It may come as a surprise that North County, Anne Arundel's winningest football program over the last few years, has only three players in college football.
The Knights, 57-14 overall including this year's 4-0 start, have produced the most All-County and All-Metro players since the school opening in 1990, but few have gone on to play in college.
Broadneck, Severna Park and St. Mary's each have five and Arundel, Southern and South River have four each among the nearly 50 grads from the county's 15 football-playing high schools competing in college.
Since 1991, North County has had four All-County quarterbacks and three Players of the Year, but only two out of that elite group played college football.
Anthony Walker, the '91 county Player of the Year, is starting his senior year (was red-shirted) at safety for Syracuse.
Troy Fowlkes, one of the greatest linebackers to ever come out of this county, was the '93 Defensive Player of the Year, but the North County grad had a short-lived career at the University of Maryland because of asthma.
Of the county grads playing collegiately, only Walker and Severna Park defensive lineman Ron Green of Tennessee are playing big time.
What's the problem?
Blue-chip football players are few and far between. The combination of speed and strength is not prevalent. Usually, it's one or the other, and many who could play Division I, II or III give up the game after high school to concentrate on getting a degree.
And, of course, too many don't bother with the books in high school and fail to meet college academic requirements for playing.
Unfortunately, the abolishment of football at Anne Arundel Community College a few years ago has deprived many of those who craved a second chance of that opportunity. At one time, AACC sent many grads to the next level.
We can only wonder how many college players would emerge if the county had a youth league by grade or age and not the current weight division set-up, which keeps bigger kids from playing until they get to high school.
The county youth league is basically a a fun league for everyone, including the not-so athletic, and a chance for some rec coaches to feed their egos. It fills a need, but the need to provide something for the taller, heavier kids is not met.
As a result, many of the bigger kids turn to other sports such as soccer. When those who wait until high school to play football start to refine their skills, it's usually time to move onto college, and they're not as ready and polished as they could be.
I'm convinced that a grade-school league with unlimited weights would increase the quality of football in our county. You would see more bigger and stronger players at the skilled positions than you do now.
Marshall University is interested in Severna Park's two-way lineman Chris Field, whose former Falcon teammates, defensive backs Jihad Morris and Ryan Moore, are at Marshall, which moves up to Division I next year. Chad Clark, another Severna Park lineman, has Harvard and Princeton interested. Chuck Harmon, a former Meade assistant, is now on the staff of his alma mater at Hereford in north Baltimore County, and the Bulls are off to a 4-0 start. Hereford's last winning season was Harmon's senior year, in 1982. Tom Harmon (no relation to Chuck), who stepped down this year as Meade's offensive coordinator after differences with coach Jerry Hartman, says he would return as an assistant next year if Brad Wilson returned as head coach. Hartman announced he is resigning after this season and Wilson, a former Meade coach in football and basketball before following Chuck Markiewicz to North County as defensive coordinator, is a candidate for the Meade job. Rob White, St. Mary's administrator and assistant lacrosse coach, has Maryland tags "STM LAX." Severn's Dennard Melton could have had a fourth touchdown Saturday in the Admirals' 39-14 romp over John Carroll, but with nobody near him except teammate Von Craig, Melton pitched to Craig who scored six points.
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Pub Date: 10/02/96