Goverman Is Two-Way Tough

The Laurel football team is 0-5 and has not won a game since 1997. But that has not stopped opposing coaches from noticing the play of senior quarterback-linebacker Jon Goverman, whom they call one of the toughest players in the county.

"He takes a beating, there's no doubt about it," Laurel Coach Chuck Hickes said. "We've got to stop playing him so much on defense, because he takes so many knocks on offense."

Goverman played only one series on defense in the Spartans' 48-0 loss to Eleanor Roosevelt last Saturday because reserve quarterback Chris Jacquet was unavailable after suffering whiplash in a car accident the previous night, Hickes said.

In Laurel's option-based offense, Goverman (5 feet 9, 160 pounds) is a target, since he usually has the ball.

"He really hangs in there," Hickes said. "He keeps coming back. . . . He just won't come out of the game. Some kids, when they get hit, they stay down and you have to take them out for a play or two. He doesn't stay down."

For Laughs, Lynch Suits Up

Suitland football coach Nick Lynch walked onto the practice field last Thursday and his players couldn't help but laugh. After all, how often does a coach put on a helmet and shoulder pads and play on the scout team offense?

"I wanted to get the kids to relax," said Lynch, who had not put on a helmet or pads since his senior season as a wide receiver at East Tennessee State University in 1987. "I thought they were real tight. When I came out in equipment, they were on the ground laughing. I think they loosened up and that's how we played in the first quarter" on Saturday against Largo.

Suitland (4-1) built a 16-0 lead en route to a 16-12 victory over the Lions.

Friendly Runs Into Surprise

At the end of the Prince George's 3A/2A cross-country meet last week at Patuxent Park, Friendly Coach Darryl Spencer was unsure how his teams fared. When he learned the Patriots had defeated each of the six 2A teams they were being scored against, Spencer was ecstatic. Friendly senior Nate Brunson won the boys race in 18 minutes 25 seconds.

"I did not know we did that well," Spencer said. "With everybody coming in like they were coming in, it is hard to see and you're trying to get kids' times. I figured we did all right."

In addition to Brunson, senior Garnell Cross finished 10th in the boys race and freshman Davon Dixon, who had never run competitively before this fall, finished third among Friendly's boys in 20:21.

Friendly's girls were led by senior Lateicia Durham, who finished third overall in 23:00. Krystal Perkins of Douglass was the race winner.

All of the county's teams gather today at Fort Washington Park for a 4 p.m. meet.