On Move, Johnson Checks In

The opening weekend of the high school football season kept one man very busy--Owen Johnson, the school system's supervisor of high school athletics. Johnson stopped by six schools to make sure games went off smoothly, driving his black pickup truck to Gwynn Park, Suitland, Bladensburg, Eleanor Roosevelt, High Point (for Northwestern-Fairmont Heights) and Laurel.

"In a lot of instances, people didn't even see me, I was just a spectator," Johnson said. "Everything seemed to be doing well. It was a good weekend."

Johnson said he plans a similar outing for the beginning of soccer and volleyball seasons on Thursday.

"You always get nervous the first week," he said. "There are thousands of little things that could go wrong and turn into major catastrophes. People don't understand the magnitude of the job. A lot of work goes on behind the scenes."

Muzzy Adjusts for Roosevelt Soccer

As a goalkeeper, Chris Muzzy was good enough to help the Eleanor Roosevelt boys soccer team advance to the semifinals of the Maryland 4A tournament last season. However, Muzzy will not be called on to make many saves for the Greenbelt school this season. Because of a need for field players and with other players competing to play in goal, Roosevelt Coach George Kallas shifted Muzzy to central midfield.

"He's doing quite well," said Kallas, whose team begins its season Thursday at La Plata. "But he did miss a year of field time."

Muzzy is one of just four returning starters for Roosevelt, which finished 15-2 last season. Midfielders Daniel Rensberg and Michael Farris and sweeper Brett Barcheski also return.

Roosevelt, Bowie and High Point are expected to be the front-runners for the Prince George's 4A title.

Meanwhile, Surrattsville, which did not field a team last season, will compete in the Prince George's 3A/2A league. Crossland will field only a junior varsity team because of a lack of players. Also, Largo did not have enough players for a girls team.

County Football Teams Open Strong

Prince George's football teams went 6-4-1 against non-Prince George's competition in season openers, not including Oxon Hill's game against H.D. Woodson of Northeast Washington. (The game was suspended because of lightning in the fourth quarter with Oxon Hill trailing, 42-26.)

Central, Douglass, Gwynn Park, Surrattsville, Bowie and Forestville posted victories against teams from outside the county.

"It is great to see a team go out and play other teams in different counties and get a win," said Suitland Coach Nick Lynch, whose team trailed McNamara in the fourth quarter, 14-0, when the game was suspended because of lightning. "That's impressive. It's not like P.G. County has just one or two good teams. I think we have several good teams."

Central Volleyball Starts Over

Perhaps the biggest challenge facing Central's volleyball team as it aims to repeat as Prince George's 2A champions this fall is change. After winning the first volleyball title in school history in 1998, the Falcons have a new coach (Felicia Montgomery) and five new starters. The lone returning starter from last season's 8-4 team is senior hitter Jennifer Gordon. Among those stepping into the starting lineup is senior setter Melody Randolph.