By Dave Krider
Last spring Frankie Hamrock was limited to playing football pickup games with his buddies from Indian River in Chesapeake, Va. Today he is the shockingly successful starting quarterback at Indian River. Making it even more improbable – he is a senior playing his first organized football since age 11. He had given up his varsity dreams after severely breaking his leg as an eighth grade baseball player.
Recruited from coach Cadillac Harris’ gym class – and urged on by his buddies – Hamrock studied the varsity playbook all summer while participating in passing leagues and camps. The 6-2, 180-pounder not only earned the starting quarterback position, but he has gotten off to a sensational start. Through five games, he has completed 49-of-95 passes for 857 yards and 13 touchdowns. He has fired four touchdown passes in each of the last two games.
* A different kind of recruiting is going on in Boise, Idaho. Four teenagers from The Netherlands are playing football for Boise High and a fifth is playing for Boise Capital. They first attended the Boise State University football camp and have hopes of earning college scholarships. All are having productive seasons thus far…The after effects of Hurricane Ike have caused Texas officials to cancel the greatly-anticipated matchup between Galena Park North Shore and Southlake Carroll. North Shore’s next victory will break Carroll’s state record 72-game, regular-season winning streak.
* Sadly, the nation’s No. 1 defensive player, Devon Kennard, has been sidelined for the remainder of his senior year due to a torn ACL in his right knee. The 6-3, 257-pound Desert Vista (Phoenix, Ariz.) defensive end has narrowed his college list to Arizona State, Southern California, Texas, California and UCLA. ..Turning to Florida, South Sumter defeated Orlando Lake Highland Prep, 20-14, to give coach Inman Sherman his 200th victory.
* Spanish River (Boca Raton, Fla.) snapped a 14-game losing streak in a big way with a 52-37 victory over Lake Worth John I. Leonard. Brett Swider made it possible by rushing for 391 yards and six touchdowns…Senior Aaron Harris also scored six touchdowns, but he needed only 12 carries (294 yards) to spark Granite Hills (El Cajon, Calif.) to a 42-21 victory over Escondido Orange Glen. That does not include his scoring runs of 80 and 75 yards which were nullified by penalties.
* Aurora Christian quarterback Jordan Roberts threw four touchdown passes to Matt Morse en route to a 42-28 victory over Chicago Christian, setting an Illinois state record with 98 career scoring passes…Turning to Michigan, Michigan State University recruit Edwin Baker (5-10, 205) set an Oak Park school record by rushing for 452 yards on 26 carries (17.3 average) during a 26-21 victory over Royal Oak…Powerful Byrnes (Duncan, S.C.) has a new career rushing leader. Junior standout Marcus Lattimore gained 220 yards in his last outing for a career total of 2,952 as Byrnes snapped a three-game losing streak against Gaffney, 42-14, on a rain-soaked field.
* Unfazed by bronchitis and the presence of University of Southern California coach Pete Carroll, senior linebacker Manti Te’o had a team-high 13 tackles to spark Punahou (Honolulu, Hawaii) to a 28-6 victory over city foe Kamehameha…Alabama Class A power Sweet Water exploded for 51 points in the first quarter en route to a 78-0 thumping of Beatrice J.F. Shields for its 32nd consecutive victory…In Colorado, Greg Kelsic returned an interception 104 yards for a touchdown as Littleton Chatfield routed Westminster, 52-8.
* Plant (Tampa, Fla.) senior quarterback Aaron Murray threw eight touchdown passes in the first half of a 63-6 rout of Sarasota Riverview. He completed 14-of-20 for 385 yards and his scoring strikes went to seven different players. The 385 yards established a new state record and the eight scoring passes tied a state record, both for one half. One week earlier he threw seven scoring passes in the first half.
* On the recruiting front, the University of Wisconsin has received a commitment from outstanding Union (Slinger, Wis.) senior fullback/linebacker Tyler Dippel (6-4, 248)…Upland (Calif.) senior quarterback Josh Nunes (6-3, 208) has switched his commitment from Tennessee to Stanford.
* Mississippi State has received a commitment from the No. 1 in-state player, 6-6 senior swingman Shaunessy Smith, who averaged 25.1 points and 7.0 rebounds last year for Macon Noxubee County…Six-foot-seven Noel Johnson of Fayette County (Fayetteville, Ga.), an outstanding shooter, has pledged to the University of Southern California…Ohio State has received a commitment from one of Illinois’ top juniors, 6-3 Lenzelle Smith of Zion-Benton.
* Collin Reddick has pledged to Furman University. The 6-9, 240-pound senior will be joined by his 6-5 twin brother, Charlie. They both will play their senior year at McEachern (Powder Springs, Ga.) after transferring from Whitefield Academy…Mount Tabor (Winston-Salem, N.C.) senior point guard Mike Grace has chosen Yale. He averaged 16.4 points, 6.7 assists and 2.8 steals as a junior.
* San Diego State has received a commitment from 6-3 senior guard Chase Tapley, who averaged 22.2 points, 4.8 assists and 4.6 steals last year for Sacramento (Calif.) High…Alec Burks, a 6-4 senior point guard, has chosen the University of Colorado. He averaged 19.9 points last year for Grandview (Mo.)…Mike Bartee has retired as head coach at J.W. North (Riverside, Calif.) with a 28-year career record of 554-219.
On the girls side, Tennessee has received a major commitment from 6-1 Taber Spani, who averaged an impressive 29.6 points, 11 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 3.0 blocks and 2.4 steals as a junior at Metro Academy (Oalthe, Kan.)…Nationally No. 1-ranked Kelsey Bone, a 6-5 senior from Dulles (Sugar Land, Texas), will choose from among Texas, Illinois, Texas A&M and South Carolina.
Cross Country Notes
* The Culver (Ind.) Academies Invitational produced a couple of big surprises. Last year’s Nike Team National champion, Neuqua Valley (Naperville, Ill.), showed it still has talent by defeating Indiana power Carmel, 48-94, to repeat as boys champion. The individual winner was a newcomer on the national scene, Indianapolis North Central freshman Futsum Zeinasellassie, who won easily in 15:20. He just moved to Indiana this summer from Eritrea, a small country in northeast Africa.
Defending national girls champion Fayetteville-Manlius (Manlius, N.Y.) defeated another highly-rated team, Burnt Hills (N.Y.), 27-61, to capture the championship of the 44th annual McQuaid Invitational in Rochester, N.Y. Courtney Chapman gave the champs an individual winner, too, with a clocking of 16:58…Mason (Ohio) sophomore Zach Wills ran away with the boys race in 15:02.36 during the annual Midwest Meet of Champions in Hilliard, Ohio.
* Top teams from four Western states competed in the annual Stanford (Calif.) Invitational. Rancho Bernardo (San Diego, Calif.) senior Molly Grabill starred with a 17-second victory (17:35) in the seeded girls race…Katie Flood of Dowling Catholic (West Des Moines, Iowa) won the girls race in 18:22 during the annual Roy Griak Invitational in Minneapolis, Minn. The team title went to Roosevelt (Sioux Falls, S.D.) with 138 points. Ten-time North Dakota state champion Bismarck High scored 78 points to surprise the boys field, led by individual champion Joash Osoro (15:38).
* Arizona swimming apparently is in for a record season this fall. Phoenix Brophy Prep junior John Wojciechowski lowered the unofficial state record for the second straight week with a blistering time of 48.59 seconds in the 100-yard butterfly. His goal is 47 seconds, which would eclipse the national record of 47.10…Defending Tennessee state diving champion Tori Lamp (Knoxville Bearden) placed fifth in the FINA Junior Diving World Championships in Aachen, Germany. Her score was 393.60.
* Caitlin Dent, daughter of former major league shortstop Bucky Dent, is a standout volleyball and softball player at Park Vista (Boynton Beach, Fla.). Her twin brother, Cody, has made a commitment to play baseball at the University of Florida. Both of them – surprise – play shortstop…St. Mary’s Academy (Englewood, Colo.) third baseman Sarah Schumar made an unassisted triple play during a 14-7 softball victory over Arrupe Jesuit.
* Pensacola Catholic (Fla.) junior third baseman Austen Smith has made a commitment to the baseball team at the University of Alabama. He received interest from 23 Division I colleges following a sophomore year in which he batted .449 with eight home runs and 43 runs batted in…Junior Kristina Graven now is wearing volleyball uniform number 12 at national powerhouse Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.). Her old number, 9, was retired recently in honor of Olympic volleyball champion Kerri Walsh, who wore that number during her prep days at Mitty.