Bowie State was 1-19 over the past two seasons, but this season, for the first time, John Organ, the athletic director and football coach, has distributed partial athletic scholarships to 25 players. And that, he says, may make at least some difference.

"We used to have 70 to 75 players out for the team," said Organ, who has coached the Division II Bulldogs for 10 years. "Last year we were down to 55. At the end of the season we dressed 38 players. You can't blame the players. It was a volunteer program.

"It wasn't just in football that we were terrible. We were terrible in basketball. In fact, in basketball and football we won only one game (last year)."

Organ didn't need Knute Rockne to tell him that without those players, his teams had ceased to be competitive. The Bulldogs were outscored, 427-40, last year. In 10 defeats, the team amassed a total of minus 12 yards rushing; the defense, most of which also was the offense, allowed 3,048 rushing yards.

"It wasn't rough," Organ said of last year. "It was terrible -- from a won-loss point. But from a point of finding out who your players are, it was good."

Two senior linebackers probably are the Bulldogs' outstanding players: Ted Green, a 5-foot-11, 215-pounder from Crossland High School, and Fran Stevens, a 6-2, 195-pounder from Bowie.

"We haven't won a football game yet," Organ said. "But in attitude -- you give them athletic aid -- and they feel they are as good as their opponents." -- Robert Lohrer