Colgate senior wide receiver Joe Parker answers the telephone carefully these days.
There has been an outbreak of crank calls involving the Colgate football team, and Parker, a former Arundel High standout, has been right in the middle of the action. Parker admits to sewing the seeds for these high jinks as far back as three years ago on a road trip to Fordham.
"I guess I started it all when I called our quarterback at the time [Ryan Vena] and pretended to be a reporter from his hometown who wanted an interview," said Parker. "I kind of got him pretty good, and this thing has gotten to the point now where guys are taping the whole conversation with the other guys they are playing the pranks on."
Parker hasn't let this interfere with his ride into the Colgate pass-catching record book. With nine games left in career, Parker is ninth on the school's all-time list for receiving yardage with 1,136 yards, and he needs six receptions to break into the school's top 10 in passes caught; he has 82 career catches.
Parker just might get those six this week against Dartmouth, a team he has thrived against during last two years, catching 16 passes for 264 yards and four touchdowns.
What's so magical about Dartmouth?
"They play a lot of zones and don't blitz much," said Parker, a three-sport athlete at Arundel and an All-Metro tight end in 1996. "That makes it easier for me to get open."
Parker cherishes one experience at Colgate (0-2) that has nothing to do with catching passes or phone pranks.
"Having my brother [Michael] join me and play in some JV games last year has been my No. 1 thrill," he said. "Michael broke his back at Arundel, and he's getting better now."
Parker said he chose Colgate over an Ivy League school, because he wanted a chance to play in the Division I-AA playoffs.
"The Ivys don't participate in any postseason play, and Colgate does," said Parker.
Boyd solid at Gettysburg
Junior Lauren Boyd might not be making a lot of the big kills for the Gettyburg College volleyball team, but she is more than living up to the high expectations that followed her out of Severna Park High.
Boyd, a setter, leads the team in assists (351) and aces (31) through 11 matches (9-2 record) this season. Boyd was a second-team All-Centennial Conference choice last fall.
In her freshman season, Gettysburg had a 21-15 record and went to the second round of the NCAA Division III tournament.
One of Boyd's teammates is freshman Nicole Barr (Broadneck), an opposite-side hitter who 90 kills is second on the team. She also has 73 digs.
Sophomore Jeremy Catlin (Oakland Mills) will never forget his collegiate soccer debut for George Washington University. He came off the bench in the season opener and scored twice in a 9-1 rout of Howard University. He now has two goals and two assists in three games for the Colonials.
Linda Jack (South River), who plays attack for Lynchburg College's field hockey team, has been chosen as the Old Dominion Athletic Conference Player of the Week after scoring three goals and five assists in two victories.
Another freshman soccer standout from Severna Park has broken into the college ranks as a starter. Allison Dooley has been making the grade as a defender at the University of Delaware. She has started all three games for the Blue Hens (2-1).
Sophomore Erin Johnson (South River) is a backup goalkeeper at Delaware.