Poly's Kyler wants big, last run for state in Chesapeake Classic

March 16, 1994|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,Special to the Sun

COLLEGE PARK -- The last time Poly's Greg Kyler saw the football field at Byrd Stadium, his Engineers lost to Seneca Valley in the Class 3A state championship game.

Yesterday, nearly four months to the day, the senior running back returned to the scene to take part in a press conference for this summer's Chesapeake Football Classic.

But Kyler didn't wax nostalgic, even in the face of one of his biggest high school disappointments. Instead, the Tennessee recruit said he'd just like to put those memories behind him by busting loose in his final high school game.

"I really miss playing since we lost that game," Kyler said. "It will make me go out and play a little harder and do a little extra.

"I'm going to try and leave my birthmark here."

He and 34 other Maryland all-stars will have the chance to do just that, when they face the Virginia all-stars in the July 23 all-star game at Byrd Stadium.

The Maryland team will feature a host of local players, including linemen Jarryn Avery of North County, Ron Green of Severna Park, Mike Knoedler of Overlea, Faraji Mason of Loyola and Dannie Ross of Towson, linebackers Latroy Fowlkes of North County and Guy Smith of Howard, defensive end Darrel Mance of Woodlawn, running back Kenny Walker of Meade, wide receiver Dwight Banks of City and quarterback Justin Rice of North County.

"I could take the kids we had to cut and put together a state champion," said Towson coach Bob Davis, who will coach the linebackers. "I think they'll show our state well."

Maryland coach Mike Calhoun of Fort Hill said the process for selecting a team was long and meticulous. He and his staff picked from a list of 91, shaved it to 70 and made final cuts after a combine in College Park.

At least one player was selected from each of the state's nine regions, as the team will try to even the score after last year's 18-16 loss in the inaugural game.

But coaches and organizers say the Classic -- which replaced the Big 33 game with Pennsylvania -- is more than a game. It allows players to participate in a week's worth of educational activities that are designed to enhance the experience.

"Of course you want to win, but you don't want to get caught up in the winning and losing in a game like this," said North County coach Chuck Markiewicz, the team's offensive coordinator. "This is designed to be a great experience for the kids."

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