Douglass' steady hand

Smithson ably fills wide receiver, defensive back and quarterback roles with Ducks' football team



His nickname is "Shaky," but Antione Smithson has been nothing but steady so far for this year's Fredrick Douglass football team.

The 6-foot-1, 185-pounder showed as much during an interdivisional, 14-6 loss to Baltimore City rival City College on Sept. 23. That's when Smithson matched up against the Knights' Sheldon Bell in a showdown of two of the city's premier wide receivers.

"I had a really hard practice that week to prepare for him," said Smithson, who had 27 receptions for 874 yards and nine touchdowns last season. "Both of us played hard, and I think I showed the kind of player I am."

Smithson played defensive back against the 6-4, 190-pound Bell, and vice versa, with each player essentially canceling out the other. Bell was limited to two receptions for 10 yards, Smithson, to two catches for 30.

But when called upon by coach Joe Holland, Smithson found another way to contribute.

The Ducks entered the game without starting quarterback Darren Thompson, who was injured in the previous game. So Smithson lined up behind center during the Ducks' second offensive series, and, later, tossed a 65-yard scoring pass to teammate Devin Hall.

Smithson has received interest from Marshall, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Maryland and Morgan State, according to Holland.

Pompey won't choose

When Pete Pompey settles in for Friday's Edmondson-at-Poly, Baltimore City Division I football game, the man who often came up with the right answers as a football coach just might be indecisive for one of the few times in his life.

That's because Dante Jones and Anthony Knox, both of whom served as assistants for Pompey, will be coaching Edmondson and Poly, respectively.

"Who am I going to root for?" said Pompey, 65, who retired from Edmondson after 31 seasons of coaching last fall.

Knox, 41, learned to play quarterback under Pompey at Edmondson in the early 1980s. Jones, 29, a former second-team All-Metro linebacker, played under Pompey for two years at Dunbar before Pompey left to coach at Edmondson in 1993. Jones played alongside Ravens linebacker Tommy Polley on Dunbar's 12-0 Class 2A state title-winning team of 1994.

Jones assisted Pompey for five years until replacing him as coach this season. Knox also assisted Pompey for five years. He became the Engineers' coach in 2003.

"Dante puts a lot of emphasis on his defense to stop people. Anthony emphasizes putting points on the board," said Pompey. "They're two people I'm really fond of that work hard to make their programs successful. I guess I'm just going to have to be neutral, but it's going to be a difficult afternoon."

Mawrtians' about-face

After going 1-18 a year ago, Bryn Mawr's volleyball team is making a huge turnaround.

Halfway through the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland B Conference season, the Mawrtians are 6-4 overall and 5-1 in the conference. Three losses have been five-game matches.

The Mawrtians dropped to second place after Thursday's five-game loss to defending conference champ Notre Dame Prep, but coach Tim Dunbar has been pleased with the progress.

"The majority of the girls have bought into the idea of being volleyball players rather than just girls who play volleyball. These girls really have some athletic ability and we have some who play all year round," said Dunbar, former Severna Park coach and The Sun's 1991 All-Metro Coach of the Year.

Junior Louise Brooks leads the Mawrtians with 127 kills, an average of 3.34 kills per game. Dunbar credits Brooks with sparking the turnaround.

After her freshman year, the 6-foot outside hitter devoted herself to the sport and began playing for the Time Out for Sports club.

Gillian Budd and Meredith Larsen, a pair of 6-foot middle hitters as well as 5-10 freshman outside hitter Theo Matthai, a club veteran averaging 2.16 kills, have also fueled the turnaround.

Junior setter Theresa Themelis holds it all together with an average of 8.07 assists per game.

Sun reporter Katherine Dunn contributed to this article.

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