Digest (Dec. 14): Hamiltons form jockey tandem at Laurel Park

Knowing what to expect didn't make things any easier for Steve "Cowboy" Hamilton when his youngest son, Weston, decided he wanted to follow in dad's footsteps and become a jockey. Instead, it gave the 43-year-old Hamilton, a winner of more than 1,300 career races and multiple graded-stakes, a kind of perspective that he hadn't had before. "The first couple races I watched him ride I can think back to when I was rodeoing and what my parents went through, because that was the first thing they dealt with. Secondly came the racehorses," Hamilton said. "I know how I felt when he was riding, so now I know how they felt when I was riding. It's gotten better each time he's ridden. It's worn off a little bit. I just hope he keeps trucking along," he added. "He keeps his mind open, he's working hard and he's learning every day. That's about all you can ask for." Apprentice Wes Hamilton, freshly turned 19, won his first two professional races Monday at Laurel Park in his only mounts on the card. His breakthrough victory came, appropriately enough, on a 5-year-old mare named I Just Wanna Win, owned by David Carter and trained by Pat Magill. Steve Hamilton, riding Include a Check, finished fourth. It was the fifth time since Hamilton made his pro debut Dec. 2 at Laurel that he and his father rode in the same race, and the first time that he beat his dad to the finish line. Hamilton rides with a 10-pound weight allowance.

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Bowie St. quarterback Hallnamed top offensive player

Bowie State junior quarterback Amir Hall won the BoxtoRowOffensive Player of the Year award for Division II. Hall, a redshirt junior from Bowie, passed for 3,519 yards, threw 41 touchdowns, threw for 300 or more yards in a game seven times, threw for over 400 yards in a game twice and completed 65 percent of his passes, throwing just four interceptions. He also rushed for 406 yards and eight touchdowns. Hall also placed fifth among 10 finalists for the Harlon Hill Trophy as the Division II College Football Player of the Year; Texas A&M University-Commerce senior quarterback Luis Perez won the trophy. Hall received 50 points in the voting, earning 12 first place votes, three seconds and eight thirds. ... Johns Hopkins senior center Ben Gaal was named a first-team Division III CoSIDA Academic All-American and junior wide receiver Luke McFadden and junior defensive lineman Anthony Davidson were named to the second team. ... Alex Potocko became the first Salisbury player to be named a CoSIDA Academic All-American, earning first-team honors.

College wrestling: Johns Hopkins junior Ricky Cavallo (133 pounds) is ranked seventh in this week's National Wrestling Coaches Association rankings and was also selected as the Centennial Conference Wrestler of the Week.

Women's college swimming: Washington College junior Julia Portmann was selected as CollegeSwimming.com's Conference Swimmer of the Week for the Centennial Conference.

Wizards toy drive: Wizards Care and Kelly Oubre Jr. are teaming with the Salvation Army National Capital Area to host a toy drive before the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday at 6 p.m. Oubre will serve as the ambassador of the drive. Oubre will deliver his gifts at the F Street entrance between 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., and is expected to be joined by a few of his teammates as they drop off their donations. Fans are asked to bring a new unwrapped toy. Monetary donations will also be collected. Each fan that donates a toy will receive an autographed Kelly Oubre Jr. holiday poster (while supplies last). All toys donated will benefit the Salvation Army National Capital Area and families in the metropolitan area.

From Sun staff and news services

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