Atholton's Winger gives linemen a mouthful


September 21, 2005|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,Sun reporter

A couple of tacos, a burrito, a Gordita and an ice cream taco for desert.

Multiply by five and you have one happy offensive line and a poor running back.

After Atholton running back Matt Winger ran for a school-record 341 yards and four touchdowns in the Raiders' win over Rockville on Friday night, the senior treated the guys who paved his way with dinner on Saturday night.

"We went to Taco Bell, and even though it's not that expensive, it's the thought that counts," said 6-foot, 230-pound senior center Travis Fales, who estimated Winger's bill was about $35.

"Even though my name isn't in the newspapers, I know his is and we know if we didn't block, it couldn't happen."

Standout running performances dominated Friday night football in Howard County. In addition to Winger's effort, Glenelg senior Trey Crayton rushed for 229 yards and four scores in a win against Howard, and Mount Hebron senior Chris Eccleston ran for five touchdowns in the Vikings' 34-13 win over Centennial.

Before those impressive numbers are put up, however, offensive lines have to do their part to get the job done.

"They don't get the recognition - they're not going to get Player of the Week honors and their names don't show up in the box score, so they just really take pride in what they do, and I think they realize they have to do it as a unit," said Mount Hebron coach Larry Luthe, whose group is led by senior center Steve Colegrove and senior right guard Matt McKenna.

At Glenelg, there's no secret what the offense wants to do - run the ball. Putting up 48 points against Howard to improve to 2-0 on the season, the Gladiators showed they do it well with 476 yards on the ground.

Coach John Davis has four starters back on an offensive line that averages 232 pounds. Led by senior right guard Matt Abbott and junior right tackle Eric Hutchison, the group has the necessary cohesion.

"They're the catalysts," Davis said. "We run the ball most of the time and they know they have to do it or it's not going to get done. If they're successful, we're successful and they take a lot of pride in that."

Helping hands

The Oakland Mills soccer teams used a sudsy Saturday afternoon over Labor Day weekend for a great cause, raising $1,454 with a car wash to help the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.

The fundraiser was previously planned to help with program costs, but some parents came up with the idea of helping the Gulf Coast residents. The players took it from there.

"We could have used the money, but the kids really rose to the idea that there were obviously people that needed it a lot more," said Mike Wassel, the program's booster club president. "The kids really came through - they were out there hustling non-stop and the community really supported it as well."

Wassel said some people were just driving up with donations, while others were giving generous amounts for a car wash.

"One woman gave us $60 to get her car washed," he said.

All proceeds were sent to the American Red Cross hurricane relief fund.

A number of sports programs from other high schools throughout the county also raised money for the cause and The Columbia Bank matched the donations dollar for dollar before sending it off to the American Red Cross.

Lions roar back

It was nothing new to find the Howard girls soccer team down two goals in its season opener against Meade.

What happened next - and since then - is new.

The Lions rallied for three goals in the second half to win, 3-2 - matching last season's win output when they were 1-13-1 - and went into this week with a 4-0 mark.

A strong sophomore class led by forward Meghan Mastalerz and midfielder Tori Waldron has brought dedication, athleticism and speed to a team that will continue to improve.

Senior captain Laura Murray, a steady influence at midfield, saw the good things coming over the summer when anywhere from 10 to 15 players would come to the voluntary captains' practices.

"I remember my sophomore year we had two girls show up and we ended up playing with the boys," said Murray, one of just three seniors. "The girls who have come in have a lot of heart and because our team is so young, they don't have the mindset that we're going to lose. That's spread to the older players, too. It's been great."

Funk confirms firing

Brian Funk, The Sun's All-Metro Coach of the Year in track and field last spring, confirmed that Atholton officials dismissed him as a coach in track and cross country.

Funk, who guided the Raiders to their first Class 2A state track and field championship since 2001 in May, was not a teacher at the school, but was taking courses to become a full-time teacher. He declined to discuss details behind the dismissal, but expressed his sadness with the decision, which was handed down in July.

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