For Willingham, it's Eastern Ill.

HOWARD SPORTS

April 26, 1995|By RICK BELZ

Seth Willingham, the quarterback for Wilde Lake's 1992 state championship team, signed a letter of intent last Thursday with Eastern Illinois.

Willingham, who passed for 1,700 yards and 15 touchdowns in 1993, his senior year, accepted a full scholarship to the Division I school.

He hopes to follow a trail of outstanding college quarterbacks to have played for Wilde Lake, including Tony Tsonis (Towson State), Jim Traber (Oklahoma State) and Jim Starnes (Princeton).

"I liked everything about the school, and especially the team quarterback situation," Willingham said.

"If I redshirt I have a chance to play all four years, because the quarterback they have now is a senior."

Willingham, 6-foot-4 and 205 pounds, also has a chance to beat out the starting quarterback who is only 5-foot-10 and 170 pounds.

Eastern Illinois went 6-5 last season, winning its last four games. The team uses a pro-set formation and passes about 25 times per game.

Willingham also was offered a full scholarship to Idaho State, which plays in a domed stadium and in the Big Sky Conference noted for its frequency of passing.

"But they [Idaho State] had a sophomore quarterback, and my gut feeling was that Eastern Illinois was better for me than Idaho," Willingham said.

Willingham played for Milford Academy Prep School in Connecticut last fall.

"Taking a year off for prep school really helped him," said Wilde Lake coach Doug DuVal. "He got bigger and stronger and should be a fine college quarterback."

Lacrosse showdown

Sixth-ranked Centennial (9-1) travels to No. 11 Mount Hebron (7-1) today for a game that could decide the county boys lacrosse championship.

Centennial's only loss was 13-12 to St. Paul's, and Mount Hebron's only loss was to Mount St. Joseph, 9-8, in overtime.

The Eagles suffered a major setback during a tournament last weekend when their superb faceoff man, Scott Bross, injured his ankle. He is expected to miss the next two weeks.

Bross set a school record by winning 22 of 25 faceoffs against Oakland Mills and has been winning 75 percent.

Centennial, which shared the county championship with Oakland Mills and Glenelg a year ago, has won the last three games between the teams, including two last season. But Mount Hebron holds a big edge in the series.

"From 1982 to 1991 they beat us every year but one," Centennial coach Mike Siegert said. "Mount Hebron is always prepared and disciplined and that speaks highly of its coaches."

Centennial already has beaten another top county rival this season -- Oakland Mills. Mount Hebron has not played Oakland Mills.

Clapper wins Clyde's

Rumors of 33-year-old Gerry Clapper's racing demise proved PTC a bit premature Sunday at the 17th Clyde's American 10K Race.

Overheard during the celebration after the race in downtown Columbia: First man -- "Who won?"; Second man -- "I'm not sure. Clapper had about a step on some young guy at the three-mile mark, so I assume the young guy beat him."

That assumption proved false. Clapper, who has dominated local racing for several years, pulled away from that younger guy, Scott Bamacle of Minnesota, after four miles.

Clapper won by 14 seconds, claiming as prizes a $100 Clyde's gift certificate, $100 Feet First gift certificate and a silver bowl.

It was his second straight Clyde's victory. His winning time was 31 minutes, 43 seconds.

In his typical good-natured fashion, Clapper chuckled at the story and then poked fun at himself.

"Yeah, I guess he saw this classic receding hair line," he said.

Clapper finished fifth at a half-marathon in Hampton, Va., Feb. 12, and his time of 1:06.55 was less than a minute off his personal best. He was also pleased with his Cherry Blossom 10-miler effort of 51:01, good for 25th place.

Yetso chosen

Centennial's Brock Yetso, Baltimore Sun All-Metro Boys Soccer Player of the Year, has been chosen to play in the Puma Cup, the country's most prestigious soccer tournament for high school senior boys.

The invitational soccer tournament will be played June 7-10 at the St. Louis Soccer Park.

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