Manassas Journal Messenger | Return to the gridiron; recruits field offers, prepare for season
Out of his camp experiences this summer, Osbourn Park senior Zak Stair received two new college scholarship offers. His trip to Virginia Tech, though, was not as profitable.
At a minimum, Stair will get to decide between a pair of 2003 preseason top-20 teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference and a storied Big East program. Rated the 10th-best offensive line recruit in the East by Student Sports, he has impressed a number of college recruiters. Nevertheless, he’s trying to shake off his showing in Blacksburg as Osbourn Park begins its effort to repeat as Cedar Run District champions.
“I ran a 5.0 40-[yard dash] at Nike camp and then I had 5.2 at Tech camp, which wasn’t bad,” said the 6-foot-6 1/2, 280-pound Stair. “But as the day went on, I got slower and slower. Actually I fell on one of them and ran a 5.3 and a 5.4 on a couple of other ones.”
Stair said his hamstring was bothering him at the Tech camp, and that he’d still love to get an offer from the Hokies. For now, he said his favorites are Atlantic Coast rivals Maryland and Virginia. He also has an offer from Syracuse.
Gar-Field defensive tackle Clint Sintim has a new offer from Kent State, the Division I-A school that landed offensive lineman Flordell Kissee and running back Rasheed McClaude from last year’s Indians’ senior class.
Earlier in the process, the 6-foot-4, 255-pound Sintim received scholarship offers from Virginia Tech, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Syracuse, Tennessee and North Carolina, according to Gar-Field coach Jim Poythress. Ohio State is considering making a written offer, Sintim said last week.
Because of summer school, Sintim was unable to attend any collegiate camps. “I’ve been working out three or four times a week, mostly running and getting prepared for the season,” he said. “The season starts in [six] days with that first practice, so want to make sure I’m ready. I’ve been focusing more on techniques and learning plays than anything.”
Sintim said he would like to take five official visits, but he has not decided which ones yet.
“Area schools are always the favorite because they’re closer to home, but going away might be fine, too,” Sintim said.
At defending Division 6 state champion Hylton, defensive back Deon Butler and linebackers Endor Cooper and Jackie Watkins have yet to receive any written Division I-A offers.
“Nothing’s really changed. I think right now their plan is to see a lot of schools on Saturdays,” Hylton coach Lou Sorrentino said. “I expect that if it’s not the real big boys, at least it will be the [I-AA schools]. They’ll have some options.
“They are all tweeners one way or the other. I know people with Deon and Endor would like to see more weight on them, but I think their best years are ahead of them. Deon’s had a great summer; he went to Maryland’s camp and did well there. And I’ve seen Jackie and Endor in the weight room. They’re all ready to go.”
Wake Forest continues to make a pitch for Colonial Forge quarterback Randy Hippeard. The Deacons plan to send coaches to see Hippeard during his senior season.
Stafford’s John Bradshaw, the 13th-rated offensive lineman in the East by Student Sports, has already verbally committed to West Virginia.
CHANGING THE SYSTEM
Come November, it still will take some calculating to see which teams qualify for the Virginia High School League playoffs. But the new formula takes strength of schedule — in all games, not just victories — into account.
VHSL assistant director Larry Johnson said Monday that the new ratings should allow for less travel (with teams more willing to play up in classification against nearby high schools).
“The reason it was put in was a lot of coaches in the state felt that they weren’t being rewarded for a tough schedule,” Johnson said. “Say one team goes 7-3 and lost to three undefeated teams; it didn’t matter because you still get zeros for losing. An 8-2 team that didn’t play those undefeated teams would go to the playoffs.”
For the first time, a distinction will be made between the six divisions instead of merely Group AAA, AA and A. The plan, according to Johnson, was originally proposed by current Westfield activities director Francis Dall about six years ago. Principals were originally reluctant to give points for losses, but the changes passed through the executive committee and the league’s membership for 2003.
Beating a Division 6 team will be worth 20 points initially, with wins over Division 5 clubs counting 19 points. A Division 6 loss is worth 10 points and a Division 5 defeat worth nine.
For every win, regardless of the classification of the victim, a team will get two rider points when the opponent wins a game. For a loss, one rider point will be recouped every time that opponent wins.
CONFERENCE WITH NO NAME
Quantico High School is in a new football conference. Now it just needs a name.
“We’re hoping to have one in the next few weeks,” Quantico athletic director Ken Mesa said.
The five-team conference, which features Quantico, Colonial Beach, Model, Enterprise and Hyde, was formed so schools of comparable size could play each other.
The Warriors will remain in the Delaney Athletic Conference in all other sports. In DAC football, Randolph-Macon Academy, a school of 400 students, traditionally dominated. Quantico’s enrollment is 140. RMA beat the Warriors 57-12 last season.
“We were going up against schools that were much bigger than us so a part of this came out as a safety issue,” Mesa said. “We wanted to play more teams we could compete with.”
Colonial Beach was in the Delaney last season with Quantico. Randolph-Macon is now an independent.
The decision not to play RMA also left the Warriors with only a nine-game schedule. The only team available to play Quantico on its open date Sept. 19 was RMA.
BEEFING UP the SCHEDULE
As the only Division 6 program in the seven-team Commonwealth District, Brooke Point decided it needed to take a different tact in its non-district schedule. To prepare for the playoffs and the possibility of facing teams like Gar-Field and Hylton, the Black-Hawks scheduled perennial playoff contender Varina out of Richmond for its regular-season opener Sept. 5. The Blue Devils, who are Division 6, lost to L.C. Bird last season in the first round of the playoffs.
“We’re shooting for the stars,” Brooke Point head football coach Jeff Berry said. “We’ll see what happens.”
In addition, the Black-Hawks will face two of the state’s top prospects when they play host to Westfield in a scrimmage Aug. 22. Quarterback Sean Glennon is rated the No. 1 prospect in the state, while wide receiver Eddie Royal is ranked among the state’s top 25 senior prospects.
AROUND THE AREA
Former Woodbridge High School standout Shawn Scales has decided to go back to Virginia Tech to finish up the credits he needs to receive his degree. Scales was an assistant at Osbourn Park last season … Hylton’s ranked ninth in the East in Student Sports’ listings of the nation’s top prep teams. The Bulldogs went 13-1 in 2002 as they won their third state title in five seasons. Hylton’s first scrimmage is Aug. 22 at Herndon. Its second is against Culpeper on Aug. 28. The site is still to be determined. Lou Sorrentino coached at Culpeper before taking over as Hylton’s head coach last season.