Patterson's Line Is Big-time

Considered undersized, offensive line has pushed around opponents and sparked Clippers to 5-1 record



They are undersized, but far from undernourished. In fact, they've got an appetite for perfection.

Although the members of Patterson's offensive line have been outweighed by their rivals in nearly every game, the eighth-ranked Clippers nevertheless have devoured most of their competition.

Solomon Jenkins, Justin Thompson, Malik Peoples, Stanley Eppes and George Bennett have an average size of 6 feet 1, 196 pounds - considered small by most standards for an offensive line.

But coach Roger Wrenn will tell you that it is primarily their play that has the Clippers 5-1 overall and in the thick of the Baltimore City Division I chase with City College and defending league and Class 1A state champion Dunbar.

"The linemen are the only group in virtually any sport that has to play so closely and so intelligently with no expectation of scoring," Wrenn said. "We do a lot of sophisticated things in our offense - pulling, trapping, counter-treys - and they never seem to miss a beat."

The Clippers' offense totaled more than 500 yards each in wins over Southside and Digital Harbor, and had a season-low 284 in a 12-0 win over a larger Forest Park team. That game was played in a downpour and on a muddy field that favored the Foresters.

"We kind of look at every situation as if we're the underdogs, and we take it kind of personally," said Bennett, a 6-foot, 200-pound center. "Most teams have had guys that weigh as much as 250 pounds, and there have been some games where we're outweighed by as much as 80 per man."

The Clippers took special pride in defeating Dunbar, 22-16, in overtime in their third game. Patterson rushed for 307 of its 394 total offensive yards against Dunbar, whose defensive linemen include Alan Bosworth, a 6-2, 315-pound All-Metro pick last season.

"We must have run 100-yard sprints about 10 times in practice that week," said Jenkins, the largest Patterson lineman at 6-4, 219 pounds. "We felt like we were a lot quicker off the ball, and that we had a lot more energy than they did in the fourth quarter. We feel like we're going to be able to outlast the other team in the end."

Holding on

When Roland Park's field hockey team needs a goal, Brittany Kalkstein is just about always ready to deliver.

On Friday, the senior forward scored midway through the second half to give the third-ranked Reds a 1-1 tie with Archbishop Spalding and keep them in first place in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference.

Kalkstein has scored 14 goals in 12 games as the Reds are 8-1-2 in the A Conference. That conference record is good enough to maintain a slim edge over Garrison Forest, which was 6-1-3 in the conference heading into Monday's game with Bryn Mawr.

A cherry picker with a knack for finding the cage, Kalkstein, who also has four assists, has been shut out only twice.

"She just won't be denied," said Reds coach Debbie Bloodsworth. "It's very rare that she doesn't show up in the score book, because she is relentless. She's strong with the ball. You don't take it away from her very often."

Kalkstein doesn't have the smooth stick skills of most year-round hockey players, because she plans to play lacrosse in college, but that hasn't kept her from being an impact player who now draws double teams.

"She has enough [skills] to be effective," Bloodsworth said. "When you combine that with her athletic ability and her drive and desire, you just can't coach that."

Now, Kalkstein will try to help the Reds get back on track after suffering their first league loss to St. Paul's last week before tying Spalding. The Reds have only three A Conference games remaining before the IAAM tournament.

The A Conference is so competitive that little separates the top four teams. As of last weekend, Spalding was 6-2-4 with St. Paul's at 6-3 in the conference.

Bloodsworth said almost every game in the conference has been close, even some whose scores appear more lopsided.

"We beat Garrison Forest, 3-1, but that score wasn't anywhere near an indication of the game. They took us to the mat. There were several goal-line stands for both sides and we scored two goals in the last five minutes. With all of these teams, it's been a struggle," said Bloodsworth, whose team will meet Garrison again Friday afternoon.

Pompey party

Pete Pompey, who retired last fall after 31 seasons coaching football and basketball at Edmondson and Dunbar, will be honored at a dinner Nov. 11 from 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. at The Forum Caterers, 4210 Primrose Ave., in Baltimore off Reisterstown Road.

Tickets are $50. For more information, call Barbara L. Pompey at 410-496-4876 or 410-852-3097; Rhonda Pompey McNair at 443-465-7577; or The Forum Caterers at 410-358-1101.

Double double

Poly and Patterson traditionally boast two of Baltimore City's best boys soccer teams. This year, they also feature sets of twins who contribute substantially.

Poly's brothers are Michael and Les Brijbasi, and Patterson's are Michael and Gabe Paleos. All four are seniors.

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