Northern opens on up and up


Is Northern's football program on the rise?

Northern's season-opening 16-14 victory over Eastern Tech two weeks ago not only avenged last year's 28-0 loss, but it ended a 14-game losing streak for Vikings coach Ike Hemphill.

Hemphill's Vikings had not won a season-opener since going 9-0 three years ago. And after last week's 46-0 shutout of Douglass (0-2), the Vikings have given him his first 2-0 start in two seasons.

The Vikings next play host to No. 7 City, a 40-0 winner over Douglass.

"It's great being an underdog and your opponent thinks you're not as good as you might be," said Hemphill, in his eighth season. "By the time your opponent figures out you're a better team, it's sometimes too late -- and that's all the edge you need."

Against Eastern Tech, Robert Dukes (88 yards on 10 carries) and wide receiver Willie Brown scored for the Vikings, whose defense staged four goal-line stands.

Brown had 160 yards in total offense to lead the Vikings against Douglass in a Baltimore City 3A league game.

Patterson's first top ranking

Thanks to an upset loss by top-ranked McDonogh in the opening weekend, Patterson, formerly ranked No. 2, moved into the top slot in the Baltimore Sun's area football rankings.

Coach Roger Wrenn, in his 21st season, believes it to be the first time a Clippers football team has received a No. 1 ranking.

"I think during the 1970s we were ranked as high as No. 2 or No. 3," said Wrenn, whose career record is 127-75-2, including 2-0 this year.

Wrenn said he and the Clippers appreciate the honor even more considering the uncertainty that surrounded the program during the summer thanks to a plan approved by the state designed to improve academic achievement at Patterson.

The plan removed all 130 of Patterson's staff members and required them to compete with applicants from inside and outside the district.

"I had applied for another job elsewhere, a fact that I didn't keep from other players. There was some talk of players who wanted to transfer," said Wrenn, who declined to reveal where he sought employment.

Wrenn survived the cut and returned 19 players, including 11 starters, from last year's 9-2 squad.

He also retained 11th-year assistant Larry Alexander, coach of the tight ends and linebackers, second-year assistant Scott Delpo, coordinator of the offensive line, and most of his volunteer assistants.

The one loss was former offensive line coach and defensive coordinator John Horrigan, who took a job as junior varsity coach at North Harford.

New MIAA director

The Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association's six-member Board of Governors has selected Reese "Rick" Diggs, 46, as the organization's executive director.

According to MIAA board member brother William Johnson of Calvert Hall, Diggs, the younger brother of baseball and football commissioner Jimmy Diggs, will be charged with "executing the policies of the organization, being the spokesperson to the media and the membership, and serving as its secretary/treasurer."

bTC A 1966 Loyola graduate who played football and baseball, Diggs, 46, brings experience from a 15-year coaching and teaching career, which covers stints at Western Maryland College, Westminster and Liberty high schools.

Meloy to coach basketball

Gilman's baseball coach Marty Meloy has been named to replace former basketball coach Tim Holley this winter. Meloy will remain as the Greyhounds' baseball coach.

Holley vacated the basketball position to take the job as head basketball coach at Haverford School in Pennsylvania.

Baltimore's best at Weber

Charm City Baltimore basketball team continued its successful run, winning the Charlie Weber Maryland Invitational Tournament last weekend at the University of Maryland.

Charm City defeated Connecticut on Sunday to win the 28-team tournament featuring AAU All-Star teams from areas ranging from Toronto to Tennessee.

The Dunbar trio of Billy Wells, Marvis Thornton and Tommy Polley were named to the all-tournament team, with Polley, a 6-foot-5 forward, receiving MVP honors.

Charm City won the Boston Shootout the previous weekend at Boston College. Thornton, a 6-3 forward, was named MVP. Shawnta Rogers (Lake Clifton), Alphonso Jones (St. Frances) and Wells were named to the all-tournament team.

City Line, featuring St. Frances' Mark Karcher, Keon Chavez and Jones, and Blanchard Hurd of Milford Mill, reached the quarterfinals.

Copyright © 2020, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad