Old Mill running back Harold Peters offers a laugh, not an answer, when asked the meaning behind his unusual nickname.
"Ever since I can remember, people have called me 'Greek,'" he said. "My older brother (Ray Fountain) gave it to me when I was little, and it stuck. But I don't even know what it means."
People soon may be hanging a different moniker on the talented senior.
How about "All-County?" Or better yet, "All-Metro?" The season's still young, but at the rate he's going, anything's possible.
The 6-foot, 175-pound tailback has rushed for 411 yards in three games, including 114 in Friday night's 17-14 victory at Severna Park. His first-quarter touchdown on the game's opening drive was his sixth of the year.
"When you look at (Severna Park), they're big, but we have a good line and they just did their job," said Peters, who gained 102 yards in the first half, which ended with Old Mill ahead, 10-0.He only had six carries in the second half after being poked in botheyes midway through the third quarter.
With a slender build and 4.7 speed in the 40-yard --, Peters isn't the fastest or most powerfulrunner in the state. But few have been more productive.
He rushedfor 164 yards and two touchdowns in the Patriots' 24-13 season-opening win at LaPlata. And last week, he gained 132 yards on the ground and had three touchdowns in a 28-0 victory over Chesapeake.
Peters had eight carries for 67 yards in Friday night's opening drive, whichlasted 6 minutes, 29 seconds.
He took a pitch to the left on his first carry and gained 17 yards, but his finest run came three plays later when he bounced off a tackler at the line of scrimmage, broke right and picked up 27 yards.
He bulled his way into the end zone on fourth-and-goal from the 1, capping an impressive 11-play, 73-yard drive.
Late in the second quarter, he ran a sweep to the left for a couple of yards, spun and headed back to the line of scrimmage to avoid a line of tacklers and maneuvered to the opposite sideline for a13-yard gain.
With runs like those, Peters resembled former teammate William Beverly, the Anne Arundel County Sun's Player of the Yearwho accumulated 1,663 all-purpose yards and 20 touchdowns last fall.
"William was more of a power runner, though he could be a finesserunner when he wanted to," said Patriots coach Pete Regala. "But Greek has a little more finesse. He has a good ability to cut. But it's hard to compare until the season is over."
Beverly's 1990 season ended sooner than expected, when an ankle injury sidelined him for thesecond half of a 17-7 loss to Thomas Wootton in the 4A state quarterfinals.
Peters sat out the opening half with a similar ailment, but played the last two quarters and gained 49 yards. He keyed the Patriots' only scoring drive, and says the experience was "a projection of this year."
"I was carrying the load. It gave me an idea of whatit would be like this year," he said.
Peters never complained about playing behind Beverly, saying "I realized he was better than me. And just by me being there, I felt like I was helping the team."
His 358 rushing yards and 47 receptions support that statement. But just as important is what Peters did off the field.
"I was sitting on the side observing everything, taking everything in," he said. "Just from watching William play, I learned a lot, like keeping my head on the field, always going as hard as I can, giving 110 percent."
Now, if only someone could give him another nickname.