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Bowie backs store’s controversial site plan

Bowie kicks off holiday season

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Despite resident outcry, council members say expansion effort is about job creation BY CHASE COOK STAFF WRITER

BILL RYAN/THE GAZETTE

Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive Sunday on a firetruck to take part in the tree lighting at Belair Mansion in Bowie. The annual ceremony at the mansion grounds featured a program that taught attendees about Christmastime in the Colonial era and introduced them to 18th-century choir songs, said Matt Corley, Bowie special events coordinator.

Talented and Gifted seating could expand n

More than 300 students are currently on wait lists

BY JAMIE

ANFENSON-COMEAU STAFF WRITER

More students may be able to enroll in Talented and Gifted programs, reducing the hundreds currently on wait lists, Prince George’s County school system officials announced Tuesday night. “There are some proposals to increase the number of seats at the middle schools, and the elementary schools as well,” said TAG supervisor Theresa Jackson, who added the plans would expand existing TAG sites, not create new ones. There are currently four middle school TAG programs and seven elementary school programs. Over 250 parents, students and others attended the meeting for both TAG and TAG-eligible parents at Ken-

moor Middle School in Landover, said Crystal Lewis, PGTAG board publicist. Students are tested for the TAG program in first and third grade. Those who score above the 80th percentile and meet other criteria, including grades, cognitive ability, and a checklist of gifted characteristics and behaviors, are identified as TAG, Jackson said. More than 12,000 students in the school system, approximately 11 to 12 percent, are TAG identified, Jackson said. TAG-eligible students are entered into a lottery for seats in the nearest of seven TAG schools. If a TAG center is also a neighborhood school, the student may attend automatically, Jackson said. Jackson said there are 354 students on the wait list for TAG centers this year. Monique Davis, deputy superintendent of schools, told the audience that funding has to be approved to expand the program.

School system CEO Kevin Maxwell will present his budget proposal to the school board Dec. 12. The school system budgeted $2.3 million for TAG for the current fiscal year, and Maxwell, who was not present at the meeting because of an illness, has said previously that expanding existing programs and reducing wait lists was one of his goals. Schools that are not TAG centers often have other services for TAGidentified students, including an elementary school pull-out program, where TAG-identified students are taken out of their regular classes for programs focusing on advanced research, communication and critical thinking skills. Berniece Reese of Forestville said her son, a fourth-grader at Francis Scott Key Elementary School in District Heights, missed critical lessons when he was pulled out of his regular

See GIFTED, Page A-8

Bowie could receive 100 new jobs with the building of a new Walmart Supercenter across the street from the city’s 20-year old current Walmart. The new Walmart facility, which would be about 186,000 square feet and employ about 400 people, would be built at Mill Branch Crossing, right across the street from Bowie’s current Walmart at Crain Highway. The 20 yearold Walmart, about 118,000 square feet, currently employs about 300 associates, who would move across the street once the new building is complete, according to Walmart’s presentation to the council. But some residents, like C.J. Lammers, say the proposal should not be approved as it is not consistent with the city’s master plan, which did not call for

discount stores. Other residents spoke against the application as well, stating Walmart would drive away grocery stores Safeway and Giant and cut jobs more than it would hire. “This is a fairly simple case,” Lammers said to the council. “Master plan conformance cannot be found in this application.” Despite the resident feedback, the City Council voted 6-1 in favor of recommending approval for the Walmart application. “It is about jobs,” said Councilman Henri Gardner. “The Walmart is already there and is just moving across the street.” From there the application will be reviewed within about 150 days and be submitted to a zoning hearing examiner who approves or denies the application, which is then sent to the Prince George’s County District Council, which accepts or appeals the examiner’s decision, according to the county’s

See WALMART, Page A-8

County Council approves minimum wage increase Amended legislation to take effect over four years instead of three n

BY CHASE COOK STAFF WRITER

Minimum wage workers in Prince George’s County will be taking home some extra cash over the next four years after the County Council approved a $4.25 increase to minimum wage over four years. The council unanimously approved on Wednesday the legislation, which will take effect starting in October, with the minimum wage increasing from $7.25 to $8.40. Subsequent increases will occur in 2015, 2016 and 2017 to $9.55, $10.75 and $11.50 respectively. “This small change over four years isn’t going to end poverty,” said County Council Chairwoman Andrea Harrison, (D-Dist. 5) of Springdale. “We know that this small raise does give people hope.”

The county approved the increase after Montgomery Council voted Tuesday to increase its minimum wage at the same rates. Originally, Prince George’s County, Montgomery County and Washington, D.C., all planned to increase their wages over three years, but Montgomery County amended its legislation, so Prince George’s County followed suit. Harrison said the District’s Council will have an initial vote on its minimum wage legislation on Dec. 3. Councilman Mel Franklin (D-Dist. 9) of Upper Marlboro said the amendments were to insure that the wage increases were a regional decision to cut back on businesses fleeing to closer counties with lower wages. The decision to remove requirements to adjust the wage for inflation were made to make the legislation in line with Montgomery Council’s amended legislation, he said.

See WAGE, Page A-8

Bowie council approves plans to upgrade temporary holding room for pets Renovated facility will hold animals for up to five days, officials say

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BY CHASE COOK STAFF WRITER

Finding lost pets in Bowie soon will be easier, with the City Council voting to expand a temporary holding room for animals at City Hall. Currently, because of limited hold-

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ing space for lost pets, animals picked up by Bowie animal control are driven around the neighborhoods to look for the owner, said Steve Roberts, Bowie’s animal control supervisor. If the owner isn’t found by the end of the day, the animal is taken to the Prince George’s County animal shelter in Upper Marlboro, he said. City leaders’ approval of the expansion will allow lost pets to be held in Bowie longer, meaning residents will have a better chance of picking up the

pet locally before it’s sent to the Upper Marlboro shelter, Roberts said. “Finally,” said Tara Kelley-Baker, president of Bowie Citizens for Local Animal Welfare (CLAW), a community group that advocates for animal welfare in the city. “It took five years. ... We are excited.” The group has pressed for a city animal shelter facility, so the city’s approval was a compromise between the city and the group, as a new facility would be too expensive, Kelley-Baker

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said. It took five years to get all of the council behind the project, she said. The approval of the new holding room — a renovation and expansion of the current room — will let City Hall hold four dogs and eight cats for up to five days, according to a Bowie Planning Department staff report. Kelley-Baker said the city doesn’t handle many animals — about five per month. Once the facility can hold animals longer, she said, she anticipates more residents will know to look

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in the Bowie holding area instead of the county shelter, where animals are taken at the end of the day if they aren’t claimed at Bowie City Hall. The cost of the holding room expansion hasn’t been determined yet. CLAW and city staff will negotiate specific details, such as ventilation and temperature controls, Kelley-Baker said. Roberts said he anticipates the renovated temporary holding room will be

See PETS, Page A-8

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Send items at least two weeks in advance of the paper in which you would like them to appear. Go to calendar.gazette.net and click on the submit button. Questions? Call 301-670-2078.

DEC. 5

Washington National Opera sopranos Samantha McElhaney and Pamela Simonson prepare to deck the halls at Montpelier Arts Center.

Lighting up the holidays

Suitland High School presents “In the Heights,” 7 p.m., Annabelle Ferguson Auditorium on the campus of Suitland High School, 5200 Silver Hill Road, Forestville. Suitland High School’s Center for the Visual and Performing Arts Theatre Department opens its 2013-2014 season with the Tony Award winning musical “In the Heights.” Tickets cost $10 for adults, $8 for students. Contact 301-817-0092 or L.HollomanClay@pgcps.org.

SPORTS Check Friday night for coverage of the Class 4A state championship football game between Northwest and Suitland high schools.

DEC. 7 Legislative Call to Action Forum, 8:30 a.m., Local 400, 4301 Garden City Drive, Landover. The Prince George’s County Chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference Legislative Call to Action Forum. Focus Issues: minimum wages, economic inequalities, domestic violence, moratorium on home foreclosures, casino funds for PGCPS, criminal justice and more. Contact mcarthurbishop@yahoo.com. Make Me Gorgeous Makeup Workshop I, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tucker Road Community Center, 1771 Tucker Road, Fort Washington. Spend an afternoon with a professional makeup artist and learn how to enhance your natural beauty. Bring your own items, and she will assist you in building your makeup kit. This is Part 1 of a two-part workshop. Cost: residents, $50; non-residents, $60. Contact 301-248-4404; TTY 301-203-6030. Live Animal Show, 10 to 11 a.m., Clearwater Nature Center, 11000 Thrift Road, Clinton. Meet and learn about some of the nature center’s live animals. Pre-registration through SMARTlink is strongly encouraged. Program may be cancelled due to insufficient registration. Cost: resident, $2; non-resident, $3. Contact 301-297-4575 ; TTY 301-699-2544. Annual Native American Indian Powwow, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center, University of Maryland, College Park. The ninth Annual Native American Indian Powwow is free and open to all. Representatives from University of Maryland academic departments, native drumming, dancing, food, and arts and crafts will be a part of the event. A special tribute to all veterans will also be held. Contact 301-405-5616 or tsawyer@umd.edu. Holiday Fun for Everyone, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Fort Washington Forest Community Center, 1200 Filmore Road, Fort Washington. Enjoy holiday fun for the whole family: take a picture with Santa, make ornaments, shop for gifts and enjoy refreshments to holiday music. Cost: $5 per person. Contact 301-2924300; TTY 301-203-6030. Holiday Arts and Crafts, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Indian Queen Recreation Center, 9551 Fort Foote Road, Fort Washington. Create holiday cards and gifts. Light refreshments will be served. Don’t forget to take a picture with Santa. M-NCPPC Kids’ Care and PreSchool participants receive a $1 off admission. Cost: resident, $5; non-resident, $6. Contact 301-839-9597; TTY 301-203-6030. Secret Santa Shop, 1 to 3 p.m., North Forestville Community Center, 2311 Ritchie Road, Forestville. Children and teens will have the ability to make purchases of inexpensive gift items from local vendors for friends and family with prices starting at $1. Contact 301-350-8660; TTY 301-218-6768. The Nutcracker, 7 p.m., Bowie Center for the Performing Arts, 15200 Annapolis Road, Bowie. The

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Houses pop up along the way at Watkins Regional Park for the annual Winter Festival of Lights, running through Jan. 1. For more information, visit pgparks.com/Festival_of_lights.htm.

FRIDAY

Ballet Theatre of Maryland invites you to ride the Holiday Express to the most famous Christmas destination of all time: The Nutcracker and Clara Stahlbaum’s Christmas party. Contact 410-224-5644. Winter’s Eve, 7 p.m., National Colonial Farm at Piscataway Park, 3400 Bryan Point Road, Accokeek. Experience the holidays in the style of an 18th century farm. Kick off winter with a special evening tour of the seasonally decorated National Colonial Farm featuring self-guided tours of the National Colonial Farm (lit by luminaries), caroling by the fire, costumed interpreters, warm treats, refreshments and fun for the whole family. Shop for handmade heritage sheep’s wool gifts and other unique, locally crafted items during the Green Crafter Fair. Contact 301-283-2113. Line Dance Social, 8 p.m. to midnight, Marlow Heights Community Center, 2800 St. Clair Drive, Marlow Heights. Spend a lovely evening dancing and socializing. Party-goers can choose between hand or line dancing at the same location. Refreshments will be served. Tickets can be purchased from Hillcrest Heights, Glassmanor, Marlow Heights or William Beanes community centers. Cost: $15/resident; $18/ non-resident. Contact 301-423-0505; TTY 301-2036030.

DEC. 8 Silly Goose, 2 to 3 p.m., Oxon Cove Park/Oxon Hill Farm, 6411 Oxon Hill Road, Oxon Hill. Learn about all about geese. Make a holiday goose ornament for your tree. For children ages 5 to 12, and accompanying adults. No fee. Meet in the Visitor Barn. Contact 301-839-1176 or stephanie_marrone@nps. gov.

DEC. 10 GBCC annual Holiday Mixer & Silent Auction, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., The Country Club at Woodmore, 12310 Pleasant Prospect Road, Mitchellville. A fun-filled evening with great auction items, a delicious holiday buffet and cash bar. Proceeds benefit the GBCC Women in Business Scholarship Fund and Youth Leadership Bowie. Cost: GBCC members, $25; nonmembers and at the door, $40. Contact 301-262-0920 or kelly@bowiechamber.org. Holiday Concert/Silent Auction, 6:30 to 9 p.m., Oxon Hill Branch Library, 6200 Oxon Hill Road, Oxon Hill. Musical selections by pianist Al Davis. Light refreshments will be served. Contact 301-839-2400 or ljam210@aol.com.

Study 2 • Have children 5 to 17 with Disabilities • Are an Adult who is disabled • Are an Adult who is unable to work for health reasons

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educator and volunteer, died November 15, 2013 at home with her family in Cambridge, MA. Mrs. Hammill was a native of Louisville, KY and graduated from the University of Louisville. In 1941 she married William Hammill, who died in 2003. For many years, she worked for the Prince George’s County Board of Education in Maryland. Her last position was as the Coordinator of the Talented and Gifted Program (TAG). After retiring in 1986, she was a hospice volunteer and a cuddler of premature babies at Prince George’s County Hospital.

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After moving to Cambridge, MA in 2002 she became actively involved with the Cambridge Senior Action Council, promoting universal single payer health care. Jane will be remembered a talented, intellectual and determined woman, as a devoted wife and mother and a loving grandmother. She is survived by her two daughters, Marcia Bystryn and Eleanor Hammill; her son-in-law David Carlson; her four grandchildren: Annie and Alex Bystryn, Ian Carlson, Hannah Carlson and her husband Tim Hirzel; and her great-grandson, Oscar William Hirzel. Gifts in her memory can be made to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

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Bowie author seeks to honor parents with caregiver tip book Bowie author Gybrilla Ballard-Blakes celebrated a

launch of her book, “Give Your Parents a Standing Ovation: For Caregivers of Elderly Parents” on Nov. 23. “We had a huge turnout. It was very successful,” BallardBlakes said. “I would estimate we had well over 75 people or more.” In the book, Ballard-Blakes provides a first-hand account of juggling her various responsibilities as a wife, mother and working professional in addition to caring for her elderly parents who lived in South Carolina. “When my dad passed away, I brought my mom up to Bowie,” Ballard-Blakes said. “It was challenging right from the beginning. I was a full-time caregiver for my mom, had a full time job, working part time for Webster University and I was working on my Ph.D. as well as being a wife and mom as well.” Among the topics discussed in the book are navigating conflicts with other family members, handling role reversal, resources available for legal/ financial issues, and dealing with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. “I’m hoping people gain a lot of insight on how to be an effective caregiver and how to take care of themselves,” she said. “I didn’t know about resources out there and it was very stressful and challenging. I’m hoping that through my journey and through my tips and testimony that it will lessen the journey for other caregivers.” Ballard-Blakes will be hosting a workshop on caregiving in conjunction with TP Rewards Community Enrichment Academy

14900 Health Center Drive in Bowie. “It started out with about 58 people and now they’ve expanded to 110,” said Kathy White, senior center manager. “They do four concerts through the year so they’ll do two holiday concerts and then they’ll do two concerts in the spring. They’re all well attended with family and friends and they love the director’s high energy.” For information, call 301809-2300.

Holiday treats

Bowie youth awarded by Equestrian Federation Jeanne “Kelly” Leihy of Bowie was awarded her fourth

DAN GROSS/THE GAZETTE

(From left) Vanessa Black of Bowie, Barbara Thompson and her daughter, Breanne Thompson, of Gambrills sample free treats distributed Friday by Theresa Green and Donice Rouce at Bowie Town Center. from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday at the South Bowie Library, 15301 Hall Drive in Bowie.

Indian Queen Elementary announces honor roll Indian Queen Elementary School in Fort Washington has released its honor roll and 17 students achieved Principal’s Honor Roll by maintaining a 4.0 grade point average. The 17 students who made Principal’s Honor Roll made up about 8 percent of eligible students, according to a

school news release. The school also announced it had 146 students, or 51 percent, with perfect attendance. The students who achieved the distinction of making the Principal Honor’s Roll are as follows: Monica Henry, Yesenia Palma, Miguel Barnum, Marylynn Baughman, Kaia Edwards, Davee Gaither, Katrina Albaciete, Jacob Edelin, Natalie Johnson, Caleb Wilson, Sean Barnum, Sierra Sturgis, Victoria Asuncion, Eliezer Ayala, Nina Dinglasa, Kevin Flores and Jasmine Glover.

Bowie’s Senior Chorale ready for holiday classics Bowie’s 110-voice Senior Chorale presents “A Holiday Celebration” as part of its 10th anniversary. The chorale covers a variety of holiday classics from Irving Berlin, Mariah Carey, Dr. Seuss and Handel’s Messiah. The concert will be held starting at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13 at the Bowie Center for Performing Arts, 15200 Annapolis Road in Bowie. Tickets are $6 and are available at the Bowie Senior Center,

Varsity Letter from the U.S. Equestrian Federation. Kelly trains at Clay Hill Stables in Springdale in addition to being a member of the Pickwick-Clay Hill Team in Zone 3 of the Interscholastic Equestrian Association. Kelly is the daughter of Gregory and Angela Leihy of Bowie.

Former Clinton teacher honored Ruby Thornton, a 1994 graduate of DuVal High School in Lanham, was awarded the 2013 Gail Fonville Park Distinguished Alumna Award on Nov. 9 for demonstrating outstanding commitment to serve as an advocate, partner and investor in Elon University in Elon, N.C. She also received the Value Added, Innovation, Teamwork, Access to Community, and Leadership, or VITAL Award on Nov. 12 by the Thomasville City Schools and Thomasville Mid-

dle School in North Carolina. Thornton was a former teacher/ coordinator at Stephen Decatur Middle School in Clinton for four years before relocating to North Carolina in August. “I was overwhelmed and very humbled by both awards,” Thornton said. “To be honored by my alumni and the school system where I teach now, it’s humbling. For me it is a sign to continue to pursue excellence and to continue working hard. I’m a big advocate for Elon University and for teaching. I’m always talking about them and I believe these awards will propel me to higher heights.” She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William C. Thornton of Springdale.

Central county coalition elects new members The Coalition of Central Prince George’s County Community Organizations elected new members Nov. 23 to lead the organization, which advocates for residents across the county. The coalition selected the Rev. Douglas Edwards as president, Belinda Queen-Howard as vice-president and Herman Privott was re-elected as treasurer, according to a news release. Edwards replaces Arthur Turner, who has served in the coalition for more than 20 years, but decided not to run for re-election, according to the news release. The new leaders will assume their roles in January where they will oversee the coalition’s handling of issues such as economic development, education and public safety among others, according to the news release.

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Whitehall advances in Science Bowl Police seek help n

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Bowie squad prepares for matchup with Beacon Heights BY CHASE COOK STAFF WRITER

Khalil Greene and his Whitehall Elementary Science Bowl team is on a mission this year. “We are going to take home the gold,” said the 11-year-old Bowie resident. Bowie’s Whitehall Elementary continued on its quest for the championship Tuesday by defeating North Forestville 280 to 125 in a quarterfinal round game that started out with lead changes between both teams before Whitehall pulled away. Each year, Prince George’s County public schools compete in the Science Bowl, setting 40 elementary schools and 16 middle schools against each other in an academic competition where students answers questions from different categories. Each question is worth five to 25 points based on its difficulty and each team starts with 50 points. Fifth-grade teacher Dawn Wine, one of Whitehall’s sponsors, said she was proud of the student’s performance. Whitehall consisted of six players, three of whom are alternates and participate in the team’s practice games. Greene, Samantha Roberts, 9, and 10-year-old Gabe Sopkowicz, all of Bowie, were the three participants for the team on Tuesday. “They did great,” Wine said. “I’m very proud. We wouldn’t have gotten here if it wasn’t for all of the team

Officials offering up to $125,000 for arrest and indictment of suspect n

BY CHASE COOK STAFF WRITER

GREG DOHLER/THE GAZETTE

Whitehall Elementary School students Gabe Sopkowicz, 10, Samantha Roberts, 9, and Khalil Greene, 11, compete Tuesday in the Science Bowl at the Bonnie F. Johns Educational Media Center in Landover. members.” Whitehall also defeated Lanham-based Magnolia Elementary 205 to 195, and moves on to play Riverdale’s Beacon Heights Elementary on Feb. 11. North Forestville defeated its first opponent, Hyattsville-based Woodridge Elementary, 285 to 75, which was the largest margin of victory in the three games played Tuesday. “[North Forestville] did great,” said Wendi LaMond, the school’s science bowl coach and sponsor. LaMond has been coaching Science Bowl teams since 2004, and she said whether teams win or lose, it is an

educational experience for everybody. North Forestville’s team consisted of Forestville residents Torrell Grant, 12, and Jocelyn Mundy, 11 and District Heights residents Simone Pruden, 10, and Anayah Green, 11. “It teaches them that academics can be competitive, not just sports,” LaMond said. “And it teaches them a lot of teamwork.” Dave Zahren, the show’s host, said Tuesday’s group of contestants were active and engaged in the competition. Zahren mentioned Khalil as a great help to his team because he offered up answers to Whitehall’s captain, Sa-

mantha, on just about every question. “I like to see the kids excited about science literacy,” Zahren said. “They really practiced.” Woodridge’s science bowl captain, Terrell Maxwell, 12, of Greenbelt, said he learned a lot during the experience. He and his other teammates, who are all going into middle school next year, said they wanted to return to Science Bowl. “It was fun,” Terrell said. “We made a couple of mistakes … I think we did a great job.” ccook@gazette.net

Library system expands digital options Larger selection of material now available n

BY JEFFREY LYLES STAFF WRITER

Checking out digital media from the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System has now become a little easier. Library patrons are now able to make use of hoopla digital — a service that allows users free access to movies, music and audiobooks on their home computers or mobile devices. The library system previously had limited access to the items, but hoopla digital provides more options. Kathleen Teaze, county library system director, said the service is paid for based on usage, estimating that hoopla would cost up to $20,000 per year. Teaze said since the service’s debut on Nov. 17, more than a thousand people have registered, and 2,500 items have been downloaded. “It’s been really popular,” said Robin Jacobsen, outreach manager for the county library system. “It’s been more popular than we thought. It’s so easy to use that people are finding it a good first step for those who haven’t down-

loaded books before, and it’s free.” Patrons download the software application, entering their library card number, and can begin using the service immediately. Jacobsen said one of the reasons for the service expansion was the limited lifespan of physical discs. “They get scratched or lost, and that’s not an issue here,” she said. “Downloadable services like this will continue to grow and be flexible regardless of the platform. People are downloading into their computers, phones and laptops and lots of different ways to view the material.” Out of about 422,600 library cardholders and 4.5 million total checkouts last year, about 214,000 were from MWW e-books, audio books, mp3s Prince George’s County library patrons are now able to use the download and movies, Jacobsen said. “We’re not cutting back service hoopla digital to borrow movies, music, audio books and e-books on those things,” Teaze said for use on their computers and mobile devices. referring to CDs and DVDs. “Hoopla offers services we but added she sees the value who are constantly on the don’t normally buy such as TV of the service. move,” said Ivy Thompson programs, not the newer pop“In this day and age, ev- of Mount Rainier. “It helps ular stuff that comes out, but erything is going digital. It’s me that I don’t have to worry long-term DVDs are probably important,” Rabjohns said. about overdue material. It’s on their way out as a medium because streaming is the thing “... I think having everything where information is going, so streaming is really important I like having access to that systhat’s coming.” Kathryn Rabjohns of Clin- just because it’s the technol- tem. I have it all on my phone, so it works.” ton said while she has not ogy everyone is using.” “The more accessibility, used hoopla yet, she uses aujlyles@gazette.net dio books on a weekly basis, the better for people like me

Prince George’s County police canvassed the route of slain 26-year-old U.S. Postal worker Tyson Barnette, who was killed recently in Glenarden and are asking for residents’ help in the search for information. Barnette, an Upper Marlboro resident, was found with apparent gunshot wounds at about 7:20 p.m. Nov. 23 after police responded to the 1600 block of Reed Street for the report of a shooting, said Lt. William Alexander, a county police spokesman. Barnette was delivering mail when he was shot, Alexander said. Police have canvassed the area a few times, most recently on Saturday retracing Barnette’s route the day he was killed. The investigation will continue with the hope that someone might come forward with additional information, Alexander said. “Undoubtedly in any of these kinds of crimes, someone in the area saw something or knows something,” Alexander said. “It

is often cases like these that need that information to be broken open.” County police are working on the investigation with the U.S. Postal Service Inspection Agency, which is tasked with the safety and security of postal workers, said Frank Schissler, U.S. Postal Service inspector and spokesman. The USPS has offered up to a $100,000 award, in addition to a county police award of up to $25,000, for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case. Officials hope the awards will encourage someone with information to come forward, Schissler said. People with information are asked to call the county police tip line, Crime Solvers, at 866-4118477 or the USPS Investigation Unit at 877-876-2455. Both hotlines offer anonymity to callers. Lottie Snowden of Glenarden said she was deeply upset about the postal worker’s death and she hoped investigators would find information soon. She said she didn’t understand why anyone would kill somebody in the relatively quiet neighborhood. “I hope they find who did it,” she said. “It makes no sense.” ccook@gazette.net

Franklin elected new County Council chair n

First Latino vice chairman also elected BY JAMIE ANFENSON-COMEAU STAFF WRITER

By unanimous vote, the Prince George’s County Council elected Councilman Mel Franklin (Dist. 9) to serve as its chairman for the 2014 legislative year Tuesday morning. Franklin, of Upper Marlboro, was elected to his first four-year term in 2010. “Your faith and confidence in me is humbling, and it is in the spirit of faith and teamwork that I accept the gavel of leadership,” Franklin said. Franklin said one of the goals of his terms is to help transform Prince George’s County into a destination site for the world. “Our talented and resilient workers want to work and invest in their own county and draw others to do the same, but transforming into a destination for the world will not happen by accident or coincidence,” Franklin said. “We must take big steps, on purpose, to make this transformation happen for the county we cherish and love.” The council also elected Will Campos (Dist. 2) as its vice chairman, making history as he becomes the first Latino to serve in a council leadership position. Campos, of Hyattsville, was first elected to the council in 2004. “Council member Campos

“Transforming into a destination for the world will not happen by accident or coincidence.” Mel Franklin, newly elected Prince George’s County Council chairman brings broad intellect and unique insights into the issues that confront this council and our county,” he said. “He is blazing a trail of history today as the first Latino to serve in this council’s leadership.” Franklin also thanked outgoing council chairwoman Andrea Harrison (Dist. 5) of Springdale. “Her example over the past two years embodies the very essence of strong and principled leadership,” Franklin said. Harrison, who has served on the council since 2008, was elected as council chairwoman in 2012 and 2013. “I thank you for the privilege to lead this county, the grace to lead this council and the opportunity and occasion to tell the story of Prince George’s County,” Harrison said. janfenson-comeau@ gazette.net

THE GAZETTE

Thursday, December 5, 2013 bo

Page A-5

Brown looks to focus on service as next governor KATE S. ALEXANDER STAFF WRITER

kalexander@gazette.net

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When Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) approached Anthony G. Brown about being his running mate in 2006, the recently returned Iraq war veteran was admittedly hesitant. “I didn’t know what the lieutenant governor really did,” Brown (D) said. “And I believed, at that time, that I was in a position to make a meaningful contribution in the legislature.” But a look through O’Malley’s record and some discussions about redefining the role of lieutenant governor convinced Brown that even from the State House, he could continue living a life of service in a new position. Now he seeks to continue serving Maryland as the state’s next governor. Born in New York, the son of a Jamaican doctor and a Swiss nurse, Brown, 52, was one of five children, including his twin brother, Andrew. There he grew up watching his immigrant-turned-naturalized-U.S.-citizen parents serve their community. From a young age, Brown said, he felt within him a growing desire to commit his life to service, much as his father, Roy, did by serving poor neighborhoods in New York. So after graduating Harvard College in 1984, Brown commissioned into the U.S. Army as a 2nd lieutenant, flying helicopters with the 4th Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division. He spent five years on active duty before he returned to Harvard to attend law school, and joined the Army Reserves, through which he eventually was called to serve in Iraq in 2004 as part of the 353rd Civil Affairs Command. But it was in August 1992, fresh out of law school, when Brown moved to Maryland, the state he now seeks to represent as governor. The same desire to serve that led Brown to active and reserve military service, to eight years as a delegate from District 25 in Prince George’s County, and to eight years as lieutenant governor has him in the heated 2014 race for Democratic nomination, he said. “We’ve achieved a lot, but I think our work is far from complete,” he said. “We need to continue building on these successes and that is why I’m running for governor.” If he wins, Brown will be Maryland’s first black governor, and he will be the first lieutenant governor elected to become governor. As lieutenant governor, Brown boasts a record that he said includes expanding access to affordable health care and strengthening the state’s economy as well as progress on education and the environment. Yet as Brown campaigns for governor, he said, he listens to Marylanders’ critiques of the current administration — what’s working, what’s not, what the state can build upon and what it should discard for the next administration. “Maryland’s making a lot of progress and there’s some things that we’re doing well, but no one ought to be complacent,” he said. While many voters question where Brown differs from O’Malley, Brown said the question is not what is different, but what will be next. Maryland leads the nation in education, but a significant achievement gap still exists for many Maryland students, he said. Brown’s campaign has proposed a program that would provide all children with access to pre-kindergarten education. Soon, he will propose a plan on providing career and technology education for Maryland students who do not want to pursue a college degree.

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BY

Brown said Maryland has one of the highest-skilled work forces in the country and has been ranked by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as the top state in innovation and entrepreneurship. But the chamber also ranks Maryland 46th for overall business climate, he said. Marylanders want to see the business climate improved, and Brown said his campaign has a framework to make it stronger. He also has proposed policies to cut taxes for veterans and to strengthen domestic violence laws. “This is the time, this is the opportunity to be very critical of what we’re doing well and what we can do better,” he said. Brown is running in a Democratic primary for governor against Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler and Del. Heather R. Mizeur (D-Dist. 20) of Takoma Park. The primary is June 24, 2014. The general election is Nov. 4, 2014. As Brown vies for the party’s nomination, he is joined by his running mate, Howard County Executive Kenneth S. Ulman. “Ken is an exceedingly effective county executive,” Brown said. “He’s got a reputation for achieving results.” Brown and Ulman also have behind them a growing list of endorsements that includes many of the state’s unions and elected officials. To Brown, those endorsements reflect the strong relationships he has built with his peers in public service and their shared values. Together Brown and Ulman form a ticket that, if elected, would bring an inclusive and transparent administration to Annapolis that values practical approaches to the state’s challenges, Brown said. Brown lives in Mitchellville with his wife, Karmen Walker Brown, and has three children — daughter Rebecca, 18, son Jonathan, 13, and stepson Anthony Walker, 13.

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Lieutenant governor says state has achieved much, but work is not done

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Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown (right) serves meals to the homeless Nov. 20 at Shepherd’s Table in Silver Spring with (from left) volunteers Glenda DeJong of Rockville and Helen Shockley of Silver Spring.

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THE GAZETTE

Thursday, December 5, 2013 bo

Police identify Fort Washington man shot at Forestville gas station n

Victim was not employed at site, police say BY CHASE COOK STAFF WRITER

Prince George’s County police have identified a man found fatally shot at a Forestville gas station Monday morning as Dalonte Allen Jackson, 25, of Fort Washington. At about 3 a.m., police responded to a shooting call at

the 3200 block of Walters Lane, where Jackson was discovered at a BP gas station with apparent gunshot wounds, said Lt. William Alexander, a county police spokesman. Jackson was not an employee of the gas station and he was pronounced dead after being taken to a hospital, Alexander said. Police believe the motive in the homicide was robbery, he said. Anyone with information on this crime is asked to call the

Prince George’s County Police Department’s Homicide Unit at 301-772-4925. If a caller wishes to remain anonymous, they may call the Crime Solvers line at 866-411-8477, text “PGPD plus your message” to 274637 or go to www.pgcrimesolvers.com and submit an online tip. A reward of up to $25,000 is offered to anyone who provides information leading to an arrest and indictment. ccook@gazette.net

POLICE BLOTTER This activity report is provided by the Prince George’s County Police Department as a public service to the community and is not a complete listing of all events and crime reported.

District 2 Headquarters, Bowie, 301-3902100 Glenn Dale, Kettering, Lanham, Largo, Seabrook, Woodmore, Lake Arbor, Mitchellville and Upper Marlboro.

NOV. 25 Theft from vehicle, 8600 block Greenbelt Road, 6:45 a.m. Theft from vehicle, 900 block Lake Overlook Drive, 7:22 a.m. Theft from vehicle, unit block of Watkins Park Drive, 7:27 a.m. Theft from vehicle, 7200 block Glen Pine St., 7:51 a.m. Commercial property break-

in, 9300 block Lanham Severn

Road, 9:15 a.m.

Commercial property breakin, 10600 block Greenbelt Road,

9:45 a.m.

Assault, 500 block Largo Road, 10:14 a.m. Theft from vehicle, 9700 block Annapolis Road, 10:45 a.m. Theft, 800 block Capital Center Blvd, 11:06 a.m. Theft, 13300 block Trumpeter Swan Court, 11:38 a.m. Theft, 9000 block Walkerton Drive, 12:41 p.m. Theft, 3000 block Mitchell-

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ONLINE For additional police blotters, visit www.gazette.net ville Road, 1:26 p.m.

Vehicle stolen and recovered,

8500 block Greenbelt Road, 2:44 p.m. Commercial property break-in,

9300 block Annapolis Road, 3:19 p.m.

Commercial property breakin, 10600 block Greenbelt Road,

3:22 p.m.

Robbery, 11400 block Abbotswood Court, 6:56 p.m. Theft from vehicle, 12500 block Cambleton Drive, 10:04 p.m.

NOV. 26 Theft from vehicle, 9600 block Lake Pointe Court, 6:08 a.m. Theft from vehicle, 10800 block River Oaks Terrace, 6:18 a.m. Theft, 500 block Largo Road, 8:30 a.m. Theft from vehicle, 10300 block Greenspire Way, 8:41 a.m. Theft, 900 block Largo Center Drive, 10:11 a.m. Assault, 500 block Harry S Truman Drive N, 11:41 a.m. Theft, 9700 block Apollo Drive, 11:56 a.m. Theft from vehicle, 15900

block Excalibur Road, 12:38 p.m. Theft from vehicle, 9400 block Lanham Severn Road, 1:29 p.m. Robbery, 100 block Greenmeadow Way, 5:18 p.m. Theft, 8800 block Greenbelt Road, 7:32 p.m.

NOV. 27 Theft from vehicle, 8900 block Scheurer St., 5:09 a.m. Theft from vehicle, 8900 block Scheurer St., 5:38 a.m. Theft from vehicle, 9100 block 5th St., 7:37 a.m. Theft from vehicle, 6100 block High Bridge Road, 7:49 a.m. Vehicle stolen, 10600 block Vista Linda Drive, 8:54 a.m. Theft from vehicle, 12300 block Annapolis Road, 9:35 a.m. Theft, 4300 block Parliament Place, 11:03 a.m. Theft from vehicle, 800 block Blk Capital Center Blvd, 12:06 p.m. Residential break-in, 14400 block Dunstable Court, 12:06 p.m. Theft from vehicle, 800 block Largo Center Drive, 12:19 p.m. Theft, 9400 block Annapolis Road, 12:22 p.m. Commercial property breakin, 8100 block River Park Road,

1:46 p.m.

Theft, 10000 block Greenbelt Road, 5:52 p.m. Break-in, 8300 block Zug Road, 7:29 p.m.

T H E G AZ ET T E

Thursday, December 5, 2013 bo

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Dueling pledge efforts call for positive gubernatorial campaign Professor: without negativity, you don’t have a campaign

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BY

KATE S. ALEXANDER STAFF WRITER

Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler and Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown have proposed dueling pledges to keep negativity out of their 2014 Democratic gubernatorial primary. Gansler has asked the candidates to abjure outside spending, which often leads to attack ads. Brown has asked that they pledge simply to keep campaigns positive. Neither candidate has endorsed his opponent’s pledge. That’s because without negativity, there’s no way to establish one candidate as better than the other, said Richard Vatz, a professor of political rhetoric at Towson University. “Negativity, per se, is absurd to criticize,” Vatz said. “If you don’t have negativity, you don’t have a campaign.” In rejecting Gansler’s pledge, Brown’s campaign cited a legal obstacle. Gansler’s pledge called for a mandatory charitable donation equal to half of the cost of any advertisement about a candidate if an outside organization paid for the ad. But candidates can only make a “straight-out” donation to a charity at the end of an election, if they close an account, said Jared DeMarinis, candidacy and campaign finance director for the Maryland Board of Elections. A donation to charity is allowed upon closing an account only if it directly benefits the candidacy, he said. Justin Schall, Brown’s campaign manager, said Gansler’s pledge missed the mark. When Brown countered with a “no negativity” pledge on Nov. 20, Gansler rejected

it. Gansler campaign spokesman Bob Wheelock said there already was a doable pledge on the table. Pledges aside, both Gansler and Brown’s campaign staff say their candidates want to keep things positive. Schall said Brown has consciously taken a positive approach. “I do not want to be misleading,” Schall said. “We are going to have disagreements. If the attorney general were to cross the line, we will absolutely answer the charges. We are not going to get swiftboated.” “Swift Boat” has become a shorthand term for an unfair political attack, based on the 2004 “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth” campaign to discredit former Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry’s military service. Wheelock said Gansler also doesn’t want a negative campaign, which is why he asked his opponents to pledge to keep outside money out of the race. The third Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Del. Heather Mizeur (D-Dist. 20) of Takoma Park, has largely stood clear of the fray. In an emailed statement, her campaign manager, Joanna Belanger, wrote: “Heather is already running a positive campaign on the issues and her record. Over the last several weeks we’ve released a comprehensive early childhood plan, a tax cut for 90 percent of Marylanders, and a proposal to legalize and regulate marijuana in an effort to create new revenue and improve public safety. We are focused on ensuring Annapolis works for all Maryland families while our opponents have been engaged in an arms race of political infighting and insider jabs.” Asked to compare the campaign tones, Vatz said Brown and Gansler are already throw-

ing negative punches. Mizeur, he said, is being strategically ignored. On Nov. 21, Gansler’s campaign released a video on YouTube attacking Brown for his lack of leadership in Maryland implementing the Affordable Care Act, often referred to as Obamacare. Wheelock said the video was not an attack, but meant to contrast the candidates. Gansler and his position on the Affordable Care Act are not mentioned in the 1-minute, 20-second spot. His campaign authority line appears at the end. Schall said it’s difficult to take the video clip seriously, considering Gansler and Brown both served on the Maryland Health Care Reform Coordinating Council, for implementing the new healthcare law, but Gansler only attended two of the 17 meetings. Brown is the co-chair. Wheelock said Gansler attended some meetings and sent a representative to others. Gansler’s role was legal adviser, while Brown’s job was to oversee the implementation, Wheelock said. Vatz said candidates win by convincing voters that they’re better for the job than their opponents, which requires being negative. Negativity can backfire, too.A candidate who makes too many negative remarks about an unknown opponent risks making that opponent’s name recognizable, Vatz said. For Mizeur, the fact that neither Brown nor Gansler has gone after her shows nobody thinks she has a chance, Vatz said. kalexander@gazette.net

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THE GAZETTE

Page A-8

Group weaves decade’s worth of donations Organization wanted to thank city for use of building

Bike shop takes third place in poll Owners spin sense of community built around store

n

BY

Thursday, December 5, 2013 bo

n

QUINN KELLEY

BY JAMIE ANFENSON-COMEAU

SPECIAL TO THE GAZETTE

After using College Park’s Old Parish House for a decade to bring lovers of needle arts together, Leslie Montroll wanted to give something back to the city. Montroll founded the College Park Needle Arts Society 10 years ago, and has held true to the mantra, “No dues, no officers, no group projects — just show up or not.” When the group’s anniversary started approaching, Montroll wanted to create a gift to thank the city for letting the group meet free of charge in College Park’s second-oldest building, and she came up with a quilt made of the fabric of College Park, literally and figuratively. Longtime city resident Nathaniel Safford took over the “keeper of the keys” job, unlocking and locking the Old Parish House for groups to use, after his wife, Pamela, started working full-time. The Saffords began buying Dutch-made, African-printed fabrics from a nearby shoe repair store for custom dresses she made about 13 years ago — however, the shop required purchasing a minimum of six yards of fabric, more than the Saffords needed for the garments. Nathaniel Safford began bringing the fabric remnants to the Needle Arts Society so they could use it for projects about six times a year for a decade, he said. “I started taking the fabrics

STAFF WRITER

RAPHAEL TALISMAN/FOR THE GAZETTE

College Park Mayor Andrew M. Fellows and Leslie Montroll of College Park, founder of the College Park Needle Arts Society, present a quilt that was donated by the society and is meant to be hung at the Old Parish House on Tuesday evening at College Park City Hall. that were left over to [Montroll], particularly these cotton fabrics that are made in Holland,” said Nathaniel Safford, a University of Maryland, College Park alumni and College Park resident since 1964. Montroll also told the couple about a shop in Riverdale Park where they have bought additional cotton fabrics in rich colors and vibrant patterns, Safford said. Although the group members — about 10 come out on a weekly basis — often made tote bags and tablecloths out of the Saffords’ fabrics, Montroll said she always kept whatever was left over. For the group’s five-year anniversary, Montroll asked members to count up the number of projects they made for themselves or charity as for the tenyear mark she wanted to make something special. “Wouldn’t it be cool to make a quilted wall hanging with their fabrics to hang on the wall at the Old Parish House?” she said. After getting the go-ahead

WALMART

Continued from Page A-1 zoning ordinance. “We are pleased that the Bowie City Council has recommended approval of our plans to relocate our store in Bowie,” said Amanda Henneberg, Walmart spokesperson. “Walmart has been a member of the Bowie business community for the past 20 years, and we are looking to invest in a new store to give our customers an even better shopping experience.” Councilman Dennis Brady, who voted against the application, said that the master plan should be followed. “I came into this meeting ... and I was

from the city, group members helped with the design and layout of the 160-block quilt, but sticking to the “no group projects” rule, Montroll sewed, pieced and quilted it herself. The colorful quilt reads, “Old Parish House Built 1817 City of College Park.” The quilt took about two months to make, Montroll said. After making a few sample blocks, she showed the Saffords. “They loved the idea. They were so excited,” Montroll said. “They were reminiscing about their fabric purchases and they were delighted.” Montroll presented the quilt to the College Park City Council at its Nov. 26 meeting. “The quilt was lovely,” said Councilwoman Denise Mitchell (Dist. 4). “It was a very nice presentation to the mayor and City Council. [Montroll] did a fantastic job. We’re so thankful that she gave us the honor of giving us the quilt. I don’t have the time and patience to do something like that so the thought she put into it was tremendous.”

Laurie Lemieux and Ben Bassett, owners of Proteus Bicycles in College Park, told their customers they had been nominated as one of the top 50 bike shops in the country. Then, they didn’t think much about it — until they were named third best in the nation. “We sent out an email to our customers, but we had no idea we were going to come in at number three. I mean, wow!” said Lemieux, 51, of Greenbelt. “I was absolutely floored.” Lemieux said she received an email in September from Active Times, an online news source for outdoor activity enthusiasts, including runners, bicyclists and hikers. The email said the shop was one of 80 nominated to be named one of the top bicycle shops in the country and provided a link where people could vote. “This just came out of the blue,” Lemieux said. “I have no idea how they selected us.” Lemieux said she posted the link on the shop’s Facebook page and in its newsletter. “I do acknowledge that it’s basically an online popularity contest, but we were still really surprised to place third,” said Bassett, 28, of Wheaton. The poll, which opened Sept. 3, invited readers to vote on the best bicycle shop out of 80 candidates from 30 states and Washington, D.C. The

“It is fortunate and unfortunate that we live in a free enterprise society. I’d rather spend my money in Bowie.” Steven Cann, Bowie resident supportive of this,” Brady said. “But as I sat here and looked over these things, and I looked over the wording of the master plan ... it is not in conformance with the master plan. And therefore I will not support it.” Resident Steven Cann said that arguments regarding Walmart putting other people out of business was just part of the free enterprise system. Cann said he

already travels to the Severn Walmart Supercenter, about 21 miles away from Bowie, instead of spending his money in his city. “It is fortunate and unfortunate that we live in a free enterprise society,” Cann said. “I’d rather spend my money in Bowie.” ccook@gazette.net

TOM FEDOR/THE GAZETTE

Proteus Bike and Fitness co-owner Ben Bassett rides his tall bike on the College Park store’s sales floor.

shops were selected by Active Times for their independent ownership and commitment to local bicycling communities, according to the website. “The gang at Proteus goes out of their way to make every customer — from the first-time commuter on up to hard-core cyclocross racers — feel like family,” wrote Peter Koch of Active Times, a New York-based online publication founded in 2012. A total of 3,927 votes were cast in the poll. Proteus received 182, approximately 200 less than the top vote getter, according to Mark Lebetkin, an editor for Active Times.

WAGE

Continued from Page A-1 Franklin said that at some point the county or state would have to tackle increasing minimum wage consistently to keep up with inflation. There were concerns among business owners that the higher wages would negatively impact their facilities, forcing firings or reductions in staff of new facilities, but Franklin said more money in the pockets of employees means more money in the pockets of consumers. “That revenue will circulate back into the economy,” he said. Bowie City Councilman Todd Turner (at-large) said the minimum wage increase would be beneficial to Bowie residents, moving minimum wage workers closer to a living wage, meaning they can afford their basic needs without having to have a second job. Some businesses may hire less due to the increased wages, but Turner said the increased wages will make it easier for

GIFTED

Continued from Page A-1 class for TAG lessons last year. “They scheduled it during his core classes, so he was being pulled out of science, he missed the experiences, the lessons, and he had to play catch up during the week,” Reese said. Jackson said teachers should be arranging their schedules so that critical lessons are not missed. “Students should not be being penalized for being pulled out for TAG,” Jackson said, adding that in such cases, the parent should speak with the school TAG coordinator and the teacher. Blair Todd of Upper Marlboro, parent of a TAG identified second-grader at Longfields Elementary in Forestville, asked

PETS

Continued from Page A-1

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ready by April 1, 2014. “Whether we make that [date] or not, I’m not sure,” Roberts said. “We will try our best.” Bowie resident Trish Day, who owns two cats, said the expanded holding facility will be a boon to animals and their owners. Now, people won’t have to drive as far if their pets are lost, Day said. “I hope I never have to come looking for my pets at the hold-

Proteus finished behind Fit Werx of Waitsfield, Vt., and Peabody, Mass., and The Hub & Pisgah Tavern of Brevard, N.C. There’s no prize for the winners, other than bragging rights and being featured on the Active Times website. Lemieux said the shop has built a loyal following of customers, who often attend weekly potlucks and bicycle rides. One customer, Constantia Rioux of College Park, said she first became involved with the shop’s community about nine years ago. “There’s an awesome community around the shop that was established by Jill [DiMauro], the previous owner,” Rioux said. “She turned it into a wonderful center where cyclists of all kinds could come and share information. ... Ben and Laurie have kept that going and even improved on it.” Lemieux had been a member of the Proteus community since first coming to the shop in 2006. When she found out DiMauro was selling the store, Lemieux approached her about buying it, to keep the community centered around the shop alive. Bassett had been an employee of the shop since 2008 and also was looking to buy it. DiMauro sold it to both of them in May 2012. “Community is very important to us,” Bassett said. “That’s what brought us here in the first place. I started coming to potlucks about six months before I started working here.” janfenson-comeau@ gazette.net families to stay in the region and businesses would have a good pool of workers to pull from after adjusting to the increases. “This is the kind of regional cooperation that will move the region forward,” Turner said. “It is a tremendous decision for working families in Bowie.” The minimum wage increase legislation will now go to County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D), who has 10 days to sign or veto the legislation. Baker has been on the record supporting a statewide solution to increase minimum wages. The county executive supports an increase to minimum wages, but an increase that creates a level playing field, said Barry Hudson, senior policy advisor and manager of communications for the Office of the County Executive. “His interest is making sure we stay competitive in the region bringing jobs to families in Prince George’s County,” Hudson said. ccook@gazette.net how the adoption of Common Core standards, a set of nationally-developed school standards being implemented this year, would impact the county’s TAG program. “My concern is that now that Common Core standards are here, we’re going to throw away all the good we’ve been doing with our TAG program,” Todd said. Jackson said the Common Core standards will not affect the integrity of the TAG program. “For us in gifted education, that’s the floor, not the ceiling,” Jackson said. “Always, gifted education has gone above the Maryland standards, and now the national standards.” janfenson-comeau@ gazette.net

ing facility,” Day said. “But I’m glad that it is there and I know they won’t be taken far away from me.” Councilman Dennis Brady, who has advocated for the center along with Bowie CLAW, said he hopes the new facility will help animals who aren’t claimed, as well. “My hope with Bowie CLAW and [city staff] working together is get more animals into rescue groups before going to the county,” Brady said. ccook@gazette.net

Gazette-Star OUROPINION

If you were to ask most Prince George’s residents their top priority for enhancing the county, improving the school system would handily top the list. After all, a stellar school district is a key factor in determining where families choose to live. While Prince George’s lags behind the majority of state school systems, the arrival of new schools CEO Kevin Maxwell has renewed optimism COUNTY that county schools are on the STARTING right path to success. TO SEE Not far behind on that priTURNAROUND ority list would most likely be IN RETAILER bringing in high-end retailers to an area county officials and INTEREST residents say has been snubbed and overlooked for far too long. And after decades of courting and wooing, retailers now appear ready to do big business in Prince George’s. The grand opening of the $100 million, 340,000-square foot Tanger Outlets at National Harbor on Nov. 22 validated county officials’ promise to retailers that “if you build it, they will come.” While officials anticipated 20,000 vehicles coming to the county’s latest attraction, an estimated 30,000 flocked to National Harbor on opening day, with shoppers eager to visit the 80 stores including Calvin Klein, Coach and Fossil — stores that were not found in other county shopping centers. Excitement and buzz over the outlets’ opening wasn’t just limited to Prince George’s residents as patrons from Virginia, Washington, D.C., and other parts of Maryland also took part in the kickoff events. The only drawback from the celebration was a common issue for county residents — the traffic, which was backed up along Oxon Hill Road and side streets before the outlets opened. Residents in surrounding neighborhoods warned that the infrastructure around Oxon Hill Road, which was already highly congested, would not be able to handle the influx of vehicles. County officials say they will continue monitoring traffic to ensure shoppers and residents aren’t excessively inconvenienced. Traffic gripes aside, it’s been a strong couple of weeks for County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D). Baker has made revitalizing economic development a key component of his first term and can point to several success stories as the year winds down to back up his commitment to making the county a force from a regional retail perspective. Copper Canyon Grill, a new Columbia-based upscale restaurant with locations in Gaithersburg and Silver Spring, opened Nov. 20 at the Woodmore Towne Centre in Glenarden. The 142-seat American cuisine restaurant is the shopping center’s first fine-dining establishment. The momentum continued as on Nov. 21, Baker was on hand for the debut of Roses, a department store chain that opened its largest store in the country — a 78,000-square-foot site in a formerly vacant spot at Forestville Plaza Shopping Center. Beyond the recent additions, the county still has numerous economic opportunities available. Talks continue about developing the 15 underdeveloped Metro stations, specifically luring the FBI to relocate from its current Washington, D.C., headquarters to a 78-acre location around the Greenbelt Metro. Work is moving forward on Konterra, a $3 billion, 2,200-acre, mixed-use development just outside Laurel, and the first phase of the $2 billion, 479-acre Westphalia Town Center, a mixed-use project, in Upper Marlboro is expected to debut 500,000 square feet of retail space by March. Baker has been adamant about his desire to keep Prince George’s dollars in the county, and the best way to accomplish that is by bringing in amenities residents want while proving distinct enough to lure shoppers from Northern Virginia, Montgomery County and the District. The biggest attraction will undoubtedly prove to be the highly anticipated casino, the sixth in the state and Prince George’s first. While a location decision regarding the new casino is still pending, state law prevents the casino from opening before July 2016. Whenever it opens, it will further spark the county economy. While the county won’t transform into a regional retail destination point overnight, there’s encouraging progress to indicate that leaders aren’t simply satisfied with catchy slogans to promote Prince George’s anymore. The corner has been turned, and now retailers are ready to buy into Prince George’s ... and start selling.

Douglas S. Hayes, Associate Publisher

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Page A-9

Crosswalks are in need of safety upgrades

Every day a number of pedestrians use crosswalks which are not in an intersection with traffic lights. Hyattsville has a lot of crosswalks, and pedestrians feel insecure when they cross. Many drivers do not pay attention to crosswalks and keep going, assuming that the pedestrians must yield to them. Even though crosswalk signs are well known for drivers, Prince George’s County should add additional methods to protect pedestrians when they are walking in a crosswalk. According to the Maryland State Highway Administration, “Maryland has the eighth highest number of pedestrian fatalities (per 100,000 people) in the nation; Prince George’s County leads the State of Maryland with pedestrian fatalities.” Fortunately, Gov. Martin O’Malley last summer announced $650 million in transportation projects for Prince George’s County that include building pedestrian and bicycle trails, and a

TOM FEDOR/THE GAZETTE

Arleshia Ferrine (left) and Rony Tobar, both from Bladensburg, chant as they participate in the Walkers Wear White at Night pedestrian safety rally in Bladensburg in July. The event was held by youths aiming to develop strategies that would add walkable and bikeable pathways in the area. new metro access road with pedestrian bridge at Branch Avenue Metro. The county wants to improve roads to in-

crease safety for pedestrians. Many pedestrians assume crosswalks in the middle of busy streets are safe because

Ken Sain, Sports Editor Dan Gross, Photo Editor Jessica Loder, Web Editor

the pathways are labeled. However, the truth is some drivers ignore [signs], are in a hurry or stop improperly. Unfortunately, police officers are not there. Some crosswalks at night do not have enough light. To resolve these issues and lower fatalities of pedestrians, the Department of Public Works and Transportation of Prince George’s County should consider other options, such as installing traffic lights with push buttons, speed humps, signs to reduce the speed limit to 15 miles per hour with speed cameras, yellow flags and installation of roadway lighting. It is possible that traffic lights will cause some delays, but it is the safest way to share roads. Any of these solutions would be convenient for pedestrians and drivers, and would reduce fatalities. Everyone is a pedestrian, and we all need to feel secure when crossing the crosswalk.

Maria Gammill, Hyattsville

Only the fleetest of foot fail to get left behind Just a decade ago, the conservatives cleverly usurped Marian Wright Edelman’s “Leave No Child Behind,” and promptly installed educational policies that were all too short on “carrot” and all too long on “stick.” The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (aka: No Child Left Behind) sought mostly to affix blame to schools and teachers when, COMMENTARY in reality, student KENNETH HAINES achievement lags for a host of reasons over which classroom-based educators have no control. Business-style, absolute performance standards were instituted. Unsurprisingly, the arbitrary benchmarks proved very successful in undermining the public’s

confidence in the public schools, but less so in raising the academic achievement of all children. Today, the liberals have taken up the banner of education reform by declaring the nation to be in a “Race to the Top,” because everybody loves a winner! Yes, the metaphor appeals to the competitive zeal of so many Americans for whom only “winning” matters. However, it is but a clumsy figure of speech for those actually engaged in the work of educating children. How many winners are there in any race? Only one. In the current climate, the only real winners will be the profiteers and the privateers lusting after the gold in the public coffers. Teachers do not have the luxury of just worrying about the first one to cross the finish line. A secondary teacher may have more than 200 students in the grade book.

Elementary teachers may teach six preparations daily to more than 30 children without sufficient down time in the day to permit a voiding of the bladder. Invariably, the child bringing up the rear commands as much, likely more, attention than those in the lead. Public education has never been a “race” to be won; it has always been a “forced march” to be endured. Engaged citizens of every political stripe must join the struggle against our national tendency to reduce education reform to jingoistic catch phrases and simplistic slogans. Our efforts at reform should be based on establishing collaboration in the community, not competition among the interest groups. Kenneth B. Haines is the president of the Prince George’s County Educators’ Association.

Hate mail beats no mail Editor, The Gazette has every right to publish opinion pieces, no matter how lopsided and flawed their argument. But, then, by limiting your regular op-ed columnists to just Blair Lee, do you not have a corresponding obligation to feature opinion pieces likely to reflect dissenting judgement? I can’t believe your existing practice comports with the philosophy of the Post Community Media family of which you are a part. Joel Darmstadter, Bethesda Joel, Since when does MY MARYLAND The Washington BLAIR LEE Post, The Gazette’s corporate sibling, practice editorial balance? Here’s a list of the Post’s liberal opinion writers: E.J. Dionne, Dana Milbank, Eugene Robinson, Ruth Marcus, Colbert King, Dana Balz, Chris Cillizza, Stephen Perlstein, Harold Myerson, Anne Applebaum, Marc Thiessen, Robert McCartney, Ezra Klein, Al Kamon, Greg Sargent, Courtland Milloy and Petula Dvorak, and I could go on. Here’s a list of the Post’s conservative opinion writers: George Will, Charles Krauthammer, Jennifer Rubin. That’s about as much “balance” as a Tom Toles editorial cartoon or the Post’s Style section. Come on, Joel, open your eyes. The deck’s stacked in your favor, you can’t lose. Are you really that worried about one crazy guy writing in The Gazette? Blair Mr. Lee, I recently has an opportunity to read your Sept. 27 article in The Gazette,“Why Baltimore Is Not Detroit.” I notice that you selectively omitted the concentration of poverty comparison

between Baltimore and Montgomery County. It seems you also missed the concentration of not-for-profit/government land ownership between the two jurisdictions, as well. I understand that those issues may not fit neatly into the narrative, but they are real. Bill Ferguson, Baltimore (Sen. Ferguson represents South Baltimore in the Maryland Senate.) Senator, First, Baltimore city lawmakers fought tooth and nail to locate all those non-property-tax-paying state agencies in Baltimore because Baltimore benefits from all those captive state jobs they bring. I dare you to suggest moving them out of Baltimore. Second, yes, Baltimore is poor and that’s why the overwhelming bulk of state aid is distributed to poor jurisdictions, primarily Baltimore, largely thanks to “enlightened” Montgomery liberal lawmakers. In return, Baltimore screws Montgomery every chance it gets by repealing state aid programs benefiting Montgomery and recycling the money to Baltimore and P.G. True, our lawmakers are so inept that they’re easy pickings in Annapolis, but please spare me the moral outrage. Carving up the state aid pie has nothing to do with the merits; it’s all about politics. Blair Members of the Montgomery County Delegation, I was absolutely shocked to read in The Gazette last week that Maryland taxpayers are sending well over a billion dollars a year to Baltimore. The article describes a recent study by George Mason University. According to the article [“Why Baltimore Is Not Detroit”], “Baltimore runs on OPM, other people’s money. Much of what taxpayers in Maryland’s other 23 counties send to Annapolis is recycled to Baltimore as direct and indirect state aid. Thanks to the city’s politicians and those in the state legislature, Baltimore is now the most subsidized city in America.”

13501 Virginia Manor Road, Laurel, MD 20707 | Phone: 240-473-7500 | Fax: 240-473-7501 | Email: princegeorges@gazette.net More letters appear online at www.gazette.net/opinion

Vanessa Harrington, Editor Jeffrey Lyles, Managing Editor Glen C. Cullen, Senior Editor Copy/Design Meredith Hooker,Managing Editor Internet Nathan Oravec, A&E Editor

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LETTERS TOT HE EDITOR

Business begins to boom in Prince George’s

Gazette-Star

Forum

Dennis Wilston, Corporate Advertising Director Doug Baum, Corporate Classifieds Director Mona Bass, Inside Classifieds Director

Jean Casey, Director of Marketing and Circulation Anna Joyce, Creative Director, Special Pubs/Internet Ellen Pankake, Director of Creative Services

Instead of relying solely on The Gazette article (because it’s author, Mr. Lee, sometimes is a little bit biased toward the right), I downloaded the actual GMU study and read the whole thing. Everything Mr. Lee stated is 100 percent supported by the GMU study. Just three weeks ago my wife and I wrote a big check and mailed it to Annapolis. And just a week ago we paid our Montgomery Co. property taxes. In total, my wife and I shelled out a huge chunk of our money in state and local taxes. And now we learn that a large portion of that is going to Baltimore. It’s outrageous! Lately, my wife and I have been considering relocating to a neighboring state where the tax burden is not as great. Now we are redoubling our efforts to find another place to live. Thomas J. Keller, Chevy Chase Mr. Keller, I hear the same story from folks like you every day. Blair Editor, Isn’t it time The Gazette pulled the plug on Blair Lee and his puerile, reactionary, Johnny-one-note drivel? As a 50-year journalism veteran I can assure you his column never would have gotten past me into the paper. Robert E. Cohen, Bethesda Mr. Cohen, Here’s an idea; if you don’t like my column, don’t read it. Instead, you want to silence my opinion because it doesn’t agree with yours. Where did you spend your 50 years of journalism, in the Soviet Union? Blair Blair Lee is chairman of the board of Lee Development Group in Silver Spring and a regular commentator for WBAL radio. His column appears Fridays in the Business Gazette. His email address is blairleeiv@gmail.com.

POST-NEWSWEEK MEDIA Karen Acton, Chief Executive Officer Michael T. McIntyre, Controller Donna Johnson, Vice President of Human Resources Maxine Minar, President, Comprint Military Shane Butcher, Director of Technology/Internet

MOVIE REVIEW

&

The Gazette’s Guide to

Arts & Entertainment

‘FROZEN’ FUN

Disney flick is big, bright and often beautiful. Page A-12

www.gazette.net

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Thursday, December 5, 2013

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Page A-10

BILL RYAN/THE GAZETTE

Victoria Lopez, Margaret Burch, Jared Belfield, Perry Foreman, Samantha Goldenberg as Susan and Bailey R. Center as Santa in the Tantallon Community Players’ “Miracle on 34th Street” at Harmony Hall in Fort Washington.

A Christmas

n

‘Miracle’

Holiday favorite to be staged at Harmony Hall BY

WILL C. FRANKLIN STAFF WRITER

Growing up, believing in Santa Claus isn’t really hard to do. He brings you things you want — toys, games, etc. — while your family gives you things you need — like socks, underwear, etc. As one gets older, however, belief in the right jolly ol’ elf tends to wane. Some parents teach their children that there’s no MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET such thing as Santa Claus. Such is the plot of “Mirn When: 8 p.m. Fridays and acle on 34th Street,” which Saturdays; 3 p.m. Sundays, Dec. the Tantallon Community 6-8, 13-15 Players will stage at Harn Where: Harmony Hall Regional mony Hall in Fort WashingCenter, 10701 Livingston Road, ton starting Friday. Fort Washington “Miracle on 34th Street” focuses on the lives of Doris n Tickets: $12-$15 Walker, who is the event con For information: 301-863-7600; ordinator at Macy’s, and her tantallonstage.com daughter, Susan, who was raised not to believe in Santa Claus. The movie version of the show was first released in 1947 and won several Academy Awards. A Broadway musical, a straight play and even a 1994 film remake followed.

See MIRACLE, Page A-13

Divas duet debut n

Washington National Opera singers join forces for Prince George’s concert BY

CARA HEDGEPETH STAFF WRITER

a BY

VIRGINIA TERHUNE

STAFF WRITER

udience members who attend Jessie Laurita-Spanglet’s dance concert, “Way In,” this weekend at the Kogod Theatre at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, are in for something different.

WAY IN

n When: 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m., 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., Saturday n Where: Kogod Theatre, 3800 Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, University of Maryland, College Park n Tickets: $10-$25 n For information: 301-4052787, 301-405-7794, claricesmithcenter.umd.edu/ events

Instead of facing a stage, the chairs will face two of the four corners in the 50-seat venue. “We’re using corners as a choreography space in the show,” said LauritaSpanglet about her piece, which she will perform with 12 other actors and dancers. At some point, the dancers will ask audience members to move their chairs into a hallway and to stand during the dance. “The audience is very close to the performers, the performers speak to them,” said Laurita-Spanglet. “It’s an immersive experience — I

want the audience to feel part of the show,” she said. “It’s to change their perspective, their view.” A native of Charlottesville, Va., Laurita-Spanglet earned an undergraduate degree at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. She is now in the third year of a threeyear Bachelor of Fine Arts program at the University of Maryland, College Park. The 30-minute thesis concert was written specifically for the Kogod space, part of a trend in modern dance and in the UMD program called site-specific choreography. “The site or place is another character, just like the music is an element of the piece,” said Laurita-Spanglet. The idea for “Way In” evolved from a question she had asked herself. “Why do each of us move the way we do?” she said. “Is it from our parents? Different cultural clues?”

See CORNERS, Page A-13

Choreographer and dancer Jessie LauritaSpanglet works with corners in her original piece “Way In” to be performed with 12 other dancers on Friday and Saturday in the Kogod Theatre at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center in College Park. ZACHARY Z. HANDLER

Washington National Opera sopranos Samantha McElhaney and Pamela Simonson will perform together Saturday night at Divas Deck the Halls, a musical holiday celebration at Montpelier Cultural Arts Center. Though the two have been colleagues and friends since their first show together in 2005, this will be McElhaney and Simonson’s first time as a duet. “It’s a situation that I know, no matter what happens, I have the support there and the love there,” Simonson said. When Montpelier director Sonya Kitchens asked Simonson to perform a December concert at the center, Simonson immediately approached McElhaney with the idea. “I chose Samantha for a reason,” Simonson said. “She’s extremely talented and speaks to audiences in a way no one else can. And also, we have a great friendship … that will show through in the performance itself.” McElhaney added that singing with Simonson will relieve some of the pressure accompanied with performing.

See DIVAS, Page A-13

DIVAS DECK THE HALLS n When: 5 p.m. Saturday n Where: Montpelier Arts Center, 9652 Muikirk Road, Laurel n Tickets: $20 n For information: 301-490-2329, arts.pgparks.com

THE GAZETTE

Thursday, December 5, 2013 bo

Page A-11

r the Performing ie Center fo Arts Bow

PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY’S ENTERTAINMENT CALENDAR For a free listing, please submit complete information to noravec@gazette.net at least 10 days in advance of desired publication date. High-resolution color images (500KB minimum) in jpeg format should be submitted when available. THEATER & STAGE Bowie Community Theatre, “Dark Passages,” coming in February, Bowie Playhouse, 16500 White Marsh Park Drive, Bowie, 301-8050219, www.bctheatre.com. Busboys & Poets, Hyattsville, TBA, 5331 Baltimore Avenue, Hyattsville, 301-779-2787 (ARTS), www.busboysandpoets.com. Bowie State University, TBA, Fine and Performing Arts Center, Bowie State University, 14000 Jericho Park Road, Bowie, 301-8603717, www.bowiestate.edu. Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, New Music at Maryland, 8

p.m. Dec. 4; Bach Cantata Series: NWV 106, 1:30 p.m. Dec. 5; The Inner Landscape, 2 p.m. Dec. 5; Honors Chamber Music Recital, 8 p.m. Dec. 5; MFA Dance Thesis Concert: Way In, 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Dec. 6, 3 p.m., 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Dec. 7; UMD Symphony Orchestra: “Pathetique,” 8 p.m. Dec. 6; Choreographer’s Showcase Auditions, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 7-8; Gamer Symphony Orchestra Fall Concert, 2 p.m. Dec. 7; The Weekday Players: Safe as Houses, 8 p.m. Dec. 7, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Dec. 8; UMD Wind Orchestra: Turning Points, 4 p.m. Dec. 8; UMD Percussion Ensemble, 8 p.m. Dec. 9; Orchestral Encore, 8 p.m. Dec. 11, University of Maryland, College Park, claricesmithcenter.umd.edu. Harmony Hall Regional Center, TBA, call for prices, 10701 Livingston Road, Fort Washington, 301203-6070, arts.pgparks.com. Greenbelt Arts Center, The Chromatics, “Make Mine Merry,” 8 p.m. Dec. 7, 2 p.m. Dec. 8, call for prices, Greenbelt Arts Center, 123 Centerway, Greenbelt, 301-4418770, www.greenbeltartscenter.org. Hard Bargain Players, TBA, 2001 Bryan Point Road, Accokeek, www.hbplayers.org. Joe’s Movement Emporium, A Winter Aerial Showing, 4 p.m. Dec. 8; A ClasSick Christmas, 8 p.m. Dec. 8; 3309 Bunker Hill Road, Mount Rainier, 301-6991819, www.joesmovement.org. Laurel Mill Playhouse, “It’s a Wonderful Life: The Radio Play,” Dec. 13 to Jan. 4, call for ticket prices, Laurel Mill Playhouse, 508 Main St., Laurel, 301-452-2557, www.laurelmillplayhouse.org. Montpelier Arts Center, Divas Deck the Halls, 5 p.m. Dec. 7, 9652 Muirkirk Road, Laurel, 301-3777800, arts.pgparks.com. National Harbor, ICE! “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” to Jan. 5, Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, 201 Waterfront Street, National Harbor, Maryland. www.christmasonthepotomac.com. Prince George’s Little Theatre, TBA, call for tickets and show times, Bowie Playhouse, 16500 White Marsh Park Drive, Bowie, 301-957-7458, www.pglt.org. Publick Playhouse, Holiday Doo Wop starring The Orioles and The Clovers, 8 p.m. Dec. 7; “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,” 10:15 a.m. and noon, Dec. 9; “Season’s Greetings,” 10:15 a.m. and noon, Dec. 10, 5445 Landover Road, Cheverly, 301277-1710, arts.pgparks.com. 2nd Star Productions, “Funny Money,” coming in January, Bowie Playhouse, 16500 White Marsh Park Drive, Bowie, call for prices, times, 410-757-5700, 301-832-4819, www.2ndstarproductions.com. Tantallon Community Players, “Miracle on 34th Street,” Dec. 6-15; Harmony Hall Regional Center, 10701 Livingston Road, Fort Washington, 301-262-5201, www. tantallonstage.com.

The Nutcracker

NIGHTLIFE

Saturday, December 7 @ 7:00 PM & Sunday, December 8 @ 3:00 PM 410-224-5644 www.balletmaryland.com

Hand Dancing with D.C. Hand Dance Club, free lesson from 4 to

5 p.m., dancing from 5 to 9 p.m. Sundays at the Coco Cabana, 2031-A University Blvd. E., Hyattsville, $10 cover, www.dchanddanceclub.com. New Deal Café, Mid-day Melodies with Amy C. Kraft, noon, Dec. 5, 12; Open Mic with Paige Powell, 7 p.m. Dec. 5, 12; John Guernsey, 6:30 p.m. Dec. 6-7, 13-14; The Moxie Blues Band, 8 p.m. Dec. 6; The TV John Show, 11 a.m. Dec. 7; Bruce Kritt, 4 p.m. Dec. 7; The U-Liners, 8 p.m. Dec. 7; Not2Cool Jazz Trio, 11 a.m. Dec. 8; Jack Couldn’t Make It, 5 p.m. Dec. 8; Keir and the TBAs, 7 p.m. Dec. 10; April Vega, 7 p.m. Dec. 11; Beggars Tomb, 8 p.m. Dec. 13; Cousin John Band, 8 p.m. Dec. 14, 113 Centerway Road, 301-474-5642, www.newdealcafe.com. Old Bowie Town Grill, Wednesday Night Classic Jam, 8 p.m. every Wednesday, sign-ups start at 7:30 p.m., 8604 Chestnut Ave., Bowie, 301-464-8800, www.oldbowietowngrille.com.

OUTDOORS Dinosaur Park, Dinosaur Park programs, noon-4 p.m. first and

Brentwood Arts Exchange, “My Haiku: Paintings of Cianne Fragione,” to Dec. 28; Front Window Featured Artist: Ellyn Weiss, to Nov. 28, 3901 Rhode Island Ave., Brentwood, 301-277-2863, arts. pgparks.com. Harmony Hall Regional Center, “It Happened One Night,” Paper Collage by Ronnie Spiewak, to Dec. 27, 2nd Annual Prince George’s Parks and Recreation Employee Visual and Performing Arts Exhibition, to Dec. 27, gallery hours from 8:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10701 Livingston Road, Fort Washington, 301-203-6070. arts.pgparks.com. David C. Driskell Center, “Still...” by sculptor Allison Saar, to Dec. 13, University of Maryland, College Park. www.driskellcenter. umd.edu. Montpelier Arts Center, “Hiroshima Schoolyard,” to Dec. 1, gallery open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, 9652 Muirkirk Road, Laurel, 301377-7800, arts.pgparks.com.

and venue, 3501 University Blvd.,

Thursday, December 5 @ 7:30 PM

Adelphi, 301-985-7937, www.umuc. edu/art.

VISUAL ARTS

University of Maryland University College, TBA, call for prices

BHS Holiday Dance Show

132975G

PHOTO BY MARK NOBLE

Peter Fontana conducts the University of Maryland’s Gamer Symphony Orchestra during the ensemble’s fall 2010 concert. The orchestra returns to the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center on Saturday. third Saturdays, join paleontologists and volunteers in interpreting fossil deposits, 13200 block Mid-Atlantic Blvd., Laurel, 301627-7755. Mount Rainier Nature Center, Toddler Time: hands-on treasures, crafts, stories and soft play, 10:30 a.m.-noon Thursdays, age 5 and younger free, 4701 31st Place, Mount Rainier, 301-927-2163.

Prince George’s Audubon Society, Bird Walks, 7:30 a.m. first

Saturdays, Fran Uhler Natural Area, meets at end of Lemon Bridge Road, north of Bowie State University, option to bird nearby WB&A Trail afterward; 7:30 a.m. third Saturdays, Governor Bridge Natural Area, Governor Bridge Road, Bowie, meet in parking lot; for migrating and resident

woodland and field birds, and waterfowl. For beginners and experts. Waterproof footwear and binoculars suggested. Free. 410765-6482.

REC CENTERS Prince George’s Sports & Learning Complex, Senior Days at

the Sportsplex, 8 a.m.-noon Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, seniors allowed free use of the fitness center and pool, age 60 and up, 8001 Sheriff Road, Landover, 301-583-2400.

Bowie Senior Chorale “A Holiday Celebration” Friday, December 13 @ 7:30 PM 301-809-2300

The Colonial English Handbell Concert

Saturday, December 21 @ 2:00 PM $5 tickets on sale Mon-Fri 4-7 PM Info: www.colonialringers.com For more information: www.bowiecenter.org Event Hotline: 301-805-6880 x34 15200 Annapolis Road Bowie MD 20715

Seat Pleasant Activity Center, Line Dancing, 6:30-8 p.m.

Wednesdays, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays, $40 series, $6 drop-ins, age 18 and up, 5720 Addison Road, Seat Pleasant, 301-773-6685.

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THE GAZETTE

Page A-12

Thursday, December 5, 2013 bo

AT THE MOVIES

‘Frozen’: Defying meteorology BY

MICHAEL PHILLIPS CHICAGO TRIBUNE

Big, bright, often beautiful and essentially an action movie, as are most animated features these days, “Frozen” comes from Walt Disney Animation Studios. While Disney credits the 1845 Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Snow Queen” as primary inspiration, the movie owes a lot more to the Broadway blockbuster “Wicked.” Example: In “Frozen,” when its misunderstood young sorceress (voiced by Idina Menzel, who won a Tony for originating the green one in “Wicked”) unleashes her magical powers and starts designing her permafrost castle in exile, she wallops a tune called “Let It Go,” which is very, very, very much in the spirit of “Defying Gravity,” the “Wicked” Act 1 closer. The eight songs in “Frozen,” very good in the main, were written by the team of Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez. The latter — co-writer of “Avenue Q” and “The Book of Mormon” — has described “Let It Go” as “the biggest, beltiest diva number” imaginable. It’s almost a parody of itself. When it comes to such numbers I tend to respond the way Mr. Darling does in “Peter Pan”: A little less noise there, please. But if you like that sort of thing, “Frozen” has that sort of thing. And the film basically works. It’s entertaining, and following an old Disney tradition“Frozen”workssomeold-school magic in its nonhuman characters. There’s Sven the reindeer, stalwart best friend of the hunky Nordic love interest Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), who harvests ice for a living. But especially there’s Olaf the joyfully needy snowman, with a charming overbite and

DISNEY

Kristoff rides his reindeer, Sven, through a blizzard in Disney’s “Frozen.” three or four twigs for hair. He dreams of sunny summer vacations courtesy of the fetching ditty “In Summer,” in which Olaf yearns for scenarios that would spell his demise. Olaf is voiced by Josh Gad, who worked with Lopez in the original iteration of “The Book of Mormon.” You can hear the smile in Gad’s vocal delivery; his comic timing’s very sly, a little behind the expected beat, and there’s a sweetness to his delivery. What Nathan Lane and Ernie Sabella did for Disney’s film “The Lion King,” Gad does for “Frozen.” The movie takes the bare bones of the original fairy tale and builds its own contraption. It’s a tale of two sisters. Elsa, voiced by Menzel, has been

FROZEN n 3 stars n PG; 100 minutes n Cast: Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad n Directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee

blessed/cursed with the emotion-triggered ability to whip up ice and snow in threatening amounts. Anna, voiced by Kristen Bell, is nearly killed by her sister’s magic as a young girl, so their parents devote what’s left of their lives

to protecting one girl from the other. Years pass, as they do, and Elsa is to be crowned queen of Arendelle. At the coronation sister Anna, insta-smitten with a dreamy suitor from a neighboring kingdom, asks Elsa to bless the union. No soap, says Elsa, whose outburst turns her ice-magic into “The Day After Tomorrow.” The coastal kingdom is plunged into a deep freeze. Elsa squirrels away up north, alone, to sing power ballads. Anna eventually becomes the problem solver and fix-it sibling. Co-director and screenwriter Jennifer Lee’s script goes in for a fair amount of complication and political intrigue, though like so many animated features, whatever the studio, the story can-

not wait to get back to the thundering imperilment. Still, Anna’s a gratifying heroine, a shrewd mixture of assertiveness and relatability. The project was tasked with two directors, first-billed Chris Buck and second-billed Lee. The sheer scope of the story, encompassing ice monsters and Broadway power anthems, probably required as much. As Anna gets closer and closer to discovering the reason why her sister abandoned her emotionally years earlier, “Frozen” cracks the exterior of its radically revised Snow Queen (Elsa, that is; nothing like Andersen’s original). The happy ending feels genuine and heartfelt. And Gad’s Olaf, in the nicest way, kills.

RELIGION CALENDAR To submit a calendar item online, go to calendar.gazette. net and click on the submit button in the lower left-hand corner. To find an item, go to The Gazette’s home page at www. gazette.net. You can mail them to The Gazette, 13501 Virginia Manor Road, Laurel, MD 20707; fax, 240-473-7501. Items must be received by Wednesday to appear the following week.

DEC. 6 Movies@hope presents “A Christmas Carol,” 7:30 to 9:30

p.m., Hope Lutheran Church, 4201 Guilford Drive, College Park. Join your family and friends for this special holiday treat. Admission and refreshments are free. Contact 240-264-7924 or prthomps1@verizon.net.

DEC. 7 First United Methodist Church Bazaar, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., First

4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4

Best barbeque Best senior community Best landscaping Best liquor store Best Italian food Best nail salon Best auto repair Best pediatrician Best spa Best soul food Best dentist Best private school Best Asian food

4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4

United Methodist Church, Fellowship Hall, Laurel. First United Methodist Church hosts its annual bazaar, offering handmade crafts, silent auction, bake sale and New to You Table. Doughnuts will be available while they last and lunch will be served. Benefits local charities and church missions. Contact 301-

Best photography Best pet store Best dessert/bakery Best happy hour/bar

725-3093 or office@fumcl.org. Holiday Bazaar, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., District Heights Municipal Center, 2000 Marbury Drive, District Heights. The Unity Day Committee of Hemingway Memorial AME Church invites you to a holiday bazaar. Celebrate the holiday season with vendors, baked goods, prizes, silent auction and refreshments. Santa photos will be available for a small fee. Vendor applications still being accepted. Contact 301568-9127 or hemingwayoffice1@ verizon.net. Free Clothes Giveaway, noon to 4 p.m., International Church of Christ, 7701 Preston Drive, Landover. Contact 301-772-5618 or icc_ministries@verizon.net. H.E.A.L. Workshop: Take Charge of Your Health, 4:30 to

6 p.m., Capitol Free Mission, 8201 Cryden Way, Forestville. Eight-session lifestyle workshop for those who want to improve their health by dealing with chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, heart failure, stress, depression and pain. The workshop will be led by a specially trained intervention coach, and there will be cooking and wellness demonstrations. To register, call 301-494-5550 or visit www. capitolcitymission.org. Contact 301-494-5550 or helpdesk@mygospelworkers.org.

2013 Holiday Worship

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Extend your hand in hope and assistance. Share your Holiday Services and special programs.

Reserve your space today!

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Montgomery County Circulation 200,000 Prince George’s County Circulation 105,589 Fairfax County Circulation 105,000

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Look For The Best Of Prince George’s Guide In The 12/5 Issue

Invite your local community into worship with you.

THE GAZETTE

Thursday, December 5, 2013 bo

MIRACLE

Continued from Page A-10 “We’ve updated it to make the references more current,” said director Juliette Kelsey Chagnon. “We’re not doing a period piece … so there’s going to be references to Facebook and Twitter and things like that. The plot is the same. Obviously, when you translate something from a movie to the stage, you don’t have the latitude films do to film in different locations and you don’t have quite as many details. By and large, it’s very faithful to the movie.” For Neil Twohig, who plays Shellhammer, the head of the store’s toy department, the stage version of the show lends itself to more character development. “We become more invested in the characters because we don’t have all those other distractions,” Twohig said. “No Thanksgiving balloons or courtrooms and such.” Every year, much like “A

CORNERS

Continued from Page A-10 For dancers, do their movements also reflect what they’ve learned from their dance teachers, and what those teachers learned from their own mentors? She asked the dancers — and actors — to think deeply about their everyday gestures. “Way In” features both dance majors and theater majors. “I was interested in working with text and movement,” said Laurita-Spanglet. “It’s been a real collaboration,” she said. “The performers

DIVAS

Continued from Page A-10 “Sometimes [there’s] pressure,” McElhaney said. “Even though you’re doing what you love, there’s pressure. Just doing this concert and having fun and enjoying what we do is what I’m looking forward to doing with Pam.” The two women will split the time on stage, each doing their own set and singing as a duet for a quarter of the concert. They’ll showcase Christmas favorites such as “Santa Baby” and “O Holy Night.” But McElhaney promises a twist on holiday classics. “We wanted to give people something different,” McElhaney said. “It can get monotonous. People are yearning for something different.” McElhaney will add her signature fusion of jazz and gospel to her set. The singer is currently working on a spiritual/hymn CD project pairing gospel and jazz with classical techniques. Simonson said she too is excited give audiences something they’ve never heard before.

Christmas Story,” and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, “Miracle on 34th Street” can be seen on different TV channels throughout the season. Even though the movie came out more than 60 years ago, it has become a holiday staple. “I think … it appeals to a wide swath of people because it’s secular, but it’s spiritual in a way that all communities can recognize,” Chagnon said. “The play isn’t really about Santa Claus or a little girl who doesn’t believe in Santa Claus. The play is really about faith and giving and generosity and the kindness of one person to another. I think especially around the holiday season we all get a little sentimental thinking about our past and our loved ones and the people we love who are far away. That kind of sentiment speaks to us in a way that other shows, like ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,’ which is an adorable show, doesn’t speak to us at that level.” Chagnon and Twohig agree that the show really hits on the

audience’s desire to want to believe in something. If not a belief in a spiritual way, then a belief in humanity. They hope audiences take with them a sense of holiday camaraderie. “I hope they take away that you can hope and you can believe in people,” Twohig said. “Not everybody’s going to let you down.” For Chagnon, who said she is a huge holiday fan, if the audience sees the holidays as something other than a time to give people a bunch of presents, then the show has done its job. “I really like the message that it’s anti-materialism in this show,” Chagnon said. “… Just give the kids one thing that they really, really want. Don’t get them a bunch of junk. Don’t buy each other a bunch of junk just one day a year so that for the other 364 days in the year you can ignore them. ... I hope that message resonates with the audience.” wfranklin@gazette.net

Page A-13

BILL RYAN/THE GAZETTE

Scott La Rue as Fred, Samantha Goldenberg as Susan and Hillary Glass as Doris rehearse Saturday for the Tantallon Community Players’ “Miracle on 34th Street” at Harmony Hall in Fort Washington.

are integral to the development of the piece.” A movement could be something as simple as a woman pulling a section of long hair behind her ear. Or the case of a man who once wore glasses and now wears contacts who unconsciously raises a finger to the bridge of his nose to push back phantom specs. Or it could be more ingrained, such as the case of a teenager walking home from a summer job who, without thinking, takes the same path, even though he moved to a different house the day before.

“It’s an everyday gesture, the residue of an old habit,” said Laurita-Spanglet. “[‘Way In’ is created] from everyday gestures, movement, and it’s to show the beauty of those gestures,” she said. The text for the piece, written by Reed Johnson, is based on the habitual movements provided by the cast. Johnson also contributed an idea of his own, a grandmother stricken by Alzheimer’s who forgets almost everything. “[But] she could still remember how to dance — that had imprinted itself on her,” LauritaSpanglet said.

The music and sound design is by Jeff Dorfman, a former student at the University of Maryland. “It’s the sounds of the performers’ voices and other sounds that were part of the process [of creating this],” she said. “The center really took a big leap,” said Laurita-Spanglet. “This is not the traditional way that students do their thesis concerts.” “I’m thankful to them for letting me try this,” she said. “It’s an experiment, it’s something different.”

“We’re singing songs I’ve heard my whole life, but being able to put our own spin on that,” she said. Simonson is a native of Freeport, N.Y., and attended the Eastman School of Music for her bachelor’s degree before earning her master’s at the Manhattan School of Music. She moved to Fort Washington in 2002. On top of her own professional career, Simonson has also remained dedicated to musical education, giving voice lessons and teaching at an arts camp during the summer. In addition, she is the co-founder of CAAPA, the Coalition for African Americans in the Performing Arts, an organization that highlights African-Americans in classical music. “I know how important it is to encourage young people,” Simonson said. “I got so much of my experience at school. My choir director was the one who encouraged me to sing classical music, which is what got me where I am in my career.” McElhaney has also made it a priority to give back. A Clinton native, she grew up attending Prince George’s County Public

Schools including Suitland High School for its Visual & Performing Arts program. She went on to earn her bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from Bowling Green University and then her master’s from the University of Maryland’s Opera Studio. Her credits include a stint with the San Francisco opera and as a cultural envoy to Egypt as a member of The NEWorks Inspirational Voices. But perhaps the accom-

plishment McElhaney is most proud of is her role as a teacher. McElhaney is now a voice instructor at Suitland High School and several charter schools in Washington, D.C. “It was a big thing to bring me back,” McElhaney said. “Not only to say we want you to teach but to say, ‘this is where she came from and this is where she is now.’”

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THE GAZETTE

Page A-14

Thursday, December 5, 2013 bo

Imagine Prince George’s County Public Schools is proud to be this year’s Platinum Sponsor of The Gazette’s “My Favorite Teacher” contest. We currently operate four public charter schools in Prince George’s County, providing a challenging learning environment for students in Kindergarten through Grade 8. Although our campuses vary in size and structure, all adhere to the belief that providing every child with a world-class education is the single most effective way to achieve individual life opportunities and a better society. Our schools include:

The votes are in and the winners will be announced in next week’s edition!

• Imagine Andrews Public Charter School (www.imagineandrews.org) • Imagine Foundations at Leeland Public Charter School (www.imagineleeland.org) • Imagine Foundations at Morningside Public Charter School (www.imaginemorningside.org) • Imagine Lincoln Public Charter School (www.imaginelincoln.org) Imagine Prince George’s County is part of Imagine Schools, a national organization that operates 75 campuses in 12 states and DC, providing 40,000 students nationwide with an effective program of academic study and strong moral development in a safe, nurturing environment.

Please visit our website at www.gazette.net/teacher to see our sponsors who made the program possible.

Educational Systems FCU is proud to be part of the Maryland education community as we celebrate amazing teachers. As longtime sponsors of the Gazette’s “My Favorite Teacher” award, we recognize how important educators are to the success of students everywhere. We wish to thank the Gazette for providing a platform where students are given the chance to show their appreciation for some of the most amazing educators around. To learn more about Educational Systems FCU, including how you can join others in the Maryland education community as Credit Union members, visit esfcu.org.

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Middle School winning teacher/student-

JELANI K. LATTIMORE

(English teacher at Isaac J. Gourdine Middle School) and DAKOTA LOWERY (7th grade). Platinum sponsor William Hill (Executive Director of Imagine Schools) also in picture.

The backpacks have been filled, the laptops are charged and students have welcomed a new school year throughout our community. MGM National Harbor is proud to be a sponsor of the “My Favorite Teacher” contest and support educational opportunities for students at all levels. Education empowers us with knowledge to tackle the challenges of today. With each educated man, woman and child, our community and society takes one giant step forward. Stepping up to the plate for students is one more way MGM National Harbor is strengthening communities through education.

Our schools are open to all children living in Prince George’s County and they are tuition-free. In order to enroll your child, you must apply through our online lottery process. The online application form for School Year 2014-2015 will be available beginning Friday, November 1, 2013, and will remain open through January 31, 2014. The lottery will be held after January 31, 2014. For more specific information about each school, including how to enroll your child, please visit their individual websites.

Chick-fil-A restaurants at Capital Centre in Largo and Steeplechase in Capitol Heights proudly support the 2013 My Favorite Teacher Contest! Our two restaurants thrive because of the faithful Prince George’s County residents who patronize our establishments. Committed and qualified educators make a positive difference for students, their families, and the greater community. It is our pleasure to support a contest that allows the community to honor those who prepare the next generation of leaders!

Riverdale Baptist junior power forward Taron Oliver is double teamed during a game on Saturday evening at the Riverdale Baptist School in Upper Marlboro.

2013-2014 HIGH SCHOOL

B BASKETBALL ASKPREVIEW ET BA LL

Page B-1

Thursady, December 5, 2013

GIRLS’ BASKETBALL

Recapturing states:

Roosevelt hopes to carry county’s torch

BILL RYAN/THE GAZETTE

Kaila Charles and Alannah Baiyina practice at Eleanor Roosevelt High School on Nov. 25.

Prince George’s County has not won a 4A championship since 2009 n

BY PHOTOS BY RAPHAEL TALISMAN/FOR THE GAZETTE

Riverdale Baptist junior guard JeDon Young drives to the basket during a game on Saturday evening at the Riverdale Baptist School in Upper Marlboro.

FACTORY

SCHOOLS THAT SPECIALIZE IN DEVELOPING TOP BASKETBALL PLAYERS BECOMING MORE COMMON IN THE REGION

n

EXPANSION BY TRAVIS MEWHIRTER STAFF WRITER

W Riverdale Baptist junior guard DaJuan Abroms attempts a three-point-shot Saturday.

hen Bryan Bartley officially took over the storied Montrose Christian basketball program last summer, he inherited a roster that was 100 percent vacant — he literally didn’t have a single player. Those who hadn’t graduated in 2013 bolted to other schools when longtime coach Stu Vetter announced his resignation. But a Montrose Christian roster doesn’t stay empty for long. The name sells itself. Within months, Bartley hauled in eight different transfers from six different states — Missouri, Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, Washington, Illinois — needing very little persuasion other

than the use of two names: Montrose Christian, and his own, names prestigious enough that when they come calling, it’s difficult to decline. And so, Patrick McCaw (from St. Louis), Jarrell Brantley (South Carolina) Allonzo Trier (Seattle) and Raymond Doby (Illinois) left behind their families, prior teammates, coaches — everything familiar — to play a season or two in a Montrose uniform. “Our kids are all different,” said Bartley, whose two sons, Justice and Jaylen, followed him to Montrose. “They’re from all different places in life.” This practice, hauling in players from all over the country, most for no more than two seasons, has brought on a variety of monikers for the Rockville private school — and several others in the surrounding area and country — from mercenary program to basketball factory. “The name definitely says a lot when it comes to getting recruits in the area,” said first-year assistant coach Calvin Seldon, who came via Grace Brethren Clinton and brought

See FACTORY, Page B-8

ERIC GOLDWEIN STAFF WRITER

Eleanor Roosevelt High School’s girls’ basketball team is still thinking about last March’s overtime playoff defeat to North Point — a game that, had it not slipped away, would have brought the team one step closer to recapturing the Class 4A state title. The Raiders, five-time state champions from 2005 to 2009, came within two wins of returning the crown back to Prince George’s County. A Prince George’s County team won a state title in girls’ basketball every year from 1997 through 2009, winning 18 total championships in those 13 seasons. Still, the county hasn’t won a title in the sport in the past four years. But in last year’s state semifinals, Roosevelt committed 41 turnovers and gave up a doubledigit lead in a 57-55 loss to the eventual champion. “That’s our motivation to do better and win it all this year. We came up too short last year,” said Raiders sophomore Kaila Charles, who scored a gamehigh 21 points in the loss. Roosevelt is one several Prince George’s County schools with its sights set on the title. The team is coming off a 24-2 season, its best record since coach Delton Fuller took over for Rod Hairston in 2009. “Of course I wanted to win the whole thing, to get that monkey off my back ... but

“OF COURSE I WANTED TO WIN THE WHOLE THING, TO GET THAT MONKEY OFF MY BACK ... BUT WE’VE BEEN GETTING BETTER YEAR BY YEAR.” DELTON FULLER, ROOSEVELT COACH

we’ve been getting better year by year,” Fuller said. Roosevelt graduated six seniors and returns two starters, including Charles, an All-Gazette guard. “If we just work harder and make few mistakes, we’ll be able to go all the way to states and win it,” Charles said. Charles, 6-foot-0, was an immediate contributor, averaging 12.6 points per game as a freshman. “I didn’t think it would take a few years but I didn’t think it was going to happen so soon,” she said. Junior forward Tolulope Omokore and junior guard Dajah Davis — a Riverdale Baptist transfer — are expected to make big contributions, Fuller said. Bowie could also be in the mix after finishing last season 20-4 and losing to Charles H. Flowers in the Class 4A South Region semifinals. “I think we have a great

See ROOSEVELT, Page B-8

THE GAZETTE

Page B-2

Thursday, December 5, 2013 bo

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL PREVIEW

26-10 60

Riverdale Baptist bonds over bratwurst

DeMatha Catholic

14-16 51

n

3.

Potomac

22-4 48

4.

National Christian

22-7 39

5.

Clinton Christian

4-8 34

6.

Capitol Christian

32-12 32

7.

Henry A. Wise

19-5 25

8.

Eleanor Roosevelt

27-1 16

PRESEASON HOW THEY RANK BOYS The 10 best boys’ basketball teams in Prince George’s County to start the season as ranked by The Gazette’s six-member sports staff:

Rank

School

1.

Riverdale Baptist

2.

Last season Points

BY

GREG DOHLER/THE GAZETTE

9.

Gwynn Park

14-10 9

9.

Largo

14-11 9

Big men taking smaller roles

DuVal 2; Frederick Douglass 1.

BEST BETS The Jaguars have a chance early in the year to live up to the preseason hype against one of the county’s traditionally powerful teams.

BY

LAST YEAR’S TOP SCORERS Name, school Aquille Carr, Princeton Day Oladoyin Fadojutimi, High Point Marquis Roberson, Surrattsville Kevin Collins, Friendly Aaron Brown, Laurel Michael Cunningham, DuVal Stephan Jiggetts, McNamara Cameron Thurston, Parkdale

GIRLS The 10 best girls’ basketball teams in Prince George’s County to start the season as ranked by The Gazette’s six-member sports staff:

School

Last season Points

1.

Riverdale Baptist

32-7 60

2.

Bowie

20-5 52

3.

Eleanor Roosevelt

26-2 50

4.

Gwynn Park

21-4 40

5.

Elizabeth Seton

21-11 37

6.

Friendly

20-5 27

7.

Charles H. Flowers

20-4 22

8.

Largo

20-7 16

9.

Frederick Douglass 13-9 11

10.

Capitol Christian

N/A 10

Others receiving votes: Grace Brethren 4;

Suitland 1.

BEST BETS Bowie at Charles H. Flowers, 7 p.m. Tuesday

Flowers and Bowie are both coming off 20-win seasons. Bowie returns four starters and is looking to make its first state tournament appearance since 1992. Flowers could take a step back this season, with only one starter back from last year’s team that lost to Eleanor Roosevelt in the region final.

LAST YEAR’S TOP SCORERS Name, school Janee Harris, Crossland* Destinee Tunstall, Fairmont Heights Keena Samuels, Largo Kyah Proctor, Charles H. Flowers Makayla Johnson, Potomac Renee Kydd, Suitland Genesis Lucas, Gwynn Park Chloe Jackson, Riverdale Baptist* Chayla Lewis, Friendly De’Janae Boykin, Charles H. Flowers*

TRAVIS MEWHIRTER STAFF WRITER

PPG 27.5 22.3 20.0 19.2 19.0 18.8 18.1 17.6 * Returning player

Riverdale Baptist’s Chloe Jackson

Rank

In today’s offenses, there’s no room for the back to the basket center n

Charles H. Flowers at Bowie, 7 p.m. Friday

PPG 20.3 19.3 19.2 18.4 18.2 17.7 17.1 16.3 16.1 15.9

* Returning players

NICK CAMMAROTA STAFF WRITER

Micah Till (right) of Henry A. Wise High School looks to shoot despite the pressure from Frederick Douglass’ Anthony Byrd last season in a game in Upper Marlboro.

Others receiving votes: Charles H. Flowers 4;

Girls’ basketball: Crusaders should be one of the top teams in the nation

Back in the winter of 1989, a much younger Diallo Nelson suited up at point guard for John F. Kennedy High School in a 4A state semifinal game with High Point. When the final buzzer sounded, Nelson’s Cavaliers lost 92-84. “Yeah,” Nelson, now in his 14th season coaching the Cavs, explained, “They had two 6-[foot]-8 guys. One went to Duke and one went to North Carolina. That would never happen these days.” But why? What has happened to the art of a true center, the back-to-the-basket species which burned Nelson’s 1989 Kennedy team? Coaches from Prince George’s and Montgomery counties floated out their various theories, most drawing parallels to one another, from what the kids are seeing in the National Basketball Association to private schools monopolizing big men to the very simple conclusion that the skill set of a post player isn’t just dead among the kids, it’s dead among coaches.

“It’s the new fad.” “How many back-to-thebasket NBA superstars are out there?” Eleanor Roosevelt coach Brendan O’Connell asked rhetorically. “One. There’s Dwight Howard and that’s really it.”

GREG DOHLER/THE GAZETTE

Springbrook center Alex Evans (left) hauls in a pass and looks to shoot during a scrimmage against visiting Takoma Academy in Silver Spring. If playing in the post were a fashion, it went out with track suits and oversized baseball jackets, popular when centers such as Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing and Chris Webber were in vogue. Those days are long gone, replaced by run-and-gun, 3-point happy offenses seeking to light up scoreboards and stuff box scores. “The game has changed so much,” Henry A. Wise coach Rob Garner said. “It’s not like the old school way where if you’re 6-foot-8, we’re going to put you on that block.” Nelson went as far as to say that “every big guy has been brainwashed.” It has worked for some, take Malachi Alexander, Roosevelt’s 3-point shooting big man who is now starting at Holy Cross. He helped lead the Raiders to the 4A state championship last season by scoring from everywhere

from the perimeter to the post. But still, the most dominant big man in Prince George’s County was, by definition, not much of a big man at all, rather a small forward. “Sometimes kids just don’t want to play that way,” Springbrook coach Tom Crowell said. “Sometimes some of the biggest players want to play outside. Kids like to shoot the three. It’s the new fad.”

Midway through her trip to Germany, the first time Chania Ray had ever been outside of the United States, she and her Riverdale Baptist teammates stopped to take a photo in downtown Kaiserslautern, which is 10 miles from Ramstein Air Base. As the group gathered together with some locals, they scrunched in tightly and posed. Then, milliseconds before the flash went off, one of the Germans that Ray had just met reached over and kissed her on the forehead. “It was awkward,” Ray said with a laugh. “But that’s a pretty funny memory I have.” And while the chemistry certainly wasn’t there for Ray and her outgoing German friend, it is for the Crusaders, who spent an unforgettable week at Ramstein to jumpstart what they’re hoping will be an equally-memorable girls’ basketball season. “The chemistry, it feels like it’s there already,” said Ray, a senior guard who plans on attending Florida State next season. “I think that’ll be something everyone will look back to and have a lot of memories from. We made so many friends and formed relationships that will never go away because of where we went and what we did.” The Thanksgiving-week trip was orchestrated by second-year Crusaders coach Sam Caldwell, who formerly served in the Navy and went on four combat tours to Iraq which took him through Ramstein. He’s also coached the All-Navy basketball team and an All-Armed Forces basketball training camp at the base, which helped spark the idea of bringing Riverdale Baptist overseas this year. “The bratwurst is a must,” Caldwell said. “It tastes completely different than it does in the U.S. But really, this is huge. The bonding the girls are having a chance to do, it’s been so impressive.” In addition to playing tourist — dancing at nightclubs where Germans who otherwise spoke no English belted out the words to “Kung Fu Fighting” and a number of Elvis Presley stan-

See BRATWURST, Page B-9

“The nature of the beast.” BeeJay Anya is perhaps the one true example from last year for both counties of a prototypical center — back to the basket, drop step, score. He, of course, played for DeMatha Catholic, one of the most prestigious private basketball schools in the country.

See BIG MEN, Page B-8

FILE PHOTO

Riverdale Baptist School’s Chania Ray is one of the top players in the country on one of the nation’s best high school teams.

More teams switching to five-guard offenses Lack of traditional back-tothe-basket big men give way to more guard-oriented teams n

BY JENNIFER BEEKMAN STAFF WRITER

Two decades into his time as a boys’ basketball coach, Gwynn Park High School’s Mike Glick has made some drastic changes this winter. The game of basketball is evolving, and so is his system, he said. For the first time in his tenure Gwynn Park will employ a fiveguard offense without a particular player solely responsible for hanging around under the rim. Even in the NBA the days of traditional back-tothe-basket big men are coming to an end and giving way to more versatile all-around players and the personnel on Glick’s team this winter has pointed him in the direction of this new era of basketball. “I’ve totally changed the offense and my whole philosophy of basketball,” Glick said. “It’s the way the game of basketball is trending. It is a rarity now to find a true post player, I’ve found that a lot of big men want to play facing the basket.” The introduction of the 3-point line to the NBA in 1979 and high school ball 26 years ago likely set this trend in motion, Glick said. Teams

GREG DOHLER/THE GAZETTE

Cedric Hines (left) of host Gwynn Park High School defends Jamir Moultrie of Bishop McNamara High School Nov. 26 during a scrimmage in Brandywine. place a lot more emphasis on longrange shooting in present day basketball. Prince George’s County public school coaches agreed they certainly wouldn’t complain if they were handed a true center but it might be possible to count on one hand the

number of teams that have a traditional post player and are primarily reliant on size inside. There’s no point in clogging up the driving lane with a tall player if he isn’t comfortable there, Glick said. It’s easy to assume the more guard-oriented approach is merely a

Plan B for teams without that dominant presence in the paint and that might be partially true as this style of play helps smaller teams counter a size disadvantage by spreading the floor against bigger opponents. That spacing, largely opened up by the drive and kick, lends itself to 3-point shooting and an increasing number of players are polishing their long-range accuracy. The success of this formation, Glick said, is heavily reliant on a teams’ ability to knock down shots from the perimeter. True guard-oriented teams require a certain type of athletes, an all-around player with a deep skill set. And there need to be four or five of them on the court at once so a deep bench is important. “You look at versatile big guys like Kevin Garnett and Dirk Nowitzki and they’re just basketball players,” said Chris Bohlen of Montgomery’s Thomas S. Wootton. “They can defend, they can run, they are athletic, they can handle the ball and make good decisions. They can shoot it. And, oh, yeah, they just happened to be 6-10. We all want players who can dribble, pass, shoot and defend, whatever package they’re in.” These more dynamic players provide invaluable flexibility on the hardwood. Coaches agreed there are

See SWITCHING, Page B-9

THE GAZETTE

Thursday, December 5, 2013 bo

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HIGH SCHOOL BOYS’ BASKETBALL PREVIEW BLADENSBURG

n Coach: Antonio Williams 3rd season n Last season: 5-16 n Starters returning: 2 n Last state tournament: 1979

Outlook: The brunt of the Mustangs’ points last season came off the hands of guards Arsene Che and Mike Jones, both of whom went for more than 40 in at least one game last year. With the pair now graduated, Williams turns to an unfamiliar source for points: the front court. Returning from last year’s squad is junior big man Derick Martyn, who now stands 6-foot-8 with a much more polished skill set than he boasted in his underclassman years. Joining him in what figures to be a jumbosized front court is Crossland transfer Andrew Lindsay, a 6-foot-4 stretch forward who “can play every position but the one,” according to Williams. Jaquan Sterling and Dajon Lowe, both seniors, figure to replace Che and Jones.

BOWIE

n Coach: Cedric Holbrook 6th season n Last season: 15-10 n Starters returning: 5 n Last state tournament: None

— TRAVIS MEWHIRTER

CROSSLAND

n Coach: Steve Matthews 2nd season n Last season: 11-11 n Starters returning: 2 n Last state tournament: 2005

Outlook: Ahead of his first year as the basketball coach at Crossland, Steve Matthews was hired in October. He didn’t have an offseason with the team and didn’t get to know his players. “It was kind of like an arranged marriage,” Matthews said. Now in his second campaign, Matthews and his team gained valuable offseason experience and he returns two starters from last year’s .500 squad. Senior guard Charles Owens and junior three-year starter Eric Landis are back to lead a team that is expected to include three transfers. The Cavaliers also will return two players who were academically ineligible last season. “This year, we’ve got kids that have been in the program and we’re a little bit further ahead than we were last year,” Matthews said.

n Coach: DaShawn Dillard 2nd season n Last season: 2-17 n Starters returning: 3 n Last state tournament: 2001

Outlook: The Hornets didn’t fare well last season but return three starters, including Kavan “Speedy” Sclafford. Sclafford is a 5-foot-7 junior guard who has started since he was a freshman. Secondyear coach DaShawn Dillard said he was a high-IQ guard, recording several 30-point games last season and is expected to be a top-scorer again this season. The team will play a guard-heavy lineup, with Sclafford at shooting guard, Dillard said. Dillard was head of the school’s girls’ basketball team before moving to the boys’ team last season. He expects the Hornets to improve their win total. “I think we’ve matured a lot … The goal is to have a winning season, and for the team to grow and have fun,” Dillard said.

DEMATHA CATHOLIC

n Coach: Mike Jones 12th season n Last year: 14-16 n Starters returning: 3 n Last WCAC title: 2011

n Last season: 30-2 n Starters returning: 1 n Last PVAC title: 2012

— NICK CAMMAROTA

n Last season’s record: 32-12 n Starters returning: 0 n Last CBAA title: None

Outlook: “I’m not going to forget it,” Jones said of DeMatha’s losing record last season. Neither have the three returning starters and the rest of the youthful squad the longtime coach trotted out last year. He lost experience at center in BeeJay Anya (N.C. State), and on the wing in Jairus Lyles (VCU), but the majority of the minutes everywhere else on the floor were taken up by underclassmen or juniors. Alani Moore started at point guard as a freshman and rotated with Terrell Allen, a sophomore. Moore’s classmate, Joe Hampton, coupled with Anya in the post, and Jaelin Grant, now a junior, provided minutes on the wing. The Stags are still green, but with a year of WCAC play under their belt, “it’s youth with experience.”

n Coach: Mark Edwards 2nd season n Last season: 14-10 n Starters returning: 3 n Last state tournament: None

Outlook: Loaded with size, athleticism and experience, the Jaguars are likely going to be a tough out in the 4A League. Coach Mark Edwards has the luxury of returning three starters in forwards Clint Robinson, Patrick Johnson and Mykel Johnson. Robinson is one of the county’s better rebounders and has improved his scoring touch while Patrick Johnson is a dangerous slasher and Mykel Johnson is “the glue guy.” Juniors Tyrik Campbell and Johnson Ogunyoye are expected to provide meaningful minutes in addition to reserve guard Juwan Weldon. “Going into year two is always a good thing,” Edwards said. “Certain standards and philosophies have been established and the kids have bought into it.”

n Coach: Tyrone Massenburg 6th season n Last season: 13-12 n Starters returning: 2 n Last state tournament: 1998

n Last season: 13-10 n Starters returning: 3 n Last state tournament: 2011

n Coach: Lawrence Pugh 4th season n Last season: 13-8 n Starters returning: 1 n Last state tournament: 2003

— NICK CAMMAROTA

Outlook: The Eagles’ Tyrone Massenburg enters his 29th season coaching in the county with a veteran team. “You could list every name, because they’re all key players,” Massenburg said. “They are interchangable, we don’t have a set starting five. We will play to matchups and many of our players can play multiple positions.” The two returning starters are the top rebounders from last season, post players Marsalis Hurley (senior, 6-foot6) and Tyler Smith (junior, 6-5). Senior Donnell Robinson takes over as point guard and senior Keyonte Frager mans the shooting guard spot. The one newcomer is a transfer from Bishop O’Connell, Cameron Hayes, a 6-4 sophomore forward. “We’re going to play up-tempo when we can, but this team gives me a lot of options,” Massenburg said.

DUVAL

n Coach: Lafayette Dublin 2nd season n Last season: 18-5 n Starters returning: 1 n Last state tournament: 1992

— KEN SAIN

n Coach: Irvin Hay 21st season n Last season: 4-20 n Starters returning: 3 n Last state tournament: None

Outlook: With three returning starters — guards Marcus Boddie and Brandon Dawson and small forward Malik Douglas — and several talented additions from junior varsity that gelled quickly with the returning core, Forestville is looking to move forward from last year’s four-win campaign, power forward Marquise Lee said. Speed and athleticism will be the cornerstone of the Knights’ game. Good ball movement will help spread the floor and open up opportunities for Forestville’s best shooting options, Boddie and Dawson, Lee added. Within that, communication is integral, guard Jamal Bailey said. “We have a lot of athletic people, people that can move,” Lee said. “I think our speed in some positions is going to be surprising to some teams.”

FRIENDLY

n Coach: Brian Brooks 1st season n Last year: 12-12 n Starters returning: 1 n Last state tournament: 2011

— JENNIFER BEEKMAN

— KEN SAIN

n Coach: Rodney Lewis 7th season n Last season: 3-16 n Starters returning: 1 n Last state tournament: 1995

—NICK CAMMAROTA

Outlook: This year’s crop of seniors will be playing under their fourth coach in as many years, and Brooks, who formerly coached Potomac before moving to Mississippi, is going to make it an up-tempo one. He labeled his group as slightly “height challenged” and expects to deploy a five-guard offense more often than not. Heading the diminutive lineup is returning starting point guard Emmanuel Edmonds, a junior who will be joined in the backcourt by seniors Michael West and Kevin Holston. Though there will be little to no back-to-the-basket presence on the Patriots, Jerrell Moore, a 6-foot-3 transfer from Archbishop Carroll, will serve as the team’s de facto big man.

— TRAVIS MEWHIRTER

HIGH POINT Outlook: Coming off a season where now-graduated swing man Oladoyin Fadojutimi accounted for the bulk of the Eagles’ scoring (24.7 points per game), coach Rodney Lewis expects this year’s squad to be far more balanced. With senior forward Chirac Ndetan as the lone returning starter, Lewis expressed excitement regarding a pair of junior twin guards in Issac and Isaiah Richmond. Both can play the point and shooting guard and they’ll rotate who plays where depending on who’s bringing the ball up the court. “They’re our double trouble,” Lewis said. “Both can handle the ball and both can score.” The Eagles, who feature only two seniors on the roster, have been busy this offseason playing in multiple tournaments. “We have a pretty good nucleus of players,” Lewis said.

Outlook: The Tigers experienced a resurgence last season and are perceived much more differently than they have been in the recent past. “Expectations are high as they have ever been,” Tigers coach Lafayette Dublin said. DuVal will potentially start five juniors this season a year removed from an 18-5 campaign. Coaches of other programs have said they expect the Tigers to be good. The Tigers aim to prove all who believe in them correct. Forward Edward Polite will be one of the county’s best. At 6-foot-5, Polite has nearly a dozen offers from NCAA Division I institutions. Lafayette, a DuVal High alumnus, believes his program had a good offseason but understands cohesion will be needed to be successful.

— TERRON HAMPTON

FORESTVILLE

GWYNN PARK Outlook: Gwynn Park coach Mike Glick enters this season with a challenge: “It’s one of the smallest teams I’ve had at Gwynn Park,” he said. “We’re going to be very guard-oriented team. They are all very good players, but we’ll have to focus on rebounding and defense.” Glick said he’ll likely start four guards with their lone post player, 6-foot-7 senior Isaiah Martin. Three returning starters — senior guards Cedric Hines, Evan Joiner and Mike Pegram — join two transfers from Washington Catholic Athletic Conference schools, Jayson Johnson, a sophomore point guard from St. Mary’s Ryken, and Marquis Holland, a senior guard from Bishop Ireton. Anwar Mack, Aaron Parker and a second post player, Marquan Lee, round out players who will receive the bulk of minutes this year.

Outlook: Coming off a year in which the Falcons exceeded expectations during the regular season before bowing out to Largo in the first round of the playoffs, coach Lawrence Pugh’s team will look to senior guard Davon Taylor (16 points per game) to lead a youthful squad that also returns senior guard Dequan Smith. As always, Pugh expects his group to play up-tempo with highpressure defense. “I hope what the kids did last year will rub off on the new guys,” Pugh said. “I think we have an excellent chance to do better than we did last year.” With four new starters expected to grace the Falcons’ starting lineup, Gary Stewart, Devin Panda and Kenneth Pettaway should play key roles immediately.

FREDERICK DOUGLASS

— NICK CAMMAROTA

n Coach: Mike Glick 7th season

Outlook: Capitol Christian Academy, which absorbed Princeton Day Academy, launches a basketball program with topnotch talent. Seven-foot-0 junior Malik Kuwornu and 6-foot-3 guard senior Marcquise Reed highlight the roster. Coach Van Whitfield said Kowornu will be a key player defensively but has room for improvement on offense. Reed was a top player on St. Vincent Pallotti’s Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association Conference Championship team. He and Kowornu have offers from several Division I schools. “We’ll be one of the stronger teams in the area,” Whitfield said. “We have a really talented group.” The team will have a tough, national schedule playing in the highly competitive Capital Beltway Athletic Association, Whitfield said.

CENTRAL

— ERIC GOLDWEIN

CHARLES H. FLOWERS

GRACE BRETHREN

n Coach: Mike Fourth 1st season

n Coach: Van Whitfield 1st season

— TRAVIS MEWHIRTER

— ERIC GOLDWEIN

Outlook: The 2012-13 season could not have been better for the Eagles. A 30-win season capped with a PVAC championship against McLean School. In the offseason, however, former coach Tony Cabbagestalk left the program and last year’s junior varsity coach, Mike Fourth, took over. Fourth, whose son Marquis is a freshman on the team, has one returning starter to work with in Jonathan Cheek. The junior forward is joined in this year’s starting lineup by Fourth, Michael Grey, Tim Fuller and Arke’l Brown on a team that features four returners, two of whom are seniors. “We’re still trying to find our identity,” Fourth said. “Cabbagestalk definitely set a standard. I’m trying to make sure I fulfill it for the guys this year and have a successful season.”

Outlook: Like many of the teams in the County 4A League, the Bulldogs feel they have as good of a chance at success as anyone. They have the luxury of returning five players who started at different spots last season and logged minutes in bunches. The returning starters are guards Jared Gray, Dejuan Smith, Cory Washington, Kade Monroe and forward/guard Everett Chambers. The reason for optimism for the Bulldogs is that all five of the core of players returning are seniors and have game experience. “My belief is that it could be a very good season as long as everyone stays on the same page and same accord and all have goals in mind,” coach Cedric Holbrook said. “It’s incumbent that our seniors carry us early on.”

— TERRON HAMPTON

— NICK CAMMAROTA

FAIRMONT HEIGHTS

CAPITOL CHRISTIAN

LARGO

n Coach: Lewis Howard 14th season n Last season: 14-11 n Starters returning: 3 n Last state tournament: 2012

Outlook: Largo is generally a wrecking ball when it comes to the County 3A/2A/1A League and this season will be no different. The Lions return three starters from last season and coach Lewis Howard said they all have a memory that stands out. “They all remember that experience when we made the state final,” Howard said. “We have a bitter taste in our mouths from last year when we lost in the [2A South] regional final by six points.” Howard said he is very excited and waiting to see how this group meshes. Senior point guard Phillip Thompson has gotten off to a good start in practice in setting the tempo and keeping teammates aware of positioning and assignments. Other returning starters are guard Aaron Thomas and forward Abdul Bundu.

— TERRON HAMPTON

T H E G AZ ET T E

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Thursday, December 5, 2013 bo

HIGH SCHOOL BOYS’ BASKETBALL PREVIEW LAUREL

n Coach: Torrence Oxendine 4th season n Last season: 13-12 n Starters returning: 2 n Last state tournament appearance: 2008

Outlook: Spartans coach Torrence Oxendine returns two starters, senior guards Frank Williams III and guard Cailen Walker. The team needs to replace the production of last year’s leading scorer, Aaron Brown, who graduated. Oxendine said senior forward Devonte Cook and junior varsity call-ups, guard Derrick Solee and forward Ramelo Cardwell, will play major minutes this season as well. Sophomore Kirk Hawkins, who Oxendine called his top newcomer, will take over the point guard duties, Oxendine said. “It should be a decent year for us as we aspire to finish in the middle of the pack in the very tough Prince George’s County 4A conference, arguably the best public school conference in the state,” Oxendine said.

— HARVEY VALENTINE

BISHOP MCNAMARA

n Coach: Martin Keithline 11th season n Last season: 13-16 n Starters returning: 2 n Last WCAC title: None

Outlook: Bishop McNamara has only two returning starters — sophomores Sam Green and Jamar Watson. “We’ll see how it goes this year. We got a young team,” said 11th-year coach Marty Keithline. Watson, 6-foot3, averaged six points and three rebounds as a freshman. Green, 6-foot-5, scored eight points per game and collected seven rebounds in his first year. Keithline said the team’s strength will be in the backcourt. Look for 6-foot-1 guard Jamir Moultrie to make an immediate impact as the team’s only freshman. The team has five seniors, but 6-foot-6 senior forward Tony Aranda is expected to miss most or all of the season with an injury. Last year’s team went 13-16. “The expectation is to be able to compete,” Keithline said.

PHOTOS BY BILL RYAN/THE GAZETTE

The return of sophomore point guard Randall Broddie (left) and senior shooting guard Dion Wiley (right) makes Potomac one of the favorites to win the Class 2A state title.

NATIONAL CHRISTIAN

n Coach: Trevor Brown 14th season n Last season: 22-7 n Starters returning: 1 n Last CBAA title: None

— ERIC GOLDWEIN

n Coach: Dennis Murphy 1st season n Last season: 24-6 n Starters returning: 0 n Last MIAA title: 2013

Outlook: The Panthers have a lot of experience. Sixth-year coach Tremaine Price said he is excited for this season. “I think for us is the thing we wanted to work on is defense,” Price said. “Last year we tried to outscore teams and this year defense is definitely more of a focus. It has gone very well.” Returning starters Adrian Wilson, Kane Wilson and Emmanuel Nwude helped Parkdale start 10-0 last season. Guard Desmond Brogsdale and forward Michael Letzen will add plenty of depth for the Panthers. Last season’s loss to eventual Class 4A state champion Eleanor Roosevelt leaves the team with motivation to improve. Price added that he knows the county will be a difficult trek but feels that any team can win any game.

n Coach: Tremaine Price 6th season n Last season: 13-11 n Starters returning: 3 n Last state tournament: 1997

n Last season: 27-1 n Starters returning: 0 n Last state tournament: 2013

— TERRON HAMPTON

n Last season: 10-12 n Starters returning: 3 n Last state tournament: 2004

SUITLAND

n Coach: George McClure 5th season n Last season: 13-9 n Starters returning: 1 n Last state tournament: 1985

Outlook: Coach George McClure, who doubles as the school’s athletic director, is in a tight spot. As the AD, he’s obligated to root for the Rams football team. As the basketball coach, the end of their season can’t come soon enough. His lone returning starter, Gerard Gray, plays tight end while at least three others are still suiting up in pads and a helmet instead of basketball gear. McClure has enough of an uphill task in going about assembling a team post-Roddy Peters, let alone doing it while nearly half his players are on the wrong playing field. Aside from Gray, McClure expects contributions from DeAndre Gatling (also a football player), Nolen Dixon, Darryl Smith, and Darrencio Daniels. The point guard situation is currently in flux.

— TRAVIS MEWHIRTER

OXON HILL

n Coach: Billy Lanier 1st season n Last season: 6-17 n Starters returning: Unknown n Last state tournament: 2003

— ERIC GOLDWEIN

POTOMAC

n Coach: Renard Johnson 3rd season n Last season: 22-4 n Starters returning: 3 n Last state tournament: 2013

— TERRON HAMPTON

ELEANOR ROOSEVELT

n Coach: Brendan O’Connell 9th season

n Coach: Terrance Burke 5th season

PARKDALE

— ERIC GOLDWEIN

Outlook: The Raiders hope not to skip a beat after winning the program’s first state title since 2002 last season. The road through the County 4A League will be tougher considering the Raiders graduated all five starters and the team’s sixth man. But the Raiders do have seven players from last year’s team returning, albeit none have amassed much playing time. Senior guard Andre Fox and junior guard Ishmail Jabbie both saw as much time last season as any Raiders’ player. The Raiders have won the past five 4A South Region titles. “We have a new group this season and they feel like they have to keep the tradition going,” Raiders coach Brendan O’Connell said. “We have to step up and get through.”

Outlook: Fifth-year coach Terrance Burke is hoping that depth and experience will help get the Wildcats over the hump. Northwestern brings back three starters from a team that went 10-12 and nearly defeated DuVal in the Class 4A South Region quarterfinals. “These guys got a taste of what the playoffs are all about,” Burke said. Expect guard Mike White to play a big role. The 5-foot-2 junior could lead the league in scoring, Burke said. “He’s just an amazing talent,” Burke said. David Belle should also provide a spark on offense while Amir Boney will help carry the defense. The Wildcats will play an up-tempo style and use their athleticism on defense. The plan is to run, Burke said. “We have a championship-caliber team,” Burke said.

— NICK CAMMAROTA

ST. VINCENT PALLOTTI Outlook: The Panthers hit the reset button after winning their first ever Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference championship last season. New coach Dennis Murphy replaces Shae Johnson, who resigned after seven seasons coaching the school. Murphy’s past stops include St. John’s College High School and most recently Bishop O’Connell. While no starters are returning, Murphy said the school has a talented group of young players in its system. “[I’m] really just trying to create the program from the ground up,” Murphy said. He said the team will play an up-tempo style, with a fourguard lineup and no players over 6-foot-3. “We’re going to push it,” he said. “We’re going to have to defend and play hard,” Murphy said.

Outlook: Even though the Eagles have only one starter returning, senior center Sylvester Ogbonda, coach Trevor Brown said he expects big things from his up-tempo group. Transfer point guard Jaquan McKennon should add to the offense while the 6-foot-10 Ogbonda has been getting looks from Cincinnati, Xavier, Old Dominion and Rutgers, among others. National Christian also should be bolstered by sophomore wing Chris Matthews. “We’ve got a lot of talent, so when you’ve got a lot of talent you’ve got to get up and down to try and keep everybody happy or semi-happy,” Brown said. “We’re probably going to go about nine or 10 deep this year.” The Eagles will get some out of state exposure when they travel to North Carolina for a post-Thanksgiving tournament.

NORTHWESTERN

Outlook: There was more to Potomac’s state semifinal run last year than two coveted guards named Dion Wiley, who recently signed with the University of Maryland, and Randall Broddie, whom Division I schools with soon be clamoring for. Romone Saunders and Chris Winn served as invaluable role players, keeping defenses from completely blanketing Broddie and Wiley and providing a helping hand on the glass and defensive end as well. Stepping into those vacant spots will be Antony Smith (8 points, 6 rebounds last year) and Dayjar Dickson (8 points, 8 rebounds). Wiley and Broddie are the sure things — it’s the rest of the players who will decide if Potomac wins the state title.

— JENNIFER BEEKMAN

RIVERDALE BAPTIST

n Coach: Lou Wilson 13th season n Last year: 26-10 n Starters returning: 1 n Last CBAA title: 2013

— TRAVIS MEWHIRTER

SURRATTSVILLE

n Coach: Demario Newman 2nd season n Last season: 13-10 n Starters returning: 3 n Last state tournament: 2008

Outlook: Despite being overall a young team with lots of potential, the Hornets are expected to be led by a trio of seniors. Wing players Evonte Hill and Ryan Wilcox join point guard David Curtis to form the nucleus of Surrattsville’s team. Second-year coach Demario Newman, who enjoyed tremendous success in the past coaching the girls’ team, said he expects all three of those seniors to come through for a team that finished three wins above .500 last season. Newman also said he has some emerging underclassmen, but it’s too early to tell who could step into key roles. “It’s hard to tell where we stand right now,” he said. “We’ll be a young team, play as hard as we can and lean on those seniors for leadership.”

— NICK CAMMAROTA

Outlook: After a seven-year break, during which he spent time at Charles H. Flowers and Friendly, Billy Lanier returns to Oxon Hill for his 13th season with the Clippers. During his first stint there, from 19952006, Oxon Hill made four state tournament appearances and won the championship twice. Though Lanier inherits an inexperienced group, he has a track record for getting the most out of his players. With many underclassmen expected to play a lot of minutes, this season is laying the foundation for the future. The Clippers still hope to be competitive, though. Tight defense will be important to keep opponents from running up scores. Lanier also emphasized rebounding. “We will rely on many underclassmen to lead us this year,” Lanier said.

Outlook: The loss of four starters, including Kansas State guard Nigel Johnson, is only going to hurt Riverdale so much. The Crusaders have taken their lumps and reloaded. The Capital Beltway’s reigning Defensive Player of the Year, Louisville-bound Chinanu Onuaku, is back with an expanded skill set, and Wilson has added two more giants down low in 6-foot-9 Montrose Christian transfer Taron Oliver and 6-foot-8 senior Alexander Long to make for one imposing front court. Also transferring in for the defending champs are guard JeDon Young (Evangel Christian), who averaged 22 points per game as a sophomore, and Aproni Jones (Wilson), whom Wilson expects will “connect from long range.”

— TRAVIS MEWHIRTER

HENRY A. WISE

n Coach: Rob Garner 3rd season n Last season: 19-5 n Starters returning: 4 n Last state tournament: 2009

Outlook: Most of the players who led Wise to the region title game return, so the Pumas are state contenders. Point guard Justice Sneed (6-foot-1), forward Micah Till (6-5), wing Lavonte Sanders (6-2), and forward Devin Moore (6-9) are senior returning starters. The competition for the fifth starter is intense. “In all my years at Wise, and before that at Friendly, I’ve never had so many quality players battling for a spot,” Wise coach Rob Garner said. Good Counsel transfer Trevor Brown, a 6-6 junior forward, Arundel High transfer Nate Hampton (6-1 junior guard) and a bench player from last year, Jalen Sloan, will all see significant minutes, Garner said. In addition, freshman guard Michael Speight (6-3) should be a star for the next four seasons.

— KEN SAIN

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HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS’ BASKETBALL PREVIEW BLADENSBURG Outlook: As Lester Butler would point out, early wins and losses in the regular season only mean so much. Everybody makes the playoffs. That will be his team’s mantra early on, as he tries to groom four new starters — Princess Onukah, Karoline Wilson, Ottley Alexis, Aquilah Simpkin — all juniors, into the lineup. The lone senior among his first five is returning starting point guard Amarachi Ekekwe. The goal for Butler’s green bunch is to finish .500 in the regular season and establish themselves as a dark horse in the playoffs. “The idea is to get them to believe in themselves this year and to come around for playoffs,” he said. “The idea is to get the girls to learn a lot during the regular season.”

n Coach: Lester Butler 25th season n Last season: 3-15 n Starters returning: 1 n Last state tournament: 2001

BOWIE

n Coach: Chris Ferguson 2nd season n Last season: 20-5 n Starters returning: 4 n Last state tournament: 1992

— TRAVIS MEWHIRTER

CROSSLAND

n Coach: Selina Smith 3rd season n Last season: 14-7 n Starters returning: 3 n Last state tournament: 1984

n Starters returning: 1 n Last state tournament: None

Outlook: Third-year Cavaliers coach Selina Smith also serves as Crossland’s volleyball coach. And this fall, that team went undefeated in the regular season and won the division. Smith is hoping some of that transfers over to her basketball team, which returns three starters in senior Janee Harris, senior Uniqek Miller and sophomore Jewel Ledbetter. In addition to that nucleus, senior transfer Alexis Welch (a guard from Bowie) should help lead a guard-heavy squad. A strong core of juniors should find their way onto the court at various points to help the Cavs along. “We’re going to be a transitioning team,” Smith said. “We have a little bit of height but not a lot, but we’re definitely going to have a lot of quickness out there.”

n Coach: Derwin Faulkner 2nd season n Last season: 13-9 n Starters returning: 3 n Last state tournament: 1998

n Starters returning: 3 n Last state tournament: 2010

n Last season: N/A n Returning starters: 0 n Last league title: N/A

Outlook: The always optimistic Patrice Frazier-Watson is once again looking on the bright side of things despite graduating 10 players from last season’s 20-4 team. Dominant junior forward De’Janae Boykin is Frazier-Watson’s lone returning starter. Boykin was remarkable last season as she averaged 15.7 points per game. Junior forward Diamond Douglass tore her ACL and is expected to miss the season while junior forward Sierra Eggleston is the other varsity returner. “I can say that it’s familiar territory,” Frazier-Watson said. “I’ve done it before, several times. We’re going to make everything a positive. The kids are excited, we’re excited and we’ve got a group of smart young ladies.” Also of note is that FrazierWatson enters this season four wins shy of 200 for her career.

Outlook: It’s been more than a decade since Douglass reached the state semifinals and there been a lack of stability, with a revolving door of new coaches. Coach Derwin Faulkner returns after leading the Eagles to a winning mark in his first year, and he’s convinced some former players at the school who gave up on the program to return (seniors Jasmine Carter and Daisy Manago). He returns six of his top eight players from a year ago, including three returning starters: leading scorer Brandy Harrison, point guard Anyae Stanfield and leading rebounder India Richey. Juniors Whitney Hall and Takela Barnes join them as key players. The one challenge this year is height, which Douglass doesn’t have. Carter, who is 6-foot, is the tallest.

n Coach: James Washington 1st season n Last season: 8-11 n Starters returning: 4 n Last state tournament: 1985

Outlook: Forestville isn’t just looking to build on last season, it has set its sights on the state championship, returning point guard Martasia Brown said. It’s not too unrealistic a feat considering the Knights’ lineup is almost entirely the same as a year ago. Forestville is propelled by speed and athleticism, which lend themselves to good overall team defense. Brown works alongside Erin Jones and Brittany Mintz in the backcourt. In addition to speed, the Knights also boast some size in the post led by senior 5-foot-11 center Tierra Hawkins. O’Chae Smith returns to the forward position. Players’ connections on the hardwood and experience playing together puts this team a step ahead of where it was last year Brown said.

DUVAL Outlook: The Tigers return two starters but are largely inexperienced. “Right now were still looking for chemistry to replace our three seniors from last year,” coach Keith Devoe said. The departure of Milan Williams and Ashley Okoro is one challenge. Guard Crystal Nzewna and forward Destinee McQueen are the returning starters. During the fall, the Tigers focused on conditioning and not as much as blending on the court. Devoe said that a productive summer will translate into a winning season. A number of nagging injuries will hinder progress early for the Tigers but Devoe expects to have a completely healthy squad by Christmas. Devoe believes that his program has the opportunity to excel and emerge this season.

n Coach: Keith Devoe 6th season n Last season: 10-13 n Starters returning: 2 n Last state tournament: 2003

FRIENDLY

n Coach: Carroll Holmes 4th season n Last season: 20-5 n Starters returning: 1 n Last state tournament: 2013

— JENNIFER BEEKMAN

— KEN SAIN

n Coach: Lynette O’Reggio 1st season n Last season: 2-18 n Starters returning: 1 n Last state tournament: 1974

Outlook: As former Elizabeth Seton star and G. James Gholson Middle School coach Lynette O’Reggio takes over the varsity program at High Point, she’ll have a relatively clean slate with which to build. Only one starter returns, senior shooting guard Synara Inabinet, to a team that is expected to have five freshman, three sophomores, two juniors and Inabinet on the roster. “The learning curve is steep, but they’re working hard,” O’Reggio said. Because many of O’Reggio’s players are still growing, she expects her undersized team to adapt to a fast-paced style that relies on a talented frontcourt. “I’m definitely excited to help rebuild this program and help bring it to a level of excellence it hasn’t had in quite some time.”

— NICK CAMMAROTA

n Coach: Marcellus Clement 2nd season n Last season: 1-18 n Starters returning: 3 n Last state tournament: 1999

Outlook: Under the guidance of freshman point guard Marchae Sisco, the Patriots captured a region title and a ticket to the state tournament, a promising sign of a bright future both individually for Sisco and team-wise for Friendly. Now a sophomore, Sisco has made visible improvements, according to Holmes, who says her decision making is sharper and ball-handling more under control. She will have a fleet of senior forwards to dish to in Jenae Foreman, Alexis Coverton, and Kalynn Stroman. Per usual, Holmes expects to keep his team defense and rebound oriented, controlling both the tempo and glass. “They know this is their time to step up,” he said. “They know the program. It’s a process.”

FAIRMONT HEIGHTS

n Coach: Annie Harper 2nd season n Last season: 3-17 n Starters returning: 4 n Last state tournament: 1984

GRACE BRETHREN

n Coach: Grady Bryant 4th season n Last season: 17-5 n Starters returning: 5 n Last PVAC championship: None

n Last season: 20-7 n Starters returning: 3 n Last state tournament: 2011

— TERRON HAMPTON

Outlook: Two seasons after the Eagles didn’t have a team and were banned from the PVAC playoffs, a squad that went 17-5 last year returns all five starters. Fourth-year coach Grady Bryant is excited about the prospect of having seniors Brandi McLean and Sydnie Corley, junior Jazsmin Bryant and sophomores Ariana Romney and Addie Sesson all back in the starting lineup. McLean is a Division I prospect who transferred from Gwynn Park midway through last season and averaged 13.4 rebounds per game and 8.8 points per game. Meanwhile, Bryant, Romney and Sesson all averaged 10 or more points per game last season. “We’re pretty excited for this season,” Bryant said. “We should have really strong trio of guards to help lead us.”

— NICK CAMMAROTA

LARGO

n Coach: Ayana Ball-Ward 9th season

Outlook: Second-year coach Annie Harper wants to get her team to .500 and said the goal is attainable with four returning starters. The team’s strength will be in the frontcourt, with senior Erika Bryce playing in the middle. “I got high hopes for her this year,” Harper said. Junior guard Deja Tunstall was one of Fairmont Heights’ top scorers last year, picking up her scoring at the end of the season. Harper expects Tunstall, the younger sister of Hornets alumnus Destinee Tunstall, to be a key contributor offensively. Harper said she hopes the added year of experience will help her as a coach. “I’m really learning the players from last year,” she said. Harper recorded three wins in her debut season with Fairmont Heights.

— ERIC GOLDWEIN

— TRAVIS MEWHIRTER

Outlook: An appearance in the state semifinals became commonplace for the Lions over the past decade. However, the Lions haven’t reached those heights since the 20102011 season and coach Ayana Ball-Ward knows as much. “Our players haven’t been that far in three years and they understand we have to get back where we were,” Ball-Ward said. According to their coach, the Lions are “young and talented.”Tthe team will start two sophomores and a junior. But the real test to the season will be when the playoffs arrive as the expectation is that the program will be among the best in the County 3A/2A/1A League during the regular season. The returning starters are Alexis Long, Chance Graham and Amel Duggins.

Outlook: There’s little question 2012-13 was rough for the Falcons. With the youthful and undersized team’s only win coming against Fairmont Heights, second-year coach Marcellus Clement is optimistic that this year’s squad is on the right path. So much is Clement hoping to foster the idea that all players on his team are equally capable that he requested none of his players’ names be printed in the season preview so as not to single anyone out. But of the three returning starters, one is a junior and two are sophomores while eight players return overall. “I trust in all the members of my team that they’ll continue to grow and work together and try to improve as a family unit,” said Clement, whose team played in two summer leagues.

—NICK CAMMAROTA

— TERRON HAMPTON

HIGH POINT

Outlook: Last year’s Player of the Year, guard Genesis Lucas, graduated after earning a scholarship to Coppin State, but don’t cry for the County 3A/2A/1A League defending champs. Coach Michael Strother says he returns eight players on varsity who saw significant minutes. Senior guard Takayla Ellis (13.6 points per game) is the top returning scorer and will likely earn the most attention from defenses. Joining her as key players are juniors Armoni Mooney and Ashleigh Seegars, sophomore Chantelle Gross and senior Tashina Cardwell. Gwynn Park added a transfer from powerhouse Riverdale Baptist, 6-foot-3 Ashanti Freeland, who played at the Brandywine school her freshman and sophomore seasons. “Hopefully, we’ll be there at the end,” Strother said.

CENTRAL

— ERIC GOLDWEIN

FORESTVILLE

GWYNN PARK

n Last season: 21-4

n Coach: Henry Anglin 1st season

— KEN SAIN

— NICK CAMMAROTA

n Coach: Michael Strother 7th season

Outlook: Henry Anglin takes over as coach of the new Capitol Christian Academy program and will have several talented players, including senior point guard Breonn Hughey. The Towson University recruit transferred from H.D. Woodson, where Anglin coached last season. Riverdale Baptist transfer Auteonna Gilmore, 5-foot-8, will play a key role in the backcourt as a combo guard. Capitol Christian also brings in a number of impact freshmen. Look for 5-foot-6 point guard Mykea Gray to contribute in her first season. Anglin said many of the players have experience playing together through AAU and other clubs. “It’s a challenge, but it’s coming together pretty good right now,” he said.

FREDERICK DOUGLASS

CHARLES H. FLOWERS

n Last season: 20-4

Outlook: Despite not seeing much of one another during the offseason, the Bulldogs have plenty of chemistry. Many of the team’s core have played together on an AAU club or another team. The Bulldogs performed well during the fall league held at Mt. Vernon High School (Va.). A game against a loaded Riverdale Baptist team during the fall league has second-year coach Chris Ferguson optimistic. “It was encouraging to compete against a top team [Riverdale Baptist] with just five players when they had their whole team,” Ferguson said. The Bulldogs return seven seniors from a 20-5 team last season that saw significant playing time. The returning starters are Marshauna Butler, McKenzi Bess, Ryan Maynard and Alexis Newbold.

— TERRON HAMPTON

— NICK CAMMAROTA

n Coach: Patrice Frazier-Watson 14th season

CAPITOL CHRISTIAN

LAUREL

n Coach: Thomas Harrison 13th season n Last season: 14-10 n Starters returning: 2 n Last state tournament: 1992

Outlook: Veteran Spartans coach Thomas Harrison will be working with an inexperienced team that lost three starters. Laurel will rely heavily on returning starters, senior guard Lisa Jing and senior forward Megan Brown. “We’re very small and young, but I think we’ll be alright,” he said. Three girls coming up from junior varsity — Omasan Uyebi, Jamonie Lindsey and Grace Onuma — could make a difference. “We have a lot of quickness. I think we have a lot of role players, girls who’ve found their roles and know what they’re supposed to do and don’t have any problem doing that. That’s going to help our teamwork,” he said. “Nobody’s going to be mad that this girl or that girl scored more points.”

— HARVEY VALENTINE

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HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS’ BASKETBALL PREVIEW BISHOP MCNAMARA

n Coach: Frank Oliver Jr. 1st season n Last season: 3-24 n Starters returning: 2 n Last WCAC title: None

NORTHWESTERN

Outlook: New coach Frank Oliver Jr. expects the upcoming season to be a challenge, with Bishop McNamara coming off a 3-24 season. But if the Mustangs play smart, fundamentallysound basketball, they could take a step forward, Oliver said. “This is going to be a work in progress. It’s going to be a team effort,” said Oliver, who previously coached at H.D. Woodson in Washington D.C. The young team has no seniors, four juniors, six sophomores and a freshman. “We expect the young ladies to play as hard as they possibly can,” he said. McNamara returns two starters from last year’s team. Look for junior guards Kholby Oliver and Myka Johnson-Matthews to contribute, along with sophomore forward Morgan Smith. “We’re just building [for] the future,” Oliver said.

n Coach: Ashelley Wilder 2nd season n Last season: 0-22 n Starters returning: 3 n Last state tournament: 1979

— ERIC GOLDWEIN

— ERIC GOLDWEIN

OXON HILL

n Coach: Devonne Williams 2nd season n Last season: 2-16 n Starters returning: 2 n Last state tournament: 2004

Outlook: Second-year Oxon Hill coach Devonne Williams knew his players for about one week before they embarked on last season and that unfamiliarity between coach and players showed. Leadership provided by senior guards Jasmine Butler and Mishayla Mason, the two returning starters, will be integral, Williams said. But the addition of freshman guards Brittany Whitley and Johnee Durham add depth to the lineup. The Clippers will rely heavily on stingy defense, Williams said, hoping to keep opponents’ scoring low to stay competitive. Mason will likely be the team’s top scorer. Despite her youth Durham has proven herself to be an effective point guard and Whitley, who has the most travel ball experience, is a wildcard that can be used at any position when needed.

— JENNIFER BEEKMAN

ST. VINCENT PALLOTTI

n Coach: Rod Hairston 1st season n Last season: 19-16 n Starters returning: 3 n Last IAAM title: 2007

GREG DOHLER/THE GAZETTE

De’Janae Boykin (right) of Charles H. Flowers drives to the basket against Kaila Charles of host Eleanor Roosevelt last February in Greenbelt. Both players return to lead their respective teams this season.

PARKDALE

n Coach: Lawrence Watson 3rd season n Last season: 13-14 n Starters returning: 3 n Last state tournament: 1981

Outlook: The Panthers hope to reach a state final for the first time in three decades. Thirdyear Panthers coach Lawrence Watson thinks his team has what it takes to, perhaps, come close to that goal. “Our goal is to make sure we come together as a team,” Watson said. “We’re looking to play hard.” Returning is guard Kareema Conteh, who averaged over 13 points per game. Guard Nailah Jones looks to improve her nine points per game average and fill void left by forward E.J. Ajaemba’s (Old Dominion University) departure. Ajaemba finished the 2012-2013 campaign with 454 rebounds. Guard Samantha Spencer is the other returning starter. Tabitha Johnson (6-foot-2) and forward/center Ruth Omolola hope to become a force inside.

POTOMAC

n Coach: Eli Horowitz 1st season n Last season: 5-13 n Starters returning: 2 n Last state tournament: 2005

— TERRON HAMPTON

n Coach: Jonathan Scruggs 4th season n Last season: 21-11 n Starters returning: 3 n Last WCAC title: 2010

— TRAVIS MEWHIRTER

Outlook: First-year coach Eli Horowitz has inherited an uphill battle in replacing shooting guard Makayla Johnson, an All-Gazette honorable mention and a 17-point per game scorer, from a team that was lost in the first round of playoffs. But he does bring back senior floor general Myia Fletcher while sophomore Aja Jamerson will be stepping into the varsity ranks as an expected starter. Taking on the responsibility of filling in for the graduated Johnson is shooting guard Johnese Hill. Joining Johnson amongst Horowitz’s underclassmen is freshman Diera Lawson. Horowitz’s young squad will get their first big test on Dec. 19 in matching up with defending county champ Gwynn Park.

RIVERDALE BAPTIST

n Coach: Sam Caldwell 2nd season n Last season: 29-6 n Starters returning: Not available n Last national title: 2012

— TRAVIS MEWHIRTER

ELIZABETH SETON Outlook: Three starters may be coming back for coach Jonathan Scruggs, including Central Connecticut State-bound point guard Camden Musgrave, but the coach graduated seven players from a WCAC semifinalist squad, six of whom are now playing collegiately. Janelle Hubbard, now with Richmond and a career 1,000 point scorer for the Roadrunners, left a hole, and Scruggs will likely lean on Casey Davis (George Mason) and Savannah Johnson (Brown) replace her points. The two combined for 13 points and 13 rebounds per game last year while Davis added five blocks a contest and Johnson contributed three steals. Senior forward Khayla Trowell (New Haven) rounds out the front court, bringing five points and five rebounds per game.

Outlook: The Wildcats were winless last season, but secondyear coach Ashelley Wilder said her team has the personnel and experience to improve. Sophomore Shirleah Ragin, junior Taylor Wilder and senior Gloria Ndongo return to the starting lineup while the Wildcats added several skilled and talented players. “I was fortunate to receive a lot of good players from our feeder programs and definitely expect to see whole new Northwestern girls’ basketball program,” Wilder said. Look for Ragin, the starting point guard, to take a step forward after leading the team in scoring last season. “She has developed physically and mentally and is such a humble and awesome player to work with,” Wilder said. The team will also get backcourt help from India Pineda and Wanda Murray.

SUITLAND

n Coach: Keith Lynch 5th season n Last season: 15-7 n Starters returning: 0 n Last state tournament: 2001

Outlook: With an entire starting lineup vacated, most would expect Lynch to default to “rebuilding mode.” But the coach is genuinely optimistic about this year’s team. He went deep into his bench last season, giving four of his projected starters valuable experience heading into this year. Charnise Tyler, whom Lynch described as “6-foot-2, strong, athletic, and very aggressive,” may be the tallest player in the county. She is joined in the frontcourt by senior small forward Tatiana Furr while senior Jade Young and junior Bishop McNamara transfer Dominique Smith will take over the backcourt. While the coach held positive expectations for the year, he admitted there will be a learning curve. By season’s end, however, “they’ll be ready.”

— TRAVIS MEWHIRTER

Outlook: The Crusaders recently returned from a weeklong excursion in Germany, a “great cultural experience,” as Athletic Director Terry Terrill labeled it. It will be far from the last time they see some stout competition, though the rest should be stateside. Ranked No. 10 in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25, the Crusaders again are expected to be loaded. Caldwell graduated just 6-foot-2 center Jonelle Britt and 6-foot-1 power forward Maya Singleton. Junior Passion Scott and senior Khaila Prather are expected to fill out the vacated frontcourt. Chloe Jackson, an N.C. State recruit and nationally considered one of the top prospects of the 2014 class, is back for her final season as is backcourt teammate and Florida State recruit Chania Ray.

— ERIC GOLDWEIN

ELEANOR ROOSEVELT

n Coach: Delton Fuller 4th season n Last season: 26-2 n Starters returning: 2 n Last state tournament: 2013

— TRAVIS MEWHIRTER

SURRATTSVILLE

n Coach: Deon Yates 1st season n Last season: 9-13 n Starters returning: 3 n Last state tournament: 2009

Outlook: After former coach Tynisha Payton left the Hornets to coach at Wilson High (D.C.), Surrattsville hired last year’s junior varsity coach, Deon Yates, to take over the historically successful program. Yates has been greeted with a core of talented sophomores with which to build. Three starters are returning from last year’s team in sophomore center Jenelle Collier, sophomore combo guard Caniyia Buckner and sophomore point guard Tyonna Edmundson. “It’s a treat because I know I’m going to have all of them for three years,” Yates said. Like Hornets teams of the past, Yates expects to play an up-tempo game with lots of pressure on defense. “We’ll be a scrappy young bunch but they’re so young and raw, so it’s a big learning curve.”

— NICK CAMMAROTA

Outlook: New coach Rod Hairston wants to bring Pallotti from the middle of the pack to the top of the standings and believes he has the personnel to make the jump. Senior Beverly Ogunrinde will be a top contributor. She averaged 11.1 points per game last season and recently announced she was signing with James Madison University. “This is a kid that I think is doing to do really big things this season,” said Hairston, who replaces Josh Pratt. Hairston expects Kaiya Coleman to play a big role on the talented, experienced team. “I truly think I have seven kids that could play at the next level,” Hairston said. Hairston led Bullis to an Independent School League AA Division championship last season.

Outlook: After winning five consecutive state championships from 2006 to 2010, it was strange for the Raiders to go through a tough period in which the program didn’t win region titles, and thus not making it to the state semifinals. Last season was more in line with the program’s recent tradition when the Raiders only lost two games. But Roosevelt players and coaches say they know that not winning a state title renders a good season relatively hollow. “The boys have a poster of their state championship season and I put the poster in our team room,” Raiders coach Delton Fuller said. “It’s nice getting close but you have to win it.” The burden to change that falls to the two returning starters, guard Kalia Charles and forward/center Tolu Okomoer.

— TERRON HAMPTON

HENRY A. WISE

n Coach: Walter Clark 7th season n Last season: 10-10 n Starters returning: 0 n Last state tournament: 2012

Outlook: After back-toback appearances in state title games, last year was a tough one for the Pumas. It started with the two players they figured would lead them that year, center Ciara Lee and guard Carolyn Cosey, suffering knee injuries and missing the season. Both return this year from anterior cruciate ligament surgeries. “Carolyn (a senior) is further ahead than Ciara (junior),” coach Walter Clark said of their rehabs. Others expected to be key players are Niani Hartwell, Kiana Hinton and sophomore Kia Lisby. “There’s a lot of parity in the 4A this year, and that’s a good thing,” Clark said. “When we went 180, we weren’t ready to play on the state level. That won’t happen this year, there are five or so good teams.”

— KEN SAIN

THE GAZETTE

Thursday, December 5, 2013 bo

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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL

A TALE OF OPPOSITES n

4A STATE TITLE TEAMS HAVE LITTLE IN COMMON

STATE CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE CLASS 3A

Suitland advances to state title game Rams overcome slow start; offensive line keys 46-25 victory over Meade n

BY

ERIC GOLDWEIN STAFF WRITER

Franklin (11-2) vs. Linganore (12-1) BRIAN LEWIS/FOR THE GAZETTE

Northwest High School quarterback Mark Pierce drops back to pass in the 4A West final.

BILL RYAN/THE GAZETTE

Suitland’s Robert Wigfall runs against Duval during a playoff game on Nov. 23.

NORTHWEST: QUICK STARTS

SUITLAND: SLOW STARTS

The Jaguars have been hot to start games in their current winning streak, jumping out to big leads early and holding on while opponents try to claw back. They have outscored foes 35-6 in the first quarter of the past four games.

The Rams had to rally in the fourth quarter to defeat Bowie (a spread offense) and DuVal. They were tied with Flowers 0-0 at halftime before dominating the second half. Last week, Meade scored first and the Rams went scoreless in the first quarter.

NORTHWEST: HIGH-SCORING OFFENSE

7:30 p.m. Friday

The Rams’ defense gave up only 7.2 points per game in the regular season. It hasn’t been as good in the playoffs, up to 16.3. Still, it is the strength of the team.

NORTHWEST: SOPHOMORE QB

CLASS 1A

SUITLAND: SENIOR QB

In the five games since the Jags lost to Clarksburg, Mark Pierce has completed 95 of 134 passes (71 percent) for 1,427 yards and thrown 18 touchdowns and ran for another. He has had four interceptions in those games.

Fort Hill (13-0) vs. Douglass-Balt. (13-0)

Despite being a run-first team, Wesley Wolfolk has proved to be one of the top quarterbacks in Prince George’s County by completing 61 percent of his passes for 1,832 yards and 20 touchdowns. He can also run with the ball.

Noon Saturday

CLASS 2A

NORTHWEST: PASS FIRST

SUITLAND: RUN FIRST

The Jaguars run a spread offense with a short passing game that tries to find the gaps in the defense’s coverage. What makes it work is Northwest’s team speed. They can run it too, behind E.J. Lee (176 yards the past two weeks).

While they can pass if they need to, the Rams prefer to run, mainly behind senior running back Robert “Trey” Wigfall. He has nearly 1,700 all-purpose yards and 16 touchdowns. Wolfolk does throw deep passes to keep defenses from packing it in.

FEARLESS FORECASTS

Northwest vs. Suitland

Middletown (13-0) vs. Patuxent (13-0) 3:30 p.m. Saturday

The Gazette sports staff picks the winners for games involving Prince George’s County football teams. Here are this week’s selections: P.G. County record All games

CLASS 4A

Northwest (11-2) vs. Suitland (13-0)

SUITLAND: LIGHTS-OUT DEFENSE

The Jaguars have averaged 34.1 points per game. It’s 37.8 during the current win streak, which includes two wins against Quince Orchard, usually one of the top defenses in the state.

7 p.m. Thursday

The afternoon started with a 68-yard Meade High School rushing touchdown, followed by an assortment of penalties and a couple dysfunctional offensive possessions. But what Suitland’s football team lacked in the first quarter of Saturday’s Class 4A state semifinal football game, it made up for in the next three. The Rams scored seven touchdowns — all after the first quarter — en route to a 46-25 victory against Meade to earn a berth in Friday’s state championship game. Suitland (13-0) is scheduled to play Northwest (11-2) 7:30 p.m. Friday at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. “That was our goal coming into the season — ultimately we wanted to win the championship, and we got one more game to do it,” senior quarterback Wesley Wolfolk said. Wolfolk threw for 281 yards and rushed for two touchdowns, sealing the victory with a 47-yard score in the fourth quarter. The offensive line played a key role against a much bigger Meade defense. After giving up

two sacks in the first quarter, the line cleared lanes for Suitland’s running backs and gave Wolfolk more time in the pocket. “The offensive line picked it up,” Wolfolk said. “They just started doing their thing and picked up the blocking good. I just found the open guy and hit them.” It’s the second straight game the line overcame a size disadvantage, Suitland coach Ed Shields said. “To me the under-reported story is that Meade is huge. DuVal was so much bigger than us and these kids have really pushed through that,” Shields said. “I mean, we’re getting battered up front. But they fight.” Senior running back Robert Wigfall ran for three touchdowns, including a 72-yard score that gave Suitland a 33-17 lead. “It’s great knowing that you have a playmaker at running back,” Wolfolk said. “Knowing that [Wigfall, Joshua Burke and Brandon Brown] can run the ball as well as they do, it’s just a great feeling.” Rams senior Nick Nelson caught four passes for 141 yards and a touchdown. He helped set up a Suitland touchdown with a 64-yard reception in the second quarter. “Everybody contributes,” senior offensive lineman Bamidele Lawal-Scott said. “It’s not just one person, everybody just contributes.”

n All games at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore

Ken Sain

Nick Cammarota

Jennifer Beekman

Dan Feldman

Travis Mewhirter

Kent Zakour

152-29 306-59

151-30 304-61

150-31 303-62

151-29 301-64

153-28 300-65

144-37 288-77

Suitland

Suitland

Northwest

Suitland

Northwest

Suitland

n Tickets are $8 n Games shown live on The CW network in Baltimore and Washington, D.C. and streamed on the web at www.nfhsnetwork.com/ channels/maryland

BILL RYAN/THE GAZETTE

Suitland High School’s Tevin Singleton competes against Meade in Saturday’s state semifinal football game in District Heights.

Northwest offense scores 55 points to beat Paint Branch, play for title Sophomore quarterback scores seven touchdowns to lead Jags

n

BY ERIC GOLDWEIN STAFF WRITER

period. We were trying to go to states, and we’re championship bound,” Watson said. Northwest pulled away late in the fourth quarter. After a red zone stop on fourth down,

the Jaguars regained possession deep in their own territory. Following a short-run play, they ran a an end-around for Watson, who sprinted for a 93-yard touchdown to seal the victory.

“It just happens,” said Watson, who has eight postseason touchdowns. “Whoever’s hot on the field, we try to go to them as much as possible.” Pierce was hot to start the

game, completing his first seven pass attempts and 19 of 24 in the first half. Senior Joshua Gills was his favorite receiving target. Gills caught eight passes for 159 yards

and a 32-yard touchdown. “We just have a bunch of playmakers,” Gills said. “If you get the ball to any of our offensive skill players, something good is going to happen.”

The Gazette’s Auto Site

Gazette.Net/Autos

1864903

Northwest High School football’s offense rushes to line up for the play, but then the quarterback calmly steps back, looks to the sidelines and waits, patiently, for the signals from the coaches. It’s the “no-play,” as sophomore quarterback Mark Pierce calls it. The team runs a hard count while offensive coordinator Justin Sickeri selects a play based on the defense he sees. In Friday’s 4A state semifinal victory against Paint Branch, the “no-play” worked to perfection. Led by Pierce’s seven touchdowns, Northwest defeated Paint Branch 55-36 to advance to next week’s Class 4A state championship game. Northwest (11-2) plays Suitland (12-0) at 7:30 p.m. Friday at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. “It’s great. I throw it to everyone,” Pierce said. “It’s good to have a good six or seven people that you can rely on to throw it to every down.” Pierce completed 29 of 37 passes for 335 yards, throwing six touchdowns to four different players. Senior Matt Watson caught two touchdown passes and ran for a third. “We didn’t want to lose,

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Thursday, December 5, 2013 bo

FACTORY

Continued from Page B-1 with him senior A.J. Cabbagestalk. “The foundation starts with a good coaching staff from the ground up.” Barely an hour down the road in Upper Marlboro is a similarly structured team in Riverdale Baptist, which also relies on transfers too talented to glean much else from playing in the public school ranks or even middle-level private schools. There were no more realms of public school hoops for Nigel Johnson (Kansas State) to conquer when his junior year ended at Broad Run. During his final year in the public ranks, Johnson averaged nearly 30 points per game, eclipsed that number 11 times, and once scored 55. Yet his highest suitor was George Washington. As a senior, with barely three months at Riverdale under his belt — in which he led the Crusaders to a Capital Beltway championship and was named tournament MVP — Johnson reneged on his oral commitment to GW and opened up the recruiting process again. Within a few weeks, Kansas State, a No. 4 seed in last year’s NCAA Tournament, came calling, and Johnson was soon a Wildcat. “I try to instill upon my players that this is the level you want to play,” said longtime Riverdale coach Lou Wilson, who is a career 556-215 at the school. “When you go off to college, there are going to be 12 players on a scholarship who were probably the best players on their high school teams.” Like Montrose, the majority of Riverdale’s seniors are shipped off to college with a Division I scholarship in hand. Wilson estimates that in any given year, there could be as many as seven. And then it’s

ROOSEVELT

Continued from Page B-1 chance to get into the regional finals,” said Chris Ferguson, Bowie’s second-year coach. The Bulldogs have four returning starters including senior Marshauna Butler, a Stony Brook University recruit who led

RAPHAEL TALISMAN/FOR THE GAZETTE

Riverdale Baptist junior center Chinanu Onuaku grabs an offensive rebound during a game on Saturday evening at the Riverdale Baptist School in Upper Marlboro. back to bringing in new names, new faces and new Division I talents — reloading. “Coach Lou produces good players and that’s what college coaches want,” said Riverdale alumnus Justin Drummond, a former first-team All-Gazette player now with Toledo. “He creates a lot of opportunities for guys. There’s just a lot of tradition there. A lot of good players come through and play all different type of levels.” And it’s not limited to Montrose and Riverdale. Capitol Christian, which played as Princeton Day, churned out nearly half a dozen Division I — or professional, in Aquille Carr’s

case — players last year and the upstart Clinton Christian will likely be doing the same in the near future. Many may point to DeMatha Catholic as a similar “factory” producing basketball players on a figurative assembly line, but Mike Jones’ program has created a different identity. The Stags, who are a part of the historically powerful Washington Catholic Athletic Conference, have established themselves as mostly a fouryear program. There are those who transfer out, Quinn Cook bolting for Oak Hill for example, but rarely does Jones take in a transfer for just one season. The Riverdales, Montroses, Capitol

and Clinton Christians — all of which competed independent of a conference just two years ago — of the world rely on a high influx of transfers, taking them in for a year or two, sometimes three, grooming them for the collegiate level, and sending them back out as a more polished basketball player. “I don’t really have to recruit,” Wilson said. “We entertain phone calls and kids visiting Riverdale. Ninety-five percent of the kids reach out to me, and the other five percent are from parents, uncles, grandparents, cousins. Things like that happen quite often.”

county in 3-pointers last season. Flowers, coming off a 20-4 season, lost to Roosevelt 48-44 in the Class 4A South Region final. The Jaguars return only two varsity players: junior forwards De’Janae Boykin and Sierra Eggleston. Junior forward Diamond Douglass is expected to miss the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

Advancing in the state tournament is difficult for Prince George’s County’s teams, Ferguson said. “We beat each other up so bad. By the time we get to state semifinals, it’s tough,” he said. Flowers’ coach Patrice FrazierWatson, entering her 14th season, expressed similar sentiments: “I don’t think the county is necessarily getting weaker ... we have an opportunity to beat up on one another in the 4A South, and only one gets out,” she said.

Suitland won titles in 1998, 1999 and 2001, but Eleanor Roosevelt is the only Prince George’s County school to win a 4A championship in the past decade. Henry A. Wise represented Prince George’s County in the state finals in 2012 and 2011, losing to Gaithersburg by doubledigits in both games. “Whoever comes out this year has a very good chance of winning it,” Ferguson said.

Professional Services

tmewhirter@gazette.net

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GREG DOHLER/THE GAZETTE

Springbrook center Alex Evans (right) soars to shoot the ball above defenders from visiting Takoma Academy during a basketball scrimmage in Silver Spring.

BIG MEN

Continued from Page B-2 “If there’s a true, polished big man, a lot of times private schools will scoop them,” O’Connell said. “A lot of times we’re working with the ones who the private schools don’t scoop.” Alexander was nearly a head taller than most he matched up against, with a few exceptions being Wise’s Micah Till and Devin Moore, DuVal’s Edward Polite, and a handful of others. Nelson couldn’t name a big man in Montgomery who played a center’s traditional role. Springbrook’s Alex Evans is likely to be a traditional post player this season. “That’s the nature of the beast,” said Nelson, who has 6-foot-7 Bruke Hawkins on his roster, the first athlete he’s had taller than 6-foot-3. “When I was playing, we had four big guys go [Division I]. That would never happen nowadays because the private schools would scoop them up.”

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“Phased out.” It’s easy for Nelson to recall the days when Springbrook won its three consecutive state titles from 2008-2010. Jamal Olasewere, currently playing professional ball in Italy, couldn’t be stopped for one distinct reason: he was the only one who knew how to play the post. “He dominated,” Nelson said. “If you have a guy who scores in the post, you have an advantage right off the bat.” Because it’s not just playing in the post that has gone unpopular — there’s nothing glamorous about coaching it either. “The center has been completely phased out. Coaches have outcoached themselves,” Nelson said. “They’re trying to make everybody skilled — dribbling, passing, shooting.” Which makes the value of a true post player all the more valuable. “I mean, I’d like to have them,” O’Connell said. “If you have a kid who can post up like that, they’re going to be hard to stop.” tmewhirter@gazette.net

THE GAZETTE

Thursday, December 5, 2013 bo

BRATWURST

Continued from Page B-2 dards — the team played three exhibition games against the Ramstein women’s basketball team, Ramstein High School and Kaiserslautern High School. They also spent the day before Thanksgiving at a United Service Organizations (USO) clinic for Wounded Warriors from Afghanistan and shared a holiday meal with the troops on Thursday. “All this is real good stuff for them,” Caldwell said. “And for a few players who have never left Maryland, to come to another country, that’s historic for them.” Added Ray: “It was a great starting point for our season. Our initial takeoff, that’s what it was.” The Crusaders arrived back in the U.S. at 6 a.m. on Saturday and played a game at 3 p.m. that same day. Then, they slept. On the court, Riverdale Baptist not only returns Ray, but features senior point guard Chloe Jackson (North Carolina State), senior forward Khaila Prather (Miami) and junior forward Passion Scott on a well-balanced roster that has four seniors, five juniors and two sophomores. “Everybody has different goals,” said Caldwell, who, as always, expects his team to play an up-tempo style of basketball. “We absolutely want to be the No. 1 team in the country. We’ve been No. 2 and we’ve been No. 3, but we’ve never been No.1, so we’re shooting for that.” Ray said the team’s ultimate goal this season is to win Nike’s Tournament of Champions. She’s not as worried about national rankings or winning streaks as long as the Crusaders are playing well down the stretch. She also knows how difficult things will be for a team that likely is better than a squad that went 29-6 last season. The year before that, Riverdale went 38-2 and won a national championship. “We’re going to have a big target on our backs, but we know we can have our teammates that can back us up,” Ray said. “We have every piece of the puzzle, it’s just a matter of how we put it together.” ncammarota@gazette.net

GREG DOHLER/THE GAZETTE

Gwynn Park’s Isaiah Martin (center) takes a shot during a Nov. 26 scrimmage against Bishop McNamara.

SWITCHING

Continued from Page B-2 more opportunities for players to freelance, to read and react to opposing defenses, rather than feel restricted by carefully calculated plays. Teams’ defenses can also benefit from smaller, quicker lineups, coaches agreed. A good scrambling defense can put pressure on opponents and draw turnovers that result in transition buckets. Some of Frederick Douglass’ most successful campaigns in recent years have been predicated on that, coach Tyrone Massenburg said. It’s a more entertaining style of ball, Glick said. “This county has some real good guards,” Massenburg said. “Coaches want to put their best players on the floor and the best players [right now] happen to be guards. You really need to be able to take advantage of what you have.” While the pattern has trickled down from the NBA — young players always want to emulate what they see on television, coaches agreed — better coaching in youth basketball organizations in more recent years has emphasized the importance of developing full skill sets for all players at a young age and these players are now filling out high school rosters. “The game of basketball is changing at all levels and I’m embracing that change,” Glick said. jbeekman@gazette.net

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Page B-9

THE GAZETTE

Page B-10

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Thursday, December 5, 2013 bo

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Page B-12

THE GAZETTE

Thursday, December 5, 2013 bo

Thursday, December 5, 2013 bo

Automotive

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