Matt Laycock is the fourth Centennial athlete in the past two weeks to accept an athletic scholarship to a major college.
Laycock, an All-State soccer midfielder who has played on U. S. national teams and on a national championship club team, committed orally last week to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
"They were all quality schools, and I liked them all, but I just woke up one morning and decided I wanted to go to North Carolina. It seemed the best fit for size, academics and social life. I loved the campus from the first time I stepped on it last spring, and it's been my life-long dream to play in the ACC."
Laycock, who scored 10 goals and made 12 assists for the second-ranked Eagles (14-1) this season, said he was tempted by full scholarship offers to Rutgers and Wake Forest. He also thought hard about Virginia, because going there would have enabled him to play again with former Centennial teammates Brock Yetso and Brian West.
But he took the 90-percent offer from North Carolina, because he has a better chance to play right away there than at Virginia.
"Virginia's midfield would be pretty set my freshman year."
Laycock joins gymnast Sara Dolan (North Carolina State), who also happens to be Laycock's girl friend, baseball player Denny Chapman (Virginia) and soccer player Lauren Molinaro (Connecticut) on a growing list of Eagles who have committed to major college athletic programs.
Nine of the 10 county high schools will undergo classification changes next fall.
Hammond, Oakland Mills and Glenelg will drop from Class 2A to 1A. River Hill and Long Reach will jump from Class 1A to 2A. Centennial and Mount Hebron will drop from Class 3A to 2A. And Wilde Lake, now Class 2A, will become Class 3A.
The county has requested that all six of its Class 2A schools remain in the same South Region, but the state board of control, which has final approval, could split the schools between two regions, South and West.
First River Hill football win
Mike Kelly's interception with six minutes left set up a game-winning 30-yard field goal by John Mele that gave River Hill its first football victory, a 24-21 decision over Long Reach last Saturday.
"If you have to win only one, then the last one is the one to win," said Hawks coach Don Van Deusen. "It was a pretty exciting game."
Long Reach had a first-and-goal at the 9-yard line with 55 seconds to play, but River Hill's defense held.
Kelly, who caught two passes for 21 yards and made 15 tackles to go with his interception, also scored the tying touchdown.
Quarterback Beau Pich completed 10 of 24 passes for 157 yards and one touchdown. He also ran for a touchdown and gained 85 yards on 10 carries. He made 16 tackles and had a sack.
The following players made the All-State first team as selected by the Maryland Association of Coaches of Soccer: Matt Laycock, Ben Stephenson, Matt Stephenson and Brian Otten, all of Centennial; Pat Halter of Mount Hebron; David Briefel of Wilde Lake.
Second-team players are Mike Stromberg of Mount Hebron and Cort Yetso and Christian Lewis of Centennial. Hammond's Kamil Quander and Atholton's Andy Walter made honorable mention.
Don Disney, county athletics director, said he has sent an official letter to Ned Sparks, the Maryland Public Schools Athletic Association's executive director, asking why the officials did not stop the state semifinal boys soccer game between Centennial and Thomas Stone at Catonsville Community College last Saturday night. Thunder and lightning occurred during the game.
Howard County regulations require that games be stopped immediately at the first sound of thunder. They cannot be restarted for at least 30 minutes after the last boom is heard.
The letter asks for strong disciplinary action against the officials if they are found to be negligent.
Pat Halter, a midfielder from Mount Hebron, will have to sit out the first two basketball games and was suspended from school one day for bumping an official with his chest just after the regional championship game against Centennial ended Nov. 5 at Howard.
Matt Walton, a transfer from Loyola, had an especially tough day during Centennial's loss to Thomas Stone in the state soccer semifinals Saturday. Walton missed the shot off a 2-on-1 breakaway -- a play that Thomas Stone goalkeeper Chris Stark called his "scariest moment of the game." But Walton also was called for holding Stark during the first overtime, causing a Centennial goal to be called back.
Josh Briefel (Wilde Lake), after being cut as a freshman, is a sophomore starter at fullback for the Brandeis soccer team, which at one point was ranked No. 3 nationally in NCAA Division III.
Ryan Smith (Calvert Hall) of Columbia has started 13 soccer games for Brown (6-3-4), scoring twice and having one assist. Other county players at Brown include: Kumi Walker (Centennial), who has played in eight games, starting five; Chris Dodson (Howard), who has played twice; and Doug Ulman (Centennial), who has played once.
Pub Date: 11/13/96