Baltimore Sun columnist Peter Schmuck and MASNsports.com reporter Roch Kubatko have been named co-winners of the Maryland Sportswriter of the Year award by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. Schmuck won for the sixth time and Kubatko, a former Sun reporter, won for the second time. Brett Hollander of WBAL-TV and Radio was named Maryland Sportscaster of the Year for the first time. They will be honored during the NSSA Awards Weekend on June 18-20 in Salisbury, N.C.
Browns have second meeting with Hue Jackson
Cleveland Browns officials and Hue Jackson have had a second date. All that's left is a long-term commitment. The Bengals' well-liked offensive coordinator with head coaching experience and a knack for fixing quarterbacks met Tuesday with Browns owner Jimmy Haslam, who skipped the NFL meetings in Houston to focus on finding his next head coach. The Browns confirmed Haslam's second meeting with Jackson, a former Ravens quarterbacks coach who has emerged as the front-runner to become the team's eighth coach since 1999 — and sixth since 2008. Cleveland has not yet extended an offer to the 50-year-old Jackson, who has also interviewed with the 49ers and is expected to meet with the Giants in the next two days. Jackson is the only one of seven candidates to have met twice with Cleveland's search committee so far. It's not known whether the Browns have any more interviews scheduled.
More coaching news: The Buffalo Bills announced that defensive backs coach Donnie Henderson will not return next season. Henderson, born in Baltimore, is a former Ravens defensive backs coach.
Playoffs: Out of the NFL since being released by the Ravens on Oct. 13, outside linebacker Jason Babin has returned just in time to aid the Arizona Cardinals' playoff push. Babin, 35, was signed by the Cardinals who needed pass-rush help with starting outside linebacker Alex Okafor being placed on the non-football injury list Tuesday. Arizona also placed former Ravens defensive lineman Cory Redding on injured reserve. Babin is a two-time Pro-Bowl selection and he has 641/2 1/2 career sacks in 14 NFL seasons.
For more of Jeff Zrebiec's blog post on Babin, go to baltimoresun.com/ravens
Sparrows Point girls soccer team honored by MaxPreps
The No. 2 Sparrows Point girls soccer team, which claimed its third straight Class 1A state title and completed a 17-0 season in the fall, will be adding to its trophy case next month with a national honor. MaxPreps.com, in association with the Army National Guard, has selected the program as an honoree for the fifth annual MaxPreps Girls Soccer Tour of Champions. Covering more than 10,000 high schools that field varsity girls soccer teams, only 10 are being recognized across the United States. The Pointers claimed their second straight Baltimore County championship in 2015 and take a 32-game winning streak into the 2016 season. On Feb. 18, representatives from MaxPreps and the National Guard will be at the school to recognize the team's fine season with a trophy. The ceremony is set for 6 p.m. in the gym.
Steeplechase: The Maryland Hunt Cup Association has announced an increase in the purse from $75,000 to $100,000 for the 120th running of the timber race. The Maryland Hunt Cup was first run in 1894 and has continued without interruption except for three years during World War II. The 2016 renewal will take place April 30 at 4p.m. at Worthington Farms in Glyndon.
College football: Navy (11-2, 7-1 American Athletic Conference) finished 18th in the Associated Press and Amway Coaches polls, the highest finish by the Midshipmen in the AP poll since 1963, when the they finished second and the highest finish in the coaches poll since 1978, when they were 17th. ... Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo was elected to the board of trustees of the American Football Coaches Association.
Gymnastics: Two-time world medalist Donnell Whittenburg, an Edgewood alumnus from Baltimore, is among the 14 international gymnasts who have accepted invitations to compete at the AT&T American Cup on March 5 at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
Baseball: Eight Orioles were among 156 players who filed for salary arbitration Tuesday. They are third baseman Manny Machado, infielder Ryan Flaherty, outfielder-first baseman Mark Trumbo, starting pitchers Miguel Gonzalez and Chris Tillman, and relievers Brad Brach, Brian Matusz and Zach Britton. Players and teams are set to swap proposed figures with their teams this week unless they agree to contracts. Hearings will be scheduled for the first three weeks in February before three-person panels in Phoenix. ... The Tampa Bay Rays have signed former Orioles left-hander Dana Eveland to a minor league contract. Eveland has spent parts of 10 major league seasons with nine teams, compiling a 20-27 record with a 5.27 ERA. He made 10 relief appearances for the Atlanta Braves last season, going 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA.
Men's soccer: Goalkeeper Bill Hamid of D.C. United is withdrawing from the U.S. men's national team training camp after suffering a knee injury.