Former Admiral Melton likes life as a defensive Duke


October 18, 2001|By Bill Free | By Bill Free,SUN STAFF

If James Madison University's football team had 11 defenders like Dennard Melton, the Dukes probably wouldn't be 1-5.

"The ball always seems to bounce my way," Melton said. "It started in the first game of my career last year, when I returned an interception and a fumble for touchdowns. That was my biggest thrill so far."

The redshirt sophomore linebacker, who played for The Severn School Admirals, has such an uncanny knack for being around the football that his coaches have even started to joke about his good luck. Every time Melton comes up with the ball in practice, his teammates yell, "Happy birthday!"

Melton, a 1997 All-Metro pick, scored the last two touchdowns nine seconds apart in a 72-0 rout of Lock Haven University in last season's opener. Melton returned an interception 20 yards for a touchdown with 50 seconds left and then, with 41 seconds left, returned a fumble 10 yards for a score.

This season, Melton has returned one interception 41 yards for a touchdown, has broken up two passes and forced two fumbles. He also has one sack for a 6-yard loss and three quarterback hurries.

"The only disappointment down here is our record, and I think we'll turn it around next year," Melton said. "This is such a beautiful school, and I'm having a lot of fun just playing the game."

Also for the Dukes, junior cornerback Quentin Collins (Wilde Lake), who has returned one interception for 17 yards and made 13 tackles, is a backup after starting early in the year. Freshman offensive lineman Mike Jenkins (South Carroll) is also a backup after starting, and freshman defensive tackle Cory Weathers (Poly) is in the regular rotation. Freshman offensive lineman Trent Bosley (Westminster) is dressing for games but is scheduled to redshirt.

Et cetera

Sophomore running back Pat Bydume (McDonogh) has played in two games for Yale (3-1) and been knocked out of both with an injury. First, an ankle injury sidelined him, and then it was a concussion. Bydume carried eight times for 32 yards before being injured.

Two first-team All-Metro football selections last year, defensive lineman Greg Lotz (Gilman) and offensive lineman Kellen Williams (McDonogh), are playing on Yale's JV squad as freshmen.

Senior defender Laura Kiefer (Seton Keough) has played an important role in a 12-4 start by York (Pa.) College's women's soccer team. The captain has scored twice and has four assists, and the team has seven shutouts with Kiefer leading the way.

Junior middle hitter Melissa Mahoney (Archbishop Spalding) has played in all 74 games as the captain of the 7-14 York College volleyball team. Mahoney is averaging 1.59 kills and 1.28 digs.

Freshman soccer forward Chris Borcik (Franklin) scored his second goal of the season Saturday against Ursinus, helping Gettysburg College improve to 11-3 overall and 4-2 in the Centennial Conference.

Princeton sophomore soccer forward Theresa Sherry (Bryn Mawr) was named Ivy League Player of the Week after scoring twice in a victory over Brown and once in a win over William & Mary.

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