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Sports Briefs: Majors Snap 13-Game Losing Streak

The Mount Vernon football team used a strong ground game to beat Edison 14-6 on Sept. 16, snapping the program’s 13-game losing streak that stretched back to 2008.

Prior to beating Edison, Mount Vernon’s last victory came on Nov. 7, 2008, against Washington-Lee in the opening round of the playoffs. The Majors lost to Stone Bridge the following week, finished the 2009 season with a 0-10 record and lost their first two contests of the 2010 campaign.

Mount Vernon trailed Edison 6-0 at the half of Thursday’s home contest, but Emmanuel Tackie’s third quarter touchdown put the Majors ahead to stay. Dennis Mensah added a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

First-year Mount Vernon head coach Barry Wells said the Majors were able to pound the ball on the ground in the second half. Mensah finished the game with 102 rushing yards and Tackie had 98.

The loss dropped Edison to 0-3.

Mount Vernon will travel to face Stuart at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 24. Wells said the effect of the Edison win will be seen later in the season, but he said the team’s confidence level still needs a boost.

"I thought it would be a springboard," Wells said of the win, "but I don’t think the confidence is where it needs to be."

<b>Majors Defending Title with Youth</b>

The Mount Vernon field hockey captured the 2009 National District championship with a combination of senior leadership and youthful exuberance. This season, with only three returning starters, the Majors are relying mostly on youth.

Junior forward Allie Schray, sophomore midfielder Jane Heller and sophomore defender/goalkeeper Serenna Schantz are the only returning starters for a program that graduated six first- or second-team all-district seniors from last year’s championship team. This year, Mount Vernon started the season 4-4, including a 2-1 victory over Falls Church in the district opener on Sept. 1.

"I think they’re playing well and because they are young they’re only going to grow as the season goes along," head coach Jessica Hebel said. "I think we’ll look good later on in the season."

Schray, Heller and senior forward Bailey Braun are the team captains. Hebel said sophomore Megan Cole is one of the team’s top defenders. Schantz transitioned from defender to goalkeeper for a Sept. 14 matchup against West Springfield.

Hebel said winning the district title last season has the Majors expecting success.

"I think the fact that we did win our district last year is carrying over," she said, "because I know a lot of the girls, that’s their expectation."

Against West Springfield, the Majors failed to capitalize on several scoring chances and appeared to lack a sense of urgency during several second-half corners. Mount Vernon managed to tie the game at 1 late in the second half, but the Spartans scored the game-winning goal with less than 30 second remaining.

The Majors resume district play at home against Edison at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 24.

Despite returning only three starters, Hebel said the Majors should continue to improve.

"It’s not really that there’s a disconnect communication-wise," she said. "It’s more that we’re trying to do the right thing, it’s just not quite there yet."

— Jon Roetman

<b>West Potomac Football Falls to 1-2</b>

The West Potomac football team lost a home game to Chantilly 35-16 on Sept. 16, dropping its record to 1-2. The Wolverines begin Patriot District play on the road against West Springfield at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 24.

<b>West Potomac Fall Basketball Clinic</b>

The West Potomac boys basketball program will be offering six co-ed fall basketball clinics on from 7-8:30 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday nights from Sept. 28-Oct. 14. Cost is $10 per session or $55 for all six sessions. Contact West Potomac boys basketball coach David Houston at djhouston@fcps.edu or 703-718-2619 for more information.

<b>Fort Hunt Basketball Registration</b>

Registration is open for the Fort Hunt Youth Athletic Association winter basketball season. Those interested may register at www.fhyaa.org. The league is for boys and girls ages 6-18. All players must be properly registered and have paid to play.

Registration fee is $75 with a $15 discount for a second basketball player in the family and a $20 discount for a third player. There is a $5.50 Fairfax County field use fee per registrant. A $40 late fee will be assessed to anyone registering after Nov. 1 (except high school age).

Contact Catherine Gorham at gorhamca@aol.com or more information.

<b>Youth Coaches Needed</b>

The Alexandria Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities is currently seeking volunteers to coach flag football, basketball, volleyball, baseball and softball. Criminal history background checks are required. Interested persons should call the youth sports office at 703-746-5402 or e-mail mac.slover@alexandriava.gov or tamika.coleman@alexandriava.gov.