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Varsity Letters
News and notes on Baltimore area high school sports
Mount Saint Joseph graduate Charlie Jones works way into starting role for American

Kyle Jakobe, a Timonium-based trainer who has worked with several local athletes, posted a series of blogs on his company’s website during the summer of 2013.

The title? “The Legend of Charlie Jones,” a series of posts documenting Jakobe’s work with Jones and the Manchester native’s progression from a junior varsity backup to a Division I basketball player at American.

“In Baltimore, we have the most spoiled, entitled and selfish basketball on the planet,” Jakobe wrote in the first entry. “Kids don’t get in the gym to work on their game. They play pickup. Parents don’t hold their kids accountable. They threaten coaches and then shop their child from team-to-team. Coaches don’t develop their players. They sit and hope and pray that one of their players happen to “make it” so that they can use the player’s name for personal benefit.

“It’s a never-ending cycle of how life shouldn’t be done. Then you find a kid like Charlie Jones. Never have you seen a kid hungrier for success. If you give...

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South Carroll's McTavish brothers contributing for Shepherd basketball team

Shepherd University (W.Va.)'s game against West Virginia State on Saturday was close throughout.

Neither team led by more than two points for most of the second half. Seemingly each time a team scored, the other had an answer. There were six lead changes, eight ties, and Shepherd led by as little as one in the final 25 seconds before holding on for a 73-68 victory.

Two of the primary difference-makers for Shepherd down the stretch?

South Carroll graduates and brothers Ryan and Gavin McTavish.

Ryan McTavish scored 12 of his team-high 24 points during the second half and hit a 3-pointer — off an assist from Gavin McTavish — to put the Rams up, 63-59, with 3:13 remaining.

Gavin McTavish, meanwhile, scored the final four points of the game, helping Shepherd pull away. He hit two clutch free throws with the Rams clinging to a 69-68 lead with 16 seconds remaining and later converted two more free throws to put the game out of reach.

This is what both hoped for when they signed with Shepherd...

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Eastern Tech girls soccer goalkeeper Ryan Jones commits to Virginia Commonwealth

Eastern Tech girls soccer goalkeeper Ryan Jones has made a commitment to play at Virginia Commonwealth University. 

The four-year starter posted eight shutouts as a senior this fall as the Mavericks (9-6) reached the Class 2A North Section II finals.

While she spent most of her time in goal, Jones also played forward during her career and scored 15 goals.

As a sophomore, Jones led Eastern Tech to the Baltimore County championship with a 1-0 win over Perry Hall in the title game.



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Snow wipes out most of Monday's games, Howard County track championships

Snow falling in the Baltimore area has closed most schools and postponed high school sporting events for Monday, which had a light schedule to begin with.

Only Baltimore City schools opened Monday. Carroll, Harford and Howard counties as well as most private schools were close because of snow. Anne Arundel and Baltimore County schools were already closed to students for professional development days but officials there canceled all after-school activities.

The Howard County indoor track championship at the Prince George's Sports and Learning Complex is the biggest even to be postponed. The meet has been rescheduled for Saturday at 4 p.m. at the PG Complex.

The snow also postponed two basketball games between highly-ranked teams -- No. 2 John Carroll boys at No. 6 Mount Carmel and No. 4 Aberdeen girls at 8 Patterson Mill girls. Make-up dates have not been set.

The No. 1 Roland Park girls basketball team was scheduled to play IND, but that game will not be made up.

This is the third time...

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South Carroll running back Chris Gavin commits to VMI

Record-setting South Carroll senior running back Chris Gavin has orally committed to play at Virginia Military Institute next season.

Gavin, who rushed for a Carroll County-record 2,016 yards last season, chose VMI over Randolph-Macon and Salisbury. He plans to major in international studies.

“Everyone I met there was an awesome person with an awesome backstory,” said Gavin, an All-Metro first-team selection last season. “Financially, things worked out. Socially, things worked out. And football ... who doesn't want to play Division I?”

VMI finished 2-10 in 2014, last place in the Southern Conference.

“He's been on a lot of college visits, and I told him that when he's doing these, he's going to walk on some campus and it's going to hit him,” South Carroll coach Steve Luette said. “I think Chris is going to work out well there.”

Gavin scored a county-leading 26 touchdowns last season and helped the Cavaliers to a county title, 2A West Region championship and state semifinals appearance....

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Perry Hall soccer standout Colin Weyant commits to UMBC

Perry Hall soccer standout Colin Weyant, a junior defender who earned All-Metro second-team honors last fall, has orally committed to UMBC.

Weyant, a three-year starter for the Gators, also was an All-State and All-Baltimore County first-team pick. He played for the Baltimore Celtic U-16 National Championship team last season.

Last week, Reservoir standouts Kyle Saunderson and David Harris committed to UMBC, which reached the College Cup for the first time in program history this past season.

The Retrievers lost to eventual champion Virginia, 1-0, in the semifnals to finish with a 14-6-5 mark.

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