Walter Johnson goalie dies in car accident

Boys lacrosse semifinal vs. Westminster postponed

High Schools

May 23, 2004|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

A Walter Johnson High boys lacrosse player was killed early yesterday morning in a car accident, and the team's Class 4A-3A state lacrosse semifinal against No. 15 Westminster was postponed.

According to Montgomery County police, starting goalie Roderick Bower, 17, was killed in a single-car accident in the 10400 block of Democracy Boulevard in Potomac at about 3:40 a.m.

Police said Bower's Volkswagen Jetta was traveling eastbound when it crossed the center line and struck a tree on the left side of the roadway.

Bower, who police said did not attend the school's prom Friday night and left home without his parents' knowledge, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The game has been rescheduled for 7 p.m. tomorrow at Annapolis High.

The Westminster team learned of the incident as players were preparing to board the team bus at around 9:30 a.m. yesterday.

"We discussed it as a team," said Westminster coach Jim Peters. "I don't think it really sunk into the kids as much as the coaching staff and myself. That's every parent's worst nightmare."

Players and fans observed a moment of silence before yesterday's Westminster-Walt Whitman girls lacrosse game at Annapolis. Peters said his players have signed a card to present to the Walter Johnson team before their game.

"They knew how devastating that would be for a team," Peters said. "It puts us in an interesting position because we still want to win the game. We're sorry it happened, but we also want to take care of business at the end, and we have to focus on that."

In lieu of the game, the Owls held a two-hour practice.

The state title game is scheduled for 4 p.m. Wednesday.

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