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Maxey, Rembert up to the quarterback challenge


Jason Maxey of Hammond and J. T. Rembert of Oakland Mills are two of 16 high school quarterbacks from the state chosen to compete in the Toyota Quarterback Challenge during halftime of Baltimore Ravens home football games.

At each home game this season, two quarterbacks will compete against one another, passing for distance. Each week, the winner's school will receive a television and VCR. In addition, each participating school will receive 100 tickets to a Ravens game.

The participants will also have their stats and personal information listed on the Ravens' web site, Ravenszone.net.

Maxey will compete Nov. 19 during halftime of the Dallas Cowboys game; Rembert, Oct. 22 during halftime of the Tennessee Titans game.

Russo can't quit

After Joe Russo retired as Hammond's head coach after last season, other coaches were taking bets on how long he could stay away from football. No one thought it would be long. They were right.

Russo is coaching the running backs at Wilde Lake and is enjoying life working for longtime friend Doug DuVall.

The scene is a familiar one, since Russo was defensive coordinator for Wilde Lake for four years before taking the Hammond job.

"Doug asked me to come back, and though I was tired of being a head coach, I still wanted to be involved in a low-key way," Russo said. "Now there's no pressure or headaches."

When the Wildecats play Hammond, however, Russo will not coach that day and will take no part in the preparation for that game.

Raiders knee miseries

Atholton's three senior soccer captains are sidelined with knee injuries, but none occurred while playing for the Raiders.

Sweeper Nick Zaron needed surgery in April after injuring his anterior cruciate ligament while playing for the Bethesda United club soccer team that won the state cup. Midfielder Dennis Cook injured his knee while playing lacrosse last spring. And forward Jamie Hollander was hurt playing basketball.

Agnew leaves Mt. Hebron

Mark Agnew, who coached cross country, indoor track and outdoor track at Mount Hebron last season, and has coached at least one of those sports for seven years, has moved on to a science teaching position at Rockville High in Montgomery County.

Agnew, 37 and the father of six children, said he and his brother-in-law bought 65 acres near Poolesville and that he'll be building his own house on the property.

He leaves behind a good boys team to new coach John Sunderdick, a former standout baseball pitcher for Oakland Mills.

"I'll miss the guys and told them to win one for me, but they may be a year away," Agnew said.

Tired of accusations

Critics of the county's tech magnet programs claim they enable a school like River Hill to load up on athletes. The Hawks have produced one of the most successful athletic programs in the state after just four years.

But cross county and wrestling coach Earl Lauer has a different perspective on the situation, and he wishes people would stop accusing coaches of recruiting.

"No one is recruiting that I know of. If I were at another school I might be complaining also, but we didn't design the tech magnet program," he said.

His teams won nine county, region and state titles last season.

"No one complained that Michelle Cina, a gymnast who has a full ride to West Virginia, used the tech magnet program to attend River Hill instead of Centennial, but wait until they find out that her younger brother, Vince, will be a freshman wrestler here this season," Lauer said.

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