Singfield, the backbone of the Poets Football: Dunbar senior goes after his third state championship today. Having done just about everything on the field, his stats show he's become a complete player.

November 29, 1997|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

As a sophomore in 1995, Dahnel Singfield was a role player on Dunbar's Class 3A state championship team. Since then, he has matured into a senior who can do it all.

Whether making the big play, or being a decoy in one of the area's best passing attacks, Singfield has been the backbone of a seven-game winning streak that has landed No. 7 Dunbar (8-4) in its third state title game against Fort Hill (12-0) today.

Dunbar beat Fort Hill for the Class 2A title in 1994. Singfield was a member of the 1995 Class 3A state title winner over Churchill, and he has been in two of Dunbar's five state semifinal games.

"I've been there, but there's no pressure to be a leader. Just every game I do the things our coaches ask for: show heart, guts, desire," said Singfield, 17. "We've come a long way as far as team character [is concerned]."

A lot of that has to do with the unselfishness displayed by Singfield, who over three seasons has 86 receptions for 1,634 yards and 17 touchdowns and rushed for 1,263 yards and six more scores. In that time, he has 22 interceptions (10 this year), 13 sacks and seven fumble recoveries.

He averages 37 yards a punt, has returned kickoffs of 80 and 81 yards for touchdowns, and even has been used as a running back.

"Dahnel would be a great college receiver or defensive back," said Dunbar coach Stanley Mitchell. "He's been everywhere on the field."

The 6-foot, 170-pounder was all over the field and figured directly into three of the Poets' scores in a regular-season, 27-26 loss at Poly -- which the Poets avenged, 20-13, in last weekend's semifinal.

In the earlier loss at Poly, Singfield caught four passes for 49 yards and two scores, returned one of his two fumble recoveries for another score and had an interception.

Dunbar trailed Poly 14-0 before Singfield's 25-yard scoring return of a fumble brought the Poets to within 14-6 with 6: 17 left in the third period. And with 8: 32 to play, Singfield's 15-yard touchdown reception got Dunbar to within 20-18.

His most spectacular effort came with no time remaining. Reserve quarterback Leonard Ferguson threw a pass that glanced off teammate Naeem Harrison, slipped past a defender and into Singfield's hands. He then got both feet inside the right corner of the end zone before tumbling out of bounds for a one-point deficit.

L But Dunbar lost as Thomas James' conversion run was stopped.

Singfield showed promise as a sophomore, returning one of six interceptions for a touchdown and with 22 receptions for 372 yards and six touchdowns.

Those experiences have molded Singfield into a player who has most of the tools needed for the next level, a fact that has him being recruited by Maryland, Pittsburgh, Villanova, Wisconsin and Connecticut.

Singfield carries a 2.99 grade average and scored 930 on his SAT. He's been clocked at 4.49 seconds for the 40-yard dash. And, at a summer combine at the University of Maryland, Singfield had a vertical leap of 35 inches on three separate occasions.

Singfield and Chris Barnes (34 receptions, 763 yards, seven touchdowns) are formidable targets for quarterback Danelle Hale, who has passed for 1,499 yards and 10 touchdowns and is the Poets' second-leading rusher with 807 yards and seven touchdowns.

"I'd rank Dahnel as one of the best in the state of Maryland, if not one the best in a lot of other states," said assistant coach Ben Eaton. "He's got potential to be great. But I think one of the things he still needs to do is to hit the weights, improve his strength."

In a rout of Mervo, Singfield's crunching hit blasted the helmet off an opposing player.

Singfield's also unselfishly done what's been asked, rushing for 117 yards as a fullback in a 20-18 loss at City.

"He tries hard and expects others to do the same," said Mitchell. "He's coachable, the type of kid who does whatever he has to for the team."

Pub Date: 11/29/97

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