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St. Frances maintains lock on No. 1 prep football spot in state

St. Frances, coming off a 35-7 dismantling of nationally ranked IMG Academy, maintained its top spot among state high school football teams.

The Maryland High School Football State Poll, in its 30th year, is based on a statewide voting by sports reporters. Schools are ranked by points received. The number in parenthesis reflects first-place votes. The rankings are compiled by Sheldon Shealer.

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This week’s rankings: 1. St. Frances (12), 7-1; 2. McDonogh, 8-0; 3. Good Counsel, 6-2; 4. DeMatha, 5-2; 5. Quince Orchard, 7-0; 6. Mount St. Joseph, 6-2; 7. Northwest, 7-0; 8. Wise, 7-0; 9. Calvert Hall, 6-2; 10. Archbishop Spalding, 5-3; 11. Franklin, 6-1; 12. Damascus, 5-2; 13. National Christian, 7-1; 14. Bullis, 5-2; 15. Linganore, 6-1; 16. St. Mary’s Ryken, 5-3; 17. Loyola Blakefield, 6-1; 18. Huntingtown, 7-0; 19. Elkton, 7-0; 20. Georgetown Prep, 5-2; 21. Douglass-PG, 7-0; 22. Mervo, 7-0; 23. North Caroline, 7-0; 24. South River, 7-0; 25. Paint Branch, 6-1. Others Receiving Votes: St. Vincent Pallotti (7-1), Fort Hill (6-1), Walkersville (6-1), Hartford Tech (7-0), Landon (4-2), Avalon School (3-4), Dunbar (6-1), Old Mill (6-1).

>> Westminster coach Chris Bassler was named the Ravens High School Coach of the Week. Now in its 23rd year of existence, Bassler is the seventh recipient of the award in 2019. Last Friday, the Owls (5-2) hosted Century and earned their third-consecutive shutout win with a 35-0 victory.

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Horse racing: Post time for the remainder of Laurel Park’s calendar year-ending fall meet moves to 12:25 p.m. beginning with the return of live racing Thursday.

Thursday’s 10-race card is highlighted by Race 6, an open $55,000 allowance for 3-year-olds and up going six furlongs on the main track led by 9-5 program favorite Fort Fortitude. Trained and co-owned by Jamie Ness, the 5-year-old gelding has won three straight races, two since being claimed for $40,000 last month.

>> Led by Preakness winner War of Will and record-setting filly Covfefe, several stakes winners in Maryland this year were among 188 horses pre-entered for the 36th Breeders’ Cup on Nov. 1 and 2 at Santa Anita Downs. Pre-entries for all 14 Breeders’ Cup races were due Monday and announced Wednesday.

Gary Barber’s War of Will gave Canadian Hall of Fame trainer Mark Casse and jockey Tyler Gaffalione their first Triple Crown race victory in the May 18 Preakness at Pimlico Race Course. The sophomore son of War Front was one of 11 horses pre-entered in the $6 million Classic (G1), along with Preakness third-place finisher Owendale, who went on to win both the Ohio (G3) and Oklahoma (G3) derbies.

LNJ Foxwoods’ Covfefe shattered Pimlico’s 6-furlong track record winning the Adena Springs Miss Preakness) by 8 ½ lengths in 1:07.70 May 17, and followed up two races later with an equally impressive triumph in the 7-furlong Test at Saratoga. The Brad Cox trainee was among 12 pre-entrants in the $1 million Filly & Mare Sprint, also at seven-eighths.

Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Gainesway Stable’s Sharing, bred in Maryland by Sagamore Farm, was among 19 horses pre-entered in the $1 million Juvenile Fillies Turf, contested at one mile. Trained by Graham Motion, Sharing is coming off a popular 2 ½-length victory in the $200,000 Selima Stakes Sept. 21 at Laurel Park. Sharing’s dam, Shared Account, won the 2010 Filly & Mare Turf for Motion at odds of 46-1.

Fall baseball: The Orioles’ Arizona Fall League team, the Surprise Saguaros, qualified for the AFL Championship game against the Salt River Rafters (Diamondbacks, Rockies, Marlins, Twins, and Rays). The one-game AFL Championship will be held Saturday, airing on MLB.com at 2 p.m.

The following members of the Orioles organization are on the team: RHP Cody Carroll, RHP Dean Kremer, RHP David Lebron, LHP Alex Wells, INF Rylan Bannon, INF Mason McCoy, OF T.J. Nichting, Kyle Moore (coach), and Marty Brinker (Athletic Trainer). The Saguaros include players from the Orioles, Royals, Yankees, Rangers and Nationals.

Women’s college basketball: Senior Kaila Charles of the Maryland women’s basketball team is one of 20 small forwards in the country named to the Cheryl Miller Award watch list on Wednesday.

Named after the three-time Naismith Player of the Year and Class of 1995 Hall of Famer, the annual award in its third year recognizes the top small forwards in women’s NCAA Division I college basketball. For the full list, visit hoophallawards.com.

>> Coppin State’s Chance Graham has been named to the Preseason All-MEAC First Team. The Eagles were picked to finish 10th of 11 teams in the preseason poll.

A senior from Upper Marlboro, Graham was the MEAC Defensive Player of the Year and a Second Team All-MEAC selection for the 2018-19 season after averaging 14.5 points along with a league-high 11.4 rebounds and 16 double-doubles.

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