A popular Wilde Lake High School varsity soccer player is in serious condition after crashing his Honda Civic on Friday less than a mile from school.
Marco Filipponi, 18, of the 4700 block of Rams Horn Row in Ellicott City, was speeding east on Governor Warfield Parkway near Windstream Drive about 10:30 a.m. when he lost control, slid onto the median and began to spin, police said.
His car then struck the rear of a vehicle that was waiting on Windstream Drive, according to police. Filipponi was traveling to a work-study assignment.
The driver of the second car was not hurt, but Filipponi was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where he was listed in serious condition. He was wearing a seat belt, police said.
Police are investigating the accident, but they said that negligence and speed are contributing factors.
Filipponi, a senior, was a two-year starter for the Wilde Lake varsity soccer team and blossomed this year, when he was named to The Sun's first team All-Howard County soccer squad after scoring 15 goals and earning six assists.
He was always a talented player but seemed to have found new focus his senior year, said his coach, David Nesbitt. "He really came of age and improved quite dramatically," Nesbitt said.
Filipponi had accepted a scholarship to attend Mercer University in Macon, Ga. this fall, where he is to play soccer. After college, Filipponi wanted to play professionally in Europe to "see how he could do against those players," Nesbitt said.
In addition to being a talented athlete, Filipponi is a popular student who "never seemed to have a bad day," said Mike Harrison, the athletic director.
Nesbitt agreed, saying that Filipponi did not "march to the beat of everyone else's drummer." When the team would run sprints, Filipponi would sometimes jog and when the team would jog, Filipponi might run as hard as he could.
And at lunch times, Filipponi would make the rounds at most of the tables. "He usually had a word for everyone," Nesbitt said.
But Filipponi is also a dedicated student, said Harrison, who taught Filipponi's sophomore geometry class.
"He really proved he's a kid who wants to battle and work hard. Hopefully, that will help him recover," Harrison said.