Holmes Selected to the 2020 WBCA Thirty Under 30 Honorees

By The Sports Pulse Staff

ATLANTA – The Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) recently unveiled its Thirty Under 30 class presented by Marriott Bonvoy and Morgan Stanley Global Sports &Entertainment, for the 2019-20 season where Howard University assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Tamoria Holmes was among the honorees.

The WBCA Thirty Under 30 program was created to recognize 30 up-and-coming women’s basketball coaches age 30 and under at all levels of the game. Each honoree has exemplified their involvement in community service, mentorship and impact on others, professional manner, and attitude and professional association involvement.

“Wow, I am extremely humbled by this recognition from the WBCA,” Holmes expressed. “This industry can be tough at times, but I am honored that my hard work and perseverance hasn’t gone unnoticed.”

Holmes wrapped up her third year after guiding HU to its third winning season in four years with a 16-15 overall record. Along the way, Holmes saw guards Ayonna Williams (Washington) and Jayla Thornton (Newark, N.J.) earn Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) All-Conference

“I am extremely proud of Tamoria [Holmes],” said Howard women’s basketball head coach Ty Grace. “She is a hard worker and loves the game. She instantly impacted the lives of our student-athletes.”

Holmes was a four-year letter winner and two-year captain for the Howard women’s basketball team (2009-13). She helped guide the Bison to the MEAC Tournament championship game three times in her collegiate career. After the 2011-12 campaign, she was named to the All-MEAC First Team after leading the conference in scoring with 18.3 points per game.

That same season, the All-HBCU All-America honoree led HU to a 24-9 mark (14-2 MEAC) and WNIT berth.

“The WBCA is pleased to recognize up-and-coming talent in our coaching family,” said WBCA Executive Director Danielle Donehew. “These coaches have demonstrated eagerness, effectiveness, loyalty, love of the game, and a commitment to the student-athlete. We celebrate their effort on the basketball court as teachers and equally applaud the extensive role
they play in impacting the lives of their student-athletes.”

The North Carolina native is a member of Howard’s 1,000-point club, earning her bachelor’s degree in health science in 2013.

“She is an up-and-coming coach in this business,” Grace added. “We are lucky to have her back at Howard, a place she accomplished so much as a student-athlete and now has an opportunity as a coach. She is a coach on the rise.”

This is the fifth year of the WBCA Thirty Under 30 program.

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Northwestern High School Basketball Coach Burke dies from complications of COVID-19

By José Umaña/The Sports Pulse Contributor

HYATTSVILLE – Terrence Burke, head coach of the Northwestern High School boys basketball team, died on March 27 after battling with symptoms of the coronavirus known as COVID-19.

Burke, who worked at Northwestern as a counselor and was a veteran of the U.S. Navy, died late Friday evening, according to a post by a family member.

Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) CEO Monica Goldson confirmed Burke’s death early Saturday, stating that she extends her “deepest sympathies” to his family, friends and students whose lives he impacted through his work. Prince George’s Educators’ Association President Theresa Mitchell Dudley asked for prayers for his family in a Facebook post.

“I know this news is devastating and shocking to many in the Northwestern High School community and all who knew and loved him,” Goldson said. “Please know that my heart is breaking with yours, and I am praying for your strength and comfort during this time.”

Reactions following the news of Burke’s death were swift, with the attention pointed to his coaching career with the Wildcats. This past season, Northwestern finished with a 13-10 overall record. Northwestern girls basketball head coach Keith Devoe called it a “pleasure” working together as part of the Wildcat basketball community.

Guard Marquise Delahaye last spoke to Burke the day before schools closed due to the pandemic as they worked together to figure out his future. The senior said he will never forget that final conversation and how Burke always looked to help every player reach their goals.

“I’ll never forget how hard he was invested in [each of] his players and how he wanted to make us better men in life more than anything,” Delahaye said. “He was very hard on me, but I knew it was tough love. He saw something in me [and] he always constantly reminded me.” 

PGCPS will provide remote counseling to students and staff dealing with Burke’s death with the help of a support team of psychologists, professional school counselors, and pupil personnel worker, Goldson said. 

The school system plans to continue consulting with the county’s and state health department on preventative measures, reporting protocols and communication.

“We will make it through this time together,” Goldson said. “Please take care of yourselves and your loved ones.”

As of March 28, Prince George’s County has confirmed 196 cases of the coronavirus, the second most of the state. In total, Maryland has over 990 confirmed cases with Gov. Larry Hogan stating late Saturday evening that the number of people who have died has doubled, from five to 10, since March 27.

High School student-athletes and coaches reflect on coronavirus pandemic

By Harry Lichtman/The Sports Pulse Contributor

ROCKVILLE – When Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert was diagnosed with COVID-19, a.k.a, coronavirus, on March 11, the NBA immediately suspended its season, which led to a ripple effect of suspensions among professional sports leagues and cancellations of college sports, including the NCAA basketball tournaments.

The coronavirus outbreak in our country also led to high school sports being postponed, with many student-athletes being affected.

One spring athlete whose season has been postponed is Leah Rubino, a senior at Winston Churchill High School who plays lacrosse and committed to playing at Butler University.

“I’m really disappointed that I’m not playing lacrosse right now,” said Rubino. “I was excited to start my senior season, but now I’m missing out on my last year of high school lacrosse.”

In addition to lax, Rubino was also on the Bulldogs’ girls basketball team, which made an incredible run in the playoffs and reached the state semifinals, only for that round to be postponed due to the pandemic.

“We worked extremely hard all season just to be stripped of our reward,” said Rubino. “We had a great season on and off the court, so it’s a shame that we didn’t get to end it properly.”

In the meantime, Rubino has been working out and practicing with her siblings at home. One of her siblings is former Churchill lacrosse player Jimmy Rubino, who graduated in 2018 and committed to playing at the Naval Academy.

“I have to try and stay in the best shape I can so that I can try to be competitive when I get to school,” said Rubino. “We also trained at the gym Healthy Ballers before it was closed as well.”

Another senior athlete who may not get to play for a while is Luke Trythall, who plays baseball at Poolesville High School.

“I feel that this delay is definitely necessary,” Trythall said. “But the players that are going to do well this season will find a way to keep working out and keep getting better. I think this season will separate the good players from the great players.”

Trythall has committed to playing baseball at UMBC, as he feels excited to return to the diamond.

“Being able to enjoy my senior season after committing is something I am looking forward to very much,” said Trythall.

Sherwood baseball head coach Sean Davis has led one of the best teams in the county, though his players are not happy with the current scenario.

“It’s more so a disappointment for the players,” Davis said. “When they first announced the postponements, you could feel the players were upset. They had a pretty good team. I’m not worried as much as them, though.”

Davis has four seniors who already committed to playing in college, such as Brady Andre (Wilson College), Joey Bowers (Salisbury), Ian Brady (Virginia Wesleyan College), and Luke Cheng (Illinois State).

“This should be one of the most exciting moments of their lives, and now they’re forced to sit at home,” said Davis. “I feel bad for the seniors. They haven’t canceled spring sports, but there’s a small glimmer of hope. Though Virginia canceled school.”

In the meantime, Davis is doing what everyone else in the nation has been advised to do.

“I’m just staying home,” said Davis. “I’m at home with my wife and kids, making sure they get their academics.”

Howard University teammates hold their own Q+A

By The Sports Pulse

WASHINGTON – Howard University junior broadcast journalism major Tiffany Hunt caught up with her women’s lacrosse teammate Alayah Hightower (Mitchellville, Md.), who is also was a member of the women’s soccer team, and asked 10 questions for the 2019-20 Senior Profile series.

Q: What’s your favorite part of being a two-sport student-athlete?

A: I get to meet double the number of friends and experience two different dynamics between each team.

In soccer, I just love being the goalie because I like how the team depends on me.

With lacrosse, I love the sport because I self-introduced myself to it and learned the fundamentals of the game. I ended up loving the sport, finding myself within it while hanging out with my teammates.

Q: How did you get started in soccer and lacrosse?

A: In soccer, originally, my parents always wanted me to run track, but I was slow. So, my dad eventually put me in soccer and that’s where my love grew from there. I never ran track again.

In my physical education class during the sixth grade, lacrosse was part of the rotation throughout the different sports we played. The following year, I decided to play, so I went out to play lacrosse and soccer on my middle school teams.

Q: What kept you motivated?

A: My teammates because they were encouraging and supportive. We had each other’s back.

Q: If you were not competing in soccer or lacrosse, what other sport would you do?

A: I think I would want to play volleyball because I played the sport during my physical education class. I would be extremely competitive.

Q: Who is your favorite athlete and why?

A: Lebron James because he’s an outstanding player and a champion. He’s a beast and dedicated to the game.

Q: What’s your favorite memory at Howard?

A: I would say winning the SWAC (Southwestern Athletic Conference) Women’s Soccer Championship in 2018.

Q: Plans after graduation?

A: After graduation, I plan to get my MBA (Master of Business Administration) through Howard’s School of Business.

Q: What or who will you miss at Howard?

A: I will miss my teammates and the athletic administration. But don’t worry, I’ll be back.

Q: What advice would you give future Bison?

A: My advice is to don’t give up. You may go through some tough times, but if you are persistent, you will get it done.

Q: Who would you like to thank?

A: I would like to thank the entire athletic administration, especially Mr. Paul Bowden (Howard Associate Athletic Director for Student-Athlete Support Services & Interim Women’s Lacrosse Head Coach), Mr. Randy Smith (Howard Learning Specialist), Dr. Michael Merrick, DPT (Howard Director of Rehabilitation), HU Athletic Training staff and all my soccer coaches. Collectively, they have all helped me through my Howard journey.

About Hightower

Before her arrival to The Mecca, Hightower was a four-year letterwinner from Severn School where she was a member of the National Honor Society.

In her collegiate career, the two-sport student-athlete won numerous accolades on and off the field. Hightower earned the 2019 SWAC Goalkeeper of the Year after guiding the women’s soccer team to a regular season title. Last year, she was a member of the 2018 SWAC Tournament Championship team that appeared in the NCAA Tourney.

She saw action in 19 lacrosse matches, including five starts this season before the year came to a halt due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). In her final collegiate match against Mount St. Mary’s (March 11), Hightower produced a hat trick (three goals) versus The Mount.

Academically, Hightower made the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Commissioner’s All-Academic Team twice (2018 & 2019) and the 2018 Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) President’s Honor Roll List after boasting a 3.6 GPA or better.

The Maryland native graduates May 2020 after majoring in engineering and wi

Taylor makes history as Sullivan Award finalist

By Demetrius Dillard/The Sports Pulse Contributor

COLLEGE PARK — Former University of Maryland (UMD) women’s lacrosse goalie Megan Taylor has been selected as a finalist for the James E. Sullivan Award, marking a historical moment for collegiate lacrosse.

Every year, The Sullivan Award, presented by the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), recognizes the nation’s most outstanding amateur athlete whose accomplishments are accompanied by qualities of leadership, character and sportsmanship. 

Taylor, a 2019 graduate from the program, becomes the first lacrosse player to be nominated as a finalist in the 90-year history of the award.

“I am so honored to represent Maryland and the sport of lacrosse as a finalist for the AAU Sullivan Award,” Taylor said. 

“It is truly humbling to be selected alongside America’s best college athletes for this prestigious honor. Of course, this wouldn’t be possible without all the incredible support I’ve gotten from the most amazing family, teammates, and coaches in the world. This is the perfect way to cap off the best four years of my life!”

Former University of Maryland goalie Megan Taylor

Winning the AAU Sullivan award would be a perfect culmination to one of the most accomplished college lacrosse players ever, male or female. In addition to leading the Terps to national championships in 2017 and 2019, the Howard County native was the first goalie to win the Tewaaraton Award. 

Some of Taylor’s additional achievements include being named the 2019 IWLCA (Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association) Player of the Year, 2019 Honda Sport Award winner, two-time IWLCA Goalie of the Year, four-time Big Ten Goaltender of the Year, 2019 NCAA tournament MVP, and 2018-19 UMD Student-Athlete of the Year, among several other athletic and academic honors.

Taylor joins nine other finalists who are in the running for the award, including UCLA gymnast Kyla Ross, Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, Marquette basketball guard Markus Howard and Oregon women’s basketball guard Sabrina Ionescu, to name a few. 

Throughout her career at Maryland, Taylor powered the Terps’ staggering defense by posting 740 saves (second-most in program history) with a .512 save percentage, in addition to allowing only 177 goals in 23 games as a senior.

May 26, 2019 – NCAA Tournament MVP Megan Taylor recorded 10 saves in the finals and led Maryland to a 22-1 season. Photo by Mike Clark/The Sports Pulse

Since leaving College Park, Taylor joined the Naval Academy’s women’s lacrosse program as a volunteer assistant coach last summer. Her responsibilities primarily include working directly with Navy’s goalies.

Many past athletes who won the distinguished award in previous years have gone on to become household names, some of whom include Wilma Rudolph (1961), Bill Walton (1973), Bruce Jenner (1976), Carl Lewis (1981), Joan Benoit (1985), Janet Evans (1989), Peyton Manning (1997), Michael Phelps (2003), Tim Tebow (2007), Shawn Johnson (2008), Missy Franklin (2012), and Ezekiel Elliott (2014).

The winner will be announced at the 90th annual AAU Sullivan Award ceremony, scheduled to take place at the New York Athletic Club on April 21. Voting for the award closes on March 30 at 11:59 p.m.

Redskins acquire former Carolina Panthers quarterback Kyle Allen

By The Sports Pulse Staff

LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. – The Washington Redskins recently announced today that they had acquired quarterback Kyle Allen from the Carolina Panthers in exchange for a fifth-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

The 6-3, 210-pound gunslinger has spent two seasons in the NFL after initially entering the league as an undrafted free agent in 2018. 

Allen has appeared in 15 career regular season games with 13 starts, completing 323-of-520 passes (62.1 percent) for 3,588 yards with 19 touchdowns and 16 interceptions for a passer rating of 82.0. He has also rushed 37 times for 125 yards and three touchdowns in his career.

Last season, he started 12 of the 13 games in which he appeared for the Panthers. He completed 62.0 percent of his passes for 3,322 yards, 17 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. He also rushed 32 times for 106 yards and two touchdowns

Allen played collegiately at the University of Houston (2017) and Texas A&M University (2014-15). He was named the Conference USA Most Valuable Player and earned Offensive Player of the Year honors twice.

Allen, 24, attended Desert Mountain H.S. in Scottsdale, Ariz. He was born on March 8, 1996.

Nicholson headlines five defensive back cuts from Washington

By The Sports Pulse Staff

WASHINGTON – The Washington Redskins have released five players earlier today. One of the notable players was safety Montae Nicholson who had the best season of his three-year stint with the Burgundy and Gold. Last season, Nicholson had 61 tackles and hauled in two interceptions.

Another notable defensive back to get axed was Coty Sensabaugh. The Redskins utilized the 10-year veteran sparingly in his first and only season in Washington as he only played in two games (two starts) and accounted for nine tackles.

Former Washington Redskins safety Montae Nicholson. Photo by Michael Smith/The Sports Pulse

Other players looking for employment are cornerback Dee Delaney, cornerback Breon Borders and cornerback Kayvon Webster.

Howard all-time leading scorer named as BOXTOROW All-American

Upper Marlboro native named MEAC Rookie of the Year

By The Sports Pulse Staff

WASHINGTON – BOXTOROW revealed its 12th annual Division I men’s college basketball All-America Teams, where Howard University senior guard Charles Williams was selected to the Second Team. 

Williams finished his four-year career as the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) All-Time Scoring Leader, producing 2,404 points. The Virginia native ended his senior campaign with 18.5 points per game while earning a spot on the All-MEAC Second Team.

Williams racked up numerous individual accolades in his collegiate career, including 2016-17 MEAC Rookie of the Year.

The three-time BOXTOROW All-American is scheduled to graduate in May and plans to pursue a career in health management.

BOXTOROW has administered the All-America team since 2009.

Next season, head coach Kenneth Blakeney and the Bison look to bounce back, led by 2019-20 MEAC Rookie of the Year and Upper Marlboro native Wayne Bristol, Jr. where he averaged more than 11 points per game and pulled down 4.3 rebounds per contest.