DuVall may hang around, shoot for 250 football wins

September 25, 1997|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Wilde Lake football coach Doug DuVall, who reached his 200th victory milestone with Saturday's 35-13 triumph over Long Reach, is full of funny stories.

In the coaches' room after Saturday's game he told the story of how he first came to Wilde Lake.

He played high school football as a lineman at Howard High School under coach Bob Marshall. After earning degrees at Catonsville Community College and West Chester (Pa.) State, where he played football, he was hoping in 1972 to earn a master's degree at Maryland and be a football coaching assistant.

But first, he went to Europe and was in Heathrow Airport in London when he received a phone call from Frank Rhodes, his former junior high teacher at Waterloo who had cut him from the junior high basketball team three times.

Rhodes, one of the county's all-time great basketball coaches and teachers, was headed to the new Wilde Lake High School and told DuVall they had found a physical education job for him, too.

DuVall balked, saying he wanted to go to Maryland. Besides, DuVall was an old-time Howard countian, and they hated this new place called Columbia that was going to ruin their lifestyle.

Rhodes said there was a problem with DuVall's decision.

"I already signed your name to the contract," Rhodes told him.

So DuVall said he would, but only for two years.

After two years, he found himself with a fantastic returning team for 1974, so he stayed on. One of the players on that team, Eric Sweigard, later attended the Naval Academy and is now the captain of a destroyer, the USS Yorktown.

"You get hooked," DuVall said. "Soon, it was five years, and then 10."

Then he did take a year's sabbatical and worked with the football staff at Maryland one season, which helped him decide to stay with high school coaching.

That was a break for Wilde Lake and for some of the "dead-end kids" he and Rhodes have helped turn into productive citizens. Rhodes, with his down-to-earth stories and expressions and Southern drawl, excelled at at pumping up kids whom others ignored. And he was DuVall's mentor.

Now that Wilde Lake has 1,500 students and is the county's largest school, after years of being the smallest, look for DuVall to hang around a while longer.

He mentioned something about maybe being around long enough to see 250 wins. That would be nice.

Wilde Lake's booster club plans to present him with a plaque to celebrate the 200th victory following Saturday's homecoming game.

Howard backfield

In the early 1970s, Howard High won 47 straight football games, the state's longest streak. Four of Howard's greats from that era were on the field together following the Wilde Lake-Long Reach game last Saturday.

John Overbey, who helps out at Long Reach, was the fullback on the 1974 state championship team and was the college roommate of Long Reach head coach Pete Hughes when they played at Valley City State University in North Dakota.

Scott Swope was the Howard quarterback, setting school records with 26 career touchdown passes, 18 in one season and four in one game. He is now an assistant coach at Wilde Lake.

Chuck Lewis was a tackle on that team and also helps coach at Wilde Lake.

That quartet brought back some great memories.

Yes, and Wayne Wilson, who later played for the Saints and Redskins, was the running back.

Team shield

River Hill's boys soccer team moved into the No. 1 spot in area rankings this week after ending Centennial's 46-game league unbeaten streak. And the Hawks also achieved another first.

They are the first team to have what is called a team shield. It is a plexiform dome -- a sort of dugout on wheels -- that protects them from the weather.

It cost $3,200 and is the only one in the county. It was donated through the efforts of a parent who works for the Hewlett-Packard Co.

Hawks soccer coach Bill Stara told football coach Don Van Deusen after the Centennial win that he is welcome to use it for the football team.

"It belongs to the school now," Stara said.

It's arrival was timed perfectly -- 1 p.m. the day of the Centennial game. It was quickly assembled in time for the game, thus giving the Hawks a subtle psychological boost.

Pub Date: 9/25/97

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