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Scholars and athletes Howard County: Athletics not the only reason for pride at Oakland Mills, the region's sole football champion.


EXCITED IS the best way to describe Marshall Peterson last week. The principal of Oakland Mills High School had a team about to play for a state championship in football.

But he was overjoyed because new SAT scores showed his school had moved from fifth to third place among Howard County's 10 high schools.

In an education system that consistently is among the best in the state in academics, that's quite an accomplishment. It was icing on the cake for Oakland Mills to end last week with the Class 1A football title as well. The Scorpions beat Forestville of Prince George's County 15-12 last Friday.

It's good to see schools that can prove "scholar athlete" isn't an oxymoron. OM's football players, four of them members of the National Honor Society, collectively carry a 3.06 grade point average and an average SAT score of 1096.

Academically strong Howard County won seven state championships in the just-completed fall sports season. Oakland Mills also won the title in soccer in Class 1A for smaller high schools. Centennial, with the highest SAT scores in Howard, won crowns in Class 2A girls soccer and girls volleyball. River Hill won in Class 2A cross country and soccer and Hammond won the 1A girls soccer title.

Five other Baltimore-area teams won state titles this fall: Severna Park, Class 4A field hockey and girls cross country; Westminster, 4A cross country; South Carroll, 3A cross country; Fallston, 3A field hockey; and Hereford, 1A field hockey. Students who match the hard work it takes to win an athletic championship with the hard work it takes to produce good grades typically make successful, productive adults.

A well-rounded education includes more than book learning. Children must be provided opportunities to excel outside the classroom in sports, in the arts -- in endeavors that challenge them to push for personal achievement.

Pub Date: 12/03/98

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