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WWHS Athletic Hall Of Fame

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            The Walt Whitman High School Athletic Hall of Fame will recognize those individuals who through their accomplishments have demonstrated excellence on the playing field as well as the classroom and community.  Eligibility is restricted to student athletes, coaches, administrators and community athletic supporters for Walt Whitman High School.

           Nominations will be accepted during the spring each school year between April 1 and June 1.  Selections will be made over the summer.  Inductees will be honored at halftime during a fall football game.

           A maximum of 5 inductees will be chosen every 2 school years. Nominations passed over may be re-nominated the following school year.

The nomination process is detailed:  Walt Whitman High School Athletic Hall of Fame

2015 Inductees

Jason Belinkie:  Jason is a Whitman HS Class of 2000 graduate and competed as a member of the cross country, indoor track and outdoor track teams.  He had the tremendous privilege of running under two legendary coaches – Chris Flynn and Kerry Ward.  During his years on the Whitman Cross Country team, Jason was one of the top runners on a team that was frequently ranked in the top 25 in the U.S., won the county and regional championship all four years, and was the 4A State runner up three times.  Jason was a four-year letterman in both track and cross country and was named First Team All-Montgomery County two times.  After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, Jason became the head coach of the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School’s (CESJDS) cross country and track teams and later established the school’s indoor track program.  In the past 9 years, Jason’s teams have won 10 Potomac Athletic Valley Conference (PVAC) League Championships.  In 2013, the CESJDS Girls Cross Country Team became the only team in PVAC history to win four consecutive cross country championships.  In 2014, the CESJDS Boys Cross Country Team became the first in the school’s 49-year history to win a PVAC cross country championship.  Jason has devoted himself to the community through his job as Vice President of Athletes for Hope, a non-profit founded by Muhammad Ali, Andre Agassi, Jackie Joyner-Kersee and several other notable athletes.  During his nine years at Athletes for Hope, Jason has helped hundreds of professional and Olympic athletes volunteer with charities across many causes, positively impacting communities around the world.  Jason has also continued his own competitive running as he has focused on the half marathon distance for the past several years.  In the summer of 2013, Jason earned a silver medal as a member of Team USA’s half marathon team that competed in the 2013 World Maccabiah Games in Israel.  Jason and his wife Michelle live in Bethesda, MD and are the proud parents of their daughter, Siena.

Rickard Kotz:  From 1965 to 1967, Richard Kotz and the Viking tennis team led Whitman to their first 3 County titles in any sport. Over the 3 year period, Richard amassed a singles and doubles record of 60-5 during which time the tennis team went undefeated in County play. He was runner-up in the first Montgomery County high school tennis championships and won it the next year while earning second place in doubles. In the mid 1960’s he was in the finals of over 30 singles and doubles championships in the Middle Atlantic region and won over half of these titles. He was ranked number 5 in singles and 1 in doubles in the Middle Atlantic Tennis Associations’s junior rankings. After leaving Whitman, he went on to play No. 1 singles and doubles for the Cornell University freshman tennis team and went undefeated. The following year he played number 1 singles and doubles for Cornell’s varsity team. Richard taught tennis in the Bethesda area for 7 years before going on to do graduate work in statistics.  He is here today with his mother, who was his first tennis teacher and with whom he now plays tennis several time a week, and his brother Mike who played tennis on 2 of Whitman’s County Championship tennis teams in the mid 70’s and is currently a teaching pro in the Bethesda area.  Richard credits much of his success in tennis to his father who was a top ranked player in New Jersey and in the Washington DC area. He now lives in Potomac, MD with his wife and daughter and he just recently retired from the Food and Drug Administration where he served as President of the FDA Statistical Association and won FDA’s Lifetime Achievement Award.. He has also served as treasurer for his synagogue for the past 15 years.

Leslie Morrison:  Leslie Morrison is a 2008 Whitman High School Graduate. At Whitman Leslie lettered 12 total times in soccer, indoor track, and outdoor track.  Leslie was a four year starter on the girls’ varsity soccer team. Her freshman year Whitman won its first state title and her sophomore year the Whitman team finished second in the state tournament. Leslie earned All-County and All-Met honorable mentions in soccer. Leslie set Whitman school records for indoor and outdoor track in a variety of races: 400 meters, 500 meters, 800 meters, 1000 meters, 4×400 meter relay, 4×800 meter relay, Distance Medley Relay, and 4×1600 meter relay. She was a 15-time Montgomery County champion (9 individual, 6 relay) and 12-time Maryland 4A West Regional champion (7 individual, 5 relay), setting multiple county and regional records. She earned multiple All-Met, All-County, and All-State honors; and earned All-American honors in the distance medley relay at the 2007 Nike Indoor Nationals. In 2006 Leslie was named the Outstanding Female Athlete at the Montgomery County Championships. In 2007 she was named the Outstanding Female Track Athlete at the Montgomery County Invitational and also had the third fastest 1000 meter time in the United States. Leslie competed in multiple events at the indoor and outdoor Maryland State Championship over four years, and was state champion in the 4x800m relay, the 800m run, and the 1600m run. Leslie went on to run cross country and track at Duke University. At Duke she qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Eastern Regional in the 800m run and 1500m run and helped set multiple Duke records in the 4×800 meter relay. She earned All-East and All-Academic Honors, and was the recipient of a 1A FAR Academic Excellence Award from the NCAA. Leslie graduated summa cum laude from Duke in 2012 with a double major in mathematics and history and from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business in 2013 with a masters in management studies. Leslie would like to thank Coach Herbert and Coach Hays for all their hard work and support. She would also like to thank her parents for driving her to practices and games, and her sister Kate for attending all of her races. Finally, she would like to thank her teammates at Whitman (especially the E-Squad and her sisters Meg and Tessa, with whom she set school records in the 4×400 and 4×800 meter relays) for helping her become a better athlete and person.

Morgane Gay:  Morgane ran cross country and track and field at Whitman, where she won state championships in the 800 meters, 1600 meters, 4×800 meters. She has the school records for the 800 meters and the 1600 meters. She also has the county record for the championship cross country meet, and was runner-up in the state cross country meet in 2006.  She has multiple regional and county championships in both cross country and track and field. Gay ran for the University of Virginia. As a Cavalier, she was a 6-time All-American. She was All-Region in cross country for four years in a row, as well as in the 1500m. She was the ACC champion in the Mile in 2012, and Distance Medley Relay in 2011. She earned All-ACC honors in cross country and track and field. She was also a USA Track and Field Jr. National Championship runner up in 2009.  During her time at the University of Virginia, she was one of only six student-athletes to compete at each of the NCAA Championships during the cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field seasons in 2010-11 and 2011-12.

Bob Raba:  Bob lettered and started all 3 years in football at tight end and middle linebacker, playing on Whitman’s first non-losing season in 1970 and also the first winning season in Viking history during his senior year in 1972.  He received All County, All Met, Touchdown Club, All State, and All American honors.  In baseball, his batting average was above .300 each year, lettering all three years and playing 3rd base, pitcher, and outfield.  His wrestling career began one week prior to the Montgomery County Tournament in his senior year.  He placed 4th after defeating the number one-ranked wrestler in the heavyweight division and advanced to the divisional tournament.  Bob went on to play football at the University of Maryland, starting some games his freshman and sophomore years and every game thereafter at tight end.  He played in the Peach, Liberty, Gator, and Cotton Bowls.  They won the ACC Championship his last 3 years, and the team was ranked #6 in the nation his senior year.  Bob received many personal accolades, both academic and athletic, including the Alvin L. Ambrose trophy for the Unsung Hero, the A.V. Williams Award for Outstanding and Conspicuous Sportsmanship, and the Terrapin Club Award for Greatest Contribution to Football.  After graduating, Bob walked on for a tryout with the New York Jets.  He made the team and played in New York for 3 years.  He played his 4th season with the Colts, and finished his career at home with the Redskins in ’81.  Bob is thankful for the love and support from family, friends, mentors, coaches, and teammates.  His parents, Elmer Wilbur and Jean Singleton Farmer Raba were great role
models and lived in the DC area all their lives.  Along the way were mentors in faith, John Robert Stevens, Dan Statton, and Gary and Marilyn Hargrave.  He also wants to express his deep appreciation to those who took time to coach kids and provide the experience of team and the joy of sport.  Bob would like to acknowledge his football coach at Whitman, Bob Milloy, making the presentation to him tonight.  Also present tonight are his wife and daughters, sisters and step-brother.  Finally, to his teammates – we all worked hard to make a small piece of Viking history and you made it fun.  I am grateful to have been a part of it.

2013 Inductees

David Magathan:  Mr. Magathan started with MCPS in 1969 at Thomas Pyle Jr. High where he taught Mathematics.  While at Pyle he coached Girls Basketball for two seasons and helped run the West Bethesda Teen Club, an athletic/recreational club for junior high students.  While at Pyle Mr. Magathan became an Assistant Football Coach at Whitman in 1979, a position he held until 1995.  In 1981 Mr. Magathan moved to Whitman when the 9th grade was moved to the high school.  He coached Junior Varsity Baseball in the spring of 1982.  In the spring of 1983 Mr. Magathan became the Varsity Softball Head Coach, a position he held until 2002.  During the 1991 season he was named the Montgomery County Softball Coach of the Year.  While coaching football and softball he was the Assistant Athletic Director during the winter season.  After the 2002 softball season Mr. Magathan retired as coach and was named as Whitman’s Athletic Director.  During his tenure as Athletic Director, he helped to continue building Whitman’s Athletic program to one of the largest in the state.  Mr. Magathan was Whitman’s Athletic Director until his retirement from MCPS in 2007 after 38 years of teaching mathematics, 26 of those years at Whitman.  Today he is thoroughly enjoying his retirement, occasionally substitute teaching at Whitman.  David is accompanied tonight by his wife Tere and his Daughter Kelly

Tim Agee:  As the first recipient of the Ben Quinn Award, Tim was active all year in Walt Whitman Sports. He lettered a total of six times in three different sports and was quarterback of the football team that went to the State Championship. For this he achieved All-Met and All-State honors on the gridiron.  Tim went on to receive a scholarship to West Virginia University in football where he currently holds the record for a defensive back with 346 tackles and 16 interceptions. He played in the Peach Bowl, Gator Bowl (where he was the MVP), and the Hall of Fame Bowl. He also played as a college All-Star in the East West Shrine Bowl. He was first team All-East both his junior and senior seasons as well as Coaches and Sporting News All-American. One of his most memorable college games was when he returned home to beat the Maryland Terrapins in a hard hitting battle.  Nicknamed the “Hit Man”, Tim spent a short time with the Cleveland Browns before moving to Los Angeles and having a successful run as an actor for 15 years. He appeared in about 100 commercials, 25 television shows, and 12 movies, and then went on to owning and operating apartment buildings which he does today. His brother Jim, a gifted musician, was a Walt Whitman graduate in 1977 and Tim’s parents Jim and Carolyn were extremely active at the school and in the community. The whole Agee family felt blessed for the wonderful years they shared in Bethesda and all the great people they met through the nationally recognized high school.

Tony Korson:  Tony Korson is a 2001 Whitman HS graduate and three year starter on the Viking’s Baseball team.  During his time at Whitman Tony made life-long friends, met several mentors, and memories were formed on and off the field.  A few high school accomplishments were, throwing a no hitter in 2000 versus Rockville HS, tying the single season home run record with 5, and leading a team that was at one point ranked by the Washington Post.  Tony was a 2001 first Team All Met Selection, and earned a scholarship to pitch at Florida Gulf Coast University.  Tony appeared in the first game in FGCU Baseball history, and is one of the few proud alums in the DC Metro area.  Tony also played in the competitive NCAA sanctioned summer for the Madison Mallards, in the Northwoods League.  He was an instrumental part of the 2004 summer championship with the Mallards, and held a meager 0.48 ERA that summer.   Since hanging up his cleats, Tony runs Koa Sports League, a 501c3 non-profit based out of Bethesda, MD.  Koa’s motto is “changing kids’ lives through sports.”  Koa has helped many Whitman student athlete play college baseball, and get them to the next level.  Koa also runs a youth field hockey program, in time Tony hopes this will serve as a feeder program for the Vikes.

Ben Quinn:  Big Ben Quinn stood at 6’ 3” weighing 260 lbs. and was an imposing presence in football, wrestling and rugby.  He started on both the offensive and defensive lines for the 1978 football season state finalist team earning All Metropolitan and All County honors. Ben anchored a defense that gave up only 96 points in the 10 game regular season allowing no more than 1 touchdown in any game. In 12 games only 3 teams scored double digits against Ben’s defense. On offense, Ben cleared the way for Whitman’s prolific wishbone offense led by All-Met QB Tim Agee and Coach Rich Cameron’s play calling.  Ben’s presence in the middle of both lines was the primary reason for this team having gone further than any team in Whitman football history by making it to the State championship game. They won 10 games that season which was a big turnaround from a 0-10 mark just 4 seasons prior.  As a heavyweight wrestler Ben also won a Regional and County Championship in the 1979 season earning All County honors.  Ben played prop for Whitman’s perennially strong club rugby team led by Coach John Haberman.  In the spring of 1978 Quinn was a stalwart in a forward pack that averaged 220 lbs. a player and was able plow through much smaller opponents.  The team dominated local competition and won the Potomac Rugby Union High School crown.  They went on to beat teams from Virginia and New York to secure a spot in the Eastern Rugby Union (ERU) High School final against Cardinal O’Hara out of Philadelphia.  O’Hara came in to the game having won the ERU championship three years running and riding a 104 game winning streak.  In a bruising and tense battle, Ben helped lead a dominating effort in the forwards that ultimately delivered a come from behind 7-3 victory for the Whitman Vikings.  While Ben was an athletic powerhouse, he also was a “gentle giant,” with an unassuming and sweet personality.  And what set him apart from many of his peers was his personal transformation from a pudgy, klutzy adolescent into a top rate athlete.  In the summer of 1977, he decided that he was going to transform himself physically, and he ran every day wearing ankle weights.  He then started lifting weights and became a guest at some of his friends’ homes which had their own gym equipment until he saved up for his own.  For many years, the Ben Quinn MVP award was presented annually.  Ben earned a 4 year scholarship to Virginia Tech playing football before his life tragically ended in a car accident in March of his senior year in high school.

 

Our 2011 inductees

Gary Clarke:  Gary Clarke started his teaching career in 1964 at Pyle Jr. High School. While at Pyle he coached the Cross-Country team and started a Jr. High wrestling program, and was the faculty advisor to the Student government. Mr. Clarke also started the West Bethesda Teen Club dedicated to athletic/recreational activities for the Pyle student body as well as the Recreation Department Instructional Lacrosse program.  In 1981 Mr. Clarke moved to Whitman when the 9th grade was moved to high school. He became faculty advisor to the Student Government and was named the head coach of the Wrestling Program. Mr. Clarke and Mr. Douglas revived the wresting program and in three years they had moved the varsity team from last place in the county to dual meet season runner up. Mr. Clarke gave up the wrestling coaching position to devote more time to the SGA and Whitman Team Club and ski program.   In 1986 he became the Assistant Athletic director and in 1988 when Mr. Bill Dargett, the Whitman Athletic Director, became ill he assumed the position of Athletic Director. He remained the Athletic Director for eight years serving during the transition into our new school. During this period the athletic program at Whitman grew into the largest program in the state with over 60% of the student body participating in at least one sport. In 1995, Mr. Clarke was named the Athletic Director of the Year for Montgomery County. He retired from the AD position in 1996 and resumed the position of SGA faculty advisor. Mr. Clarke retired from MCPS in 1998 and took a teaching and wrestling coaching position at St. Albans Boys School where he remained for eight years.  Today he works with Whitman teacher Joe Mornini and the Team River Runner organization in the ongoing commitment to provide “Health and Healing” for our returning wounded Heroes. Gary is accompanied tonight by his wife, his three children, their husbands and wives, and their four grandchildren.
 
 
Ron Peters:  Ron Peters began his 33 year teaching career in Montgomery County in 1959 at Takoma Park Jr. High. In 1961 he moved to BCC and the following year came on board as part of the original staff at Walt Whitman HS, which opened in the fall of 1962.  A native of West Virginia, Ron grew up in the small town of Sand Fork. His father was his high school baseball and basketball coach. He was the starting point guard throughout his high school years and was one of the leading scorers on the team that was the runner up in the 1955 State Basketball tournament. He received a BA in English and Physical Education from Glenville State College and his Masters from West Virginia University. At Glenville State he was a three sport letterman in football, baseball and basketball. In 1959 he was a member of the undefeated football team considered to be the best in school history.   In addition to his 30 years as PE teacher at Whitman, Ron served as a head coach for the JV football team and both the JV and Varsity basketball teams. He also served as an asst. coach of the Varsity football team under Rich Cameron. Ron later became the chairman of the PE department. Ron’s coaching style was intense, but calm, which he learned from his father. While he valued all of his players, he is proud to have coached past Hall of Fame members Gary Browne, and Anthony Dilweg. He loved his job. Loved his students and loved being a Whitman Viking. In a 1988 yearbook article, Ron was referred to as everyone’s favorite gym teacher. He remained a proud Viking until his retirement in 1992.   In 1994, with the generous support of former Whitman student /athlete Josh Rales, the school courtyard was renovated and dedicated to Ron. A plaque of recognition for his contribution as an outstanding teacher and coach is on the courtyard wall. In recent years, Ron has been living with Parkinson’s Disease which has limited his mobility. While his health has not allowed him to accept this award in person, he is deeply grateful for the honor of being included in this select group. His wife Margaret and his son Tom are here on his behalf.
 
 
Kate Gannon:  Kate Gannon was a three-sport athlete at Whitman, earning nine varsity letters and captaining the field hockey, indoor track, and lacrosse teams her senior year. As a field hockey player, Kate was a two-time first team All-Met and All-County selection; she was second team All-State her junior year and first team All-State her senior year. On the indoor track team, Kate was a middle-distance runner and qualified for the state tournament in the 800 meters and as a part of the 4×800 and 4×400 meter relay teams. As a lacrosse player, Kate was named first team All-County her senior year and was a US Lacrosse Academic All American.  She played field hockey at Harvard University, where she was a four-year starter in the midfield. During her college career, the team was consistently ranked in the top 20 nationally, and made two appearances in the 16-team NCAA tournament. Her senior year, Kate captained the Crimson to an Ivy League Championship.  While at Harvard, Kate was named to the All-Ivy Academic Team in 2004, All-Ivy Second Team in 2004, and All-Ivy Honorable Mention in 2002. She was also the Ivy League’s NCAA Sportsmanship Award nominee. Kate graduated from law school in May and is currently working for a non-profit international development organization in D.C. She also serves as assistant varsity field hockey coach at Stone Ridge and coaches youth field hockey and lacrosse for Koa Sports.
 
 
Mike Gruner:  As team captain of the 2006 Whitman Vikings, Gruner led a magical playoff run that brought the entire Whitman community together. In front of 11,000 Whitman fans at the University of Maryland’s Comcast Center, Gruner scored a game-high 23 points and the game-winning free throw, leading Whitman to a 39-38 win over Eleanor Roosevelt in the 4A title game. It was Whitman’s first and only basketball state championship.  That season, Gruner led Montgomery County in scoring, averaging 20.1 points per game, while also tallying 4.5 assists per game, 4.1 steals per game, and 5.5 rebounds per game. The Vikes finished the year ranked #3 in The Washington Post (the school’s highest ever ranking) with a 24-3 record (and 13 consecutive victories), the top-ranked public school in the area, and the top defensive team in the DC area. He was named First Team All-Met by The Washington Post, First Team by the DC Examiner, and was the Gazette Co-Player of the Year with Kevin Durant (Montrose Christian).  Gruner, who scored more than 1,000 career varsity points, was named to the Capital All Stars Annual Classic, a renowned all-star game played in Washington, DC against elite high school players across the country.  As a junior, Gruner helped lead Whitman to a 16-9 record and a berth in the 4A West Region semi-finals. He was named First Team All Montgomery County by the Gazette and All-League by The Washington Post. Named DC Schools “Leader of the Month” by US Marines/School Sports National Magazine in March 2005.  He excelled academically at Whitman, earning a 3.9 (unweighted) and 4.6 (weighted) GPA.  Gruner went on to fulfill his dream of playing Division I basketball, attending Lafayette College of the Patriot League. A three-year starter and captain during his senior year, Gruner helped lead the Leopards to the Patriot League Championship game. He led his team in steals and assists and was named the team’s top defender.  He was named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District II team in 2010 for a combination of his basketball and academic accomplishments.  Michael also held several leadership posts around campus including the Lafayette Leadership Education Committee, Student Athlete Advisory Committee, and Chairman of the 2009 Hoff Awards Committee.  Michael graduated cum laude with a 3.64 GPA, majoring in Economics and Business.  Michael played professional basketball after graduating from college.  He signed with Polpharma in Starogard Gdanski, Poland in August 2010.  Polpharma participates in the top league in Poland.  Michael was starting at point guard until an Achilles injury followed by a severe ankle injury ended his time in Poland and later, his opportunity to play in Israel.   Recently in 2009, Michael was named to the Gazette’s All-Decade Basketball team in the Washington D.C. area, a team which included NBA players Kevin Durant, Linas Kleiza, and Roy Hibbert.
 
 
Carl Ehrlich:  Carl Ehrlich lettered in four sports during his time at Whitman. In football, he received all-country and all-state honors as both an offensive and defensive lineman. A regional champion heavyweight wrestler, he was 27-0 (and ranked number 1 in the Washington Post) before his senior season was ended by injury. He is the school record-holder in the shot-put. On the baseball team, Carl was an outstanding defensive catcher, although he never quite learned to hit the curve ball.Carl went on to play football at Harvard University where he was a four-time letter winner, twice receiving All-Ivy honors. In his final season, his teammates voted him the 136th captain of the Harvard Crimson, leading them to a 7-3 record. He received the Buz Craine Award as “most inspiring player,” and the Robert F. Kennedy award for dedication. In addition to being named first-team All New-England, Carl was also elected to the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame Hampshire Honor Society.After college, Carl played for the Valencia Firebats of the Spanish professional football league and wrote about his experience for ESPN. His writing has also appeared in the New York Times.Carl would like to thank all of his coaches for the impact they have made on his life, both on and off the field. They’ve all steered him in the right direction, except for his sophomore year when (then head baseball coach) Jim Kuhn told him to “give up that whole football thing and focus on baseball.”Most importantly, Carl would like to thank Athletic Director Andy Wetzel for the role he played as coach and mentor in Carl’s development. He owes him a great deal, although is unlikely to repay.

Our 2010 inductees

Dr. Jerome Marco:  Dr. Marco spent 42 years as an educator in MCPS, with the majority of those years as Principal of Walt Whitman High School.  Although Dr. Marco was a decisive leader, he was not afraid to allow coaches, athletic directors or community leaders to try something new or take a chance.  How else would Whitman have been the first school with temporary and then permanent lights on its stadium field?  Then when we renovated into the current building in 1991, we were allowed to push the envelope against the school system and become the first school to have lights on its non-stadium field hockey field.  If you think there is very little space to film from the current Marco Stadium press box, imagine trying to use the space without windows and electricity in the two end rooms.  Dr. Marco let coaches fundraise the money needed to add those changes and pressed the county to change the building plans.   Dr. Marco set the bar high for the rest of us when it came to his ethics and values.  Although principals have to delegate responsibilities, when you went into talk with Dr. Marco about your team or an athlete, he always knew what was going on.  He never had to say, “I’ll have to check with Joe or Don.”  When a controversy arose, he listened to all sides and made a fair decision.  You did not have to worry about speaking first or last in an investigation because he was above being swayed by the last word.  He balanced the rigor of academics with the values of athletics.  One time when being lobbied by a Coca Cola rep to add soda machines to make money for athletics, Dr. Marco put him in his place by saying, “I could make money selling cigarettes too.”  He felt that soda at school addicted students to caffeine and interfered with their focus in the classroom.  Dr. Marco pushed for “zero tolerance” for tobacco, alcohol and drugs at school and school functions.  He would say, “If you cannot make it through a school event without using, you have a problem to address which is more important than participating in extra-curricular activities.”  Dr. Marco was supporter of gender equity in athletics.  He saw the Gender Equity Task Force of the late 80’s as an opportunity for growth even though if forced us to take a hard look at ourselves as a school and a county.  The long term results of this task force can be seen across the county with improved playing fields, equity in year books and school newspapers and in the design of new school facilities including the current Whitman building.  The very successful current Whitman All-Sports Boosters is a direct result of Dr. Marco’s support and the confidence that the community had in him.  It was a great challenge to go from a group of individual boosters group fund raising for their own kids to one big group fundraising for school wide goals and trusting that their children’s teams would receive the support they needed.  In addition to Dr. Marco’s leadership in athletics at Whitman, he had successful playing and coaching careers.  Dr. Marco played football and basketball and ran track in high school.  He was a renowned college basketball player and was nicknamed “send it home Jerome” for his prestigious outside shooting ability.  Dr. Marco coached high school football in Pennsylvania before coming to Montgomery County, working on the same staff which produced NFL assistant and head coach Joe Walton. Upon arriving at Wheaton High School, Dr. Marco coached track and field along with sponsoring the SGA and running the school store.

 

Mike  Jeffries: A native of Bethesda, Md., Mike Jeffries started three seasons as a forward for the Walt Whitman varsity soccer team.  In 1979 he earned All-American honors in helping lead the Vikings to the state championship.  He attended Duke University, starting every game over his four year college career and winning the Hermann Trophy as the nation’s top college player in 1983.  After graduating from Duke with a degree in electrical engineering and public policy, Jeffries played four years for the Minnesota Strikers and one season for the Dallas Sidekicks.  He went on to earn his USSF “A” license and a master’s degree from Tulane University in finance.   Jeffries got into coaching when he founded the premier program called the Lafreniere Soccer Association in New Orleans.  He has since worked in Major League Soccer as a head coach with the Dallas Burn and an assistant coach with the Chicago Fire.  Jeffries worked as a scout for the U.S. National Team during the 2010 World Cup.  He is currently the Director of player personnel for Major League Soccer’s Chicago Fire.

 

Morgen Bernius:  Morgen Bernius earned 10 varsity letters in field hockey, basketball, and soccer at Whitman from 1988-1992. She was All County and All Met in field hockey her senior year. In basketball she was honorable mention All County her junior and senior years, and first team All League her senior year.  Her soccer team won the County championship her junior year and she was first team All State. Senior year she was featured as one of the Washington Post Spotlight athletes and won All County and All Met honors. Morgen went on to play soccer at Brown University where her team won the Ivy League Championship twice, was ranked 12th in the country, and went to the round of 16 in the NCAA tournament her junior year. She won Academic All Ivy and honorable mention All Ivy honors twice. She went on to earn her medical degree and is currently an Emergency Physician in Baltimore.  She and husband Scott are the proud parents of 18-month-old daughter Sophia.

 

Kerry Ward:  Kerry Ward was a teacher and coach for MCPS.  Kerry started the girls cross country championships for girls while a coach at BCC under Dr. Marco.  During his coaching career, Kerry delivered a paper at the US Track Coaches Association award convention on distance running and the HS revolution.  He was also awarded the rotary club teacher of the year.  While at BCC, Kerry won 8 track and cross country state championships.  Kerry came to Whitman in 1984 and led the Vikings to 6 boys and girls state titles.  Kerry won the girls basketball state championship in 1995.  Coach Ward was twice named All-Met Coach of the year as well as the Potomac almanac teacher of the year.  Kerry coached 5 current Hall of Fame members; Craig Lake, Lindsay Seawright, Courtney Gaine, Pascal Doebear and current inductee Morgen Bernius.  Film director Gus van Sant offered that “films are 90% casting.”  I worked hard at recruiting a good cast and I was very fortunate.  To all those team members who made it so worthwhile, thanks guys.  Particular appreciation goes out to those whose help and friendship has been so important to me.   To Bill, Bob, Carolyn, Charlie, Craig, Dave and Joe;  if your aim is to run fast, go alone.  If you’re running far, go together.

 

Gary Browne To those who saw him play, from 1966 to 1968, our next inductee is considered the greatest basketball player in the history of Walt Whitman High School.  The numbers scarcely do justice to the impact he had and his legacy of achievements, but here are just a few: a 3-year varsity starter back in the day when there were no freshman at the school and the 3-point shot did not exist, this 6-foot-5 forward averaged over 25 points a game for his career and a remarkable 33 in his senior year—more than a point a minute!  42 years later, the career marks he set have never been broken. He holds the school record for most points scored in a career (1564), most points in a season (727), most points averaged in a season (33), and most rebounds in a career, (682).  He led the entire county in scoring and won ALL-MET first team honors at the end of both the 1967 and 1968 seasons. In that auspicious 1967-8 campaign, this left-handed legend boosted the Vikings to an 18-4 record, a second consecutive trip to the playoffs, and within one win of the school’s first state championship—establishing a semi-finals record of 45 points that stands to this day. He also holds the State tournament record for most field goals in a game (19) and most points scored in the tournament final four (76).  And no one who was around Whitman in February 1968 will ever forget the historic 62 point explosion he hung on the home court of one of our biggest rivals in basketball back then…and football tonight…the Trojans of Gaithersburg High!  He was named an honorable-mention ALL AMERICAN following his junior season and an ALL AMERICAN in his senior season. He was recruited by over 150 colleges and universities and chose the University of West Virginia Mountaineers.  His freshman team was nationally ranked but unfortunately he was critically injured in an automobile accident when his stopped vehicle was struck from behind by a drunk driver.  The injuries ended his career as a basketball player.  After numerous surgeries and years of physical therapy, he began a career in law enforcement in the state of Kansas.  A decorated officer for nearly 30 years, he ended his career as the Chief of Police. 

Our 2009 Inductees:

Hugh Hammet was one of Whitman’s most successful coaches.  He was also a dedicated teacher and humanitarian.  While at Whitman, he coached both boys and girls tennis and the girls basketball team.  During his 26 years of coaching, he produced 27 Montgomery county winners.  Many of his players went on to play in college.  Hugh was a leader in his church and community.  Hugh Hammet passed away in 2004.

Bill Dargert was a great high school and college player, who after serving his country in the United States Navy, came to MCPS and began to teach and coach at Westland Middle School.  Bill came to Whitman when it opened and coached basketball and cross country.  Two of Bill’s basketball teams reached to State finals at Cole Field House.  Bill became the second Athletic Director at Whitman.  He had the longest tenure of any AD in school history.  Bill was a leader in athletics far beyond the impact he had at Whitman.  Bill helped found the Maryland State Wrestling Tournament in the mid sixties and Whitman hosted the first State Tournament.  Bill was an advocate for athletics and Athletic Directors.  Bill is a founding member of the Maryland State Athletic Directors Association.

LeeAnn Chang graduated from Whitman in 2003 where she swam for 4 years, receiving all-county and all-met honors.  She then attended Harvard University where she continued to compete, making NCAA B cuts and receiving their “outstanding freshman” and “unsung heroine” awards.  She graduated in 2007 with a bachelors degree in biology and health policy.  Since then, LeeAnn has traveled to Taiwan for swimming competitions and recently started working at INOVA hospital.  She is currently still swimming and will apply to medical school in the near future.  She would like to thank her family and friends, Ms. Hudock and Coach Schaefer for their support.

Andy Corno graduated from Whitman in 2001.  He played 2 sports at Whitman.  He was a 3 year letter winner on the football team and was voted all-county his senior year.  Andy was a 4 year letterman in lacrosse.  While at Whitman he was named 1st team all-county, 1st team all-met, played in the Maryland All-Star game and was named the player of the year for Montgomery county.  Andy played lacrosse at Georgetown University where he garnered All-American status 3 times as a midfielder.  Andy is top 5 All Time career leader in face-off percentage and ground balls.  He was named the 2003 and 2004 face-off man of the year.  He was All-League from 2003-2005 and was named a senior captain at Georgetown.  Mr. Corno played several years in Major League Lacrosse.  He was drafted 6th overall in 2005.  He was named a 2006 All-Star and in 2007 helped the Philadelphia Barrage win the MLL championship.  Andy would like to thank WWLAX for assisting him in starting a scholarship program for the Whitman Boys lacrosse team.  This program rewards players for academic achievements and leadership skills on and off the field.  Andy would also like to thank his high school football coaches Dean Swink, Andy Wetzel and Jim Kuhn, his lacrosse coach Kevin Pope, his collegiate coach Dave Urick, his sister Cate, brother Danny, and most importantly his mom and dad Vicki and Bob who kept him out of trouble and were his biggest supporters.  Andy resides in Glover Park, Northwest DC and currently works in office leasing and real estate brokerage for Cresa Partners.

Sam DeBone coached boys and girls soccer at Whitman for 26 years.  He coached boys soccer from 1969 to 1994.  His teams played in 6 state finals and won 4 times.  He coached 10 All-Americans and had 3 teams with national rankings.  Sam was named county and state coach of the year 3 times.  He was named all south coach of the year one time.  His overall record for boys soccer was 231-94-22.  Sam coached girls soccer from 1981 to 1998.  His teams played in 8 county finals, winning one.  He was named coach of the year 1 time and had an overall record of 167-72-21.  He continues to coach at UMBC as an assistant mens soccer coach for the last 14 years.  One of DeBone’s chief areas is goalkeeping, and he has helped mold some of the best goalkeepers in school history.  He is joined tonight by his wife Sharon.

Anthony Dilweg set school records for football by passing for 2293 yards and throwing 24 touchdowns gaining All-American honorable mention by the USA Today and being named D.C. Touchdown Club’s high school player of the year as well as first team All-Met.  His run and shoot style garnered his being recruited by Pitt, Maryland, North Carolina and Duke.  Choosing duke, Anthony saw action mainly as a punter until his senior year when Coach Steve Spurrier gave him starting honors at quarterback.  Anthony led Duke to a 7-3-1 season and set single-season school records with 24 touchdowns and 3824 yards including nine 300 yard passing games.  He was named 1988 ACC player of the year.  His performance earned him trips to the Hula bowl, the Japan Bowl and the Senior bowl.  At the Hula Bowl, Dilweg earned offensive MVP honors competing with the likes Troy Aikman and Rodney Pete.  Anthony was drafted in the third round of the 1989 NFL draft by the Green Bay packers.  In his first start versus the Rams he was voted player of the week for the victory.  After 4 years in the NFL, playing for the Packers and the Los Angeles Raiders,  Anthony’s career ended with a knee injury.  Today, Anthony lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina with his wife Jamie and children Peyton, Erin and JP.  At age 44 Anthony is the CEO of the Dilweg Companies, a $250 million investment firm that owns and operates 3.8 million square feet of commercial real estate in North and South Carolina and Virginia.

Pascal Dobert ran Cross Country and Track at Whitman where he won 4 state championships in three years.  Pascal ran for the University of Wisconsin.  As a Badger, he was a 6 time Big Ten Champion and a 6 time NCAA All-American.  Pascal was the 1996 NCAA runner –up and an NCAA champion in 1997.  As a professional runner, Pascal competed for Nike International and several US teams.  He finished in 8th place in the 1998 World cup, 4th place in the 1998 Goodwill Games and has the 7th fastest American time in the 3000 meter steeplechase.  Pascal was the 2000 Olympic Trials champion in steeplechase and ran in the 2000 Olympics for the USA.  Pascal’s career Highlights include: 1998, 1999, 2000 U.S. champion; 2-time world team member; 7th at 1998 World Cup; 4th at 1998 Goodwill Games; 1997 NCAA Outdoor champion; 9th at 1996 Olympic Trials; two-time Olympian.

James Douglas graduated from Robert E. Peary High School in Aspen hill where he lettered in varsity tennis.  Jim came to Whitman after one year of teaching at Northwood High School where he coached Majorettes and wrestling.  Jim was the Varsity Pom sponsor at Whitman for 8 years and his squads were consistently among the best in the county.  Jim coached wrestling at Whitman for 14 seasons winning four county championships and a regional championship.  In 1986, Jim was the Washington Post All-Met coach of the year.  While at Whitman, Jim also served as Athletic Director and was instrumental in founding the Viking Mat club and the Whitman All-sports boosters.  Since leaving Whitman, Jim has taught at Sherwood High School and coached club field hockey and girls lacrosse.  Jim is accompanied tonight by his wife of 25 years Tracey and their daughters Stephanie and Taylor.

Daniel Engelstad played basketball, football and baseball at Whitman.  At Whitman he served as a captain on three varsity sports.  As a baseball player he played centerfield and second base while hitting over .300 each season.  In football, Dan held the all-time receiving record while at Whitman.  He was 1st team All county and 2nd team all-state.  As a basketball player, Dan started 3 years at point guard.  Over his career he averaged 16 points per game and 9 assists per game.  He was voted 1st team all-county and 1st team all-met as a senior.  Dan led his team to a 19-5 record and received the Marine Corps Distinguished Athlete award.  Dan played for four years with the St. Mary’s Seahawks, serving as team captain from 2004-2007, leaving as the school’s all-time assist leader with 419.  He also tallied 819 points and 355 rebounds.  Dan led the CAC in assists in the 2005-2006 season.  Dan served as the summer coach for Whitman’s basketball team in 2005 and 2006.  During that time, Whitman won the 4A state championship.  Dan is currently an assistant coach at Mount Saint Mary’s University, a division one school.  He was the youngest division one coach in the country.  In his first year as a coach, they went to the NCAA tournament and played UNC in the first round.  Dan spends his summers at Whitman where he and Coach Lun have been running youth basketball camps for 4 years.

Courtney Gaine graduated from Whitman in 1995 and played basketball, field hockey and soccer.  As a soccer player her freshman and sophomore years, she was named all-county and honorable mention all-state.  She played field hockey for 3 years and was all-county 2 times, second team all-state and 2nd team all-met.  Courtney was a 4 year varsity player on the basketball team.  She was named all-county 3 times, 1st team all-met 2 times, and 1st team all-state and USA Today’s honorable mention all-american.  In 1995 her basketball team won the 4A state championship.  Courtney continued her basketball career at the University of Connecticut.  Her individual accolades at UConn include; 4 time All-Big East Academic All-Star team, Co-captain of the 1998-1999 team, and won the Women’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete Award.  Her teams were ranked #1 in the nation at some point during each season.  They were 4 time Big East Champions and went to the final four.  Courtney recently returned to the DC area after finishing a PhD at UConn and living in North Carolina and Chicago.  She is currently a science and policy consultant for the food and beverage industry.

Chris Gormley was a superior student athlete at Whitman from 1997-2001.  He was a role model to his soccer teammates and school peers for both his admirable character and elite athletic ability.  Chris was a confident competitor who often brought out the best in his teammates.  Chris started as a freshman on the 1997 State championship team and was all-met and all-state honorable mention his junior year.  In 2000, he was a NSCAA/Adiddas All-american and was named the NSCAA/Adiddas All-south, all-state and all-met player of the year.  He was the Gatorade player of the year for the state of Maryland as well as the MVP of the Maryland all-star game. Chris was a senior captain of the 2000 undefeated state champion soccer team and tallied 9 goals and 16 assists.  Chris continued his career at the University of Maryland and played for the Terrapins for two years.  He started all but one game and his team went to the NCAA final four his sophomore year.  Chris had an outstanding impact on the Whitman soccer program, contributing to the high program standards that remain today.

Ryan Kuehl was a 4 sport athlete at Whitman.  He earned 10 overall varsity letters in football, basketball, baseball and track.  As a football player, Ryan was all-met tight end as a junior and all-met linebacker as a senior.  He was named to the Super Prep All-Mid East Region as a linebacker and tight end as well as being named a Prep Magazine All-american.  Ryan continued his football career at the University of Virginia.  He was a four year letterman and was named 2nd team All-ACC at defensive tackle.  Ryan played 12 years in the NFL primarily as a long snapper.  He played with the 49’ers, Redskins, Brown and finished his career with the Giants where he was part of the Super Bowl 42 Champions.  Ryan was helping coach the Whitman football team when he was called up by the Redskins.  Ryan is married to his wife Kimberly and has 3 children Tyler, Olivia and Cooper.  He currently works as Director of Sports Marketing, Professional Sports with under Armour.

Craig Lake played basketball, ran track and cross country for the Vikings.  As a basketball player, she was named all-county and all region for 4 years and was named an honorable mention all-met player her senior year.  She was the #1 3 point shooter in the area all 4 years and 3rd in the nation in 3 point shots made her senior year.  Craig began running her sophomore year.  She was named all-county and all-region for 3 years.  Craig was 1st team all-met in cross country and 2nd team all-met in track her senior year.  She won the state championship in the 800 meter and the 4×800 meter relay.  She finished 3rd in the 3200 meter and 3rd in the mile.  Craig ran varsity cross country and track for Princeton University and was first team All-Ivy and first team All-East.  Craig coached at Georgetown Visitation, George Washington University, Columbia University for 8 years where she was named Coach of the Year in the Northeast Region and led the team to 4 Ivy League Titles and 5 top 25 Nationals finishes .She also received her master’s degree in Exercise Physiology at Columbia, and is now the Director of men’s and women’s cross country/track & field at Brown University where she recently coached an Olympian in Beijing along with 5 NCAA Division I All-Americans.

Lindsay Seawright was a three sport athlete at Whitman and a star at each one.  She was an accomplished soccer player and a star on the girls tennis team.  Her real strength was in basketball.  Lindsay led the team to some of its best records and although the team did not win the state championship during her tenure, she was all-met in both her junior and senior years.  Lindsay also served as team captain her senior year.  Lindsay attended Wake forest on a basketball scholarship.  She was named captain of the team and was a defensive leader in the ACC as well as being an ACC Scholar athlete.  She pursued a degree in medicine and now practices in North Carolina.

Stephanie Smith has been an avid athlete all of her life. She began her impressive athletic story in this community, where she grew up playing sports and learning the basics of what would become an outstanding career. She lettered eight times in varsity sports including 2 years of girls’ basketball, 2 years of softball, 3 years of girls’ volleyball, and 1 year of co-ed volleyball.  Stephanie was a starter and key contributor to the 1998 undefeated (20-0) state volleyball championship team that finished number 2 in the Washington Post poll.  The volleyball team had a 48-4 record and won 3 straight Division crowns (1998-2000) during her 3 years on the team.  She was selected honorable mention all-county volleyball and received a full athletic scholarship for volleyball to the University of Maryland at College Park.  Stephanie was selected to the senior softball all-star team. She was the leading scorer and rebounder on the basketball team during the 2000-2001 season, and the winner of the Chichester Award for basketball and the U.S. Army Reserve National Scholar/Athlete Award in 2001.After receiving a full athletic scholarship to the University of Maryland-College Park, Stephanie became one of the most prolific volleyball players in Maryland’s history.  She ranks No. 2 all-time in solo blocks, block assists, total blocks, and hitting percentage.  She posted a 91-42 record in her 4 years, winning 3 straight ACC championships and making 3 trips to the NCAA tournament (2003-2005).  She was named to the 2005 ACC Preseason Team, was an All-ACC First Team selection, chosen to the American Volleyball Coaches Association  All-Region Team, and was an AVCA All-America Honorable Mention.  She was also named to the All-ACC Academic Team.   Stephanie graduated from the University of Maryland in 2006, earning a bachelor of science in elementary education.  She went on to teach 1st grade in Raleigh, North Carolina for two years as well as coach volleyball at Triangle Volleyball Club.  Stephanie currently resides in Austin, Texas where she is a master’s candidate in the School of Social Work at the University of Texas.

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