Though his junior year will not be officially over for another two weeks, Quince Orchard’s Malcolm Brown helped take the new Cougars’ defense for a test ride Wednesday afternoon against Gaithersburg in a passing league spring scrimmage.
It wasn’t lost on Brown that his unit faced a preview of Solomon Vault, either. Vault, the speedy running back who signed with Northwestern this spring and is fresh off a quality showing at the Maryland state track & field championships last week, was the type of threat Quince Orchard needed to see before the summer break, Brown contended after the workout.
“[Spring scrimmages are] always good because there’s a lot of competition. He’s a great player. It was nice to play against him,” Brown said. “I’m very excited about this upcoming year. We’re changing a lot things…we have a lot of new guys on defense.”
Some small things have changed for Brown in the past six weeks. He’s been moved from safety to cornerback for the upcoming year to shore up a position that still might be six-deep come fall camp. He’s up a few pounds in weight. And he’s headier about recruiting, having picked up three more offers since mid-April – the latest coming from East Carolina on Tuesday. He also holds offers from Old Dominion, Colgate and Appalachian State, the latter of which came early last month.
But East Carolina is the best yet, Brown said, and because he has family about four hours south in the Columbia, South Carolina area, he’s all ears. Moreover, he isn’t being labeled at a specific position by schools that are inquiring about him this spring – one school might like him at receiver, another at safety, another at cornerback. He’s a true athlete that can plug multiple holes on a college roster.
But first he must help Quince Orchard get over the top. The Cougars, who have made consecutive runs to the Maryland 4A state title game the past two seasons, but have lost both, have retooled a defense that held opponents to just 6.5 points per game last season and recorded five shutouts.
Brown noted that Avalon transfer Adam McLean – one of the more heavily recruited Class of 2015 players in the area at the moment – will be a difference maker at defensive tackle. And Brown is embracing his new role at corner – a “comfortable” fit. The move also fits his recruiting profile, which has added considerable depth in six weeks. He’ll attend camps at Maryland and West Virginia this summer, he said, in hopes of turning more heads and producing more offers.
“The season’s going to come really fast. We have summer workouts coming up,” Brown said. “And then the fall is going to be here.”
NUMBER CRUNCH: 321
The number of games Stu Vetter won during his 14-year tenure as the basketball coach at Montrose Christian. In an unexpected move, Vetter announced he will step down from the Rockville school at the end of the summer, the Post’s Brandon Parker reported Wednesday.
PHOTOS OF THE NIGHT
— Dunbar is still awaiting the opening of its new track facility in Northwest, and in the meantime, its girls track & field team has relied on unconventional practice tactics to maintain its dominant status.
— It took a while, but Chantilly stayed the course and delivered late in penalty kicks in Wednesday’s Virginia AAA Northern Region girls’ soccer semifinal against W.T. Woodson.
— Oakton’s Patrick Moore scores the game-winner in overtime against Lake Braddock in a AAA Northern Region boys’ soccer semifinal, sending Cougars through to the final and a spot in the state quarterfinals next week.
— Oakton’s R.J. Gaines unleashed a nasty cutter early and often in the Cougars 8-1 win over South County in a Virginia AAA Northern Region baseball semifinal.
— Madison’s girls’ softball team had to make a tough decision with pitching Wednesday night, but it paid dividends in a 6-3 win over McLean in a Virginia AAA Northern Region softball semifinal.
WHAT TO WATCH TODAY
Virginia AA Baseball Region II Semifinal: Woodgrove at Potomac Falls, 7 pm.
The Panthers received a clutch hit from designated hitter Alex James late Tuesday, which led to a 1-0 win over Millbrook in the quarterfinals. Now Potomac Falls (20-4) will have to deal with a Woodgrove (14-6) squad that beat the Panthers 9-1 back on May 8 and has scored 21 runs in its last two outings.