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MoCo fans mourn the loss of two local sporting greats

We lost two individuals with deep roots in Montgomery County athletics during the past two months, a former athlete, and an alum and coach.
Eric Nichols, the popular Gaithersburg quarterback who guided the Trojans to their first state championship in 1986, died in August at the age of 48.
Nichols was also the DC Touchdown Club’s Maryland High School Player of the Year in 1986 and led Maryland to a victory over Pennsylvania in the 1987 Big 33 All-Star football game.
Maryland’s 26-22 victory over Pennsylvania at Hersheypark Stadium marked the first time in history that a team from Maryland had beaten Pennsylvania in that game.
“That was one of the baddest quarterbacks I’ve ever seen in this area,” said former Seneca Valley standout Wayne Turner, “[He’s in the] top ten.”

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Highlights in local sports feature football standouts in high school and college

DJ MooreMaryland wide receiver DJ Moore gets loose from Northwestern linebacker Paddy Fisher. PHOTO BY JACQUI SOUTH  Maryland junior wide receiver DJ Moore was a bright spot in the Terrapins’ 32-21 loss to Northwestern Saturday in College Park.
Moore, a Philadelphia native, became just the seventh player in school history to record 200 yards in a game, registering 210 yards receiving and two touchdowns.
“He’s been that way pretty much every week,” said Maryland head coach DJ Durkin. “He’s a really talented guy that plays hard. He runs good routes and has good ball skills. We do a lot to get him the ball and design it that way and he always answers the call.”

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We lost a Washington Monument with the passing of Jim Vance

Brandy Simms Jim VanceLegendary WRC-TV news anchor Jim Vance lost his battle with cancer on Saturday. He was 75.
He was an icon, trailblazer, pioneer and a D.C. legend.
He influenced generations of broadcasters both local and national.
Magruder graduate and former Channel 4 sportscaster Dan Hellie shared the news desk with Vance before he left D.C. for the NFL Network in 2013.
“Sitting on the desk w/ Jim Vance is one of the great honors of my career,” Hellie posted on Twitter. “Genuine, loyal & smooth. A D.C. Treasure. Much love. RIP Vance.”

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Latest sports hall of fame inductees include Olympic swimmer Ledecky

Congratulations to the D.C. Sports Hall of Fame 2017 induction class that includes Bethesda native and Olympic swimmer Katie Ledecky along with Paul Tagliabue, Juan Dixon, Tom McMillen, Brenda Frese and former Washington Redskins defensive back and kick returner Mike Nelms.
Additionally, the class also included media celebrities Glenn Harris, Tony Kornheiser and Ron Weber who was a long-time Washington Capitals game announcer before he retired in 1997. These individuals were honored Sunday before the Washington Nationals-Atlanta Braves game at Nationals Park in Southeast D.C.

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NBA Draft is highlighted by two local former high school players

Markelle FultzMarkelle Fultz. FILE PHOTOThe first round of the 2017 NBA Draft was bookended by a pair of local products – Upper Marlboro’s Markelle Fultz and Silver Spring native Josh Hart.
The Philadelphia 76ers selected Fultz, a 2016 DeMatha graduate, with the first overall selection. Fultz, who attended James Madison Middle School in Upper Marlboro, became the first Prince George’s County product to ever be selected No. 1 overall.
“It is with great Prince George’s County pride that I congratulate Upper Marlboro’s very own Markelle Fultz on becoming the top pick in the 2017 NBA Draft,” Prince George’s County Councilman Mel Franklin said in a news release. “Markelle’s work ethic and determination are a result of his outstanding character and the wonderful influence of his family, especially his mother, Ebony Fultz, and the community that nurtured him. Markelle overcame being cut from his high school basketball team as a sophomore to become the country’s most sought after college talent. In three and a half years’ time, Markelle went from being a junior varsity high school basketball player to the top pick in the NBA Draft. Markelle, Prince George’s County congratulates you. We celebrate your incredible successes and are excited about the promise of your next great steps in the NBA. May God bless and guide your future, for the best is yet to come.”

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Remembering the legacy of Len Bias 31 years after his untimely death

Len BiasLen Bias. COURTESY PHOTOOn June 19, 1986 we were all shocked and saddened by the news that University of Maryland basketball star Len Bias – a Prince George’s County product – had passed away from a drug overdose at age 22.
Just two days earlier, Bias had been selected by the Boston Celtics with the second overall pick in the 1986 NBA Draft. He was destined for NBA stardom until tragedy struck on that fateful June morning.
Former Maryland guard Jeff Baxter, who was Bias’s roommate at the time of his death, described the chiseled 6-foot-8, 220-pound forward as a naturally defined physical specimen with no body fat.  “He was a docile person yet extremely aggressive on the court,” Baxter said.
Baxter was awakened by the news that Bias had fainted so he returned to their room to find his friend and teammate on the ground, motionless.

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Montgomery County basketball may be overlooked but thrived this season

Montgomery County basketball gets overlooked oftentimes, but I think we made a huge statement with our performances this month in the MPSSAA Boys Basketball State Tournament at Xfinity Center.

Quince Orchard knocked off previously unbeaten Wise, 55-52, in what will likely go down as the biggest win in program history.

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The lingering legend of Montgomery’s Eugene Dyson

The legend of Eugene Dyson still lingers on in Montgomery County.

To this day, local folks still talk about the Churchill High School product when the debate shifts to the county’s all-time great student-athletes.

Dyson, a Scotland native who was a multi-sport athlete at Churchill in the 1980’s, had the Midas touch. He participated in football, basketball and baseball at the Potomac public school.

“Eugene was a beast,” recalled Todd Lancaster, a 1980 Rockville graduate. “He had a motor on him.”

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Former Good Counsel wrestler looks forward to Iranian competition

Former Good Counsel wrestler Kyle Snyder will be allowed to compete at the 2017 Freestyle World Cup.
Snyder, who last year became the sport’s youngest Olympic gold medalist in history, was granted a visa along with the other members of the U.S. wrestling team.

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