Remarkable is a word to describe the football turnaround at Meade.
No. 15 Meade has gone from a 1-9 season to 6-1 with a legitimate chance at a county championship and the state playoffs for the first time since 1987. Meade plays host to Chesapeake (2-6) Friday, next week visits North County (4-3) and then closes out the regular season at home against No. 4 Arundel (7-0).
Arundel at Meade figures to be the game of the year in Anne Arundel County because it may decide the 4A county championship and the top seed in the 4A East Region.
Going into this weekend, Arundel and Meade are tied for first in the county 4A League at 4-0 each.
Credit has to go to head coach Jerry Hartman and his staff of Tom Harmon, Scott Harmon, Don Fyfe, Ross Stimely, Marlin Harris, Tim Walker and Joe Viola. With Friday's 36-20 victory over Glen Burnie (4-3), the Mustangs are guaranteed their first winning season since 1989 (7-3).
Tom Harmon is offensive coordinator while his son Scott coaches the offensive and defensive lines, which are the strengths of this team. There may not be a county offensive line that fires off the ball better than the Mustangs.
The interior line of tight end Elijah Thurmon (6-foot-4, 190 pounds), tackles George Houston (6-2, 275) and Danny Todd (6-3, 245), guards Rico Walker (6-3, 230) and Robert Porter (6-1, 195) and center Godfrey Garrett (5-11, 200) may be the county's best.
"This is a team that has worked hard to get where they are," said Hartman, a veteran college assistant coach before coming to Meade in 1993. "They've put in the time with the weights in the off-season and seen the results of their hard work."
At times Friday, the line blew the Glen Burnie defensive line away with senior Roman Harrison rushing for five touchdowns, 34 points (with a pair of two-point conversions) and 166 yards.
"I just can't say enough about our offensive line," said Harrison, a solid 5-foot-8 and 175 pounds.
Harrison now has county-leading totals of 13 touchdowns, 84 points and 1,163 yards rushing and has a shot at a couple of school records. He needs only to maintain his average per game in rushing yards (166) and points (12) to set school records.
On the other side of the ball Friday, Wilson Rodriguez led the defense at middle linebacker with an interception, fumble recovery and 12 tackles.
The suspense is building for what could be a grand finale with Arundel. A year ago, on the way to the playoffs, Arundel slipped by Meade, 8-7. By game 10 this season, both teams could be playoff-bound, and what a game for the county title it could be.
What a joke
Further reason to seed teams by records if open tournaments are here to stay was provided in the girls soccer lottery. No. 3 Severna Park and No. 11 Old Mill played for the county championship last night. Guess who plays in the first round of the state playoffs?
Yep, it's going to be Old Mill at Severna Park in the 3A-4A East first round Friday.
Hall of Fame inductions
The fifth Anne Arundel County Sports Hall of Fame induction dinner/ceremony is set for tomorrow night at Michael's Eighth Avenue in Glen Burnie.
Olympic gold medal swimmer Theresa Andrews and Alan Pastrana, an ex-NFL player and coach, both of Annapolis; former pro baseball pitcher Pete Taylor of Severn and the late Northeast baseball coach Harry Lentz of Glen Burnie will be enshrined along with Jean Boyd, former assistant county coordinator of physical education who goes into the hall's wing for athletic administrators.
Tickets are available and can be purchased at the door for $25. For more information, call Michael's at (410) 768-7901.