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

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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

Virginia native Ginny Thrasher, 19, shoots her way to first U.S. gold medal in Rio

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Three years ago, then-West Springfield High junior Ginny Thrasher was the 45th-best junior air rifle shooter in the U.S. On Saturday morning, the 19-year-old NCAA national champion stepped into the first medal event of the Rio Games — the women’s 10-meter air rifle finals — and did this: Continue reading Virginia native Ginny Thrasher, 19, shoots her way to first U.S. gold medal in Rio

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

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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

NFL refutes Trump claim that it sent him a letter bashing debate schedule

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Donald Trump complained Friday that Hillary Clinton and her fellow Democrats were rigging this fall’s presidential debates by scheduling them alongside NFL games. That claim was easy to disprove — the debate schedule was determined almost a year ago by a private group made up of both Democrats and Republicans.

On Saturday, Trump doubled down on his grievance. In an interview with ABC’s “This Week,” the GOP presidential hopeful said the NFL voiced its dismay about the conflicting primetime slots in a letter to Trump.

“I’ll tell you what I don’t like,” Trump told George Stephanopoulos. “It’s against two NFL games. I got a letter from the NFL saying, “This is ridiculous.’”

Just one problem with that: The NFL says it never sent him a letter. CNN’s Brian Stelter approached the league about the matter and got this response: Continue reading NFL refutes Trump claim that it sent him a letter bashing debate schedule

Houston Texans’ top target Deandre Hopkins holding out of training camp

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With J.J. Watt already sidelined due to back surgery, the Houston Texans entered training camp this week without their best defensive player. On Saturday, the Texans learned they would also be without their best offensive player.

Pro Bowl wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins did not report to the Texans’ camp at the Houston Methodist Training Center on Saturday. The team confirmed Hopkins is holding out as he seeks a new contract. Continue reading Houston Texans’ top target Deandre Hopkins holding out of training camp