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Family legacy falls on Knights' Mangum


North County's Chris Mangum, the county's leading pass receiver as a junior, is the latest in a long line of Mangums who have played high school football in Anne Arundel County.

Mangum paces the county with 23 receptions for 323 yards (14.0 per catch) and three touchdowns, and his numbers stand third in the metro area. The 6-foot, 170-pound split end caught 28 passes for 350 yards and three touchdowns as a sophomore on the Knights' 4A state championship team.

Chris' grandfather, Big John Mangum, a Brooklyn Park legend who died about 10 years ago, was the patriarch of a football-playing family and endeared his boys to the game.

Big John (6-foot-1, 350 pounds), flanked by his sons, was a common and sometimes intimidating sight at most county athletic events where a Mangum was playing. Referees feared Big John's wrath the way umpires shuddered at the temper of Earl Weaver.

Chris Mangum is the son of Danny Mangum, one of six brothers -- John Jr., Charlie, Joe, Pat and Mike -- who played football at nee Brooklyn Park High during the '60s and '70s.

Dan Jr., Chris' brother, also played there in the mid-'80s with Charlie's son Richard before Brooklyn Park merged with Andover to form North County six years ago.

"Yeah, it was kind of expected I would play football like my uncles and brother, and I started at age 6 with the Andover Apaches," said Chris. "I've been playing ever since and love it."

Dan coached Chris all the way up in youth football with the Apaches and Brooklyn Park Broncos before he began playing at North County as a freshman.

"Chris may turn out to be the best athlete in the family and he's gotten a lot of help from his uncles over the years," said Dan,

whose brother Pat was the 1975 winner of the Rhodes Trophy given by the Annapolis Touchdown Club to the county's top football player and who played with brother Mike, an All-County end, at Towson State.

Dan was an outstanding quarterback and also a basketball and baseball standout at Brooklyn Park. He went on to guide Baltimore Junior College to an overall 19-1 record and national championships in 1966 and 1967.

Dan, who resigned recently after 17 years as the boys basketball coach at Arlington Baptist, is the North County statistician and helps head coach Chuck Markiewicz at practice.

"It's been fun being around Chuck because he really knows the game and is a great motivator," said Dan.

Chris is hoping what he has learned from his father, uncles and Markiewicz will enable him to be a two-sport athlete in college.

Lacrosse is his other sport and he has started for coach Paul Shea since his freshman year. Chris is a midfielder who has drawn attention from Penn State, Villanova, Salisbury State and Ohio Wesleyan. Uncle Charlie, who stands 6 feet 7, was the only other Mangum to play lacrosse.

"Right now I have a better chance at college with lacrosse, but it would be great to play both," said Chris, a 2.7 student who intends to major in sports medicine or physical education.

Chris won't be the last Mangum to play football because Uncle Mike is coaching three of his sons in the Brooklyn Park Broncos program, but Chris represents a more reserved Mangum.

"I learned coming up that tempers hurt, and my brothers and I made enemies we didn't have to make because we were maybe too competitive," said Danny, who taught his sons to play under control. "Chris is doing it the right way. He doesn't have the Mangum hot temper and my dad would be proud of him."

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