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Pomp and circumstance: the WNST Sweet 16 Best High School Athletes in Baltimore history

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Pomp and circumstance: the WNST Sweet 16 Best High School Athletes in Baltimore history

Posted on 03 June 2014 by Nestor Aparicio

When Glenn Clark handed this list to me it came with a warning: “You’re going to upset some people this week” is how he presented the daunting task of naming the Sweet 16 High School Athletes in Baltimore history.

He was right. So many names. So many sports. So many nuances and a complete lack of a “criteria” given the generations and the benefit of a 20-20 hindsight after seeing the further life accomplishments of many local athletes. There were boys and girls, and many athletes who excelled at more than one sport.

A case can be made for hundreds of local jocks over a dozen different sports but this is the best I could do. Feel free to argue amongts yourselves or to give me a hard time in social media. This was a tough, tough list:

Now…onto No. 16…

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Here’s a little “prep” you can enjoy for this week’s #WNSTSweet16

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Here’s a little “prep” you can enjoy for this week’s #WNSTSweet16

Posted on 01 June 2014 by Glenn Clark

We’re quickly approaching the midway point of 2014-which means we’re preparing to celebrate our 16 and a half(th?) birthday here at WNST. Yes, we’re also expecting a card from you for this one.

We’ve been marking our 16th year of being Baltimore’s sports media leader by going over some of the more significant “water cooler” topics of the WNST era. Each week we attempt to “define” the topic with a list we’re calling the #WNSTSweet16 here at WNST.net.

The concept doesn’t exactly take an Ivy Leaguer to figure out. In fact, we’ve noticed that even some of the folks who listen to the “other” station in town have managed to be able to participate. Remarkable.

If you’ve missed any of the first 21 Sweet 16 lists we’ve put together this year, here’s a look back. (The #WNSTSweet16 is brought to you by Jerry’s Automotive!)

Week 21: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 greatest local lacrosse players of all time
Week 20: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 most unsung Orioles
Week 19: Gary Quill-Sweet 16 all-time Maryland horse racing moments
Week 18: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 most important picks in Ravens draft history
Week 17: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 worst draft picks in Baltimore Ravens history
Week 16: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 greatest players in Washington Capitals history
Week 15: Nestor Aparicio-Sweet 16 games we’ve been treated to
Week 14: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 Masters moments of the last 30 years
Week 13: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 greatest pro wrestling moments in Baltimore history
Week 12: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 local sports goofballs/personalities
Week 11: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 local sports saints-athletes who gave back
Week 10: Nestor Aparicio-Sweet 16 events a Baltimore sports fan must attend
Week 9: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 greatest Baltimore college basketball players
Week 8: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 Orioles who didn’t live up to the hype
Week 7: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 most underappreciated Maryland basketball players
Week 6: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 local sports “Heartbreakers”
Week 5: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 local Olympic sport athletes
Week 4: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 local athletes who deserved to win a championship but didn’t
Week 3: Nestor Aparicio-Sweet 16 local sports people who “had a dream”
Week 2: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 local sports playoff moments
Week 1: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 “debuts” in local sports history

“The Nasty One” himself is back at the helm of the #WNSTSweet16 in Week 22 and taking on another very difficult list.

I had the pleasure of speaking at Aberdeen High School last week to a group of kids that included a great number of seniors. We discussed opportunity, preparation and reaching goals after graduating from high school. For so many of them, the chat was particularly important because they were less than a week away from joining the “real world”.

It is graduation season throughout the region, which made us think about some of the great athletes who have graduated from Charm City area high schools. This stream of consciousness should probably tell you that this week’s topic is the “Sweet 16 greatest local high school athletes”.

We have certainly been blessed in this area to have had the first opportunity to see quite a number of incredible athletes here in this area. We probably could have made a list using Dunbar basketball players alone, as the likes of Reggie Williams, Reggie Lewis, Sam Cassell, Skip Wise, Muggsy Bogues, Kurk Lee, David Wingate and Keith Booth are all really good options to make this list.

Just considering basketball alone you can lump names in like Carmelo Anthony, Rudy Gay, Will Barton, Juan Dixon, Gary Neal, Marvin Webster, Kim English, Aquille Carr and more.

We haven’t even considered football players (Tommy Polley, Tavon Austin, Antonio Freeman, Keion Carpenter, Jeff Grantz), baseball players (Mark Teixeira, Gavin Floyd, some fellas named Cal Ripken and…ummm…Babe Ruth?), lacrosse players (Kyle Harrison, Steele Stanwick, Ryan Boyle, Joe Cowan, etc.) or some of the amazing female athletes (Pam Shriver, Angel McCoughtry, etc.) who did their prep work in the area.

I do not envy…in any way…the responsibility Nestor has in putting this list together. We haven’t even talked about the soccer players, wrestlers, runners, swimmers and others who are certainly also deserving of consideration. This list is going to be REALLY tough.

Nestor wants your suggestions. You can leave them here in the comments on this blog post or email him (nasty@wnst.net). We will be discussing the list throughout the day Monday on AM1570 WNST.net. We’d love to have you Tweet with us or discuss the topic via Facebook by using the hashtag #WNSTSweet16.

On Tuesday morning, Nes will unveil the “official” list here at WNST.net and then discuss it with Drew and Luke on “The D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction” at 8am. He will then re-visit the list at 4pm Tuesday on “The Happy Hours”.

Shack Stanwick might be just the latest tremendous athlete we had the opportunity to see locally over the last school year. As it wraps up, let’s recognize the greatest we’ve ever seen. Make your voice heard!

-G

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Maryland creates Baltimore buzz with practice at Dunbar

Posted on 31 March 2013 by WNST Staff

Head Coach Randy Edsall

 

Opening statement:

“Great weather; great day. It was good to have about 1,000 people here come out and watch. We’re very pleased, very happy. It gave us a chance to get out, and having people around for our first scrimmage of the spring – there were some good times and some bad times. We got a lot of situations covered, over 100 plays. We had some explosive plays offensively, which was good, but it wasn’t good from a defensive standpoint. The defense had their moments early on. It was good to see that we had guys that have the ability to make plays, and now we need to continue to work hard and get better.”

 

On the running backs:

“We’ve got some good competition there at running back. Brandon [Ross] is the starter right now, and Wes [Brown] isn’t out here right now, but Albert [Reid] is pushing. Brandon is a lot stronger out there this year. You don’t see him going down as easy as he did a year ago. That’s the thing that I’m starting to like, is we’re getting a lot more depth and competition at positions. When you have that, it makes it good because everybody has to work. We’re not anywhere near where we need to be from a depth standpoint, so we have competition at every position, but there’s competition [at running back]. Those guys know they have to work hard each and every day.”

 

On running back Brandon Ross:

“I think what happens with Brandon, is he’s one of those guys you can go inside, you can go outside with. That’s one of the things that we’re able to do and if he can stay healthy, that’s an added advantage. We have some guys who aren’t able to get to the outside; they’re more inside guys. When you have a guy like Brandon, who has the ability to run the sweep, stick his foot in the ground and get north or outrun people going to the sideline. Then what happens is he gets a crease up the middle with that burst or they get their hands on his leg, he can run through that. He can get you an extra five or 10 yards. I’ve just been pleased with Brandon’s focus because he’s better from a mental standpoint in the spring than what he was in the fall.”

 

On the offensive line:

“We’re making progress on the offensive line. I thought they did some better things today. The biggest issue we have is we’ve got to get them right technically with the technique and fundamentals. You can start to see it, and we’re not going to be where we want to be by the end of spring. This is going to be something they’re going to have to work on, on their own in the summer. We expect them when they come back for the fall to be better. I’ve been pleased with the progress. I’m not happy because we’re not where we want to be, but I can see some progress being made there.”

 

On defensive lineman Quinton Jefferson:

“We’ve got to get Quinton a little bit better. He kind of died a little bit at the end, but early on, he did make some plays. He’s another guy who’s worked hard and he’s gotten better. Now what he’s got to do is take the next step because we weren’t having any kind of rotation or anything today. Now we’ve got to get his conditioning a little bit better. Quinton has that ability to make plays, so that was good to see today.”

 

On playing at Dunbar High School:

“It was neat to see, when you look over and you see little kids, high school kids and their parents here. That was one of the things we wanted to do. We wanted to create more of a buzz about the University of Maryland football program here in Baltimore. There’s a lot of talented athletes here in the city and the county, and by coming up, we wanted to show our appreciation for them and who they are, and really get them to understand what Maryland pride is all about. When it comes time to continue to recruit players to come to Maryland, they’ll feel a little attachment and bond; that it’s something they grew up with. We’re all part of the state of Maryland and we all need to support each other, so it’s good for us to come up here and support the city of Baltimore and Dunbar High School.”

 

 

– Terps –

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Maryland spring football to include open practice at Dunbar

Posted on 22 February 2013 by WNST Staff

 

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Below is the media availability schedule for the University of Maryland football team, which begins spring practice Saturday, March 2.


SATURDAY, MARCH 2

  • ·       Practice is scheduled for 10:35 a.m. and is open to the media. Coach Edsall and selected players will be available immediately following the workout on the practice field, which is located adjacent to Byrd.
  • ·       Parking will be available in Lot 1 (open for all campus visitors throughout the day).
  • ·       Practice times and dates and locations are subject to change due to weather.

 

TUESDAY, MARCH 5

  • ·       Practice is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. and is open to the media. Coach Edsall and requested players will be available immediately following the workout on the practice field.
  • ·       Parking will be available on the concourse of Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium. Enter at Gate E (open at 3 p.m.) which is located on the North side of Byrd on Stadium Drive. Turn right as you go through the gate and park near the rails. Gossett may be accessed by exiting the stadium at Gate J and entering at Gate K.
  • ·       Arrivals after 4 p.m. should go to Lot 1 (open for all campus visitors after 4 p.m.)
  • ·       Practice times and dates and locations are subject to change due to weather.

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 9

  • ·       Practice is scheduled for 10:35 a.m. and is open to the media. Coach Edsall and selected players will be available immediately following the workout on the practice field, which is located adjacent to Byrd.
  • ·       Parking will be available in Lot 1 (open for all campus visitors throughout the day).
  • ·       Practice times and dates and locations are subject to change due to weather.

 

TUESDAY, MARCH 12

  • ·       Practice is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. and is open to the media. Coach Edsall and requested players will be available immediately following the workout on the practice field.
  • ·       Parking will be available on the concourse of Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium. Enter at Gate E (open at 3 p.m.) which is located on the North side of Byrd on Stadium Drive. Turn right as you go through the gate and park near the rails. Gossett may be accessed by exiting the stadium at Gate J and entering at Gate K.
  • ·       Arrivals after 4 p.m. should go to Lot 1 (open for all campus visitors after 4 p.m.)
  • ·       Practice times and dates and locations are subject to change due to weather.

 

SENIOR PRO DAY – WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13

  • ·       Senior Pro Day is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium and is open to the media.
  • ·       Parking will be available on the concourse of Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium. Enter at Gate E (open at 10:30 a.m.) which is located on the North side of Byrd on Stadium Drive. Turn right as you go through the gate and park near the rails. Gossett may be accessed by exiting the stadium at Gate J and entering at Gate K.

 

TUESDAY, MARCH 26

  • ·       Practice is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. and is open to the media. Coach Edsall and requested players will be available immediately following the workout on the practice field.
  • ·       Parking will be available on the concourse of Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium. Enter at Gate E (open at 3 p.m.) which is located on the North side of Byrd on Stadium Drive. Turn right as you go through the gate and park near the rails. Gossett may be accessed by exiting the stadium at Gate J and entering at Gate K.
  • ·       Arrivals after 4 p.m. should go to Lot 1 (open for all campus visitors after 4 p.m.)
  • ·       Practice times and dates and locations are subject to change due to weather.

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 30 (DUNBAR HIGH SCHOOL)

  • ·       Practice is scheduled for noon at Dunbar High School (1400 Orleans St, Baltimore, MD 21231) and is open to the media. Coach Edsall and selected players will be available immediately following the workout.
  • ·       This practice is open to the public free of charge.
  • ·       Practice times and dates and locations are subject to change due to weather.

 

TUESDAY, APRIL 2

  • ·       Practice is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. and is open to the media. Coach Edsall and requested players will be available immediately following the workout on the practice field.
  • ·       Parking will be available on the concourse of Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium. Enter at Gate E (open at 3 p.m.) which is located on the North side of Byrd on Stadium Drive. Turn right as you go through the gate and park near the rails. Gossett may be accessed by exiting the stadium at Gate J and entering at Gate K.
  • ·       Arrivals after 4 p.m. should go to Lot 1 (open for all campus visitors after 4 p.m.)
  • ·       Practice times and dates and locations are subject to change due to weather.

 

SATURDAY, APRIL 6 (MIDDLETOWN HIGH SCHOOL)

  • ·       Practice is scheduled for noon at Middletown High School (200 Schoolhouse Drive, Middletown, MD 21769) and is open to the media. Coach Edsall and selected players will be available immediately following the workout.
  • ·       This practice is open to the public free of charge.
  • ·       Practice times and dates and locations are subject to change due to weather.

 

TUESDAY, APRIL 9

  • ·       Practice is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. and is open to the media. Coach Edsall and requested players will be available immediately following the workout on the practice field.
  • ·       Parking will be available on the concourse of Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium. Enter at Gate E (open at 3 p.m.) which is located on the North side of Byrd on Stadium Drive. Turn right as you go through the gate and park near the rails. Gossett may be accessed by exiting the stadium at Gate J and entering at Gate K.
  • ·       Arrivals after 4 p.m. should go to Lot 1 (open for all campus visitors after 4 p.m.)
  • ·       Practice times and dates and locations are subject to change due to weather.

 

SPRING GAME – FRIDAY, APRIL 12

  • ·       The Spring Game is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.  at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium and is open to the media. Coach Edsall and requested players will be available immediately following the workout on the field.
  • ·       Parking will be available in Lot 1 (open for all campus visitors after 4 p.m.)
  • ·       Practice times and dates and locations are subject to change due to weather.

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Towson Tigers

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Two Months and Counting Until a Baltimore Champion Begins the 2012 Football Season

Posted on 29 June 2012 by Big Chee

Glancing at the title would cause most of you to be up in arms over the fact that I count the Ravens preseason as the start of the NFL.  Well, you are wrong. Or if you may have thought I was referring to the Dunbar Poets, winners of last year’s Maryland HS 1A Championship, and you would be wrong again. I am referring to my alma mater, Towson University.  The Tigers won the CAA Conference Championship and finished the season 9-3 (7-1 in the CAA).  They are, is back in action on August 30 in Ohio to take on Kent State.

I am well aware, of course, that Towson University is not in Baltimore City, but Baltimore County.  That doesn’t matter to me, nor should it to you.  I consider them to be a Baltimore champion.  If they aren’t already from last season’s success, I foresee the Towson University football program as the area’s premier College football team.  Am I getting a little ahead of myself? One might say yes.  But I think this program is bound to sustain the success and build off the historic year it had last year.

As a student from 2005-2009, I saw a program that looked like it had some promise and gave enough to the fans to have an optimistic vision. Ultimately, it was not ready to compete in the toughest conference in the Football Subdivision (FCS). In ‘05 & ‘06, we were the program was a combined 13-9; not too shabby. Once 2007 came around, however, that is where the ship started to sink for the Tigers. With a preseason Top-25 ranking, Towson was unable to live up to the expectations and went ended up 3-8 on the year. Immediately following the 2007 season, Jermon Bushrod, an NFL Pro-Bowl and Super Bowl Champion tackle for the New Orleans Saints had entered the NFL Draft. 2008, which turned out to be Gordy Combs’ final season as head coach, was even worse. Towson finished 3-9 that year, with only one win coming in conference play.

Combs’ departure paved the way for the Rob Ambrose Era began at Towson in 2008. Everyone involved with or who had the slightest interest in Towson Athletics fell in love with the hire. He was an alumnus, a young guy filled with passion and energy who brought a successful resume along with him from his previous coaching destination at UConn However, the on the field results turned out to be more of the same mediocre play in his initial seasons. In 2009, Towson finished 2-9. Did it get worse? Sure did. In 2010, Towson finished a dismal 1-10, ultimately hitting rock bottom in a program that once projected optimism.

Despite the putrid results, Ambrose remained confident and preached patience to the students and alumni. He was persistent in stating that he was going to turn the program around his way, even if it did take some time. This was obviously not going to be an overnight fix. In 2011, the season following the program’s low spot, his team demonstrated how a cohesive football family should operate.  As it turned out, an overnight fix was just what happened.

Ambrose was named Eddie Robinson FCS Coach of the Year for the one of the greatest turnarounds in FCS History. Running back Terrence West led the FCS with 27 touchdowns, winning the Inaugural Jerry Rice Award for Outstanding Freshman. The Tigers, starting the backup quarterback, competed with the University of Maryland Terrapin’s for three quarters. The hard work and hunger Ambrose instilled in his players couldn’t have been more transparent at this time. The success of the regular season paid off as Towson hosted a home playoff game for the first time in school history against Lehigh. The game, played in front of Johnny Unitas Stadium’s first sellout, resulted in a tragic loss, 40-38. From 1-10 to 9-3, 2011 turned out to be truly a dream season for the team, fans, and Baltimore area.

The purpose of the backstory of the Tigers football program is not to provide a history lesson. There are plenty of sources where one could go for that information. My purpose is to portray my pride as an alumnus and to, most importantly, make the surrounding community aware of the success in preparation for the 2012 season. For being a Football town (well as least as long as the O’s have been cellar dwellers), the greater Baltimore area does not have a significant College Football team to support every Saturday. Being a University with over 20,000 undergraduates, that’s hard to imagine. From first-hand experience living in Federal Hill, I know that our community consists of many Towson grads that are in the beginning stages of their post-college careers.

The ceiling is the sky for Towson University, as far as the growth that it can achieve.. Try to name a better college town than Towson? Coming from New Jersey I can tell you that New Brunswick, Rutgers University’s town, does not compare from an entertainment and aesthetic standpoint to Towson.  How about Temple?  Needless to say, it is surely not in the safest part of Philadelphia. You want to tell me you would prefer going to a College Park scene rather than Towson? I didn’t think so…

If you are a Towson Alum, or simply just a college football fan, make sure you out and go check out Towson Football this year. I’m even going to save you the google search for their schedule. Below is a list of the games that you want to start planning your Saturdays around come this fall:

Saturday, September 15th, William & Mary @ Towson on NBC Sports Network, 12:00 PM

If you are a downtown “Yuppie”, as our older generation likes to call us (at least my Grandparents think it’s still a funny term), this game is for you. Wake up, get some breakfast at THB (if you’re an Alum and you have not been back, it’s five times the size, a site to see) and head over to the Stadium. No better way to start to a Saturday afternoon in the fall.

Saturday, September 22nd, St. Francis (Pa.) @ Towson HOMECOMING 7:00 PM

During last year’s campaign, some of my Towson brethren had mentioned to me that at 25, they felt “too old” to attend Homecoming.…NONSENSE. If Towson wants to reach the big time level of a school like Maryland, every alumnus needs to attend this game. Spend the day grabbing lunch at the new CVPs, get nostalgic by grabbing some drinks after at the Kent, and keep going with the day by taking Jimmy’s Cab over to the Field for a tailgate. I know my Fraternity will be in full force.

Saturday, September 29th, 2012 Towson @ LSU Baton Rouge, La, 8:00 PM

Hey, times are still tough for everyone, especially if you’re a 20 something year old like me who graduated with miscellaneous college debts. If you have some vacation days and want to experience a premier “College Football Atmosphere”, you need to make this trip to Death Valley. It just takes a four day vacation to go support Towson on the biggest stage in its existence. My Fraternity brothers and I are planning two days in New Orleans and the remainder of the trip in Baton Rouge. Speaking of that, I better check the bank account as I will certainly be buying my plane ticket soon!

I do not want to take anything away from the home games against Maine, Old Dominion and Rhode Island, as well as the possibility of a road trip to UDel. But as I get older, I am slowly starting to realize the concept of “planning ahead.” People have weddings to go to in the fall, which in my opinion is a very amateur move during football season. That is exactly why I am writing this column in June, to assist you in planning ahead.

Once again, I am just doing my part as a Towson Alumni. I had the best four years of my life at Towson, my friends and I frequently joke about how many years we would cut off our lives to get a chance to relive those times. This is for the students, the faculty, the alumni, and the community.  Let’s all get back together for the sake of the success of Towson Football. You will not be disappointed.

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