High School

Gonzaga, DeMatha lead DMV Top 25 for Week of Oct. 7

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Chad Ricardo

Gonzaga, DeMatha lead DMV Top 25 for Week of Oct. 7

DeMatha flexed its muscle in a win over Friendship. Good Counsel escaped a challenge from Ryken. Quince Orchard and Wise won in impressive fashion. Here’s how the rest of the top 10 fared:

1. Gonzaga (6-0) | Last: Win (41-6) vs. Leesburg (FL) | Next: Good Counsel, 10/11

Gonzaga utilized a devastating ground game and smothering defense to fly past visiting Leesburg. Behind touchdown runs by Malcolm Terry II and Joseph Hammond Jr., the Eagles led 31-0 at the half.

Next week will be a test against a fourth-ranked Good Counsel team.

2. DeMatha (5-1) | Last: Win (17-0) vs. Friendship | Next: IDLE

DeMatha showed its grit in a hard-fought match-up with Friendship Collegiate Academy. In a bruising battle, the Stags defense registered a fourth consecutive shutout. 

South Carolina commit, Marshawn Lloyd electrified the crowd with a 52-yard touchdown reception.

3. Quince Orchard (5-0) | Last: Win (56-0) vs Clarksburg | Next: at Richard Montgomery, 10/11

QO continued its dominance against Clarksburg. They were up 21-0 after one. 49-0 at the half. 

On offense, they’re explosive. Defensively, they’re relentless. They are the defending champs for a reason.

4. Good Counsel (5-1) | Last: Win (17-14) vs. Ryken | Next: at Gonzaga, 10/11                  

Good Counsel found itself down 14-3 in the second quarter to Ryken. Showing poise and determination, the Falcons cut the lead to 17-10 at half. They took the lead in the third and relied on their defense to seal the deal.

They will face Gonzaga next week in a match-up that will tell us a lot about both teams.

5. Wise (5-0) | Last: Win (70-0) at Bladensburg | Next: vs High Point, 10/11

The Pumas put on a show, hanging 70 points on Bladesnburg. Five games into the season, Wise has allowed a total of six points.

6. Westfield (5-0) | Last: Win (53-3) at Woodson | Next: vs. Madison, 10/11

Virginia Tech commit Noah Kim completed an 87-yard touchdown pass to Michelle Howard mak-ing the score 13-0. The Bulldogs never looked back.

Football has three phases, Westfield excelled at special teams as well, returning two kickoffs for scores. 

7.  Freedom (5-0) | Last: Win (49-0) at Forest Park | Next: Hylton, 10/11

Forest Park was no match for Freedom as the Eagles soared to victory. It was their third shut out in 4 games. 

8.  Stonebridge (5-0) | Last: Win (55-7) at Rock Ridge | Next: at Riverside, 10/11

Stonebridge led Rock Ridge 34-0 by the end of the 1st quarter. They have Riverside next week, but the DMV has its’ eyes set on their 10/18 match-up with Woodgrove.

9. Broad Run (5-0) | Last: Win (35-7) vs Loudon County | Next: at Loudon Valley, 10/11

In a complete team effort, the Spartans racked 236 yards on the ground and five rushing touchdowns. On defense they held Loudoun County to -12 rush yards and forced 3 turnovers.

10.St. John’s (2-4) | Last: IDLE | Next: at McNamara, 10/12

The Cadets led the top team in the country 21-20 at the half — that lead quickly dissipated. 

In his first three possessions of the second half, Alabama commit Bryce Young went 9-for-11 for 171 yards and three touchdowns.  

Despite sparks of brilliance by Rakim Jarrett and a run so impressive by Antwain Littleton that DMV native Wale’ showed it love on social media, St.John’s dropped its’ fourth consecutive game — the last three to top 5 teams. They have a bye before gearing up for WCAC play.

Here’s how the rest of the top 25 fared:

11. Northwest (4-0) | Last: Win (49-13) at Gaithersburg | Next: vs Churchill, 10/11
12. North Point (4-1) | Last: Win (70-6) vs Leonardtown | Next: at Great Mills, 10/11
13. Damascus (3-2) | Last: Win (45-0) vs Seneca Valley | Next: at Watkins Mill, 10/11
14. South County (5-0) | Last: Win (54-7) | Next: Woodson, 10/11
15. Natl Christian Aca (5-1) | Last: Loss (42-41) at Steubenville | Next: vs. Central, 10/18
16. Landon (3-1) | Last: Win (35-16) at Maret  | Next: at St. Stephen’s | St. Agnes, 10/11
17. Tuscarora (5-1) | Last: Win (31-13) at Stafford | Next: at Heritage, 10/11
18. McNamara (5-1) | Last: Win (38-6 vs. PVI | Next: vs St. John’s, 10/12
19. Friendship (3-3)| Last: Loss (17-0) at DeMatha | Next: at Riverdale Baptist, 10/11
20. Lake Braddock (4-1) | Last: Win (40-12) at Oakton | Next: vs Woodson, 10/11
21. Georgetown Prep (3-2) | Last: Win (27-13) vs Benedictine | Next: at Episcopal, 10/12
22. Dunbar (4-1) | Last: Win (26-14) at H.D. Woodson | Next: at Roosevelt, 10/12
23. Linganore (5-0) | Last: Win (17-0) vs Walkersville | Next: vs Penns Grove (NJ), 10/11
24. Arch Bishop Carroll (4-2) | Last: IDLE | Next: at Bishop O’Connell, 10/12
25. Douglass (5-0) | Last: Win (32-19) vs. Potomac | Next: at Fairmont Heights, 10/11

NEXT 5:

26. Paint Branch (4-1) | Last: Win (44-0) Wheaton | Next: at Blake, 10/11
27. Huntingtown (5-0) | Last: Win (21-20) at St.Charles | Next: at Chopticon, 10/11
28. Lackey (4-0) | Last: Win (35-14) vs Calvert | Next: at McDonough, 10/11
29. Pallotti ( 6-1) | Last: Win (28-7) at Curley | Next: vs St. Mary’s, 10/11
30. Woodgrove (3-2) | Last: IDLE | Next: vs Briar Woods, 10/11
 

These are the top 10 high school defensive backs in the DMV

These are the top 10 high school defensive backs in the DMV

In today’s game, high-powered offenses are king. Long gone are the days of wishbone formations, triple-option quarterbacks and play-calling strategies centered around “three yards and a cloud of dust.”

In 2020, spread sets are the norm and offenses are designed to put up points in a hurry. For defenses to be successful at slowing them down, they need skilled and versatile defenders in the secondary who can stop the pass and help slow the run game. Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia are home to some of the best in the country.

Here are my Top 10 defensive backs in the DMV.

Ryan “Bo” Barnes | Quince Orchard (MD)

Cornerback: 6’2”, 180 lbs

Class: 2021

Offers: 35

Ryan Barnes is a ball-hawking DB with next level length and a knack for making big plays. At 6-foot-2, Barnes is a big corner who blankets his opposition. He uses his long arms and stride to aide in recovering, and once he gets his hands on the ball he is a threat to score.

Though slight of frame, Barnes is a physical, sure tackler who effectively sets the edge against the run.

Antoine Booth | DeMatha (MD)

Cornerback: 6’0”, 190 lbs

Class: 2021

Committed: Michigan State

Antoine Booth often accepts the challenge of lining up against the opposition’s No. 1 receiver -- he does not back down. In fact, he raises his game to that of his competition. He plays the game with a moxie and bravado that will serve him well this season and moving forward.

Booth does a stellar job reading and reacting. He keeps his eyes in the backfield, plants his back foot and jumps routes, often leading to pass breakups and interceptions.

Jalen Clyatt | Sherwood (MD)

Safety: 6’4”, 200 lbs

Class: 2021

Committed: East Carolina

Jalen Clyatt has tremendous size and length. As a long strider, he covers a lot of ground in little time.

Clyatt manages the middle of the field. His range allows him to cover from sideline-to-sideline, and his ball skills make him a threat to intercept passes that sail over the middle.

Cam Johnson | St. Frances (MD)

Cornerback: 6’0”, 170 lbs

Class: 2022

Offers: 13

Cam Johnson has excellent technique. His hips are fluid, his backpedal is smooth and he changes direction effortlessly, which allows him to be successful in man coverage even when playing on an island.

At 6-feet tall, Johnson has nice length and a frame that he will grow into. The rising junior has legitimate “lockdown corner” potential.

Jalen “Buck” McCain | Flowers (MD)

Defensive Back: 6’0, 190

Class: 2021

Committed: Boston College

Jalen McCain is a versatile defensive back capable of making plays from all over the field. He can line up as a boundary-corner or in the slot versus spread offenses, as he displays proficiency in both zone and man coverage.

McCain is a skilled blitzer, has the speed and field awareness to defend in two-deep looks and thrives as a box safety, where his physicality and tackling abilities are on full display.

Will Simpkins III | Quince Orchard (MD)

Cornerback: 6’2”, 180 lbs

Class: 2021

Committed: University of Virginia

Simpkins has a Div.-I body type and he uses it to his advantage. He’s physical at the line of scrimmage and excels at redirecting receivers, making it difficult for them to get into their routes.

His hand-fighting techniques are superb. He has loose hips and solid ball skills. Simpkins is capable of taking away an entire side of the field.

Jalen Stroman | Patriot (VA)

Safety: 6’1”, 195 lbs

Class: 2021

Committed: Virgina Tech

Jalen Stroman is developing into a special student athlete. He’s a big hitter who is most effective coming down hill and attacking. When defending the run, he’s equally adequate at filling the hole as he is setting the edge.

In pass coverage, Stroman displays an ability to undercut routes and break on the ball. He also displays the range to play deep centerfield.

Joshua Thompson | St. John’s (DC)

Cornerback: 6’2”, 190 lbs

Class: 2022

Offers: 8

Joshua Thompson thrives in press coverage. He has the physicality to manhandle receivers at the line, and the length to recover and make plays on the ball.

As a rising junior, his stock is on the rise. Thompson should develop into a 25-plus offer student athlete.

Dante Trader | McDonogh (MD)

Safety: 6’0”, 185 lbs

Class: 2021

Committed: Maryland

Dante Trader is a natural center-fielder who displays excellent range and ball skills. His footwork and technique allow him to cover ground efficiently. He’s a sound tackler who consistently finds himself around the ball.

What he lacks in size, he makes up for in instincts. Trader does an excellent job of diagnosing plays; seeing what’s in front of him and flowing accordingly.

Zakee Wheatley | Archbishop Spalding (MD)

Safety: 6’3”, 190 lbs

Class: 2021

Committed: Penn State

Zakee Wheatley is a big time student athlete who makes plays all over the field. He has the coverage skills to line up on the outside, as well as the size and physicality to run with tight ends down the seam.

Wheatley is a heavy hitter who provides support against the run and routinely uses his force to separate man from ball.

Former Dunbar and Maryland star Keith Booth sues Baltimore City Schools, per a report

Former Dunbar and Maryland star Keith Booth sues Baltimore City Schools, per a report

University of Maryland great, and former Dunbar basketball coach, Keith Booth has sued the Baltimore school system for defamation the Baltimore Sun reported Friday afternoon. The coach was fired in February for an "inappropriate interaction" between two Dunbar students who were under his supervision at the time.

Booth is suing the city school board, schools CEO Sonja Santelises, Dunbar principal Yetunde Reeves, and Jerome Jones, the director of labor relations and negotiations for the school system.

According to the lawsuit, Booth's attorney alleges that the letter released to the Dunbar community, regarding the incident at the time, implied Booth was at fault. 

“Coach Booth will forever live with the stain of Defendants’ false and defamatory letter and denial of his constitutional rights to clear his name," the lawsuit states.

Booth, a McDonald's All-American during his time at Dunbar, returned to coach the boy's basketball program in May of 2019.

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