Browns QB Joe Flacco takes starter’s snaps for second day in practice, likely to play against Rams

LOS ANGELES — Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson remained in concussion protocol Thursday, making it even more likely Joe Flacco will start Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Rams.The 38-year-old Flacco signed as a free agent with Cleveland last week as an insurance policy in case Thompson-Robinson struggled or got injured. The fifth-round pick suffered a concussion in the third quarter of last week’s loss in Denver.AdvertisementFlacco didn’t dress for that game and is still on the Browns practice squad. But with Thompson-Robinson not yet cleared, Flacco appears to be in line to become the fourth QB to start in 12 games for Cleveland this season.Flacco took the majority of reps with Cleveland’s starting offense for the second straight day in practice at UCLA. Thompson-Robinson hasn’t been ruled out yet.AdvertisementOn Wednesday, coach Kevin Stefanski said Flacco had moved into the backup role ahead of P.J. Walker, who made two starts earlier this season when Deshaun Watson was dealing with a shoulder injury.Flacco at least gives the Browns (7-4) an experienced QB who has led a team to the playoffs and Super Bowl title. Last week, Flacco, who had been home in New Jersey waiting for a team to call, said he believes he can still play at a high level.After observing Flacco in practice, Browns offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt is sure he can perform.Baltimore Ravens InsiderWeeklyWant the inside scoop on the Ravens? Become a Ravens Insider and you'll have access to news, notes and analysis from The Sun.“I think there’s still a lot left in that tank,” Van Pelt said.Flacco has passed for 42,320 yards in 15 NFL seasons, 11 with the Ravens, who drafted him in the first round out of Delaware in 2008. While he might not be the same quarterback who led the Ravens to the top, Van Pelt said Flacco can still sling the football around.“He has an elite arm. There’s no question,” Van Pelt said. “If you put it on a scale of one to five, I’d say he is a five. His ball flight, his velocity on the ball at every level of the field is very impressive.”Browns star defensive end Myles Garrett didn’t practice for the second day in a row because of a left shoulder injury. He worked on the side and is expected to play Sunday.Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz is getting several different plans ready dependent on Garrett’s availability.Advertisement“We’ll be prepared if he’s not able to make it, we’ll be prepared if he’s able to go and play every single snap in the game,” Schwartz said. “We’ll be prepared if he just has a certain role in the game. He feels a tremendous amount of responsibility to be on the field. He’s wired that way.”Garrett has 13 sacks and is having perhaps his best season while leading Cleveland’s top-ranked defense.

2023-11-30T18:58:14-05:00November 30th, 2023|

Five things to know about Maryland’s investment in the Orioles and Ravens

Two of Baltimore’s most recognizable buildings and brands are its two pro stadiums, Oriole Park at Camden Yards and M&T Bank Stadium, and the teams that inhabit them.The Orioles and Ravens bring attention, pride and joy to Maryland — and Maryland gives a lot of taxpayer dollars back to the teams.AdvertisementThe state of Maryland built and financed both of the Baltimore stadiums and, last year, agreed to earmark at least $1.2 billion to improve the stadiums — $600 million for each. The principal and interest on the bonds sold to cover those costs ultimately would be paid off with lottery revenue.The Orioles, whose lease with the state expires Dec. 31, are currently negotiating a new lease with more state resources.AdvertisementAccording to a Baltimore Sun review of financial documents obtained in public records requests and interviews with experts, the MLB club has received or is on track to get at least $1.3 billion in public benefits since Oriole Park opened in 1988.That figure includes $450 million in construction and financing costs and $125 million to help maintain the stadium, plus the pending $600 million for ballpark renovations. An estimated $121 million in property taxes were not collected because Camden Yards is state-owned. It does not factor in capital expenditures at the ballpark, which the Maryland Stadium Authority declined to provide.The Ravens, who signed a lease earlier this year, also have received substantial public support. By signing a lease earlier this year, they unlocked their $600 million in state investment and will renovate their stadium over the next few years.The Orioles pay rent to the state each year, but among the reasons for Maryland’s ballooning investment in the team is that the ballclub’s rent does not cover the cost of maintaining and operating the stadium. As part of their current lease, the state pays for upkeep of the ballpark.In fact, the arrangement has favored the Orioles in every year from 1993 to 2002, leaving the state to pay $125 million more than what it’s received in rent, according to financial information provided by the stadium authority.An agreement outlined in a memorandum of understanding that the Orioles and stadium authority signed in September aims to “save the state money and reduce risk” by letting the Orioles take on those operating costs and, in return, stop paying rent, said David Turner, a senior adviser and communications director to Maryland Gov. Wes Moore.Over the past decade, the state has paid more than $6 million annually in upkeep, a cost they would no longer have to pay under the potential new arrangement.Still, the state would be on track to contribute to the Orioles with a new $3.3 million annual “safety and repair fund,” according to the memorandum.AdvertisementThe memorandum also proposes leasing the B&O Warehouse and other land near the ballpark to the Orioles for an average of $950,000 a year for 99 years in a redevelopment deal that economists have said is favorable to the club.Some economists believe that the overall benefit from public investment in sports teams rarely pays off.“The state of Maryland has almost certainly not received an adequate return on its investment in the Orioles in economic terms,” said Brad Humphreys, a West Virginia University economist. “That’s no different from any other professional sports team in the country, but we still continue to subsidize pro sports teams like this.”According to the stadium authority’s 2022 budget briefing to legislators, the state has received $600 million in taxes from spending related to the Orioles over the three decades of Oriole Park’s life. Those taxes were generated by roughly $9.2 billion in spending during that time.Economists, however, argue that the economic impact of pro teams is misleading. In particular, they explain that if fans did not attend games, they’d likely spend some of their dollars on other entertainment that would generate tax revenue and economic impact.Seven economic impact reports by Crossroads Consulting Services, commissioned by the stadium authority and obtained by The Sun through a records request, show that between the 2014 and 2021 baseball seasons, state taxes generated by the Orioles averaged $15.6 million per season.AdvertisementThat figure includes personal and corporate income taxes as well as sales taxes, but not admissions taxes on tickets to games. The authority redacted those numbers, citing confidentiality, but mistakes made in redacting the records helped reveal those numbers for some years — including $5.2 million in admission taxes when attendance at Orioles games was relatively high in 2017, and $3.2 million when attendance slumped in 2019.Public investment in privately owned sports teams is not unique to Baltimore: About three-quarters of the money spent over the past 50 years to build Canadian and American pro stadiums came from public coffers, per a 2022 study. That is not the case in Europe, where soccer stadiums are generally privately funded.And more than two-thirds of MLB, NFL, NBA and NHL teams do not pay any real property taxes, according to research by Geoffrey Propheter, a University of Colorado Denver professor of public affairs.The Tennessee Titans currently play in a stadium built in 1999 — making it newer than M&T Bank Stadium — but will have a new $2.1 billion home in the coming years. Of that, an estimated $1.26 billion will come from public funds and the rest from the Titans. The Buffalo Bills will soon play in a stadium costing an estimated $1.7 billion, which will be paid for by both team and public dollars.The Tampa Bay Rays are splitting costs for an upcoming ballpark, too, while the Milwaukee Brewers recently made a deal with the state to receive about $500 million in government support for ballpark improvements (in addition to $110 million from the team).“The Brewers have decided that they need additional cash, and we are falling for that,” Wisconsin Sen. Chris Larson, who voted against the bill, told fellow legislators earlier this month.AdvertisementThe Ravens signed a lease in January, extending their commitment in Baltimore by 10 years (from 2027 to 2037, plus two five-year options) while the Orioles remain in negotiations with the state. That lease is expected to be a much longer term, as the memorandum detailed a 30-year lease with two five-year options.A new lease would need approval from the stadium authority’s board and the state’s Board of Public Works. Only one more regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Public Works — on Dec. 13 — is left before the end of the year, when the Orioles’ lease ends.The board, which consists of Moore, Comptroller Brooke Lierman and Treasurer Dereck Davis, who are all Democrats, could call a special session after that, though the governor did not answer when asked by a reporter Wednesday when he expected the deal to be ready for a vote.Asked about the tight timeline, Moore said only that “the MSA and the state are literally working around the clock with the Orioles” and that the parties “have a few weeks to finalize what the next steps are going to be.”Two people with direct knowledge of the discussions told The Sun that negotiators are considering separating the issue of the development rights from the lease extension.Moore did not specifically confirm that possibility when asked. What’s important, he said, is accomplishing his previously stated goals of keeping the Orioles in Baltimore for the long term, using the deal to benefit the local economy and getting a fair deal for taxpayers.Advertisement“Honestly, the only thing that matters to me is that my three objectives are hit,” Moore said. “How we are packaging that, honestly, that is less relevant.”Baltimore Sun reporter Jeff Barker contributed to this article.

2023-11-30T17:58:29-05:00November 30th, 2023|

Remembering the 2003 Broadneck football team, the last to reach the state championship game

Former Broadneck football coach Jeff Herrick is 68 years old and admits his memory isn’t what it used to be. However, Herrick has very fond and vivid memories of the 2003 Broadneck team that made a magical march to the Class 4A state championship game.“That was a special team on a lot of levels,” Herrick said this week.AdvertisementIt took two decades for another Broadneck team to reach the state championship game. The Bruins will seek to capture their first state title when they take on perennial powerhouse Wise at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.This year’s postseason run, highlighted by a stunning 31-7 rout of Winston Churchill in the semifinals, recalled to mind that 2003 squad that was first to play on the state championship stage.AdvertisementBen Gabbard, one of four captains of the 2003 team, said the state championship appearance remains a shared bond among the players and many still keep in touch on social media.“It was a very talented, experienced team that came together really well. It just seemed like we had the perfect combination of players,” Gabbard said. “We were strong at pretty much every position. There were no weak links.”Broadneck returned 11 starters from the 2002 club that finished 9-2 but lost in the first round of the playoffs. The Bruins were senior-laden in 2003 and determined to do something special.Broadneck had a tremendous run of success but several playoff disappointments, losing four times in either the state quarterfinals (1997, 2001) or semifinals (1998, 2000).“Broadneck football had built up a lot of momentum from having considerable success for several previous seasons,” Gabbard said. “Everybody just bought into the idea of going unbeaten during the regular season and making a deep run in the playoffs. We wanted to take the program further than it had ever been.”After initially running the Wing-T offense, Herrick switched to a combination of the triple-option running elements employed by Navy and run-and-shoot passing concepts that were brought to Anne Arundel County by Chuck Markiewicz. Bob Beauchemin served as offensive coordinator and the 2003 team could run or throw equally effectively.Fullback Brandon Johnson, although just a sophomore, was a bruising runner between the tackles. Tony Marino won the starting quarterback job and was a solid passer with wide receiver Jordan Sokel as the primary target.Johnson wound up rushing for 1,359 yards and 19 touchdowns behind a veteran offensive line anchored by Gabbard, a center who would become a starting guard at Navy. Guards Tyler Moyer and Tim Fair along with tackles Nick Weidmann and Kris Coby completed a unit that overpowered opponents at the point of attack and opened huge holes all season.Advertisement“That was a very powerful group consisting entirely of seniors that had great chemistry,” said Gabbard, the 2003 winner of the Al Laramore Award as the best lineman in Anne Arundel County.Broadneck’s defense was just as dominant. Nose guard Carlos James and tackle C.G. Scott lead a line that kept blockers off linebackers Fair, Moyer and Nick Sowells. The Bruins were also strong on the back end led by cornerbacks Andrew Holland and Kyle Bloomfield.“Overall, it was a really smart, savvy team. We had a bunch of really knowledgeable football players who knew what it took to win,” Gabbard said. “We never let expectations get into our head and played every game like we were behind.”Broadneck only allowed 52 points and pitched five shutouts in 10 regular season games. The only close contests came against Arundel (17-14) and archrival Severna Park (10-7) with Division I kicker Chris Desautels winning both with field goals.Broadneck's Brandon Johnson runs for a big gain as Damascus' Frankie McLaughlin defends during the 2003 Class 4A state championship game. (Kenneth K. Lam)As top seed, the Bruins had the luxury of playing at home through the state semifinals and one of the toughest playoff games came in the first round. Broadneck edged Arundel by the same 17-14 score it did during the regular season with a Desautels field goal being the difference.An extra point by Desautels provided the winning margin in the state quarterfinals as Broadneck nipped Thomas Stone, 28-27, in overtime. That set up a semifinal showdown with Woodlawn, which featured three Division I recruits including a pair of future University of Maryland starters in two-way lineman Scott Burley and defensive end-tight end Jason Goode.AdvertisementThe Warriors boasted tremendous size along both lines, but proved no match for the Bruins in a game played in a driving rainstorm. Lawrence E. Knight Stadium had a grass field at the time and it was nothing but mud after Broadneck used a ground assault to run roughshod over Woodlawn, 41-14.“Conditions were terrible, so we just kept the ball on the ground and they couldn’t stop us,” Gabbard said. “It was the kind of game you love as an offensive lineman because we just came off the ball hard and drove them backward play after play.”Even Herrick and his coaching staff were surprised by the blowout.“That was probably the best game we played all season. It was like the light bulb went off and our kids played,” Herrick said. “Woodlawn was huge up front, but we dominated at the line of scrimmage and just ran the football down their throats.”Overflow crowds of 3,000 or more packed the stands and lined the fence for all three home games and Herrick said the support lifted the Bruins.“I think that definitely is a huge asset. Getting that type of turnout gives the team a lot of energy,” he said after the Woodlawn win.AdvertisementThat set up a state championship showdown with Damascus, the Montgomery County school that had knocked Broadneck out of the playoffs the previous season. Herrick remembers arriving by bus at M&T Bank Stadium and the players asking if they could walk on the field before heading to the locker room to get dressed.“When we got to M&T Bank Stadium and got off the bus our players acted like they had been there before; They were all business and not wide-eyed at all,” Herrick said.A memorable campaign came to a disappointing end as Damascus beat Broadneck, 13-7, behind the play of two-way standout Matt Reidy. The Virginia Tech recruit rushed for 193 yards and two touchdowns on 45 carries as the Swarmin’ Hornets held possession for 32 minutes.The Bruins trailed 13-0 in the fourth quarter when Moyer intercepted a pass in enemy territory. That set up a 27-yard touchdown pass from Marino to Sokel and a Desautels extra point gave Broadneck life.“When we scored that touchdown, I just knew we could get the ball back again and win the game,” Sokel said.Broadneck forced a punt on the ensuing possession and needed to go 88 yards in just over a minute for a touchdown to tie the score. Reidy, who also played safety, came up big again by intercepting a Marino pass to clinch the fifth state championship for Damascus (12-2).AdvertisementBroadneck was limited to 122 total yards and five first downs by a Damascus defense that defended the flexbone better than any opponent.“Damascus was pinching their tackles earlier and slanting them a lot faster than we thought, and that caused problems with our inside running game,” Herrick said. “They also looped the linebacker around to take the quarterback if he kept the ball.”Broadneck (13-1) set an Anne Arundel County record for most wins in a season. To this day, Herrick marvels about what the Bruins accomplished in 2003.“This is a team that I’ll never forget for a couple reasons. I’ll remember them first for how they played together as a team. Secondly, what they accomplished went beyond everyone’s expectations. They definitely showed they deserved to be here tonight.”Gabbard, who holds the rank of commander and serves as executive officer of the USS Harpers Ferry out of San Diego, will never forget the atmosphere at M&T Bank Stadium that night and the pride of community everyone experienced.Varsity HighlightsWeeklyGet the latest high school sports stories, photos and video from around the region.“We had all grown up playing little league football together and were like, ‘Look at us now!’ We were playing for a state championship at the home of the Ravens and realized just how far we’d come,” he said. “It was a great way to cap off a really memorable season.”AdvertisementHerrick had an incredible run at Broadneck, compiling a 165-78 record over 22 seasons and leading the program to 12 playoff appearances. He ranks second all-time among Anne Arundel County coaches for wins behind Markiewicz and was inducted into the Maryland Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame.Under Herrick, the Bruins captured seven region championships and reached the state semifinals four times. Speaking this week from his retirement home in Ocean Pines, Herrick acknowledged it was hard to believe it’s been 20 years since Broadneck football made its only other state final appearance.“It’s obviously the pinnacle of any coach’s career to lead a team in the state championship. I’m just disappointed for the kids that we couldn’t follow through and find a way to win that game,” said Herrick, who is also a member of the Anne Arundel County Sports Hall of Fame.

2023-11-30T16:58:31-05:00November 30th, 2023|

With No. 3 jersey, Johns Hopkins RB Spencer Uggla embodies ‘Pride and Poise’ mantra of late coach Jim Margraff

When Johns Hopkins running back Spencer Uggla changed his jersey number from No. 30 to No. 3, he didn’t just shed a numeral. He clothed himself in a legacy.Uggla is the second player to be voted by his teammates to wear the No. 3 jersey worn by the late Jim Margraff. Margraff, a record-setting quarterback who later became the winningest coach in Blue Jays football history at 221-89-3 in 29 seasons, died Jan. 2, 2019, of a sudden heart attack at the age of 58.Advertisement[ Johns Hopkins football beats Union, 39-17, advances to D-III quarterfinals behind strong second-half defense ]The number is intended to go to a player who embodies Margraff’s values of humility, leadership and passion. That Uggla’s teammates chose him as this year’s recipient is not lost on the 5-foot-11, 185-pound senior.“I wouldn’t say it’s pressure. It’s more an honor to wear it,” said Uggla, who inherited the number from former free safety Ross Andersson. “I remember getting a text from him after I got voted, and he said, ‘You’re wearing it for a reason. Just keep being you. Don’t change a thing because you got it for a reason.’ So that’s kind of always how I’ve tried to live in life, and ever since I got here to Hopkins, I’ve just tried to give my all in football and this program to be the best teammate possible.”AdvertisementOn Saturday at noon, Uggla and Johns Hopkins (12-0) will meet visiting Randolph-Macon (12-0) at Homewood Field for the right to advance to the NCAA Division III semifinals. A win would send the program to only its second Final Four.The first time? That would be 2018, Margraff’s last season as coach. The possible return trajectory is one that Alice Margraff, Jim’s wife of 26 years, is rooting for.“It’s amazing,” said the former Alice Collins, who played field hockey, squash and lacrosse at Johns Hopkins and was inducted into the university’s Athletic Hall of Fame in October 2000. “When there was a game during the week of Thanksgiving, that was the best thing because it meant they had made it to that second round. So to make it to the quarterfinals where they’ve only been a couple of times, it’s incredible. And to have a home game this week, that’s also amazing.”Since Margraff’s sudden passing, Blue Jays coach Greg Chimera had been seeking a way to pay tribute to the man who coached him as a fullback from 2006 to 2009 and then hired him as an assistant coach from 2009 to 2018. He considered retiring his mentor’s number to join the No. 81 worn by Bill Stromberg, who was Margraff’s teammate and one of his favorite targets.Johns Hopkins running back Spencer Uggla is the second player to be voted by his teammates to wear the No. 3 jersey worn by the late Jim Margraff, above, who coached the Blue Jays for 29 seasons and died Jan. 2, 2019, of a sudden heart attack at the age of 58. (Kim Hairston / Baltimore Sun)“So I called Bill Stromberg, and I said, ‘Hey, I’m thinking about retiring Coach’s number. I want to know what you think about that. It would be pretty cool for you guys to be retired together as teammates,’” Chimera said. “He said, ‘You know what you should do? You should unretire my number. Then we’ll be back together.’ And that’s just how the two of them are. They don’t want the spotlight.”One of Margraff’s favorite phrases was “Pride and Poise,” which the Blue Jays have adopted as their slogan. Chimera decided that the No. 3 jersey should be worn by the player who exemplifies those two characteristics.Alice Margraff, director of college counseling at McDonogh, said her husband was given the No. 3 almost as an afterthought because of his small stature (5-10). She said retiring the number would have contradicted her husband’s philosophy.“He liked seeing it on the field,” she said. “When he was coaching, No. 3 was a number he gave to a special player. So different kids wore the No. 3 over the years, and they were kids who tended to be good players, but were also committed to working hard, to being good citizens, to upholding the values that he believed.”AdvertisementUggla said he didn’t give much thought to wearing the jersey and in fact voted for junior quarterback Hugh “Bay” Harvey when the team made its selection. But senior cornerback Luca Lutzel said Uggla was a popular choice.“Everyone sees how much he cares about this team and how much he cares about Hopkins football,” Lutzel said. “The way he treats everybody and the way he approaches football and the way he plays because he’s the best player on the field, these are all the things that Coach Margraff left behind and all the values that Coach Margraff instilled in this program. Spencer is just the embodiment of those.”Chimera, who said coaches refrain from voting or trying to influence the vote, also agreed with the vote for Uggla.“He would probably be my vote as well,” he said. “He’s a captain. He’s a guy that does all the little things right. He’s great on the field, he’s great off the field, he’s a voice for the team, he’s a steady guy, he plays with ‘Pride and Poise.’ He just does all the things that you’re looking for in a player.”Uggla and Lutzel are members of the first class that never played for Margraff. Despite the lack of overlap, they said the connection to Margraff remains strong because of the presence of many of his former players who continue to educate the current roster about Margraff.“I unfortunately never got a chance to meet him or play for him, but hearing Coach Chimera and [defensive coordinator] Dan Wodicka and Ross Andersson and some of the older guys talk about him, they just tell me he was the best guy in the room at all times and would put his foot down when stuff needed to get done or when stuff wasn’t right,” Uggla said. “They said he was a humble, well-respected leader, and people listened to him — for good reason.”AdvertisementThere’s a similarly good reason the Blue Jays have reached this stage of the postseason. As the starting running back, Uggla leads the offense in rushing yards (738) and ranks second in touchdown runs (seven). He also has caught 15 passes for 109 yards.Uggla is quick to deflect credit to his teammates, especially sophomore running back Geoff Schroeder and junior running back Andrew Rich. He said Saturday’s game is another item on their checklist for the season.“We’re right where we want to be, but we’ll never be satisfied,” he said. “We want to keep pushing and keep winning. But this means the world. The first 12-0 season in Hopkins history is pretty cool. We’re all pumped and just focused on getting the job done.”NCAA Division III quarterfinalsRandolph-Macon at Johns HopkinsSaturday, noonAdvertisementStream:

2023-11-30T16:00:43-05:00November 30th, 2023|

Buffalo Bills’ Von Miller faces arrest in Dallas for allegedly assaulting a pregnant person, police say

DALLAS — Police in Dallas have issued an arrest warrant for Buffalo Bills linebacker Von Miller on charges stemming from a “major disturbance” at a home Wednesday.According to police, a preliminary investigation determined Miller, 34, and the alleged victim got into a verbal argument and Miller assaulted the person, who is pregnant. They said Miller left the scene before they arrived.AdvertisementThe alleged victim was treated for minor injuries, and an arrest warrant was issued for Miller for allegedly assaulting a pregnant person.The Bills, who have a bye this week, issued a statement Thursday acknowledging they are aware of the incident and “are in the process of gathering more information.”AdvertisementThe team said it would have no further comment at this point.Miller, selected by the Denver Broncos with the No. 2 pick in the 2011 NFL draft, is an eight-time Pro Bowl selection and three-time first-team All-Pro.A two-time first-team All-American at Texas A&M, Miller has played on two Super Bowl winners and was the MVP of the Broncos’ victory over the Carolina Panthers in the 2015 season. He won a second title in 2021 as a member of the Los Angeles Rams.When the Broncos traded him, he held the franchise record with 110.5 career sacks.

2023-11-30T14:02:21-05:00November 30th, 2023|

Chesapeake Chapter of USA Lacrosse Hall of Fame 2023 induction class headlined by Acacia Walker-Weinstein

An Annapolis High graduate who has become one of the most prominent college lacrosse coaches in the country headlines the latest induction class into the Chesapeake Chapter of USA Lacrosse Hall of Fame.Acacia Walker-Weinstein, who enters her 12th season as head coach of Boston College women’s lacrosse coach, is one of five members of the Class of 2023. She led the Eagles to the Division I national championship in 2021.AdvertisementRounding out the ninth induction class into the Chesapeake Chapter of USA Lacrosse are Colleen Anderson, Brian Jackson, David Jones and Haywood Miller. They will be formally enshrined during a banquet Jan. 25 at the Annapolis Elks Lodge 622 in Edgewater.“We’re thrilled to welcome another outstanding class into the Hall of Fame and look forward to celebrating the decorated careers of these five individuals,” said Terry Edmondson, president of the Chesapeake Chapter of USA Lacrosse.AdvertisementIt was obvious Walker was destined for greatness as a player when, at age 15, she became the youngest member of the United States Under-19 national team that captured the gold medal at the 1999 world championships held in Perth, Australia.A versatile two-way midfielder at Annapolis High, Walker was a three-time, first team Baltimore Sun All-Metro selection. She amassed 205 career points on 111 goals and 94 assists.Walker earned a scholarship to perennial powerhouse Maryland and became a two-time All-American, earning first team honors as a senior in 2005. She was a team captain and still ranks ninth in program history with 163 career draw controls.Walker started coaching as an assistant at Northwestern and was part of three national championship teams led by head coach Kelly Amonte Hiller. She served as associate head coach at Massachusetts and helped lead the program to two Atlantic 10 Conference championships.Walker-Weinstein was hired to lead Boston College in 2013 and has taken the program to unprecedented heights. The Eagles have made 11 NCAA Tournament appearances under her direction after doing so just once from 1992 to 2012.Boston College is currently enjoying an incredible run, reaching six straight national championship games. The Eagles captured the first, and only, national title in program history in 2021 by beating Syracuse, 16-10.Walker-Weinstein has compiled a career record of 173-52 (.768 winning percentage) through 11 seasons. The Eagles lead all of Division I with 117 wins since 2017 and have captured three Atlantic Coast Conference regular season championships during that time.Walker-Weinstein is a two-time IWLCA Coach of the Year and has mentored 33 All-Americans and three Tewaaraton Award winners.AdvertisementHoyle Haywood Miller III was a standout defenseman at Wroxeter Academy and Severna Park High, earning Baltimore Sun All-Metro honors twice. He was co-captain of the 1977 Severna Park squad that went 13-1, captured the Class AA Regional championship and was ranked No. 1 in the final Baltimore-metro area poll compiled by the Evening Sun.Miller had scholarship offers from all the top collegiate programs, but chose the educational opportunities offered by Harvard University of the Ivy League. He was a key member of the 1980 Harvard team that captured the Ivy League championship and reached the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament.Miller was a two-time All-American and two-time All-Ivy League selection for the Crimson. He was inducted into the Harvard Athletics Hall of Fame in 2000.David Jones, shown playing while at St. Mary's, went on to a prolific career at University of Virginia. (Courtesy of Dr. Bill Jones)Jones was a hard-working midfielder at St. Mary’s High and the University of Virginia. He was a four-year varsity standout for the Saints, the top midfielder on the 1991 team that lost to St. Paul’s in the MSA A Conference championship.The Davidsonville native earned a scholarship to Virginia and became a two-time All-American, earning second team honors as a senior in 1995.A grinder known for his work between the lines, Jones was a member of the first midfield in 1994 when Virginia reached the national championship game, losing to Princeton in overtime. The left-handed shooter had a hat trick in a thrilling 15-14 shootout victory over Syracuse in the semifinals.AdvertisementJones still ranks 13th all-time at Virginia for career goals (69) by a midfielder.Jackson was an overpowering defenseman at Arundel High and the University of Maryland. He was a member of the Wildcats’ 1981 and ‘82 teams that rank among the finest in program history and were led by longtime head coach Clint Gosnell, a 2017 inductee into the Chesapeake Chapter of USA Lacrosse Hall of Fame.Jackson was a first team All-County football player as a linebacker for Arundel and played baseball up until his sophomore season. Gosnell put Jackson on the crease and told him to clear out any player that strayed into that area.Jackson spent one season at the Naval Academy Prep School under the guidance of Rob White. He did not wind up enrolling at the Naval Academy and instead played one season of football and lacrosse at Anne Arundel Community College.National Lacrosse Hall of Famer Clayton “Buddy” Beadmore was an assistant coach at AACC at the time and recommended Jackson to longtime friend Dick Edell, head coach at Maryland.Jackson became a two-time All-American at Maryland, earning first team accolades as a senior. He was the top shutdown defender for the 1987 Maryland squad that went 12-0 and was ranked No. 1 nationally before being upset by Johns Hopkins in the semifinals of the NCAA Tournament.AdvertisementKnown as a physical force and intimidator, Jackson was a two-time first team All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection. He was assigned to cover such standout attackmen as Craig Bubier (Johns Hopkins), Gary Seivold (North Carolina) and Mike Herger (Navy).Anderson did not play lacrosse at McDonogh and was recruited to Loyola College as a soccer standout. Legendary Loyola women’s lacrosse coach Diane Geppi-Aikens convinced the talented athlete to give the stick sport a try and the rest is history.Anderson became a two-time All-American attacker for Loyola, earning first team honors as a senior in 1992. She led the Greyhounds in scoring as both a junior (55 points on 36 goals and 19 assists) and senior (62 points on 36 goals and 26 assists).Anderson was named Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Year in 1992 and still ranks among the all-time leading scorers in Loyola women’s lacrosse history with 171 points, 112 goals and 61 assists.

2023-11-30T11:58:30-05:00November 30th, 2023|

Roy Dunshee’s work ‘nothing short of amazing’ as Washington College men’s soccer prepares for 1st Final Four

Before he became men’s soccer coach at Washington College, Roy Dunshee owned and ran a restaurant called Acme Bar & Grill on Main Street in Annapolis. Little did he know that he was laying down the groundwork for his current occupation.“At the restaurant, the thing that got me most excited about going to work every day was building a team of employees to carry out the mission of the restaurant, and I had several dedicated employees who stayed with me from post to post,” he recalled. “That was the most interesting part of being a restaurant owner — and that’s coaching. Even when I didn’t realize it, I was developing my coaching skills from an early stage in my profession.”AdvertisementThat foundation has served Dunshee well. Now in his 12th season in Chestertown, the New Jersey transplant and Annapolis resident has guided the Shoremen to their first Final Four appearance. Washington College (14-2-6) will meet St. Olaf (18-3-3) in an NCAA Tournament Division III semifinal on Friday at 1 p.m. in Salem, Virginia.Dunshee’s players credit him for helping them reach this stage.Advertisement“He has guided the creation of our loving culture and gave all of us a chance to be Shoremen,” senior midfielder Harrison Malone said via email. “I believe Coach Dunshee seeks to recruit good people before recruiting good soccer players, which speaks volumes. He is a tremendous coach who cares about his players and will have our backs for life. Knowing that motivates us players to work hard in return for all Coach Dunshee does for us.”Soccer has been a fixture in Dunshee’s life. He turned a prep career in New Jersey into an opportunity to enroll at South Carolina, where he played from 1979 to 1982 and was a member of the 1979 squad that advanced to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16.After graduating with a bachelor’s in journalism, he moved to the Washington area to earn a law degree at George Mason and practiced law for about five years. In 1994, he opened the restaurant in Annapolis and operated it until 2006.Roy Dunshee, an Annapolis resident, opened a restaurant and coached the boys soccer team at St. Mary’s and Severna Park before leaving to coach Washington College in 2012. (Pamela Cowart-Rickman)Dunshee, who continued to play soccer in adult leagues, caught the coaching bug thanks to friend and Gamecocks teammate Tom Reilly, who have known each other since they were 14. Reilly said he asked Dunshee to serve as a guest coach for one week at a summer camp.“He can differentiate things within the game, and with his public speaking skills, he’s able to pass that information on in a clear and concise manner, which is another key coaching skill,” Reilly said. “So it was a natural fit for him.”Dunshee was hooked. He began as an assistant coach at St. Mary’s before serving as co-head coach but enjoyed his greatest success at Severna Park, where he led the program to a 56-10-4 record and three region championships in four years.In 2012, Dunshee resigned to accept an assistant role at Division III Amherst. Then Drew Hoffman resigned as coach at Washington College to accept another position within the school, and Dunshee applied for the vacancy.The 2011 squad had limped to a 3-11-2 record, and a ratings service ranked the Shoremen 251st out of 399 teams. But Dunshee joked that he was driven by “foolhardiness” to seek the job.Advertisement“I really wanted to coach in college, and I didn’t have a lot of options,” he said. “I thought if I had enough time and through my connections in the sport in Maryland and beyond, I could build a really strong program. I was hoping to do it in five years, and it ended up taking 10.”Adopting the old adage of getting better players, and getting his players better, Dunshee hit the recruiting trail. He admitted that his success rate was low because he was trying to convince recruits to play based on the promise that the program would compete in the Centennial Conference.Dunshee began to reap the benefits of his labor. The 2016 squad went 10-7-2 and played in its first conference tournament. Then the 2021 team went 15-5-1, won the league tournament and advanced to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16.“It gave us higher expectations and a comfort level for playing in the postseason,” he said of that postseason debut. " I think the experience early on helped set the stage for what we’re going through now.”After opening the season with four straight ties, Washington College has gone 14-2-2 in its past 18 games. Although the team lost to Johns Hopkins in the Centennial Conference Tournament semifinals, it defeated six ranked opponents, including four in four NCAA postseason games.Senior Anthony Pinto, the league’s Goalkeeper of the Year, said the Shoremen’s success can be traced to Dunshee’s philosophy.Advertisement“A lot of our sessions are a mix of drills compiled by both Coach Dunshee and [assistant] coach Ryan Shera,” he wrote via email. “And whenever he is the one not running the drill, he is always on the sideline, checking up on players who are resting as well as cheering on the guys who are on the field. He is passionate about coaching, and that word resonates with me whenever he runs one of our sessions.”Dunshee is also loyal. When Washington College sought to hire a new coach for the women’s soccer program, Dunshee persuaded Reilly to apply, and he was hired in March 2017. Reilly said Dunshee’s work with men’s soccer has inspired his colleagues in the athletic department.“It’s nothing short of amazing what he’s been able to do with the program he took over because I’m kind of living that same thing right now,” Reilly said. “He came into a program that hadn’t really won anything and was in the bottom tier of the Centennial Conference, and the fact now that they compete at the top level of not only the Centennial Conference but the entire country, it’s nothing short of unbelievable.”Being one of the last four teams left in the NCAA Tournament has been validating for Dunshee. But he said he is more gratified that his players get a chance to revel in the success.“I’ve been in the game a very long time, so it’s gratifying for me, too,” he said. “But what I’m grateful for is seeing our seniors, who have been such good leaders, get the respect and the reward that they deserve.”NCAA Division III Tournament semifinalAdvertisementWashington College vs. St. OlafSalem, VirginiaFriday, 3 p.m.Stream:

2023-11-30T09:00:12-05:00November 30th, 2023|

Staff picks for Week 13 of 2023 NFL season: Seahawks vs. Cowboys, Broncos vs. Texans, 49ers vs. Eagles and more

Baltimore Sun staff writers pick every game of the NFL season. Here’s who they have winning in Week 13:Brian Wacker (114-66 season; 11-5 last week): CowboysAdvertisementChilds Walker (116-64 season; 11-5 last week): CowboysMike Preston (106-74 season; 12-4 last week): CowboysAdvertisementC.J. Doon (120-60 season; 11-5 last week): CowboysTim Schwartz (108-72 season; 9-7 last week): CowboysWacker: ChargersWalker: ChargersPreston: ChargersDoon: ChargersSchwartz: ChargersWacker: LionsAdvertisementWalker: LionsPreston: LionsDoon: LionsSchwartz: LionsWacker: JetsWalker: FalconsAdvertisementPreston: FalconsDoon: FalconsSchwartz: FalconsWacker: SteelersWalker: SteelersPreston: SteelersAdvertisementDoon: SteelersSchwartz: SteelersWacker: ColtsWalker: TitansPreston: ColtsDoon: ColtsAdvertisementSchwartz: ColtsWacker: DolphinsWalker: DolphinsPreston: DolphinsDoon: DolphinsSchwartz: DolphinsAdvertisementWacker: TexansWalker: TexansPreston: BroncosDoon: BroncosSchwartz: TexansWacker: BuccaneersAdvertisementWalker: BuccaneersPreston: BuccaneersDoon: BuccaneersSchwartz: BuccaneersWacker: RamsWalker: RamsAdvertisementPreston: RamsDoon: BrownsSchwartz: RamsWacker: 49ersWalker: 49ersPreston: EaglesAdvertisementDoon: EaglesSchwartz: 49ersWacker: ChiefsWalker: ChiefsPreston: ChiefsDoon: ChiefsAdvertisementSchwartz: ChiefsWacker: JaguarsWalker: JaguarsPreston: JaguarsDoon: JaguarsSchwartz: Jaguars

2023-11-30T07:58:26-05:00November 30th, 2023|

Inside Ravens rookie WR Zay Flowers’ ‘electrifying’ impact: ‘A guy that wants to be great’

Ravens wide receiver Zay Flowers is a big fan of soccer stars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, which explains his reaction after his second touchdown against the host Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday night. After shooting a fake penalty kick past fellow wideout Odell Beckham Jr., he imitated Ronaldo’s “Siuuu” celebration with NBC’s Mike Tirico shouting “Gooooooooooooal!” on the broadcast.“I’ve been playing FIFA a lot,” Flowers said.AdvertisementHe’s been catching a lot, too. The 22nd overall draft pick’s team-leading 58 receptions are already the most by a rookie in franchise history. He’s just 228 yards away from surpassing Torrey Smith’s mark for the most yards by a first-year Ravens player, and his 613 yards rank fourth in the NFL among rookie receivers this season. Only the Los Angeles Rams’ Puka Nacua (73) has more catches.[ Mike Preston’s Ravens mailbag: Answering questions about Ronnie Stanley, offseason priorities and more ]Beyond the numbers, what’s been Flowers’ impact?Advertisement“I would describe the impact he’s had is right on time,” quarterback Lamar Jackson said. “You notice every time he did something, it was right on time. It was perfect situations where he scored [and] made the touchdown catch on that run, and he just needs to keep doing it. [He needs] to keep getting the ball in his hand, not just him, but all of our receivers — ‘Bate’ [Rashod Bateman] is a great receiver [and] ‘OB’ [Beckham] and ‘Nelly’ [Nelson Agholor], we have to get everybody involved, because those guys catch the ball and make magic.”No one more so than Flowers, whose two touchdowns against the Chargers came on a 3-yard pass to the back of the end zone after a play-action fake from Jackson, and then on a 37-yard jet sweep handoff to seal a 10-point victory.The latter was the second-longest touchdown run by a wide receiver in the NFL this season. Flowers also had just a 0.7% chance of scoring on it, according to Next Gen Stats, but was already running at 15.46 mph when he got the handoff.It was just the latest example of Flowers showing off not just his speed, but his versatility.Ravens wide receiver Zay Flowers makes a catch along the sideline against the Chargers on Sunday. (Kyusung Gong/AP)In the season opener, Flowers had nine catches — a franchise record for a rookie in his debut — for 78 yards. That included a 28-yard gain on the Ravens’ sixth play of the game, as Flowers cemented his “Joystick” nickname by leaving a trail of defenders in his wake. The 54 yards he gained after the catch against the Houston Texans was the highest percentage (.692) by a rookie in a game over the past two seasons, per Next Gen Stats.Just over a month later, Flowers became just the second receiver since 1970 to tally at least 50 yards from scrimmage in each of his first seven career games when he hauled in four passes for 75 yards against the Detroit Lions. The next day, Ravens coach John Harbaugh noted that the rookie out of Boston College is diligent, very smart and “not anywhere near where he’s going to be in terms of understanding the offense.”Fast forward to Week 13 and the Ravens’ bye, and it’s become apparent that Flowers continues to grow exponentially, both in terms of impact and understanding the offense.He is the best receiver on the roster.Advertisement[ The Ravens’ unusual approach that’s helped them lead the NFL in sacks: ‘Being in the same room helps’ ]“The kid is a guy that wants to be great, wants to soak up all the information as much as possible,” Ravens wide receivers coach Greg Lewis said. “He talks to [assistant wide receivers] Coach ‘Dub’ [Keith Williams] and I daily about things that he can work on to get himself better. He’s getting out [to practice] early to get stretched out making sure he’s ready to go. He’s just a young guy, [and] to see him do those type of things is pretty impressive on his end as professional as he is as early [as he is] in his career.”The biggest difference between that Week 1 breakout and now, Williams said, is Flowers’ understanding of not just where he needs to be but the concept of the play design.“For a young player to come into the NFL in any organization, learn a new offense, learn the verbiage and understand that it’s hard to learn one spot, let alone two or three spots,” Williams said. “He has grown immensely throughout the season as far as understanding the entire schematic of what we’re trying to get accomplished and how he fits into the puzzle and then going out there and letting his talent shine.”Added right tackle Morgan Moses: “He’s electrifying. Every time he has the ball, he makes somebody miss. And it’s our job as offensive linemen to keep blocking for him. And he’s a guy that you can give the ball to him in a whole bunch of different ways.”Baltimore Ravens InsiderWeeklyWant the inside scoop on the Ravens? Become a Ravens Insider and you'll have access to news, notes and analysis from The Sun.That should continue to help add a whole lot more wins, too.Week 14AdvertisementRams at RavensSunday, Dec. 10, 1 p.m.TV: FoxRadio: 97.9 FM, 101.5 FM, 1090 AMLine: Ravens by 7 1/2

2023-11-30T07:58:36-05:00November 30th, 2023|

Orioles roundtable: Four questions heading into MLB winter meetings

Next week, the movers and shakers of MLB will convene in Nashville, Tennessee, for the apex of the offseason.Whether the Orioles are among the teams that make a splash remains to be seen, but this year’s meetings will see Baltimore in a vastly different spot than in previous years of executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias’ tenure. His first few offseasons were spent as the leader of one of baseball’s worst teams, and while the Orioles were buyers this time last year, the upcoming meetings will bring more pressure for the club to upgrade its roster after a 101-win season that ended with a thud in the playoffs.Advertisement[ The Orioles will soon reach at least $1.3 billion in public benefits since 1988. They’re expected to ask for more. ]Ahead of the winter meetings, Baltimore Sun beat reporters Nathan Ruiz and Jacob Calvin Meyer and editor Tim Schwartz give their thoughts about how the next week might progress.Ruiz: Making headway on a significant starting pitching acquisition, whether it be through free agency or trades. Elias noted at last year’s winter meetings that he doesn’t view the event as one “where we feel pressure to do something.” It is, after all, four days amid a four-month offseason, and Orioles leadership doesn’t need to make a move while in Nashville. But progress toward adding a starter who slots at or near the top of the rotation — and not solely because he’s a veteran — will be welcome, and it can be built upon from there.AdvertisementMeyer: A front-of-the-rotation starting pitcher would be great, but the cost of said addition would likely be more than what the Orioles are willing to spend. This isn’t to say Baltimore shouldn’t participate in the starting pitching market, but the bullpen is perhaps a greater need. The Orioles will be without Félix Bautista — the recently named American League Reliever of the Year — for all of 2024, and the bullpen was a major area of concern down the stretch in 2023. Baltimore needs to shore up the back end of its relief corps and fortify its middle relief if the club wants to have anywhere near the same success in 2024.Schwartz: An ace. Sure, Kyle Bradish and Grayson Rodriguez could be the answer, but the rest of the league will take the Orioles seriously as a World Series contender if they get a true No. 1 starter. It won’t be easy to get one, but no team has more capital than the Orioles. It’s time they realize that, push some chips in and go for it.This year’s winter meetings will see the Orioles in a vastly different spot than in previous years of executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias’ tenure. (Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun)Ruiz: At this event last year, Elias described the Orioles as having “the capital to trade for basically anyone who’s on the market.” They’ve parted with a handful of mid-tier prospects since then, but that sentiment largely remains true. Of course, Elias was adamant both then and in advance of the trade deadline that the team won’t burn through its system just for the sake of making a splash. If the Orioles wanted to make a big trade, they certainly could, but them actually doing so seems unlikely, given how they’ve generally operated.Meyer: How aggressive should Elias be in pursuing trades? Very. How aggressive should he be to make a trade? Not too much. Yes, the Orioles have a prospect stockpile that is perhaps the best in the sport. Yes, in theory, some of those players are locked. But a look at Baltimore’s top prospects shows players that — for the most part — would be more valuable remaining with the Orioles than being included in a trade. The Orioles should be pursuing significant upgrades via the trade market and make one if it’s reasonable, but they shouldn’t pay a premium simply because they have the prospects to supply.Baltimore Orioles InsiderWeeklyWant to be an Orioles Insider? The Sun has you covered. Don't miss any Orioles news, notes and info all baseball season and beyond.Schwartz: Is there an answer that’s more clear than very? As mentioned, the Orioles have the resources to trade for just about any player in baseball. It costs a lot to get a lot, but that’s the business. The Orioles have shown an ability to draft talented players beyond the No. 1 pick (see: Gunnar Henderson), so in theory they should continue to hit more often than not in the draft and replenish their stockpile of prospects. At some point sooner rather than later, their 40-man roster is going to be difficult to manage unless they start moving some of these prospects.Right-hander Marcus Stroman could be an option as a starting pitching upgrade at a cost the Orioles are willing to pay. (Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune)Ruiz: There is a wide gap between “should” and “will.” Given the Orioles ended each of the past five seasons with one of the majors’ three lowest payrolls, per Spotrac, one would think they have plenty of financial flexibility, the likes of which could allow them to target top free agents. But Orioles CEO and Chairman John Angelos also told The New York Times the organization would be “financially underwater” if it gave out too many nine-figure contracts, though he has a history of not telling the full truth. Regardless, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, a 25-year-old right-handed sensation out of Japan, is seemingly an ideal fit — except for, well, the expected price tag.[ Orioles free agent fits: Here are available players who make the most sense for Baltimore ]Meyer: Shohei Ohtani? (pauses for laughs). OK, but actually, right-hander Jordan Hicks would provide the type of back-end bullpen support the Orioles need while not having to break the bank like they would to get left-hander Josh Hader. Hicks is coming off the best season of his career, posting a 3.29 ERA and 28.4% strikeout rate with the St. Louis Cardinals and Toronto Blue Jays. Right-hander Marcus Stroman could also be an option as a starting pitching upgrade at a cost the Orioles are willing to pay. Stroman was an All-Star in 2023 and boasts a 3.38 ERA since 2019.Schwartz: Stroman is a good choice if they’re looking for a free agent to fill their void in the starting rotation, but I don’t suspect they will get their No. 1 guy from free agency. So my vote is Hader. The Old Mill graduate still has elite stuff and would be an ideal fit, especially in 2024 without Bautista, and his being on the roster would allow Bautista to ease back into the closer role in 2025. But imagine seeing Hader in the eighth and Bautista in the ninth in 2025. That would be scary.AdvertisementRuiz: I guess I dived into this subject a question early. The likelihood they add a starter and reliever this offseason at minimum paired with the arbitration raises coming down the pipe means the Orioles’ 2024 payroll figures to be higher than the 2023 version. Whether that qualifies as, ahem, “liftoff” largely depends on who those pitchers are. But the Orioles just won 101 games and the AL East after an offseason in which their top free agent additions were Kyle Gibson and Adam Frazier. If they do decide to spend big, they might be better served doing so internally, but that also shouldn’t stop them from making a significant addition.Meyer: No.Schwartz: It’s difficult to imagine Angelos ever spending big money. I’ll be surprised the day their payroll exceeds $100 million — assuming that ever happens. So, no.

2023-11-30T06:58:50-05:00November 30th, 2023|
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