DuVal Hires Soccer Coach

DuVal Athletic Director Carol Konrad spent much of the summer searching for a new boys soccer coach. She finally found one last week, hiring Mark Pierson, formerly coach at Bladensburg.

"It was getting to the point where I was going to have to go out and coach soccer, and I don't know much about soccer," Konrad said. "All I know is you have to kick the ball through the poles."

Konrad said she had been searching for a new coach because former coach Alex Hamilton, who taught outside the county, was not able to arrive at school until 4:30 p.m., nearly 90 minutes after school ends at DuVal. Pierson, who left coaching at Bladensburg to pursue his master's degree, according to Konrad, teaches elementary school in Prince George's.

Konrad still has more offseason work to do. The school is also looking for a wrestling coach.

Hush Hush

Perhaps no high school football coach guards his team as closely as Oxon Hill's Cliff Haskins. Asked for a preseason outlook for his team, Haskins responded: "We don't have anything. . . . We don't have a [senior] lineman over 160 pounds."

When asked if players bigger than 160 pounds were practicing with the Clippers, Haskins replied: "Our practices are closed."

The coach was then asked if, say, a reporter would see players bigger than 160 pounds if he rode in a helicopter over the practice field, Haskins said dryly: "We practice indoors."

Away They Go

The Douglass and Crossland football teams better get accustomed to riding buses. Both teams will play just three home games this season and seven on the road.

"We're going to have to get used to wearing our away jerseys," Douglass Coach Bill Johnson said.

Johnson said Douglass had difficulty finding games, forcing it to play its first five games on the road. The Eagles open with games at Northern, Surrattsville and Linganore of Frederick County, then play their final seven games against county opponents. Crossland's road trips include games at Thomas Johnson in Frederick, Md., and Westlake.

"We made hundreds of calls, literally" looking for games, Johnson said. "When the smoke cleared, we ended up with three home games. All the games we had to fill are away."

Still, there is one benefit to playing so many away games. Next season, the schedule will be reversed, with Douglass and Crossland playing seven home games.

Odds and Ends

The Bowie football team has been operating short-handed the past week while backup quarterback Jay Scruggs participates with the Prince George's All-Stars in the Babe Ruth World Series for 14- and 15-yeard olds in Louisiana.

Bulldogs Coach Scott Chadwich called Scruggs, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound sophomore, the team's best throwing quarterback. . . .

In a scheduling change, volleyball matches between county schools will begin at 5:30 p.m. instead of right after school. The move is designed so students will no longer miss classes to play games.