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Prep Notebook: County golfers qualify for Mid-Atlantic PGA Capital Cup

Three county golfers have qualified for the sixth annual Mid-Atlantic PGA Capital Cup, which will be held on Aug. 23-24 in Virginia Beach, Va. The event features a two-day Ryder Cup-style format matching the best junior golfers from Maryland against those from Virginia.

Crownsville resident Will Halamandaris shot a 3-under par 69 last Thursday at Old South Country Club and is joined on the Maryland team by South River High School golfers Garrett Sauls and Billy Miles, each of whom shot a 74. The top 10 scorers qualified for the Capital Cup and two others will be added as captain's picks.

"It feels good to qualify," said Sauls, who carded birdies on 15 of the 18 holes on Thursday. "There were a lot of solid players and it feels good to represent Maryland against Virginia."

Fifty-five golfers attempted to qualify for the Maryland team, which defeated Virginia, 13-11, last year. Halamandaris, Tyler Mealey (St. Mary's) and Chris Nolte (Severna Park) were on the 2013 team.

Sauls and Miles each finished in a five-way tie for fourth place on Thursday and avoided a playoff by one stroke.

"I figured this would be a good experience since this is my last year of eligibility," Sauls said. "I had been playing well, so I was confident I could qualify."

Saturday's play includes alternate shot and best ball competition, while the tournament concludes on Sunday with singles play.

Maryland has won the Capital Cup all five years the event has been held.

FACE IN THE CROWD: Archbishop Spalding golfer Micaa' Thomas, an All-County selection this past season, will be featured in the August 11 issue of Sports Illustrated. The issue hit newsstands and subscribers' mailboxes on Wednesday and the item should post online by Monday, Aug. 11 at

Thomas also has been selected to compete in the 2014 Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach, an official Champions Tour event that will be held Sept. 26-28 and televised on the Golf Channel. Thomas, who joins 80 other participants from The First Tee chapters for the event, was selected by a national panel of judges who evaluated the entrants based on their playing ability and the lessons learned through their involvement with the First Tee organizarion. More than 150 applications were submitted.

LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE: The Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA) is hosting the Maryland Student-Athlete Leadership Conference on Tuesday at North County High School.

The conference will feature nationally recognized motivational speakers, including former Bladensburg High School basketball star and NCAA champion Thurl Bailey. In addition, state athletic administrators will be facilitating workshops for approximately 400 student-athletes from more than 130 of Maryland's public high schools.

The goal of the conference is to develop student leadership skills that enhance sportsmanship, promote teamwork, time management, perspective, inclusion, healthy lifestyle and community service. These positive values have been well-documented through research as benefits of participating in interscholastic athletics. All 400 student-athletes will participate in workshop sessions with athletic administrators and national speakers. In addition, The Arrive Alive Tour sponsored by The Allstate Foundation will be on hand, featuring a distracted driving education program that allows students to experience the dangers of texting while driving within the controlled environment of an automobile simulator.

FALL SPORTS: The first day of fall sports practice for public schools in the state is scheduled for Aug. 13. The first play date for the county's public schools is Friday, Sept. 5. Private schools are permitted to begin practicing earlier in the month and will start playing games a week before the public schools.

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