Havre de Grace football coach Johnny Brooks is happy that his team has gotten off to a 6-0 start. But he's even happier with the way it has done it.
"It's just been a collective group effort," said Brooks, whose team's lone loss, to Joppatowne, was overturned when the Mariners had to forfeit the victory because of an ineligible player. "Everyone has to play, and they know that. You never know when it's your turn in the game."
Hakeem Hines has been one of the contributors on offense for Havre de Grace, which is in first place in the Class 1A East Region with a huge lead over Snow Hill.
The senior has run for 1,049 yards on 130 carries, an impressive average of 8.1 yards per carry, through six games. He's also run for 11 touchdowns, and colleges such as Richmond, Albany, Hampton and Florida A&M; are taking notice.
The 5-foot-9, 185-pound senior ran for 106 yards on 30 carries in last week's 19-13 victory over Aberdeen and helped the Warriors control the clock with eight fourth-quarter runs.
"His vision has improved, along with his strength and his patience," Brooks said. "He's really learning how to set blocks up. He's being patient and seeing the blocks develop."
But it's not just Hines on offense.
Freshman quarterback Darin Washington, Brooks' cousin, has been solid, completing 31 of 57 for 457 yards. Washington has eight touchdown passes and five interceptions.
Washington has good targets in wide receivers Dayshawn Bowling (13 catches, three touchdowns), Anthony Johnson (10 catches, six touchdowns) and Devonte Taylor (10 catches, two touchdowns).
The line battled problems early in the season before junior Zach Taylor stepped in to play a solid role at left guard, despite weighing only 165 pounds. Taylor also has provided consistent play at linebacker.
Senior Arion Tateum also helps out at linebacker. The 6-foot, 210-pound senior is the fastest and strongest player on the team.
The Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference championship dates are being set.
The girls soccer title game is scheduled for Wednesday, with Fallston meeting Elkton at North Harford at 5 p.m. Teams haven't been determined for the volleyball title match, which is going to be at 7 p.m. Oct. 29 at North East-Cecil. The cross country title races are at 3 p.m. Thursday at Fair Hill.
There will not be a conference championship game for football, and no championship date is yet in place for boys soccer.
Erick Smith, a 6-3 senior basketball guard from John Carroll, recently gave on oral commitment to Bryant University.
Smith played a big role on last year's team as a sixth man and captain. He'll be a captain again this season.
"We are unbelievably excited for Erick," John Carroll coach Tony Martin said. "He was the first to commit to us here at John Carroll back in the eighth grade, and now he is the first in this senior class to commit to continuing his academic and athletic career at the Division I level."
Bryant recently moved up to Division I and will be eligible for the NCAA tournament in 2012.