Star track champs speed Key's attack Football: Eagles hope Scott Glover and Aaron Howard's experience in winning two state titles translates to success on the field. Their break-away speed already has contributed.

September 18, 1997|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Versatility was a big reason Francis Scott Key's boys team won the last two Class 1A track and field state championships.

The Eagles could score points in sprints, distance and field events, a rare combination that enabled them to outlast some tough opponents. That versatility now is helping Key in a new place -- on the football field.

Scott Glover and Aaron Howard were two of the big guns on

both state title teams. Along with some other members of the track and field team, Glover and Howard are starting to play larger roles on this year's football team.

Glover and Howard both are sprinters who have helped Key rack up points in the state meets.

Glover, The Sun's Runner of the Year each of the past two springs, won the 400 meters, took second at 800 meters and worked on the winning 1,600- and 3,200-meter relays last spring.

The year before, he won the 400, took second in the 800 and ran on one winning relay and another that took second. In other words, Glover helped Key score 74 points in the two state meets.

Howard won the 400 open and ran on the victorious 1,600 relay squad last spring. Both are helping Key in different ways on offense and defense this fall.

"The speed is the biggest thing," said Francis Scott Key coach Mike Coons. "You can't coach that, and we don't have an abundance of it. That's the intangible."

Glover is in his second varsity season. He plays at split end and safety and helps at fullback and punting.

"I very much enjoy both [sports]," said Glover. "I like the team unity we have in football, and I like having it to myself in track."

Howard came back to football this fall after two years away from the sport and is a wingback on offense, plus a cornerback on defense. He's learning and becoming more comfortable with the team's system.

Both have sparked Key in the team's first two games, losses to North Carroll and Middletown. Glover caught a touchdown pass against the Panthers, filled in at fullback and punted in both games.

Howard made a nice return to football. He broke an 80-yard kickoff return against Middletown that set up the Eagles' lone score in a 54-7 loss. Howard combines with Glover to give Key a lethal kickoff return unit.

"Since Scott and I are the deep guys, I think they're wary of kicking to us," said Howard. "I love football so much. It's just so fun."

Frank Hansborough also helps in football like he did in track. The senior took sixth in the open 400 last spring and ran on the victorious 1,600 and 3,200 relay teams.

Despite weighing only 170 pounds, Hansborough starts on the defensive line, playing inside against offensive linemen often much larger and stronger.

Coons has been impressed with all of them. Glover, having played all four years at Key, has a lot of experience while both Howard and Hansborough each contribute plenty at their positions.

They also pitch in with something else. Having captured two state championships, the track and field athletes understand how to win. Key needed, in fact, to rally and come up big on the final day of last spring's meet to take the title.

"They know what it feels like," said Coons. "I think that, in terms of your individual makeup, you have that aura of winning."

Glover said the two talk to their football teammates if asked about how to deal with tough situations.

"We've been through two state titles, and we can tell them what it's like with the pressure," said Glover. "We've been through a lot of it."

Glover said his track teammates often talk about their heroics because they were such special times, but football is a different game.

But each of them agreed much remains the same. It's about competition, getting ready for it and doing your best. In other words, what must you do in order to win.

"The mind-set is still the same," said Howard. "My attitude is that I'm going out there to win, and I get mad because I think they're trying to take the victory away from us."

Said Hansborough: "We get psyched up like [before meets]. When it comes time for games, we've just got to do what we've got to do."

Pub Date: 9/18/97

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