No quarterback controversy at Hopkins Coach, receivers happy with pair who share


September 25, 1998|By Christian Ewell | Christian Ewell,SUN STAFF

The cross country runner cited here a week ago, Mike Taye, runs for Frostburg State, not Salisbury State. The Bobcats -- not the Sea Gulls as written here last week -- had won all of their meets going into the Dickinson College Invitational in Carlisle, Pa., where Taye won again. Saturday morning, Taye and the Bobcats are hosts for the Frostburg Invitational at Fort Frederick Park in Big Pool. The women run at 11 a.m. and the men run at 45.

Two has never been a crowd, except at the quarterback position. But this year, the Johns Hopkins football team has decided that two's company -- even for its signal callers.

After passing the starting position back and forth for the past two seasons, Wayne Roccia and Jamie Monica have shared quarterback duties, guiding the Blue Jays to a 2-0 record heading into tomorrow's game against Kings Point at Homewood Field.


Roccia has completed 69 percent of his pass attempts for 285 yards and four touchdowns. Monica, who has completed a comparable 71 percent, rates slightly lower with only one touchdown pass and 145 yards.

Typically coaches rotate players by the half, or maybe by the quarter, but not at Hopkins. Coach Jim Margraff has been known switch between Monica and Roccia from series to series, sometimes from play to play.

"We have no system," Margraff said. "We happen to have two guys who are both good, have worked hard and deserve to play."

The fates of Roccia and Monica have been linked since they first stepped on the Homewood campus in 1996. Margraff said he knew he would have a freshman quarterback that year, and Roccia won the job, thanks to schooling in an offensive system similar to JHU's.

It was thought that Monica, who ran the antiquated single wing in high school, would end up at another position.

But Roccia's injuries in both his freshman and sophomore years created opportunities for Monica to start. For this reason, the rest of the team is used to working with both.

"Both have differences, but they're consistent enough where the receivers know how to adjust to them," said receiver Sam Skinner, who leads the team with 208 yards on nine receptions. "We've gotten a lot of work with both of them; it's almost to the point where you don't notice."

Nearly unthinkable for a long time, the two-quarterback rotation has made a comeback in the 1990s. Florida and Arizona are among the current practitioners in Division I's Top 25.

But Margraff said it's tough to play two quarterbacks if you don't have two who are good.

"It has nothing to do with being in vogue," Margraff said.

During tomorrow's game, the school will honor six inductees to its Hall of Fame. They are four-time lacrosse All-American Del Dressel, '86; lacrosse players Mike Frederico, '80; Wilson

Fewster, '50, and Jerry Schnydman, '67; women's basketball player Dawn Richards Tolbert, '85; and swimmer Tim Collins, '80.

Causes for celebration

Maryland's field hockey team, ranked No. 12 last week, moved up to No. 10 in the latest coaches' poll. Senior back Jen Pratt has tied an ACC record with 58 career assists.

The Salisbury State men's cross country team has won all three of its meets this season, led by Mike Taye, who has won individually in all three.

Salisbury plans to add four to its Hall of Fame on Oct. 16, including two-time field hockey All-American Robin Adair, '87. The school also will honor football's Mike Copps, '88; former university president Norman Crawford (1970-79), and former baseball coach Dean Deshon (1965-98).

Towson, in its 30th season of football, plans to have former players participate in a celebration before the Drake game Nov. 14.

Area soccer matchups

A pair of local soccer rivalries continue tomorrow as UMBC visits Mount St. Mary's and Salisbury State plays host to Frostburg State.

The Mount-UMBC game will be the first conference encounter between the two, with this being UMBC's first year in the Northeast Conference.

Both teams enter the game with reason for optimism. UMBC (5-1, 1-0 NEC) already has equaled its win total from 1997, a 5-12-2 season, after beating Robert Morris. Meanwhile, the Mount (3-2-1, 1-0) comes into the game after beating St. Francis (Pa.), and playing tough in a 2-1 loss to No. 20 Maryland.

In Salisbury, the Sea Gulls (5-1) rely on a trio of Fallston High products: senior Mike Giuffrida and freshmen Paul Kelly and Derek Chappell.

The team is ranked No. 5 in the South Region of Division III, its only blemish coming on a 2-1 loss in double overtime to Greensboro (N.C.) College, which is ranked No. 2 nationally.

Salisbury (5-1) is looking for its best start since the 1992 season, which ended with a 13-2-1 mark. Frostburg (6-1) is ranked No. 6 in the region, its only loss coming to Drew University on Sept. 13.

Pub Date: 9/25/98

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.