Spingarn, for years referred to as the house that Elgin Baylor built and Dave Bing refined, may soon be known as the house renovated by Earl Jones.
The 6-foot-11 All-America transfer from Mount Hope, W. Va., has Metropolitan Washington buzzing in anticipation of the coming basketball season. People at the northeast Washington school are so excited over Jones they have almost ignored the early achievements of the football team.
"It's definitely hard to overlook Earl being here," said Ken Howell, football coach. "We haven't been recognized yet, but it'll come."
The Green Wave defense, dubbed the Crunch Bunch, has been awesome in limited three opponents to 100 yards per game and 12 points. Parlay those statistics with the pinpoint passing of Eric Richardson and the running tandem of Gary Mayo and Reese Carson and Spingarn's 3-0 record is not at all surprising.
"We're not surprised at our early success," Howell said. "We've been preparing for this season since spring workouts. We started long before Earl Jones came to Spingarn."
Howell, a chemistry teacher, says his team finally is beginning to get the accolades it deserves. The school suffered through a season of turmoil last year when Howell filed a grievance with the Washington Teacher's Union alleging he was being denied a head coaching position because of favoritism. Many of the players revolted and several quit out of loyalty to the former coach and Spingarn finished 4-5-1.
"It was tough on everyone last year," Howell said. "But I've always been a fighter and I believed everything would turn out right. I wasn't going to quit because of the administrative problems. The kids and the assistant coaches have been great. We haven't been sneaking up on anyone; we've been building for three years.
"My JV team was undefeated two years ago and last year's team would have done a lot better had we not had the problems. Many of the players this year have been with me for three years."
Offensive tackle Kelvin Campbell agreed the team has forgotten about last year and has concentrated its efforts on making an appearance at neighboring RFK Stadium in the Thanksgiving Day city title game.
"We've worked hard to get to this point", said Campbell following his team's 18-0 victory over Coolidge Friday.
Spingarn will be idle this week before its league opener with Ballou two weeks from now.
"We weren't picked to win in the preseason but that's good; it made us work harder," Howell said. "We have six tough league games to play and none will be easy. We aren't taking anyone for granted. People know talent and they'll realize they will have to come get us now."
The 14th annual Spaulding basketball clinic will be held Oct. 12-13 at the Sheraton-Lanham hotel. Featured speakers include college coaches Dean Smith (North Carolina), Digger Phelps (Notre Dame), Abe Lemons (Texas), and Jack Kvancz (Catholic). For further information contact Morgan Wooten, De Matha High School coach, or Joe Gallagher of St. John's.
Leonardtown High in southern Maryland is seeking soccer, golf, wrestling. girls' track and tennis opponents for the 1979-80 seasons. Contact Athletic Director Joe Nicewarner.
Ten members of Interhigh outdoor track champion Ballou's squad received college scholarships, the school announced recently. Dan Campbell, Michael Best, Lorenzo Phillips, Rodney Edge and Horace Stewart will attend Northwest Missouri State; Noel Cyrus, Sonya Briscoe and Vivian Farmer opted for Compton (Cal.) Junior College; Leroy West selected Holy Cross and Howard Smith signed with Virginia Tech.
The Interhigh league is having its problems winning games outside the city. After three weeks, the league has a combined 2-14-1 mark. Including nine shutouts and has been outscored, 397-86
T. C. Williams senior Dwight Stephens, one of the premier long distance runners in the area, set a course record of 12:50.2 over 2 3/4 miles in winning individual honors in the Handley High School Judges Classic cross country meet last weekend. However, his team finished seventh behind winner Handley, defending champion Oakton Woodbridge, O'Connell, James Wood and Edison.
Fort Hunt took the girls' title, edging Edison and O'Connell. Woodbridge's Sue Bain captured first-place honors, clocking 15:02 or two miles.
Eugene Lee's four touchdown performance in Sherwood's 27-8 victory over Einstein Saturday gave the senior six touchdowns for the year and the early season scoring lead. Spingarn's Greg Mayo, who had nearly 500 yards rushing in three games, has five touchdowns as does O'Connell's Kevin Campbell and Kennedy's Mark Robinson.