Dunbar grad Scott dedicates all-star game to late cousin

Shooting death of relative motivates quarterback to play in Parkway Classic

High Schools

July 14, 2000|By Kevin B. Howell | Kevin B. Howell,SUN STAFF

When Jason Scott's cousin, Jason Crippens, was shot on May 31 and died a day later, Scott not only lost a cousin, he also lost a passion for the sport he loved.

Scott, who was the quarterback for Dunbar the past two seasons, said things aren't the same since his cousin was killed.

"Jason used to go to all my games," said Scott, a 2000 Dunbar graduate. "It's not the same without him. I don't go outside as much. ... The passion for football hasn't been there."

However, with the opportunity to participate in this weekend's Baltimore-Washington Parkway Classic, a high school all-star game for graduated seniors, Scott has rekindled the fire inside him. With Edmondson's All-City/County quarterback, Eddie Colbert, injured, Scott has a chance to shine as the only quarterback on the Baltimore team's roster.

Scott has dedicated the game to Jason and his nephew, Jason's son. Before the game, Scott will turn the lights out in the locker room to clear his mind, a routine he does before every game. However, this time Scott will have his cousin on his mind. He'll write Jason's name on his cleats so his cousin will be with him every step on the field.

"Playing for my cousin motivates me more," Scott said. "I'm ready, ready as I can get."

Scott is one of about 200 graduated seniors from Baltimore and Washington, D.C., participating in this weekend's games.

The Baltimore-Washington Parkway Classic is in its second year. The classic, named after the roadway that connects the two cities, has Baltimore public school athletes competing against Washington public school athletes in five sports - volleyball, basketball, baseball, softball and football.

In its inaugural year, the classic was held in Washington and only featured football and boys' and girls' basketball. Washington won all three games. This year, the games will take place at the Poly-Western complex.

On Monday, the Washington team defeated Baltimore in volleyball, 3-1. The basketball games will be held tonight- the girls tip off at 6 p.m. and the boys at 8 p.m. Baseball and softball teams will play tomorrow at 2 p.m., followed by the football game at 5 p.m.

Many athletes playing this weekend have yet to commit to a college program and are looking for an opportunity to impress scouts and coaches. The Baltimore teams have been practicing since late June.

All-Metro Coach of the Year Pete Pompey from Edmondson will coach the football team. Pompey has six players from his City West Championship team, including two All-Metro players - Raytron Leak and Justus McCleod.

Leak (Fork Union Military Academy) was the All-Metro Player of the Year, rushing for more than 1,500 yards and 17 touchdowns. Darryl Dorsey is the third All-Metro player on the squad. Dorsey, who registered nearly 3,500 all-purpose yards for Dunbar last season, will look to be the main target for his quarterback, Scott.

Yet with all the talent, Pompey sees the Baltimore team at a disadvantage.

"Presently, Baltimore has three or four all-star games and the kids are only allowed to play in two. So we don't always get the best players. D.C. doesn't have another all-star game so they have the cream of the crop," Pompey said.

The Baltimore boys' basketball team will be at a disadvantage because it is undersized and has only one All-City/County player, while the majority of the Washington players were league all-stars. Paul Holmes of Northern will coach Baltimore.

Lake Clifton guard Tyrone Burns, who averaged 21 points and four assists and made second-team All-City/County, has emerged as a leader for the squad.

"I try to take a leadership role because I'm the only player that was on a winning team," said Burns. "I'm taking it real serious. It's for bragging rights over D.C."

Dunbar head coach Wardell Selby will coach the girls' basketball team. Many of the girls passed on other all-star games to play in this one. The team includes First-team All-Metro center Lakesha Wills from Dunbar. Wills (Coppin State) averaged 24 points and 14.5 rebounds last season.

Also in the frontcourt will be UMBC-bound Tyecia Powell, who played at Western.

The softball team is coached by Jack Nehmsmann of Southern. He will start his pitcher, Jennifer Hoover (Frostburg State), and Western teammates Stephanie Tolbert and Shante Ridgeway (Coppin State).

Some athletes on the baseball team will play a doubleheader - a baseball game in the afternoon and a football game in the evening. Ryan Dent from Walbrook, James Matthews from Dunbar and Corey Smith from Douglass will have double duty. The two-sport athletes forced baseball coach John Turpin from Walbrook to adjust his practice schedule to only two practices a week.

Parkway Classic

What: The Baltimore-Washington Parkway Classic

Where: Poly-Western High School

When: Today - Girls Basketball 6 p.m., Boys Basketball 8 p.m. Tomorrow - Baseball and Softball 2 p.m.; Football 5 p.m.

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