Mike Young speaks softly, but the 6-foot-2, 295-pound, Reginald Lewis senior sings with a booming voice that has carried him to a number of places.
The football player and throwing specialist in track and field sings with the Baltimore-based Maryland State Boychoir, which travels throughout the nation and abroad "to spread music everywhere," said Young.
"Last summer, we went to Chicago, as well as North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia in the span of a week," said Young, 17, who is a member of two choirs. "We went to England two years ago. With their language, their tea times and the fact that they drive on the opposite side of the street - it was different. Very different."
Young, a B student, also won a $250 prize as a result of developing a business plan for a competition established by the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship.
"My plan was about computer installation and software for senior citizens - that's my market," said Young, who plans a collegiate major in computer networking and security with a minor in physical therapy.
Young has also been a major contributor to the Falcons in football and both indoor and outdoor track. In football, Young allowed only two sacks as a left tackle, and made numerous tackles as the left tackle on defense.
Last spring, Young won his first three meets in the shot put, where his personal best is 38 feet, 7 inches. Young placed third at the Gilman Relays with a discus toss of 82 feet.
Smith and 'The Game'
For Institute of Notre Dame point guard Amber Smith, "The Game" takes on a whole new significance in her senior year.
Playing in front of 4,000 fans at the Towson Center in the 40th anniversary of the girls basketball rivalry between IND and Mercy is something Smith won't soon forget. She'd like to make her final appearance even more memorable with a fourth straight Indians' victory.
"I'm very excited, especially this being my last year," said Smith. "It would be nice if we could come out with the 'W,' because we won all the other years since I've been here. It would be a great way to end it."
Although Smith is a four-year varsity player, this is her first year stepping into a leadership role, both on and off the court. Last season, the Indians had All-Metro Player of the Year guard Chandrea Jones and veteran inside threat Brooks Webster leading them to the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference final. This team is much less experienced and had a 7-9 record as of the weekend.
Smith, the only returning full-time starter, leads the Indians in scoring with 15.5 points and is second in rebounding with six. She contributed 11 points in Wednesday's 37-24 win over St. Paul's.
"In the beginning, she was trying to do too much," said first-year Indians coach Tully Sullivan. "The second half of the season, she has settled down, much more distributing the ball, settling people down, running the offense as well as taking the shots."
Although Smith admits to frustration at times, she chooses to look positively on an experience that is much different from that of her first three years.
"I would say it's rewarding, because it is a team and it's not about the number of wins and losses you have, but you can still learn and develop as a team and as an individual. The wins are nice and the losses hurt, but it's all a learning experience."
When No. 2 Mount St. Joseph and No. 1 McDonogh face off for Friday's Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference dual meet, 17 of the 28 competing wrestlers will be ranked by The Sun.
Seven of the wrestlers are ranked No. 1: the Gaels' Danny Whitenak (119 pounds), Jon Kohler (135), Mack Lewnes (160) and Andrew DePalma (275), and the Eagles' Eric Filipowicz (103), Joe Breen (140) and Bryn Holmes (152).
Lewnes is a National Preps champ and a three-time private schools titlist, Kohler a two-time private schools champ, Holmes a National Preps champ and a two-time private schools champ and Breen a one-time private schools titlist.
Ranked No. 2 in The Sun are the Eagles' Josh Fitch (112), Curtis Holmes (130) and Shane Milam (135), along with the Gaels' Jake Bohn (189). Bohn, a junior, is a defending private schools champ, and Fitch, a sophomore, was runner-up.
The meet's other key wrestlers are the Gaels' No. 4 Austin Clouse (103), No. 3 Alex Ward (152) and sixth-ranked Greg Gold (125) and the Eagles' No. 6 Kramer Whitelaw (145), No. 4 Alex Pagnotta (160) and No. 5 Kyle O'Brien.
The defending MIAA A Conference champion Gaels crushed the Eagles, 50-16, in last year's meeting, during which they won 10 of the 14 bouts, including pins by Clouse, Lewnes and DePalma. Bryn Holmes, Breen and Whitelaw were among the Eagles' winners.
At last weekend's Colonial Forge Ultimate Challenge in Virginia, Lewnes finished first, earning Outstanding Upperweight honors. Also winning titles were Kohler and Ward. Bohn was second, and Whitenak, third.
Archbishop Curley's football team will play an independent schedule this fall after a 2005 season during which the Friars went 0-6 in the MIAA A Conference and 1-9 overall, league director Rick Diggs said last week.
The MIAA, which has a two-tiered football conference, allows movement up or down from one league to the other every two years. Dominant programs often use that time to rise from the B Conference to the A; those that are struggling in the A Conference may drop into the B.
The Friars, who moved up to the A Conference last year after having won three of the previous four B Conference crowns, plan to return to the B Conference in fall 2007, Diggs said.