As Kyle Downer led Oakton on an improbable run to the Virginia AAA Northern Region Division 6 title this past fall, it sent waves up and down the East Coast. When the Cougars’ season came to an end in the state semifinals, offers flooded in for the senior quarterback from Albany, Maine, St. Francis and VMI.
After taking official visits to both Albany and Maine during the weekend of Jan. 18, Downer committed to Albany last Monday.
“The biggest thing was the relationship I built with the coaching staff,” Downer said. “They said that they really liked my progression throughout this past year and the leadership and competitiveness I showed during the playoff run.”
Downer also noted the stability of the Albany coaching staff and familiarity with the team’s read-style offense. Last season under Bob Ford, who has been the head coach since 1970, the Great Danes finished 9-2 in Division I Football Championship Subdivision play.
In his first year as starting quarterback, the dual-threat Downer earned first-team all-Northern Region honors status by recording 2,869 yards and 37 total touchdowns. He also stepped in at safety during the postseason to bolster the Cougars’ defense.
With National Signing Day about a week away, there will be plenty more football recruiting news to report and follow. As always, we’ll have you covered in the week leading up to Feb. 6 and all throughout the big day with stories, blog posts and video, so stay tuned.
The snow wiped away Friday’s hoops action but there were still a few highlights from the weekend:
• Flint Hill knocked off then-No. 9 Sidwell Friends, 47-46, on Sunday as Jerrod Reed hit the decisive free throws with 7.6 seconds remaining. The victory marked the Huskies’ fifth straight after losing six in a row, and at 3-2, they are now in the hunt in the Mid-Atlantic Conference standings. Cole Herdman led the way with 12 points and seven rebounds.
• Montrose Christian’s Mark Williams appears to have built a whole lot of confidence from his impressive showing in front of college coaches at the Hoophall Classic last weekend. The senior forward held his own inside the paint (11 rebounds, two monster dunks) and even on the perimeter (two three-pointers) en route to 20 points and a 59-47 win for the Mustangs against T.C. Williams on Saturday.
• Jairus Lyles almost single-handedly led DeMatha to an improbable comeback, scoring 21 of his 36 points in the fourth quarter before the Stags fell to Norcross (Ga.), 68-67, on Saturday. The loss marked the fifth loss in seven games for DeMatha, which has played eight teams ranked either nationally or in the top 10 within their state.
Check out James Sherrill’s video of St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes’ 65-55 win against Georgetown Prep on Saturday, avenging an early-season loss within Interstate Athletic Conference play.
Points, assists and rebounds apiece recorded by Bladensburg alum Jerald Williams during Lycoming College’s 88-71 win against Widener on Saturday. The triple-double continues an impressive senior campaign for Williams, who is averaging 7.2 points and 11.1 assists per game.
— The U.S. Department of Education issued a “landmark” directive within high school sports Friday that outlines how disabled students are to be given equal opportunities within athletics.
— Riverdale Baptist sophomore Rashad Manning set a meet record in the shot put at the Last Track to Philly event.
— Two more football commitments were made recently as Wise’s Antonio Harris pledged to U-Mass and Friendship Collegiate’s Justin Watson committed to Delaware.
— Shout out to Butch McAdams and the In and Out of Sports radio show for having me on this past Sunday to discuss the D.C. area’s strong legacy of basketball talent. Tune into 1450 AM on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to hear the latest in youth sports.
No. 9 Eleanor Roosevelt at No. 13 DuVal, 7:15 p.m.
The last time these two played, Roosevelt’s Trevor Evans hit a three-pointer at the buzzer for the 59-58 win. Since then, DuVal has won 13 in a row and looks to extend that streak in this tilt between the top two teams in Prince George’s 4A. (No, you aren’t seeing things. Yes, this is the same matchup to watch from Friday. Blame the snow, not me). Eric Detweiler will be on hand once again, cell phone camera at the ready for another dramatic finish. Look for his game preview later this morning on Recruiting Insider and follow his updates tonight on Twitter at @edetweiler.
Also be on the lookout for our latest Top 20 rankings and a new All-Met Watch later today.