With the growing success of high school football in Howard County over the past several years, it's no surprise that locals are making us proud at Division I programs across the country.
But it's not often that we get to see two D-I teams featuring Howard County grads playing each other in our own backyard. On Sept. 15, when Connecticut comes to town to play Maryland, that's exactly what's going to happen.
Tim Willman, a 2009 Reservoir graduate and a redshirt junior at Connecticut, will be playing for the Huskies. It will be the closest that the 6-foot-4, 270-pound defensive end has played to his hometown since high school, according to his father, Tim Willman Sr.
"Tim said he's had this game circled on his calendar for two years now," Tim Sr., said. "And I said, 'You have a calendar?' "
Tim Jr., who is majoring in economics, has worked his way up to second on the Huskies' depth chart at defensive end behind Trevardo Williams, who led the Big East with 13 sacks last fall.
Tim Sr., who says he still goes to watch practices at Reservoir (his daughter Marisa teaches there), says that he expects a large crowd of Willman-backers to come out for the game.
What makes the game even more special for Tim Jr. is that he'll be playing against his former head coach, Randy Edsall, who took over at Maryland in 2011 after 11 seasons at UConn.
"It's human nature, you always want to beat your old coach," said Tim Sr. "But he loved to play for Randy."
And that isn't the only familiar face that Tim Jr. will see on the opposite sideline Sept. 15. Matt Robinson, Maryland's starter at safety as a redshirt sophomore, graduated from Atholton one year after Tim graduated from Reservoir. The two keep in touch via Twitter, according to the elder Willman.
Brian McMahon, who quarterbacked Atholton to a 10-2 record last fall, is on the Terps roster as a reserve tight end.
Zach Dancel, a sophomore defensive back from Ellicott City by way of Good Counsel, also plays for Maryland. Tony Perry, who graduated from Marriotts Ridge in 2010, is a walk-on reserve defensive back.
Wedding bells times two
I have tremendous respect for many at the Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks. One of those public servants is Mike Blevins, who has worked there for the past 10 years. On Aug. 17, Mike married Jade Bernstein at the Anchor Inn in Pasadena. The two met at the University of Maryland in Baltimore.
Jade has a Ph.D. in biochemistry and works at the National Institutes of Health. Rather than go on a honeymoon, the two bought a home in West Laurel.
Camille Powell, a Howard High graduate and one of our former sports interns, married Adam Kilgore Aug. 19. The wedding took place in Adam's home state of Maine. Both work for The Washington Post. Adam is the Nationals beat writer and Camille is a high school sports editor.
After working for the Post for several years, Camille took a two-year break to go to Japan to teach English. Rather than investing in a wedding ring, Camille and Adam took a trip to Japan.
Four friends from the men's soccer team that she played on while in Japan came to her wedding, she said.
The sports staff wishes both sets of newlyweds a long and happy life together.
Andrew Conrad and Carol Gralia contributed to this column.