All-Met Sports, The Washington Post

Al Thomas, legendary Maryland high school football coach, dies at 76

There were two things that mattered most to Maryland high school coaching legend Al Thomas: family and football. In his later years, as his health declined, his time spent out of the house was at his grandsons’ sports games or area football practices.

“He was always a football coach,” said his son, Marc Thomas. “He really didn’t have much else in his life aside from being a football coach and a father.”

Al Thomas won a record eight state championships in his more than four decades on the sideline. He posted an all-time record of 242-47, 10th best in state history. He was inducted into the Maryland football hall of fame more than 20 years before he coached his final game.

He died Friday evening in hospice care in his sleep, his son said. The cause was cancer. He was 76.

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All-Met Sports, The Washington Post

McNamara dismisses Keith Goganious as football coach

McNamara has dismissed football Coach Keith Goganious, the coach confirmed Thursday.

“It was more small things that they saw that we needed some improvement on. I didn’t think so. We agreed to disagree,” Goganious said. “They just wanted to go in a different direction.”

He said the move was “unexpected.”

Goganious, 48, compiled an 19-22 record in four years with the Forestville school. The Mustangs went to the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference playoffs one time, in 2014, and posted one season with a winning record — 2015 when they went 6-4 with the help of a win over St. John’s.

This fall, they finished 4-6, and 2-4 in conference play.

“I’m more disappointed,” he said. “I thought we were on the same page when I came in and I thought we were still on the same page.

“It didn’t end the way I thought it should end or the way I wanted it to end.”

McNamara Athletic Director Tony Johnson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

When he was hired in 2013, the former Hampton and North Point assistant trumpeted a “Resurrection to Glory” theme that he hoped would bring “respect back to our program.”

But in the powerhouse WCAC, the Mustangs were winless in 13 games under Goganious against traditional league stallwarts Good Counsel, DeMatha and Gonzaga.

He inheritted a program in 2013 that had won only one conference games in each of the three years prior.

“Yes, we didn’t win a WCAC championship, but we competed with some of those powerhouses,” he said Thursday. “In some cases we had them on the ropes and we couldn’t knock them out.”

Goganious played five years in the NFL as a linebacker for Buffalo, Jacksonville and Baltimore.

“When I was in college recruiting, I spent all my time here,” he said. “There is talent here, not just on the football field, but in the classroom.”

Goganious said he wants to return to coaching at the college or high school level. The stint at McNamara was his first as a head coach.

All-Met Sports, The Washington Post

WCAC basketball notebook: With a wealth of experience, Elizabeth Seton is ready to break through

There isn’t much Elizabeth Seton’s Jaylen Hines can’t do on a basketball court.

The Roadrunners will use Hines at every position on the floor. She’ll bring the ball up the court and set up the offense. She’ll check the best player on defense.

One possession she’ll throw the pass that leads to a layup; the next, she’ll shimmy through the lane to create her own shot.

“She’s so doggone versatile,” Coach Jonathan Scruggs said.

No. 7 Elizabeth Seton is off to a conference-leading 8-0 start to the season with statement wins against Seton-Keough of Baltimore, Good Counsel and Bullis.

In a conference stacked with talent, Seton hopes 2016-17 is the season it finally can break through dynamos Paul VI, St. John’s and Good Counsel as the team to beat in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference.

Eight straight wins and 16.1 points and 7.4 rebounds per game from Hines certainly help.

“It’s been the best start that we could have hoped for,” Scruggs said.

The Roadrunners have a team loaded with seven seniors and didn’t graduate a single player from a team that went 22-11 and finished fourth in the conference last winter.

This year is almost like their second senior season, Scruggs said. They’ve already had a full year to adjust to their roles as leaders on and off the court. They know the schemes Scruggs wants to run and know how to shepherd younger teammates. They’re familiar with the local competition and have memories of seasons gone by, when Seton went from class of the conference in 2013 to a .500 team in 2014.

“They had a practice season to be leaders,” Scruggs said. “I think sometimes people underrate the value of experience and familiarity.”

The Big number: 164

The combined margin of victory for Elizabeth Seton in its last three games. The Roadrunners beat St. Mary’s-Annapolis, 74-11, Carroll, 80-20, and Holy Cross, 78-37.

WCAC player of the week

C Malu Tshitenge-Mutombo, St. John’s, So.

Tshitenge-Mutombo started the season with an injured hand that has clearly healed. She scored a season-high 21 points against Bishop Ireton on Tuesday two games after netting 17 in a win against Baldwin.