The Washington Redskins turned in their spikes for Nike Airs on Wednesday night and enjoyed much of the same success on the basketball court as they do on the football field.
The Redskins defeated a teamof Westminster All-Stars, 72-66, at the Gill Center at Western Maryland College.
The fact is, though, everyone was a winner Wednesday night -- particularly the 535 kids who swarmed the arena in their gold Art Monk Football Camp T-shirts.
"See No. 40 (Redskins safety Alvin Walton)?" Eric Roberge of Westminster asked his 8-year-old son, Riggo -- named after former Redskin great John Riggins. "He's a starter and one ofthe hardest hitters in the league. And No. 30 (second-year Redskin Brian Mitchell)? He's gonna be a star in this league someday. He played quarterback in college but he's a running back for the Redskins."
That's what the night was all about.
Everybody came out to see the Redskins, and no one was disappointed -- except some of those gold-shirted kids screaming "We want Art, we want Art," referring to Redskin All-Pro wide receiver Art Monk, who opted to coach the Redskins squad instead of participating.
The charity game, sponsored by the Westminster Inn in conjunction with Monk's annual football camp at Western Maryland, raised $475 for underprivileged kids at Monk's camp.
"It was an experimenting thing," Monk said of the charity game. "It was a good event for a good cause, and hopefully we can do this every year."
The game itself had its ups and downs for the Westminster All-Stars, sponsored by the East End Athletic Club at the Westminster Inn and made up mostly of past county high school stars.
Westminster had an early lead, 9-8, but several sloppy turnovers followed and the Redskins took advantage, rattling off 24 of the next 26 pointsto take a commanding 32-11 lead just past the midway point of the first half.
"We came out nervous and excited in the first half and took a while to settle down. They are professional athletes so you have to expect something, and they were pretty tough," said Francis Scott Key grad Mark Carroll, who played at Coppin State.
"It was a lotof fun and a very worthy cause. The kids were excited, and it lookedlike everyone enjoyed the game and that was the main thing."
Westminster did make some halftime adjustments and made a game of it in the second half.
Westminster High grad Kevin Dorsey led the surge with a vicious slam and and a pair of free throws. Then fellow Westminster grad Tommy Magruder's three-point play cut the lead to 65-59 with five minutes remaining. But the Redskins scored the next five points to put the game out of reach.
"I didn't know (the Skins) had anybasketball in them," Magruder said. "I thought they would come out physical and bang around, but they played pretty well."
The Redskins were led by rookie 12th-round drat pick Keenan McCardell, who scored a game-high 22 points. Ironically, McCardell comes from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas -- which saw three of its basketball players chosen in the first round of the National Basketball Association draft the same night.
Other Redskin players included rookies Dennis Ransom, Keith Cash and James Jenkins, along with former Skin Reggie Evans.
Other Westminster players included Francis Scott Key grad/Western Maryland player Jeff Eaves; Westminster grads Anthony Frisby and Terry McDonald; and Terry Barnes, David Moore, Mark Orrell and Mike Pritchard.
Orrell, a consultant at the Westminster Inn from Silver Run who put the Westminster team together a week ago, wasn't surprised at the Redskins' talent.
"I've played against the Skins two other times, and they are simply great athletes.
"We just put the teamtogether last Wednesday and just got together one time on Sunday, and it showed," Orrell said. "I would like to make it an annual event and next year beat them in front of a packed house."
Monk's sixth camp at Western Maryland concluded Friday with the biggest turnout ever.
"This was the best camp ever. Not only because of the big turnout, but all the kids were great," Monk said. "The facilities here aregreat, and the people have always greeted us with open arms."