By Brandy L. Simms
Montgomery County is known for producing talented student-athletes in a variety of sports including football, basketball, baseball and lacrosse among others.
This fall, Rockville, Paint Branch, Magruder and Springbrook high schools all held recognition events to honor their former student-athletes.
This past weekend, Springbrook inducted Sherryta Stokes Campbell, Chris Davis, John Henderson, John Mondy, Kelly Roche, Harold Solomon, Mark Sturdivant, Jim Ward and Todd Wolfram into the Silver Spring public school’s Athletic Hall of Fame.
On October 26, Magruder inducted a group of individuals into their Athletic Hall of Fame including Caitlin Wooten, Brooke Wendel, Corinne Owens, Richie Harris, James Fuller, Karl Heimbach, Barb King, Benji Surpin, Zach Tolbert and Daryl Wilbanks.
Earlier that day, Walter Ray, founder of EGOS, held an event at Dominic’s Italian Grille to recognize a group of individuals from Paint Branch that included Roy Lester, Tyree Hill, Tracy Jackson, Scott Venturelli, Sean Jackson, Riley Inge, Mark Shannon, Phil Taylor, Mark Norman, Daryl Butler, Charles Harris, Corky McCorkle, Bruce Stayman, Butch Hilliard, Mike McNerney, Mark Shaw, Kevin Kelly, Mike Evans and Bob Foster.
Lester, 95, is a legendary Montgomery County high school football coach who also served a short stint as head coach at the University of Maryland.
During his tenure in Montgomery County, Lester was the head coach at Richard Montgomery, Paint Branch and Magruder. As Richard Montgomery’s head coach, Lester guided the Rockets to an 86-10-1 record and six undefeated seasons from 1959-1968. He left Montgomery County and landed in College Park where he served as head coach at Maryland from 1969 to 1971.
Lester, who was Maryland’s fourth head coach in five years, compiled a 7-25 record in College Park but returned to Montgomery County where he guided Paint Branch to the 1975 Class B State Championship during a six-year stint at the Burtonsville public school.
During a 14-year stint from 1979-1993, Lester guided Magruder to a pair of state championships. In 1984, Lester led the Rockville public school to the Class B state championship and guided the Colonels to the Class A state championship in 1986.
On Oct. 6, Rockville High School held a recognition event at That’s Amore restaurant in which coaches Jim Conner, Tom Manuel and Larry Nuzzaci were honored along with a group of former student-athletes that included Brian Howard, Larry Hurd Sr., Audra Poulin, Debbie Shockley, Andy Stroud and Gene Thomas.
“I’m honored to be selected to the Hall of Fame,” Manuel told the audience that included Rockville Athletic Director Michael Hayes and the school’s longtime head baseball coach Farron Riggs. “I had a front row seat to watch all of you and you were all outstanding choices.”
Hurd, the father of Walter Johnson head football coach Larry Hurd Jr., has been a longtime football and basketball coach in Montgomery County.
During his playing days, Hurd was a two-time first team All-Met running back and was named the Touchdown Club Player of the Year in 1973.
“Larry,” said Manuel, “was one of the best running backs this county has ever had.”
You can contact Brandy at: firstname.lastname@example.org.