Long-struggling Chesapeake turning things around at 4-3

SIDELINES

High Schools

October 19, 2003|By PAT O'MALLEY

If you haven't noticed, Chesapeake is 4-3 in football. The Cougars have had only one winning season in 27 years of the sport - going 6-4 in 1985 under coach Denis Schanberger.

The way rookie coach Jim Simms has them playing, with junior Gary Townes fueling their single-wing offense, it's not unrealistic to think this could be a breakout season.

Townes ran for 100 yards to go over 1,000 (1,002), including a touchdown, and threw for 175 yards and two scores in Friday's 29-16 win at Glen Burnie (2-5).

Left on the Cougars' schedule are winnable games: Severna Park (4-3) at home, at Annapolis (3-4) and Northeast (0-7) at home. Not only can the Cougars have a winning season, but by winning the last three games they would finish 7-3 with a remote shot at one of the four playoff berths in the 4A East region.

Simms, who led the school to a state championship in baseball (1997), promised after his football debut this season, a loss at Broadneck, that his team "will get better as the season goes on and we're going to change the attitude around here."

The former longtime Cougars assistant has done his part and more. Chesapeake has been in every game and trails Arundel (5-2) by 10 playoff points for the fourth seed in 4A East. The Cougars are in sixth place, with Patuxent (4-3) in fifth. Patuxent started the weekend just two points ahead of Chesapeake.

Glen Burnie (2-5) will be 4-3 if its appeal of two forfeits is heard and won this week. That would put the Gophers in the mix with the aforementioned teams.

Barring a major collapse, No. 4 Broadneck (7-0) should earn the top seed it currently holds in 4A East and No. 1 Old Mill (6-1), a 30-17 loser to the Bruins Friday, should have either the second or third seed, depending on what Thomas Stone (6-1), a 13-10 loser to 3A Westlake Friday, does the rest of the way.

Quick takes

No. 15 Southern-AA (7-0) spoiled Severna Park's homecoming with a 39-6 romp over the Falcons (4-3). A.J. Lee ran for 240 yards - he now has 1,003 for the season - and two touchdowns for the Bulldogs, who led 33-6 at the half. ... Arundel (5-2) quarterback Bobby Schram threw three more touchdown passes to lift his area-leading total to 17 in Thursday's 44-0 rout of North County (0-7).

Brothers sit out

Meade field hockey coach Carrie Vosburg didn't use her two male players, Josh and Jarrod Davis, in the Mustangs' final regular season game, a 7-0 win at Glen Burnie Tuesday. The boys are not allowed to play in the state playoffs, so the coach was getting her team ready to play without them.

Individual counties can allow the boys to play, as Anne Arundel did, but the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association does not allow them in the postseason.

Meade (7-4) drew the No. 6 seed in 4A East and will visit No. 3 seed Broadneck (9-2) in Thursday's quarterfinals.

Tami Davis, the boys' mother, said, "We're giving up on this year, but Jarrod [a freshman] wants to play again and said five or six other boys have told him they want to come out next year.

"We've been talking to an attorney and he is going to pursue through the county first, what we can do to either have the boys play with the girls next year, including the playoffs, or start a boys league."

Have a note? Call Pat O'Malley's 24-hour Sportsline at 410-647-2499 or send e-mail to patomalleysports@aol.com.

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