, which meant he had to win the 300-meter race to have a chance to win the overall title. Oriend did that, in a time of 34.1 seconds, just .34 seconds shy of the national record.
"He fell in the 200 and had to be carried off the track," said Casey's father, Dean. "It looked pretty bad. We figured he was done, because he wasn't going to get any points in the 200. . . . He came out in the final, and his coach told him that he had to get first if he wanted to win. It was pretty exciting race; he was passed during the last lap, but he managed to come back and win."