Howard Community College's men's basketball team is ranked No. 10 nationally among Division III JuCo teams as it gets ready to open its season this weekend.
The Iron Horse Express lost a lot from last season's team that finished runner-up to Montgomery-Rockville in the regional championship game.
But coach Wheeler Brown is optimistic.
"We're reloading not rebuilding," Brown said.
Returning from a 23-7 team is Randolph Edison (Edmondson), a point guard who averaged 18.7 points and 7.5 assists and is a preseason second-team All-American.
Returning also is power forward Deon Wingfield (Wilde Lake) who averaged 14 points and eight rebounds. He started the last 12 games.
The rest of the starting team is gone, but five of them received scholarships to four-year schools.
Antonio Sullivan (Edmondson) runs the floor well, shoots the three-pointer well and will start at the No. 2 guard.
Danny Sancomb (Meade) has a nice shot, goes to the hoop well, is a good defensive player and, at 6-foot-4, will start at small forward.
The center position will be split between 6-5 Antoine Austin (Wilson) and 6-5 Austin Johnson (Old Mill).
Returning guard George Robinson (Oakland Mills) has shown a lot of improvement and will compete for the third guard spot.
Three county freshmen out to prove themselves are Mike Ware (Howard), Lester Dorsey (Mount Hebron) and Josh Girten (Wilde Lake).
Kevin Huntley (Edmondson), Robert Smith (Douglas) and Patrick Williams (Potomac) complete the squad. Smith is a smart player who could start later this season.
The Express plays Saturday and Sunday in the Sullivan County Tournament. It faces Division I Manhattan in the first round.
Sullivan (35-1) lost the national championship game last season by one point at the buzzer.
HCC plays in the Delhi Tourney Nov. 18-19 and faces two Top 10 Division III teams, No. 3 Hudson County and No. 5 Delhi.
The Express open the home season Nov. 28 against Baltimore City Community College.
Wildecats win region
Not even the chicken pox can stop Wilde Lake's boys cross country team.
At last Thursday's Class 1A Central Region championships county champion Wilde Lake emerged victorious without its top runner, Faisal Hasan, who was sidelined by the chicken pox.
Wilde Lake's Marc Baren won the race and all seven Wilde Lake runners -- Ben Service, Mike Brosenne, Jeff Bird, Paul Daddio, Chris McCallum and John Whitehead -- finished among the top 16.
Whitehead ran in Hasan's place and ran so well he earned the No. 7 spot for the state meet this Saturday.
Wilde Lake's girls team, which finished second in the county, ran into tough competition at the region meet and finished fourth among six teams, failing to qualify for states.
But three Wildecats -- Sarah Gombert, Libby George and Kelly Zimmerman -- finished among the top 15 and did qualify for states.
Francis Scott Key, Hereford and Central were the teams that beat out Wilde Lake.
"I'm sure we had the best team not to qualify for states," Wilde Lake coach Charlie Shoemaker said.
Russo's 100th win
It wasn't pretty, but Hammond football coach Joe Russo was happy to finally get his 100th win Saturday when the Bears defeated Mount Hebron, 19-0.
He had to be wondering if it would come this season. The Bears had lost four straight games and have just one more to play.
It's unbelievable. But the McDonogh boys varsity soccer team has eight Columbia players -- seven of whom start.
They are Ben Salsbury, David Buehler, Pablo Webster, Mark Kimberling, Greg Bassman, Bob Landolt, Dave Koloski and Kevin Cummings.
Most of the players would have attended Atholton.
Grubb moves up
Chris Grubb (Mount Hebron) has signed with the Gray's Harbor Gulls of Washington state in the Independent Baseball League.
The team is part of the new Double-A Western League set to begin playing in 1995.
Last season Grubb, a second baseman, played in the Frontier League for the league champion Erie Sailors.