Category Archives: AllMetSports

South Lakes golfer Kurtis Grant stays crisp to capture the Virginia 6A North region crown

[READ ARTICLE IN THE WASHINGTON POST]

Kurtis Grant surveyed the 18th fairway stretching below him Wednesday afternoon, his right leg crossed casually around his left as he sipped a 23-ounce can of Arizona-brand Arnold Palmer Lite Half & Half Iced Tea.

The South Lakes junior typically takes about 30 seconds to guzzle the drink before his round. But in homage to “The King” — and to stay better hydrated — Grant cracked open his favorite beverage at the turn of Wednesday’s Virginia 6A North region golf championship and nursed it throughout the back nine.

“I usually don’t finish very well,” Grant said. “That was different today.”

Grant carded four birdies and zero bogeys on Hidden Creek Country Club’s second half en route to a 4-under-par 67. That followed a 68 on Tuesday, giving him individual medalist honors by eight shots on the testy Reston course.

Grant’s refreshment may have helped, but the real driving force behind his seamless navigation of the narrow layout was something even more drawn out: preparation. Continue reading South Lakes golfer Kurtis Grant stays crisp to capture the Virginia 6A North region crown

Varsity field hockey has arrived in Loudoun County, but there’s still work to be done

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The novelty of the scene at Briar Woods was evident only in the players’ faces.

On one side of the field, 25 members of the Heritage field hockey team decked in candy red uniforms giggled through their warm-up shooting routine. On the other, two of Stone Bridge’s 21 white-and-navy clad stick wielders stopped to laugh at a whiff that sent dirt flying over a stationary ball.

Just about anywhere else in the Washington area, this is a totally normal Tuesday evening in September. In Loudoun County, this is unprecedented. Continue reading Varsity field hockey has arrived in Loudoun County, but there’s still work to be done

Friendship Collegiate stifles H.D. Woodson to claim Ward 7 supremacy

[READ ARTICLE AND WATCH VIDEO IN WASHINGTON POST]

At first it seemed like a risky decision. On fourth and six, with his team nursing a narrow fourth-quarter lead, Friendship Collegiate quarterback Chris Ferguson was staring down a wide receiver streaking into the end zone.

The junior signal caller wasn’t aiming for the first down. He was aiming for the kill shot.

“I saw that the corners was pressed,” Ferguson said. “Coach [Mike] Hunter always told me, ‘On that play, when the corners press, we have to attack the corners on the corner route.’ ”

Ferguson lofted a pretty spiral to the corner of the end zone, and senior wide receiver Nykeim Johnson secured the touchdown to essentially put the game out of reach for H.D. Woodson. The score propelled Friendship Collegiate to a 19-14 victory in a rare meeting between the two District powers in Northeast Washington on Friday. Continue reading Friendship Collegiate stifles H.D. Woodson to claim Ward 7 supremacy

Camp Countdown: Westfield is hungry to defend its state title

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2015 record: 14-1, beat Oscar Smith in the Va. 6A state championship

Returning starters: 6 offense / 5 defense

Style of play: Pro-style offense / 4-3 defense

Key returning players: QB Rehman Johnson, Sr. (380 passing yards, six touchdowns, zero interceptions); WR Sean Eckert, Sr. (23 catches, 439 yards, four touchdowns); OL Christian Karl, Sr.; LB Kevin Petrillo, Sr. (107 tackles, three sacks, six interceptions); DL Zach Jewell, Sr. (49 tackles, seven sacks, two forced fumbles)

Toughest matchups:

Sept. 9 at South County: A reloaded South County squad will be itching for revenge on its home turf after last year’s 40-8 embarrassment in the 6A North region final. The Stallions won this Week 2 meeting a year ago, dealing the Bulldogs their lone defeat.

Oct. 14 vs. Robinson: Rams quarterback Alex Miller and tailback Roman Lowry — both three-year starters — will lead Robinson’s experienced ground attack into a bruising Concorde matchup that rarely disappoints.

The Skinny:

It will be a long time before the shine wears off Westfield’s glittering 2015 football season. Finally, after four straight years of coming up short in the region final, the Bulldogs annihilated South County in the 6A North region championship, then overcame Oscar Smith in an unforgettable, triple-overtime thriller for their first state crown since 2007.

The Bulldogs are not eager to deem their past accomplishments ancient history. They are, however, ready to take a different approach to the 2016 campaign. Continue reading Camp Countdown: Westfield is hungry to defend its state title

Summer Workouts: Bethesda-Chevy Chase rower Quinlyn Spellmeyer grinds out rapid improvement on the water

[READ ARTICLE AND WATCH VIDEO IN THE WASHINGTON POST]

It’s 7:30 in the morning — on a Saturday, mind you — and Quinlyn Spellmeyer is already exhausted. She drops her oars and tries to regain the feeling in her hands. Her thighs scream as she climbs out of a wayworn, eight-person scull, 10,000 hard-earned meters of the Potomac River in her wake.

Spellmeyer is a rising senior at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High, but given her summer training regimen, you wouldn’t be crazy to mistake her for an Olympic rower enduring a masochistic lifestyle on the road to Rio. Sunday aside, the spunky, 17-year-old redhead rises at 4:30 a.m. for her daily oatmeal and yogurt, churns through morning and afternoon practices with two different teams, volunteers with a summer rowing camp and hits the pillow by 9 p.m.

Spellmeyer estimates she rows about 80 miles per week in practice. Three of those days include land sessions on the dreaded ergometer, on which she grinds out at least eight kilometers per session, sometimes motoring at a 5K-race pace.

There are times — when the miles tick slowly by, when the heat saps her lungs, when the water dissolves into an endless desert expanse — when Spellmeyer wonders why she keeps climbing back into the boat. Continue reading Summer Workouts: Bethesda-Chevy Chase rower Quinlyn Spellmeyer grinds out rapid improvement on the water

High school baseball players will be subject to pitch counts after national mandate

[READ ARTICLE IN THE WASHINGTON POST]

High school baseball coaches monitor their pitchers with obsessive diligence. They log every pitch, watching for any dip in mechanics that could prompt a change at the mound.

Next year, they’ll be doing the same for opposing pitchers, too. In an effort to curb mounting arm injuries among youth baseball players, the National Federation of State High School Athletic Associations announced last week that every state will be required to implement pitch-count limits before the start of the 2017 season.

Previously, all but five states limited pitchers to a certain number of innings. Now, each state athletic association will be charged with setting its own specific pitch-count restrictions. Continue reading High school baseball players will be subject to pitch counts after national mandate

For Falls Church boys’ soccer, a diverse roster determined to make history

Falls Church soccer players panted in Tuesday afternoon’s 85-degree heat, hustling alongside the track while four of their teammates camped near the goal to conduct shooting drills during practice. One of those teammates, freshman forward Ahmed Elmataoui, jogged over to the water cooler, rinsed his mouth and spit every last drop onto the turf.

This week marks the most important stretch of these boys’ high school soccer careers. It also marks the start of Ramadan.

[READ THE POST IN ALLMETSPORTS]

As the upstart Jaguars prepare for Friday’s 5A state semifinal, their Muslim quartet must also respect a sacred month of fasting that began Sunday night. A typical day for them this week mirrors junior midfielder Mahmoud El-Khatib’s routine: Fast before and during school, keep fasting at practice, take a nap, wake up at 8:30 p.m. to eat and drink about a gallon of water, sleep, wake up at 3:30 a.m. to drink some more, go back to sleep, wake up at 6:30, repeat.

No Falls Church soccer team has ever qualified for states, and no Falls Church team of any kind has ever won a state championship. As such, El-Khatib and company are opting for a temporary exemption from their religious obligations this weekend. The Jaguars face 5A South champ Mills Godwin at 4 p.m. at Lake Braddock.

“I wanted to make sure God knew that I have to make an exception on Friday, and if we win, then Saturday as well,” El-Khatib said.

Continue reading For Falls Church boys’ soccer, a diverse roster determined to make history