Like Hereford's Todd Leitzel and Matt Curtis, McDonogh's Pat Bydume and Eric Hamilton are impact players for their football teams. So are Patterson's Tony Smithson, Randallstown's Archie Trader and Gilman's Nick Nocar.
Not only are they usually among the swiftest and toughest players on the field, but they almost always produce despite styles of play that sometimes border on reckless.
Oh, and one other thing: None of them stands taller than 5-foot-8.
"I'm so proud of Nick, but the way he plays makes me nervous sometimes," said his mother, Terry Nocar, whose younger son, Aaron Nocar, is a 6-foot junior. "Nick's always churning, turning different ways, running through crowds. He's had a concussion once, but other than that, never been hurt."
At 5-6, 145 pounds each, Nocar and Curtis are the shortest of the above-mentioned seven players, all of whom are members of Baltimore City-County area ranked teams. Hamilton, a 5-8, 215-pound sophomore, ranks as the behemoth.
Smithson (5-8, 166) rushed for five touchdowns and 232 yards in last weekend's 42-14 rout of City. Curtis has rushed for seven touchdowns this season, and Leitzel has returned two interceptions for scores.
Trader, a four-year starting quarterback, has engineered two straight come-from-behind wins over Eastern Tech and Dundalk. At 5-8, Trader is trying to reach the playoffs for the third straight season after being on a 2-8 squad as a sophomore.
"It can seem like a disadvantage sometimes playing quarterback at my size, because you can have problems seeing over your line," said Trader, who has seven touchdowns passing and one rushing. "But you have to drop deeper, quicker and use your speed to go around people. It also helps to have a little bit of heart."
April Millen was first, followed by teammates Jennifer Morgan (third), Shanna May (fourth), Toni Phillips (sixth) and Dorreen Latta (13th) as Mervo's girls cross country team moved to 6-0 last weekend, defeating Baltimore City power Western for the first time in 15 years.
"We had a fifth girl who did not show, so a couple of first-year runners, Dorreen and Alexis Gutheie had to step up and they did," said Mervo coach William Vaughan, whose team swept both Western (25-31) and City (16-41).
Mount's on top
Calvert Hall graduate and former All-Metro Bryan Bugarin has Mount Carmel's soccer team on a roll at 13-0-1 (8-0 in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association's C Conference). The squad has outscored the opposition, 54-13, with four shutouts for keeper Derrick Muchla. It is led by sophomore Chris Danilowski (23 goals, four assists), senior midfielder Eric Augustine (nine, nine) and junior Daxton Dury (seven, nine).
Their wins included a victory over last season's national Christian champion, Greater Grace Christian Academy, which was 20-0-2 last season, and a 2-0-1 record vs. the MIAA B Conference. Mount Carmel has defeated B Conference foes Gibbons, 4-2, and Park, 3-0, with a tie against Friends.
"The entire team returned after going 14-5-1," Bugarin said.
A Cardinals' first
Co-captains Mike Krawczyk and Mike Dziecichowicz are the leaders on Calvert Hall's 3-0 boys volleyball team, which leads the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association's inaugural, four-team league.
Other teams in the conference, which is expected to expand after this season, are Mount Carmel, Mount St. Joseph and Boys' Latin.
Towson co-coaches Glenn Hyman and Gary Bruster led the Towson golf team to a 7-0 Baltimore County League Central Division record, the Generals' first unbeaten season in more than two decades, according to Hyman.
Players such as Steve Dogherty, Andrew Rice, Matt Lauer, Nick Husted, Brett Winkle and Nick Pennington keyed the Generals' roll.
The season has included Towson's first regular-season win over county power Dulaney and last Thursday's second straight 1A-2A District 6 title over Pikesville.
The Generals will compete in the 1A-2A state tournament at University of Maryland's golf course this coming Monday and Tuesday.
Remeto runs to first
Junior K.C. Remeto of the top-ranked C. Milton Wright girls cross country team, won last weekend's Harford County Invitational in 18 minutes, 19 seconds -- nearly a minute ahead of the closest runner -- leading the Mustangs to the overall title.
Remeto, a 3.8 student, earned All-Baltimore City/County Runner of the Year honors in cross country.
Top teams from River Hill, Calvert Hall, Dulaney, Bryn Mawr, Spalding, Perry Hall, St. Paul's, Severna Park, Bel Air and McDonogh will be among the more than 100 schools from Maryland, Virginia and D.C. competing in Saturday's 29th Georgetown Prep Cross Country Classic on Saturday.
The event includes seeded, large and small school division races for both boys and girls beginning at 2 p.m.
CCBC-Catonsville's Emily Radawiec (Patapsco) had 16 kills and six blocks, and Jazzielle Granada (Western-City) had 33 assists as the Lady Cardinals beat Hagerstown-CC in three out of four games in a volleyball match Friday night in Catonsville.
Catonsville won the contest between programs that are tied at No. 10 nationally in the NJCAA Division II poll, 15-4, 12-15, 15-13, 15-12, to improve to 8-0 in the Maryland JuCo, and 16-11 overall.