Heather Cole is suddenly becoming something of a tennis celebrity around Amherst College.
The former McDonogh School standout has been so strong this fall in singles and doubles play that she is featured in a school newspaper ad. The ad, taken out by a local restaurant, headlines Cole as the key to Amherst's chances of winning the NCAA Division III women's championship next spring.
Cole, a senior, did not get a chance to participate in the Massachusetts school's run to the national Division III title her freshman year, because she came down with mononucleosis right before the championships.
Then she and Amherst came up short in the final four the next two years, giving her one final shot next spring at being on the court to play a role in a national title drive. This fall, Cole has a 10-2 singles record playing primarily at the No. 4 spot and a 12-3 doubles mark at the No. 1 position with fellow co-captain Stephanie Fong.
"We beat Williams this fall, and they're the defending national champs," Cole said. "We're a close-knit team which has bonded together since spring break of my freshman year. I've really improved my doubles game here by moving forward a lot more. In singles, I'm a baseliner."
Strong year for Porter
Defensive end Charles Porter, a Duke senior, never got a chance to play football at Howard High in front of his hometown Columbia friends. So it was important for him to have a big game against heavily favored Maryland last Saturday at Byrd Stadium in College Park.
"I don't want us to be just a little bump in the road for Maryland," Porter said before he and his Duke teammates took the field against the Terps. "I want us to be a major roadblock. I think our team showed we had heart in a third-quarter comeback [before losing, 42-35] against Wake Forest. We'll see what happens."
Porter, at 6 feet 4, 254 pounds, and the Blue Devils needed a lot more than heart against Maryland, losing, 59-17, and falling to 0-7 this season. Porter, however, did turn in an outstanding effort, making six tackles, recovering a fumble and contributing one tackle for a loss of 7 yards.
Through seven games, Porter has 33 tackles (four for losses of 19 yards), one sack for a loss of 8 yards, one pass broken up and three quarterback harassments. He attended Lawrenceville (N.J.) Prep instead of Howard High.
Senior linebacker Reggie Chambers (Mount St. Joseph) leads the 3-3 Robert Morris football team in tackles with 66, second most in the Northeast Conference. The Colonials are 3-1 in league play, behind 5-0 Sacred Heart University, and must win the rest of their games to capture the Northeast championship.
Former Gilman standout Nick Nocar had a productive day for the 2-5 Gettysburg College football team in a 31-7 loss to Ursinus on Oct. 13. The sophomore split end caught a season-high five passes for 60 yards and threw a 51-yard option pass to account for most of the team's bright moments on a dismal day. Nocar has 17 receptions for 162 yards this season.
Sophomore forward Steve Custer (Dundalk) leads the Elizabethtown College men's soccer team in goals (seven) and points (22). Custer scored four of the team's five goals two weeks ago and was named the Commonwealth Conference Player of the Week. Elizabethtown, 11-5-1 overall and assured of its 50th straight season at .500 or better, is battling Messiah (both 6-0 in league play) for the conference championship.
Hampton's Timothy Frazier (Poly)was promoted to starting quarterback last week and delivered a winning performance against South Carolina State. Frazier completed 21 for 32 passes for 258 yards and two touchdowns in a 28-17 victory.