Oakland Mills' Vinnie Rubbo has orally committed to play football at Holy Cross. Rubbo, nagged by an ankle injury his senior year, set an Oakland Mills single-season rushing record of 1,873 yards his junior year.
"They want me to play running back," said Rubbo, who was also interested in two other schools. "Georgetown and Towson wanted me to play linebacker."
Holy Cross is giving Rubbo a football scholarship valued at $22,000 per year. "I'll have to pay $8,000," Rubbo said.
Rubbo was one of the team leaders this season on Oakland Mills' first state championship team.
Tough Cullen team
Oakland Mills, the team with the best record, drew he worst seeding in the Class 1A South region playoffs: No. 8 out of eight teams.
The state's random seeding method almost cost the Scorpions big-time on Monday night, when they to traveled to the northernmost hinterlands of Frederick County to battle a detention-center team, Victor Cullen.
"They were really quick and had big guys to match up against Anthony [Breland] and me," said Murray Graves, who scored 33 points, pushing his career total to 1,033. Against Mount Hebron in the final regular-season game, Graves became only the fourth Oakland Mills player to reach 1,000 points, joining Coleman Scott, Michael Hill and Irving Conwell.
The No. 11-ranked Scorpions (21-3) overcame the bandbox gym and unfriendly Cullen fans with six straight clutch free throws down the stretch, four by Davon Smith and two by Tom Browne. Smith was 5-of-6 at the line in the fourth quarter.
"I was pretty worried," said Graves, whose 16 fourth-quarter points helped pull out the tense 85-76 win. Breland (30 points) scored 13 in the second quarter.
Cullen was 14-8 but played a tough independent schedule that included teams such as Kensington's Newport Prep.
Oakland Mills overcame Brunswick, another talented opponent Wednesday, 68-51, to win its 13th straight game. Brunswick was 20-3 with two losses to South Hagerstown and one to Walkersville.
Tonight, the Scorpions face the unenviable task of traveling to one of the most unfriendly venues in the state, Forestville, in Prince George's County. The school has a bandbox gym, which is about 10 feet shorter in length and width than the average Howard County court.
During Glenelg's 82-66 loss at Forestville Monday night, Forestville fans sometimes ran onto the court and yelled at the Glenelg players -- and nothing was done about it. The Gladiators, who averaged 12 turnovers, committed a season-high 27 turnovers.
Glenelg coach Jeremy Snyder had complained in writing to state officials about the inadequacies of the Forestville facility after his team lost there last season.
Forestville, a 3-19 team that is smaller than Oakland Mills but very quick, will press constantly, and Oakland Mills' success may depend on how well it handles the pressure.
The Scorpions also will play at a high intensity level.
"We're going to press until the last dog is dead," said Scorpions coach Dave Appleby. "We're not holding back."
Oakland Mills has a special incentive against Forestville, because it knocked Oakland Mills out of the region playoffs in 1985 and then won a state title. The Scorpions want a payback in the form of a trip to College Park and the final four.
The cost of the suspected arson fire to the Oakland Mills athletic equipment building Monday night has reached $35,000, said Scorpions track coach Sam Singleton.
The wooden roof of the brick building was destroyed along with all outdoor track equipment, soccer goals and a baseball pitching machine.
It is only three weeks until Oakland Mills' first outdoor track meet, and Singleton has his fingers crossed about replacing the equipment in time.
Chapelgate MIAA C Champs
How many schools win a championship their second season after joining a new league?
The Chapelgate Christian Flames boys basketball team did just that this season.
After nine games, the Flames were 5-4 and appeared headed nowhere.
With a strong returning nucleus of seniors Chris Davidson, John Ring, Ben Byrd and Scott Saulsbury, two transfers from Montrose Christian, John Bennett and Matt Tigert, and a 6-foot-6 Nigerian, Esoso Imoisili, the Flames had high hopes entering the season.
Meshing took the players a little while, but once they did, the Flames won 14 of their next 15 games, culminating in last Saturday's Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association C Conference championship.
Chapelgate won its first MIAA title by defeating Friends, 65-58, with free throws proving the difference.
The Flames sank nine of 10 free throws in the fourth quarter to hold off Friends, which led by as many as seven points in the third quarter.
Davidson, Chapelgate's 2,000 point-plus scorer, led the Flames with 28 points, 20 in the second half.
Chapelgate (19-5) started an all-senior team and got outstanding efforts from Ring (nine points, 10 rebounds) and Byrd, whose second-half defense was crucial.
Junior Imoisili also contributed heavily with 11 rebounds, four blocked shots and four points.
The Flames defeated Mount Carmel, 71-60, and Park, 72-63, to reach the final.
Friends was the defending C Conference champion and had eliminated Glenelg Country School in the semifinals.
The Oriole Advocates will sponsor an inaugural, 2 1/2-hour baseball clinic at Long Reach High School at 9 a.m. March 13.
The rain-or-shine clinic is free and will be presented by the Maryland State Association of Baseball Coaches, the Mason-Dixon Umpires Association and Howard County Fire and Rescue.
Classroom and hands-on instruction will be provided in practice organization, base running, hitting, pitching, fielding, mechanics and drills, umpiring and related first aid by high school coaches, umpires and medical professionals.
Clinicians will include Bernie Walter (Arundel), Dave Norton (Mount St. Joseph), Al Poklemba (Glenelg Country), Terry Coleman (Team Maryland), Terry Terrill (Riverdale Baptist), and Tim O'Brien (Long Reach).
No pre-registration is required and door prizes will be awarded. Information: Dan March, 410-796-1879, or Nick Mantzouris, 301-369-9441.
Pub Date: 3/05/99