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Sherwood Athletic Hall of Fame welcomes new members

by Judith Hruz


Some of them proudly wore the Sherwood High School uniform.

Another coached the football team to an undefeated state championship in 2008 and to the state finals three times in just five years.

Two are teams whose accomplishments are hard to surpass.

And one is an alumnus whose roots reach deep into the community he has served far beyond graduation.

Twenty individual athletes, two teams, a coach and one student-athlete who supported Sherwood athletics and the Rock ‘n’ Roll Revival for over 50 years are part of the fifth class of the Sherwood High School Athletic Hall of Fame.

“Sherwood is a special place with a lot of special people alumni refer to as the ‘Sherwood Family,’” said Carter Willson, Class of 1973 and a member of the second Hall of Fame class in 2015 for his contribution to Warrior football, wrestling and baseball.

“For 116 years it has been a community institution and continues in that role today,” he said.

New members include:

Danny Gaither — Basketball — Gaither played basketball for four years and led the varsity team to the 1970 District II Championship. The team was a state finalist. He was selected as First Team All-County. He led the team in scoring with a 23.5 points per game average. He played at Campbell University and then served in the United States Army.

Joe McGirr – Track and Cross Country — McGirr was the indoor track State Champion in the 1600m and 3200m in 1984. He was the outdoor track State Champion in 1600m and finalist in 3200m. He was outdoor track regional champion in1600m and 3200m. McGirr won the Inaugural Katie Jenkins Meet (1984) in 800m, 1600m and 3200m. In 1983 he was Class A regional Cross Country Champion. In 1982 and 1983 he was second place on the All-Montgomery County Cross Country team. He competed for La Salle University and became a commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy as an aviator, retiring after 28 years of service.

David Backus – Baseball, Soccer and Basketball — Backus was All-Met, All-State and All-County for baseball in 1989 and received The Jack Mattingly Award as Maryland American Legion Player of the Year. As a sophomore in his first varsity baseball game, he threw a no-hitter. His record as a senior was 8-1 with a 1.02 ERA. He was a member of the 1986 and 1988 State Championship soccer teams. In basketball, he was on the state finalist team of 1989. He played baseball at the College of William and Mary.

Tim Rivenbark – Track and Cross Country — Rivenbark was State Champion in 55m (indoor) and 300m hurdles (outdoor). He is the school record holder of 55m, 110m and 300m hurdles. He was selected as MVP in both indoor and outdoor track in 1989. He was selected for the Richard (Dick) Martin Award. He also was a member of the undefeated 1987 cross country team. At the USA Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships, he earned silver and bronze medals in the hurdles. Rivenbark went to the University of Maryland, where he was a member of the track and field team. He received scholar-athlete awards and was a Dean’s List student in aerospace engineering, earning both a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in the field.

Greg Davies – Baseball — He was a four-year starter on the varsity baseball team and was selected to the All-Met team. He played baseball at Towson University and was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles.

Eddie Beccles – Football, Basketball and Track — As a starter for three years in football, Beccles scored 69 touchdowns. He was selected as All-Met twice, All-State two times and All-County three times. He was on the state finalist football team in 2000. He was selected as team captain in the Super 44 Game. He played football at Kent State University.

Nic Towson — Lacrosse — Towson was on the lacrosse team for four years. He helped lead the Warriors to their first regional championship in 2003. He was first team All-County in 2002 and 2003. He was also All-Met honorable mention. He finished with 231 points, including 174 goals in his Sherwood career. He played lacrosse at Roanoke College. He became a successful lacrosse coach at St. John’s Catholic Prep before returning to Sherwood as a lacrosse coach in 2015.

Michael Rollings — Soccer — Rollings was a four-year starter on the soccer team. He finished his varsity career with 51 goals and 22 assists. In 2004 he led the Warriors to the State 4A championship. He earned honors as first team All-Met, All-State and All-Region and was named The Washington Post Player of the Year. He played soccer at George Washington University, where he was named to the Atlantic 10 All-Rookie team, Atlantic 10 Commissioner’s Honor Roll and Atlantic10 preseason All-Conference team.

Ben Everett – Football and Basketball — Everett was a three-year starter in both football and basketball. His career accomplishments included 113 catches for 2,068 yards and 25 touchdowns with 11 interceptions on defense. In his senior year he tallied 1,371 yards and 20 touchdowns, which were state records. He was recognized as All-Met by The Washington Post and the Pigskin Club. He was selected by Montgomery County Coaches as All-State.

Andrew Hoffmaster — Baseball — Hoffmaster helped lead the baseball team (21-1) to the 2007 4A State Championship game. He was a first team All-Met selection with a record of 11-1 and an ERA of 0.62 in 79 innings pitched. He was named first team All-State, All-County and All-District. He went to Catholic University, where he played baseball.

Andy Lowy — Wrestling — Lowy was All-Met Wrestler of the Year in his senior year. He was a three-time First Team All-Met selection. He was also a three-time State, Regional and County Champion. He was an All-American at the Cadet Nationals. In wrestling he had an 86-match winning streak and finished with a 134-7 record. He studied at Princeton University and was a four-year starter. He was nationally ranked among the top 32 collegiate wrestlers. In 2012 he was an All-Ivy League selection.

Katie Obal MacTaggert – Volleyball and Softball — Obal MacTaggert was varsity softball catcher for four years. She was either the No. 3 or clean-up hitter in all seasons. As a freshman she hit .379. In 2005, playing all season with a broken finger, she was selected as All-County. In 2006 she hit .622 with no passed balls and one error. She was a First Team All-Met catcher. She was the co-captain and MVP of the 2006 State Championship volleyball team. She went to St. Mary’s College to play volleyball, where she received academic honors as well.

Deontay Twyman – Football and Basketball — Twyman is considered one of the best athletes to play football and basketball in Sherwood history. He was selected as First Team All-Met quarterback as a senior and Second Team All-Met as a junior. Both years he led the Warriors to the state finals. He completed his football career with over 7,000 yards passing and 80 touchdown passes. In basketball he was first team All- Met and Player of the Year in 2007 when he led Sherwood to a state basketball championship. He had numerous All-State and All-County honors in both football and basketball. He played Division I collegiate basketball at Quinnipiac University.

Dana Ward – Volleyball and Softball — Ward was a starter for the 2006 state champion volleyball team. In softball she started 77 games and was one of the most prolific pitchers in Sherwood history. For three years she was the pitching ace and team captain. The team had a 65-12 record for her four years. As a hitter, she posted a career average of .408, but it was from the circle that she was most brilliant. She faced over 1,300 batters who amassed a mere .081 average against her. She had 630 strikeouts (two per inning) with an ERA of 0.63. She pitched 12 one-hitters and 20 no-hitters. In 2006, she had a 20-strikeout game and a 21-strikout game in a state Regional playoff. She was named to numerous All-County teams and was named Player of the Decade by The Gazette in 2015. She accepted a scholarship to play at Shippensburg University, where she started for four years and still holds several batting and fielding records.

Steven Gamble — Football and Wrestling — As a wrestler, Gamble was a state champion, champion of the All-Star Wrestling Classic in 2009, and First-Team All-Met. Additionally, he was selected as a high school wrestling All-American. His wrestling achievements also include four-time All-County (first ever), four-time County Champion (first ever) and four-time state finalist. He was given the Monisera Award for most county points. He wrestled at the University of Maryland. In football he was selected as All-Met linebacker. He helped the Warriors get to the state finals twice and win the championship in 2008.

Solomon Haile – Cross Country — In 2008-2009, Haile was selected as All-Met in cross-country and track. He was picked as the 2009 Washington Post Track and Field Player of the Year. He set a state record for the state cross country course and won the state championship. He won state championships two years in a row in the 1600M and 3200m events. He achieved three national championships in 5000M indoor and outdoor events. He set the Nike Outdoor championship meet record for 5000m at 14:29. In college, Haile was All-SEC Academic Athlete and Academic All-American and had All-SEC honors. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in landscape architecture and a Master of Education. He later studied for a second master’s degree in city and transportation planning at the University of California Berkeley.

Zack Splain — Football — Splain blossomed in his senior year. As QB for the state champion Warriors and team captain, he led them as MVP. In his senior year, Splain threw for 35 TDs with only four interceptions. He was Second Team All-Met and Second Team All-State. The Washington Post named him as First Team All-County and MVP Offense All-County QB. The MCPS Coaches Association selected him as Player of the Year and First Team All-County. The Gazette chose him First Team All-County QB. The Sentinel named him First Team QB All-County and Offense MVP. He was also awarded the Most Dedicated Athlete of the Year from DigitalSports.com and the National Football Foundation Scholar Athlete Award. He played football at the University of Dayton.

Taylor Stockinger — Softball — Stockinger was a four-year starter as softball shortstop. She was elected as team captain and was All-County Honorable Mention in 2006, Second Team All-County in 2007, First Team All-County and Second Team All-Met in 2008, and First Team All-Met and Montgomery County Player of the Year in 2009. Her batting averages were .265/.352/450/578 for four seasons. Stockinger went to Catholic University, where she earned many honors. She became a Montgomery County Public Schools teacher and works with youth at Olney Boys and Girls Club. She is also on the coaching staff at Catholic University.

Tomi Adewole — Soccer — Adewole played varsity soccer for four years, three of which he was elected team MVP. He was selected First Team All-Region (MD, VA, PA, NJ, NY), All-Met, All-State and All-County in 2009. In 2008 he was Second Team All-Met and First-Team All-State and All-County. In 2009 he led the Warriors to a divisional championship. He went to Villanova University, where he was a starter for four years. The Wildcats went to the Big East semi-finals in 2011.

Alex Holston — Volleyball and Track and Field — Holston led the Warriors to three consecutive state girls’ volleyball championships. She was selected as Under Armour All-American in 2012, All-Met Player of the Year 2011 and 2012, All-Met first team 2010, 2011 and 2012, and Gazette Player of the Year 2011 and 2012. She also set a state tournament record by recording 42 kills in a four-set semi-final victory. In track and field, she was state 4A champion in the high jump and named All-Gazette first team in 2010. She competed in volleyball at the University of Florida where she was a four-time AVCA All-American. In 2014 she was SEC Player of the Year while being selected as All-SEC four times and All-Southeast Region for four years. She ended her collegiate career ranked fifth in Gator history with 1,506 kills and 1,712 collegiate career points. She continues to play professionally and internationally, with numerous awards to her credit.


Other Hall of Fame class members:

Al Thomas – Football — Thomas was a math instructor, administrator and football coach for nearly 50 years. As head football coach at Sherwood, he guided the undefeated Warriors to a state championship in 2008 and to the state finals three times in his five-year tenure. At Sherwood he amassed a record of 54-10. He was also head coach at Seneca Valley and Damascus high schools, where he led those schools to a combined 188-37 record and seven state titles. In all, he garnered a lifetime record of 252-47 with eight state championships and four undefeated seasons. He was also defensive coordinator at McDaniel College for eight years and helped the college attain Centennial Conference championship and five playoff appearances. His defense was ranked second nationally in NCAA Division III. His awards are numerous: All-Met Coach of the Year three times, Maryland Scholastic Football Coaches Association (charter member) Hall of Fame, AP Coach of the Year three times and MSFCA Coach of the Year four times, among others.

Donny Lethbridge – Special Contributor — Lethbridge graduated from Sherwood in 1972. As the third of five generations, his roots run deep. While at Sherwood he played football, basketball and baseball. He displayed his musical talents in school musicals and Rock ‘n’ Roll Revival 1 & 2. As owner of Control Wiring, he has provided electrical support and expertise on numerous occasions. Lethbridge raised funds to purchase the goal posts, which he personally assembled and installed with Gil Willson. His band, Bittersweet, played for years at the highly attended Caruso Scholarship Dance. He eventually took over management of the event, which raised thousands of dollars. From 1994-2007 he painted and maintained the football field to make it beautiful and playable, often at his own expense.


Team class members:

2010-2012 Girls Volleyball Team — The 2010, 2011 and 2012 Volleyball Teams were the Maryland State 4A Champions all three seasons. The teams were undefeated, 58-0, over all three years – and lost only five sets over that time period. Three players — Alex Holston, Dominique Parker and Maddie Moyer — were members of all three teams. Brian McCarty was honored as Maryland State Coach of the Year in 2012.

2008 Football Team – The 2008 Sherwood Football Team finished with a perfect 14-0 record and ranked No. 1 in the D.C. Metropolitan area and No. 25 in the country. The Warriors outscored their opponents 520-91 throughout the season. Al Thomas was named Maryland State Coach of the Year.

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