When time expired on Oxon Hill’s 38-0 win over Parkdale Saturday, the Clippers’ best season since 2008 came to an end. With it came the end of a challenging fall in which Oxon Hill was without a home field due to school renovations, and was forced to bus to practice each day and play “home games” at other school’s fields.
Making the Clippers’ 2013 evolution from bottom of the pile to middle of the pack more remarkable is Oxon Hill High School's late release time — 4:30 pm — which in itself diminished the Clippers’ practice time relative to other Prince George’s County schools that released much earlier. Add the lugging of equipment onto the bus and the ride to practice, and Oxon Hill Coach Craig Jefferies and his Clippers had to get more done in a shorter period of time than many of their neighbors.
“We had about 30 minutes less of practice time or more a day than other teams,” Jefferies said. “That’s tough. The more you practice, the better you get.”
Jefferies said that as much as his team improved this season, he believed they could be better. The Clippers (5-5) return several key cogs next year, including now-junior quarterback Anthony Dougherty, running back Jeremy Fields and junior defensive tackle Dejuan Small. Most importantly, they’ll have a home field, as Jefferies said he expects Oxon Hill’s stadium to be completed by the end of the summer.
Playoff matchups for the first round of the Maryland state playoffs are now set, and will feature three Prince George’s vs. Prince George’s matchups in a stellar Saturday slate. All three are rematches of key regular season games. No. 5 Suitland (10-0) will host C.H. Flowers (7-3). The Rams disposed of the Jaguars easily in a 27-6 win three weeks ago.
Wise (7-3) will visit No. 14 DuVal (9-1) in the other game in the 4A South region. The Tigers edged the Pumas 14-13 — the difference a failed Wise two-point conversion — in a Week 2 statement win that sparked DuVal to one of its best seasons in school history while serving as a taste of things to come for Wise, which would lose two more games and not clinch a playoff berth until its regular season finale.
The final intra-county game will pit 2012 state finalist Douglass (8-2) against No. 9 Gwynn Park (10-0) in a matchup of 2A state title contenders. The biggest rivalry in the 2A South will be renewed after a thrilling, rain-soaked 40-28 Yellow Jackets’ overtime win in the regular season.