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Varsity Letters News and notes on Baltimore area high school sports
Nick Jones named new boys basketball coach at Archbishop Spalding

Archbishop Spalding has named Nick Jones as its new boys basketball coach, replacing former coach Derrick Lewis.

Jones spent the past four years as an assistant coach at his alma mater, St. John's College High School in Washington, D.C.  He played at Division III Hamilton College, where he was a three-time Liberty Conference first-team selection and finished his career with 1,308 points.

“We are extremely excited to have Nick join our coaching staff, his accomplishments and the winning tradition that has followed him will carry over to Spalding. His knowledge of the area as both a player and coach will be vital for recruiting purposes as the program continues to grow.” said Jeff Parsons, Spalding's athletic director.

Lewis stepped down after spending six years at Spalding, leading the Cavaliers to a 4-26 mark last season.

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Patterson grad Shakir Brown commits to James Madison

From Baltimore to Atlanta to Iowa to Texas, Shakir Brown has been a well-traveled man over the past four years. Starting this summer, the former Patterson star will finally get to spend more than a year in one place. The 6-foot-6, 225-pound forward is headed to Harrisonburg, Va., after committing to James Madison on Monday.

“It’s been a long road just to get to DI,” Brown said Tuesday. “It was frustrating sometimes. Sometimes I was like, ‘I don’t want to be doing this.’ But my mother told me to never quit something you start. She told me about how I can become something out of nothing.”

Brown, who will have two years of eligibility remaining, chose the Dukes over offers from Charlotte, Coastal Carolina, Morehead State and Wagner.

A West Baltimore native who moved to the east side in eighth grade, Brown spent the first three years of his high school career at St. Frances. He transferred to Patterson for his senior season, teaming up with Aquille Carr to help the Clippers win the Class 3A...

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Defending champs Manchester Valley, Severna Park among top seeds in girls lacrosse state playoff brackets

Two defending girls lacrosse state champions -- Severna Park and Manchester Valley -- earned No. 1 seeds in their sections as the draw for the sectional and regional playoffs was completed yesterday.

Severna Park, winners of three of the past four Class 4A-3A titles and 12 titles overall, is the top seed in the East region, Section I.

Manchester Valley, which won its first state title last season in Class 2A-1A, is the top seed in the West region, Section I. The Mavericks are the only undefeated public school girls lacrosse team in the Baltimore area.

Defending Class 3A-2A champion Marriotts Ridge is seeded second in the South region, Section I behind Howard County rival Mount Hebron. The Mustangs have won three of the past four 3A-2A state titles while Mount Hebron won the last of its record 15 state championships in 2008.

Severna Park and Marriotts Ridge are both in top-heavy sections which include at least three of the top contenders for that classification's title. Only one can make...

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McCormick Unsung Heroes to be honored Monday night

For the 75th straight year, McCormick will honor football and girls basketball players from high schools in Baltimore City and Baltimore County who don't grab headlines, but make significant contributions to their teams, at the McCormick Unsung Hero Awards banquet Monday night at Martin's Valley Mansion in Cockeysville.

More than 70 public, private and parochial schools are represented among the 118 nominees. One boy and one girl will receive Charles Perry McCormick Scholarships valued at more than $40,000 over four years.

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning will give the keynote address.

The nominees: 

ACCE: Kelcey Oliver, basketball

Archbishop Curley: Marty Costes, football

Archbishop Spalding: Emily Allender, basketball; Zachary Vance, football

Baltimore City College: Shantajah Marshall, basketball; Adam Howard, football

Baltimore Poly: Maya Horne, basketball; Daniel Cameron, football

Ben Franklin: Shellia Rozier, basketball; Malik Rodriguez, football

Bluford Drew Jemison: Taynor...

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Milford Mill grad Tyson Smith set to play hoops at Loyola University Chicago

Former Milford Mill basketball standout Tyson Smith announced he is transferring to Loyola University Chicago after spending his first college year at College of Southern Idaho.

Smith, a 2012 Milford Mill grad, averaged 18.3 points in his senior year to help lead the Millers to the Balimore County championship.

After spending a year at Westwind Prep Academy in Phoenix, Arizona, Smith went to Southen Idaho, a junior college which competes in the Scenic West Athletic Conference, where he averaged 10.5 points, 3.4 assists this past season.

Smith started his high school career at Owings Mills, helping the Eagles win a region championship in the 2010-11 season.

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IAAM postpones Friday, Saturday playoffs, badminton championships

Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland officials have postponed all playoff games scheduled for Friday and Saturday because at least one member school will be closed Friday and officials want to maintain consistency among all teams throughout the playoffs.

In an email announcement, IAAM officials cited "potential security threats, potential school closures and taking a proactive approach" to the playoffs as schools may opt to close to assure the safety of their students as uneasiness lingers following Monday's riots and as more protests are planned for this weekend.

Several IAAM schools are in Baltimore City and one, The Institute of Notre Dame, already has opted to close on Friday.

The postponements affect lacrosse and softball play-in games as well as the badminton championships.

The badminton finals, which include IND and were scheduled for Friday, will be moved to Tuesday at Roland Park.

In lacrosse, six play-in games -- four in the A Conference and two in the C Conference...

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