Consecutive-games streak tops Leatherman's list of highlights

Linebacker for Bucknell played in 44 straight



December 03, 2003|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

In the tradition of another Harford County native who showed up every day to perform, Bucknell's Mike Leatherman never asked for a day off.

Neither a hernia nor numerous leg injuries could end a streak of 44 consecutive games played that Leatherman, a senior from John Carroll, put together during the last four years.

"I just felt like I should play through injuries every time they hit me," he said, sounding a little like the area's most famous ironman, Cal Ripken Jr. "Just strap on the helmet and go out and play. I used football to get an education, and I received a good one here."

The Bison also knew they had recruited a "good one" in the 5-foot-10, 198-pound Leatherman. He was a standout on special teams his first two seasons, started at free safety his junior year, and concluded his career at outside linebacker.

Leatherman had quite a 12-game senior season, finishing second on the team in tackles (62 solo, 27 assisted). He had two interceptions, one fumble recovery, one sack for a loss of nine yards, five passes broken up, and one forced fumble.

The co-captain's highlight was an 11-tackle performance in a 14-10 homecoming victory over Patriot League foe Towson in Lewisburg, Pa.

"I kind of felt like I was home," said Leatherman. "It came down to Towson and Bucknell before I chose Bucknell."

Bucknell struggled during Leatherman's four-year stay, never finishing better than 6-5.

"We play tough teams like Colgate, which is one of the top I-AA schools in the country," said Leatherman. "But I quickly adjusted to that level of play, having been around a lot of top players at John Carroll like Scooter Monroe [former Maryland wide receiver]."

Scott sparkles

North Carolina junior point guard Melvin Scott (Southern-B) averaged 11.3 points, 3.3 assists and 3.0 rebounds through the first three games.

Scott was shooting 44.8 percent from the field, was 5-for-15 on three-point attempts and 3-for-8 from the free-throw line, and had three steals, two blocks and four turnovers.

Scott and the Tar Heels improved to 4-0 with last night's 88-81 win over Illinois in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

Preseason honor

Blue Ribbon magazine has selected North Carolina-Charlotte senior guard Demon Brown (Randallstown) as its 2003-04 Conference USA Preseason Player of the Year.

Brown, 6-1, finished second in the nation last season in three-point field goals with a school- and conference-record 137 three-pointers (4.72 a game).

He was the 49ers' leading scorer with a career-high 16.8 average that improved to 17.5 in league play, placing Brown sixth in the conference in scoring. He was a second-team All-Conference USA selection last season.

This season, Brown is averaging 7.8 points and 5.0 assists for the 49ers (3-1).

Et cetera

Bucknell junior Mike Lookingland (Loyola) was named the Patriot League men's soccer Defensive Player of the Year after playing a major role in the team's 5-0-2 drive to the regular-season league championship. The Bison were 11-7-2 overall.

Sophomore goalkeeper Lauren Gaeta (Catholic High) has lettered for a second straight season on the Case Western Reserve soccer team. Gaeta played in five games - starting one - and had eight saves, two shutouts, and one victory for the Spartans (9-7-2).

Junior soccer midfielder Greg Hinkle (River Hill) started 14 games this season for Guilford (N.C.) and registered four assists. Guilford finished 10-8-1 overall and 4-5 in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference.

Lillian Drumgold (Western) is a 5-7 junior small forward on the 1-2 Bucknell women's basketball team, averaging five points and 4.3 rebounds as the first player off the bench.

Have a Postcard? Contact Bill Free by e-mail at or by phone at 410-833-5349.

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