High School

Quince Orchard linebacker Demeioun Robinson's outlook on life changed after brother's death

Quince Orchard linebacker Demeioun Robinson's outlook on life changed after brother's death

Demeioun Robinson is a dominant defensive end at Quince Orchard High School in Gaithersburg, Md. The All-American Bowl commit is regarded as the most ferocious pass rusher to play in the DMV since Chase Young disrupted offensive game plans for DeMatha.

Robinson’s ability to get to the quarterback has earned him offers from top programs in the country, including Georgia, Clemson, Alabama, Penn State and Maryland. He is long, athletic, equipped with a high motor and his first step is lethal. That said, despite the countless hours Robinson spends in the weight room and on the field bettering his game, it was an off-field tragedy that helped him develop into the young man he is today.

“I was in the basement [my room] playing the game, and then I heard my mom screaming upstairs,” Robinson said. “So then I walked upstairs, and I seen the police officer -- and my mom was just screaming and I asked her, ‘What happened? What happened?’ and she wouldn’t respond to me. And then my sister was sitting next to my mom and I asked her, ‘What happened? What happened?’ and she wouldn’t respond. And then I asked her again and she said, ‘they said A-Rod passed away.’

“I just broke down right there. I kicked the fan, I punched the wall and I just started screaming.”

A-Rod was Robinson’s older brother and someone he said “always believed in me and pushed me to be great.” His untimely death occurred when Robinson was a freshman at Clarksburg -- a time in which the young man was already struggling to adjust to life at the next level.

“I was just thinking like, going into high school, that it was gonna be easy,” Robinson said. “So I just started going to school. I wasn’t doing my work.”

Mixing the loss of a loved one with his attempts to navigate the waters of his new surroundings was difficult for Robinson. He found himself devastated, and he wasn’t the only one -- his siblings struggled to find a way to cope and his mother, who had previously lost a daughter, was inconsolable.

“She was just always alone and stayed in her room. She kept quiet. She usually always talked, but she stopped talking. She stayed to herself,” Robinson said.

In that moment, he had a choice: He could fall to the wayside and embrace a life of crime and violence, or he could dedicate himself to manifesting a way out. He chose the latter.

“It made me look at life totally different. It was like, I never thought he would be gone so soon, so it made me work hard. My GPA went up way more. I started working out 24/7 and never took things for granted,” Robinson said. “It made me always want to be the best for him.”

Robinson’s hard work allowed the junior to serve as centerpiece to the Cougars’ predatory defense. He led QO in tackles and tackles for loss. He registered 14 sacks, blocked 6 punts, intercepted a pass and scored two touchdowns.

The memory of his brother is omnipresent -- it drives him to achieve the levels of greatness they once spent hours talking about. According to Robinson, whenever the road seems long and he doesn’t feel like studying or working out, there is one phrase that he repeats to himself to put it all back into perspective.

“#All4AROD. This is all for him and my sister,” Robinson said. “They’re the reason I work as hard as I do in the classroom and in the weight room. Everything I’ve gotten thus far and everything I will do is all for them. It’s #All4AROD.”

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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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Quince Orchard senior quarterback Brian Plummer ready for starring role

Quince Orchard senior quarterback Brian Plummer ready for starring role

Brian Plummer has spent the last three years playing “best supporting actor” in the full-length feature film that is Quince Orchard football. In the 2020 season though, the senior quarterback anticipates being cast in the leading role. 

QO has developed into a primetime program. With their rabid fan base, deep playoff runs, and roster chalked full of star-studded recruits, the Cougars draw so many amateur videographers at home games, one could mistake the Cougar Dome for a movie set.

 In two years as the Cougars starting quarterback, Brian Plummer has a record of 25-2 while throwing for nearly 3,000 yards to go with his 30+ touchdowns. He’s led QO to a state championship, earned an offer from the University of Maryland, amongst others and at 6-3, 220 lbs seems typecast for the part of “QB1”. Yet despite his accomplishments, Plummer, to this point, has flown under the radar. 

To this point, Plummer has played beside major stars, and though he says he never minded, the spotlight was not always big enough to shine on all contributors. In 2019, his primary responsibility was handing the ball off to Kent State-commit Marquez Cooper. Cooper re-wrote the Cougars record book for a running back, and in doing so, garnered so much attention that the media often categorized QO performances as more of a one-man show than team ensemble.  

After playing JV his freshmen year, In 2018, Plummer was saddled with the unenviable task of replacing Quince Orchard Legend, Doc Bonner—a player who wrote the script on what it means to be the Cougars’ quarterback. There was doubt as to whether the sophomore could live up to the billing.

“Doc accomplished a lot in his time at Quince Orchard,” QO head coach John Kelley said. "He was a 3-year starter and an All-Met performer who helped us win a lot of games. When you lose a guy like that who accounts for a lot of your offense, you’re going to have concerns about what’s going to come next.”

Bonner led QO to two Maryland 4A state championship games, falling to Wise in both. Though he didn’t win a title, he helped lay the foundation that would catapult the Cougars into the category of perennial contenders. According to Plummer, Bonner helped build the program both on and off the field. More than a teammate, he served as an example.

“I learned a lot from Doc. When I was a freshman, he was my role model. He’d always tell me the right things to do and how to approach the game,” Plummer said. “It was crazy trying to replace Doc. He was a superstar and my sophomore year, I’d hear everyone saying, 'QO is gonna suck this year'. My own teammates were posting on Snapchat, 'we need a quarterback.' It was crazy."

Despite the initial lack of confidence, the Cougars didn’t miss a beat with Plummer at the helm, finishing the regular season with a record of 9-1. 

“We knew he had a very good offensive line, along with a good run game that could take some pressure off of him," Kelley said. "You could see in each practice—in each game, he was getting better week-by-week.”

Riding their potent rushing attack, QO steam-rolled through the playoffs, including a convincing 31-6 victory over arch-nemesis Wise in the semi’s en route to capturing the 2018 Maryland 4A crown. In victory, Plummer could only think of the student-athlete he replaced. The young man whose shadow he was beginning to step from behind.

“I felt real good winning states, but I was pretty mad Doc wasn’t able to win a ring himself,” Plummer said. “I wish Doc could’ve been on the team because I saw him give it all he had for 3 years and fall short. I just wish we could’ve gotten one for him.”

In 2019, the Cougars fell short in their bid to repeat, losing to rival Northwest in the state semifinals. According to Plummer, egos and in-fighting led to the seemingly dominant team's downfall.  In 2020, Plummer and company will attempt to drive QO back to the championship game and in order to do so, he will need to take the lead.

“Talking with my coaches, we’re going to need a lot from me in order for us to be successful this year,” Plummer said. “I'm [definitley] working as hard as I ever have. I’m doing everything the right way. Doing everything better, because I know the team is going to need me to be at my best.”

Plummer has worked a lot on his physique during the offseason; his added mass makes him a legitimate threat as a runner as well as passer. The Cougars offense could look very different from years past.

 “We are supremely confident in his ability to be the bell cow for our offense in 2020,” Kelley said. “With his ability to throw and run the ball, I think it will make us tough to defend."

The stage is set. For the first time, this is unquestionably Brian Plummer’s offense and the senior QB is finally ready to step into the light.

“I feel like I have a lot to prove,” Plummer said,  “I haven’t shown everything I am— I haven’t done all I can do, so I’m working as hard as I can so I can show my real skill this season and lead us to another championship.”

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