Gamecocks get two Stephensons for the price of one scholarship

December 11, 1996|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Matt and Ben Stephenson, Centennial's All-Metro soccer twins, committed orally last Friday to attend the University of South Carolina in the fall.

"It was a long, grueling process. I'm glad it's over and am looking forward to next fall," said Matt, The Baltimore Sun's All-Metro Soccer Player of the Year.

The brothers will split a full scholarship with the promise of additional money in future years if they play well. They turned down full scholarships from UMBC, The Citadel and Western Kentucky.

"We were fortunate to find a school they both wanted to attend with positions open and still get a scholarship," said their mother, Linda Stephenson.

Matt played striker and Ben played sweeper for four years for Centennial, during which time the Eagles won two state titles and had a 45-game winning streak.

South Carolina plays a strong independent schedule, including Clemson, Duke and North Carolina. The team has made NCAA tournament appearances in 10 of the last 12 seasons, including the championship final in 1993. But it was 8-9-2 last season, its first losing season since 1983. The coach is Mark Berson, who started the school's soccer program 19 years ago.

"We visited there last spring and liked the school and coach. And they have a new stadium," Matt Stephenson said.

Record-setting Bears

The Hammond Golden Bears set several school wrestling records while winning the Magruder Tournament last weekend.

They broke the old record of 241 1/2 points scored during a tournament by scoring 281 to runner-up Bullis' 178. The third-ranked Bears broke the old record of 24 pins by scoring 28 pins. And with 141 takedowns, they smashed the old record of 81.

They won 52 of 63 bouts and placed 11 of their 13 wrestlers among the top three. Champions were Jared Zillmer (119), Scott Osborne (125), Josh Zillmer (171). Vaymond Dennis (112) was a runner-up and finishing third were Lee Barwick (130), Mark Read (135), Adam Clark (145), Tim McGrail (152), Randy Curtin (160) and Matt Nelson (HW).

"It was a good opening tournament to get the butterflies out," said co-coach Jeff Starnes. "We have a lot of things to improve upon to be competitive at the state level, but we're heading in the right direction."

Conwell attending Mount

Irving Conwell, twice Howard County basketball Player of the Year, said he is entering Mount St. Mary's as a first-semester freshman and will join the basketball team Dec. 20. The 6-foot-4 Oakland Mills shooting guard, who graduated in June, needed a 980 Scholastic Assessment Test score to enroll. He said he scored 1,020 in October, making him eligible to enroll at the Emmitsburg college -- on a full basketball scholarship -- and play.

Shooting for subs

At halftime of each Oakland Mills boys home basketball game this season, three fans get chances to win 6-foot subs from a Snowden River Parkway sub shop. At last week's opener against Loyola, Melissa Singleton made her shot from three-point range. Then Sam Singleton III sank his shot from half-court. Pretty exciting.

Pub Date: 12/10/96

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