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high school football:

NEWS & NOTES

Party Atmosphere

At South Lakes

When the going gets tough, the tough ... decide to party. And for first-year South Lakes coach Dennis Randolph, the strategy has worked just fine.

Randolph inherited a team that went 0-10 last season. Last night's 40-12 loss to Yorktown in Virginia's AAA Northern Region Division 5 final ended the Seahawks' season at 8-4, but the turnaround was remarkable. How did he do it? Tailgate parties.

"We had 35-40 guys coming," said Randolph of the offseason gatherings he instituted to encourage more participation. The team would barbecue before basketball games in the winter and before baseball games in the spring. The players also would lift weights Mondays and Wednesdays and run Tuesdays and Thursdays. Randolph said the turnout has been impressive.

"This season has been all the kids. They showed up."

-- Nathan Max

One Word: Semaj

Gaithersburg junior running back Semaj Richardson burst onto the scene last week when, in his first varsity start, he rushed for 192 yards in the first round of the playoffs. But is he already so big that he can go by just one name? It would appear so, if you go by the writing on the jersey -- on his back, it says simply "Semaj R."

One reason could be the diminutive runner -- he is all of 5 feet 7, 150 pounds -- has a last name that stretches too far across his back, making it tough to read. Asked why he chose to wear his first name on his back he replied, "No real reason. I just wanted to be different."

That Richardson is tough to catch is becoming increasingly evident. After again replacing starter Jay Colbert (sprained ankle) late in the first quarter, he rushed for 146 yards.

-- Tarik El-Bashir

WORTH QUOTING

"I played my final home game here at Seneca Valley, but we are going to Byrd Stadium and that is almost like home to us."

-- Screaming Eagles senior LeVar Scott. Seneca Valley has played in three straight Maryland title games at Byrd Stadium.

BY THE NUMBERS

259

Completions this season for North Stafford senior QB Chris Ashinhurst, breaking the Virginia single-season record of 211 set in 1990 by W.T. Woodson's Brandon Corso.

3,273

Yards passing for Ashinhurst, breaking the Virginia single-season record 3,014 set in 1994 by Handley's Brian Partlow (Partlow's total came in 14 games; Ashinhurst played only 12 games this season.)

WHERE THE

TOP 20 PLAY

1. Seneca Valley (12-0)d. Damascus, 48-7

2. Hylton (12-0)d. North Stafford, 24-6

3. DeMatha (10-0-1)vs. Paul VI Cath., 1

4. Lake Braddock (11-0)vs. Centreville, 1:30

5. Park View (11-0)vs. Charlottesville, 1:30

6. Gaithersburg (11-1)d. Severna Park, 13-0

7. Damascus (10-2)l. to Seneca Valley, 48-7

8. E. Roosevelt (10-1)vs. Patterson, 11

9. Culpeper (12-0)d. Wiiliam Fleming, 29-8

10. Thomas Stone (12-0)d. Randallstown, 16-7

11. Severna Park (10-2)l. to Gaithersburg, 13-0

12. Centreville (9-2)vs. L. Braddock, 1:30

13. North Stafford (10-2)l. to Hylton, 24-6

14. Howard (10-1)vs. Edmondson, 2

15. Fairfax (10-1)Season complete

16. Handley (10-1)vs. Harrisonburg, 1:30

17. Forestville (9-2)vs. Cambridge-S. Dorchester, 1

18. Spotsylvania (9-2)at Lafayette, 1:30

19. Dunbar (8-3-1)at Eastern, Nov. 25

20. Annapolis (9-2)Season complete