Howard's Green picks Virginia Lions sweeper keeps the talent pipeline going


The line forms here. Four-time defending NCAA soccer champ Virginia has snatched another of Howard County's top players.

Howard's outstanding sweeper Mike Green gave the Cavaliers his oral commitment last week.

Centennial striker Brian West also is considering Virginia.

A year ago Virginia attracted the Baltimore Sun's All-Metro Player of the Year, Centennial goalkeeper Brock Yetso.

The first to make it big at Virginia was Oakland Mills' Clint Peay, a defensive stalwart during the Cavaliers' four straight national title seasons.

Although he missed the first three games with a stress fracture in his foot, Green scored five goals and had four assists for a young Howard team (4-7-2) that began to play well toward the end of the season. He scored both goals in a 2-1 overtime win against Glenelg.

A member of the Olympic Development Program's regional pool, Green plays for the Columbia Darby club team that won a regional title four years ago.

At 6-foot-3 1/2 and 180 pounds, Green has the size needed to step right into a major college program.

"They don't make you any promises about starting your freshman year, but there is a job there if I can win it," Green said.

He said the scholarship offer was 50 percent of costs the first year and a minimum of 75 percent for the next three. If he plays well he'll receive a full ride.

Green chose Virginia, because he thinks Virginia's program will be a national title contender for the next several seasons.

"And the academic programs are excellent," he said. He carries a 3.6 GPA and plans to major in sports medicine.

Death threats

Hammond football coach Joe Russo received three telephone calls threatening his life if he attended last Saturday's game against Oakland Mills.

Hammond lost the game, 7-6.

Police spokesman Sgt. Steven E. Keller said that Russo filed a telephone abuse complaint Oct. 30.

Russo described the calls:

One call said: "You'll be killed if you go to the game at Oakland Mills." Another one said: "You're dead if you go to the game."

One caller identified himself as a coach from Oakland Mills.

"I talked with Joe on Sunday and he knows it wasn't one of our coaches," Oakland Mills head coach Ken Hovet said. "This is supposed to be a positive athletic experience, and you've got something like death threats."

The police department normally has an off-duty uniformed officer working the crowd at games, but on Saturday that officer stood on the sidelines with Russo and walked him to and from the locker room at halftime.

"An officer usually doesn't stand on the sidelines," Keller said. "But the officer was advised of the threat. We have to take them seriously."

Hammond's team also took the precaution of warming up at another site, and was bused up to the field just before game time.

No incidents occurred, and police say there are no suspects or leads in the case.

Don Disney, county supervisor of athletics, said, "Death threats are not a frequent occurrence, but it has happened a couple of times to athletes. I don't recall it ever happening to a coach."

Russo said, "This is high school sports. It's ridiculous. It's out of hand."

Russo probably will coach from the press box in this week's game against Atholton but not because of the threats. With 1:10 left in Saturday's game, Russo suffered torn knee ligaments when some players accidentally plowed into him during a tackle out of bounds.

Hall of Famer

Rich Jenkins of Columbia was inducted into Salisbury State's Athletics Hall of Fame last Friday. Jenkins has been a physical education teacher and coach at Howard High since 1983.

He was MVP of the Sea Gulls' baseball team as a senior when he hit .385, and an honorable-mention NAIA All-American as a sophomore when he batted .425.

The Sea Gulls won the Delaware Valley Conference championship in two of his four seasons. He had a career 9-4 pitching record.

In soccer he played fullback, was a two-time team MVP and earned all-conference honors as a sophomore and junior.

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