Each year we recognize individuals who, through their accomplishments and contributions in the field of athletics, bring honor to self and to Frederick County. Alvin G. Quinn was the Executive Director of the YMCA of Frederick County from 1919 to 1960. No individual has ever had such an impact on so many of the area’s young people during his 40 year career as did Mr. Quinn.
Terry Burdette began coaching fast-pitch softball in 1992 as a recreational league coach for his daughter’s team. He quickly took a liking to the sport and decided to learn all he could about the skills involved. In 1995, he became the head coach of the Frederick Heartbreakers, an elite softball program that competes with the top teams in the country every year. In 21 years of coaching the Heartbreakers, he has amassed over 700 wins and has mentored 71 players who have gone on to play at the collegiate level, 38 at Division I schools. After assisting the Walkersville HS team to a 1999 state championship, he became an assistant coach at Mount Saint Mary’s and then a head coach at Hood College.
Terry Connolly led Thomas Johnson HS in back-to-back state basketball championships in 1985 and 1986. He was area Basketball Player of the Year in both of those years. As a collegian, his 25-point, 13 rebound averages helped the Shepherd College Rams to a 20-win season and earned him All Conference honors. After transferring to Richmond University, he led the Spiders to two consecutive NCAA playoff berths and in 1991 was the CBS Player of the Game in Richmond’s upset win over number two-seeded Syracuse. After his playing days were over, Terry turned his attention to coaching basketball, 11 years at Urbana HS, culminating in a 2010 trip to the final four in the state tournament, and most recently in a four-year stint at Oakdale HS, where his 2013 and 2014 squads were state semi-finalists.
Roger Dawson was outstanding athlete during his early years playing youth and high school sports in Brunswick, Roger then excelled in baseball at Frederick Community College and Shepherd College (now Shepherd University). He began his high school coaching career in 1989, assisting in basketball, football, and baseball. It was baseball, however, where he made his mark. During his time as the Brunswick HS head baseball coach from 1993 to 2015, his Railroader teams won over 300 games, won seven regional titles, three MVAL titles, and two state championships. He won numerous “Coach of the Year” awards and was the Mid-Maryland All-Star Classic coach in 2006 and 2012. Forty-seven of his players earned college scholarships. He was also the founder and manager of the Brunswick Orioles of the National Semi-Pro Baseball Association.
Active in Frederick youth sports in his early childhood, Mike Daye went on to star for the Frederick HS Cadets in football. He then played football at Shepherd College (now Shepherd University), where he garnered all-conference recognition in his junior and senior years. He held the West Virginia Conference sack record for over 25 years. Mike later went on to play for the Frederick Falcons semi-pro team for a number of years. His involvement in football continued as a high school assistant coach at Thomas Johnson HS and Middletown HS for 23 years. During that time, he coached track and field at Frederick Community College and Frederick HS, coached lacrosse at Thomas Johnson HS, and basketball at Tuscarora.
A three-sport captain in soccer, basketball, and lacrosse at Catoctin HS, Kate Robinson achieved all-conference recognition in each sport and was the Cougars’ 2006 Scholar Athlete. In her senior year, she led the basketball team to a Maryland state championship. While attending Catholic University, she was a four-year starter in both basketball and lacrosse. In lacrosse, she was team captain for three years during a span when CU won four conference championships. Kate was Capital Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year, Womenslacrosse.com Midfielder of the Year, Landmark Conference Player of the Year, and a three-time IWLCA/Under Armour All-American. She graduated from CU as its all-time leading scorer in lacrosse. Kate is presently the head women’s lacrosse coach at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington.
Frederick native Chemise Smith was one of the county’s premier track sprinters in the 1970s. Running for the Frederick Track and Field Club, she competed at the national and international levels, traveling to Nebraska and California for AAU meets and finishing first in the 400 meters representing the U.S.A. against Bermuda in 1975. She won the 400 in the Junior Olympics and set the women’s 400 meter stadium record at the Mountaineer Relays at the University of West Virginia. She earned a scholarship to Florida State University and later transferred to San Diego State University, where she continued to excel in track. She still holds the Frederick County record in the 400 meters at 54.6 seconds.
Coach Ben Wright*’s football coaching career began as a 19-year-old assistant at DuVal HS in PG County. He then served as head football coach for nine years at Eleanor Roosevelt HS before coming to Frederick County and taking over the Thomas Johnson football program in 1984, a position he held for 27 years. During that time, he compiled a record of 172–119, with 11 playoff appearances and two trips to the state championship finals. His 1990s squads racked up league and region titles and produced several undefeated regular season teams. But Ben will be remembered most for his commitment to his players with his time, his advice, and his financial support. Football was his life and his players were his family.
Rosalind was one of Frederick County’s finest female sprinters and hurdlers. Competing for the Frederick Track and Field Club in age group AAU competition, she was ranked as one of the 12 best hurdlers nationally. In 1975, she won the 100-meter hurdles in the National Junior Olympics. At age 16, she tied the American record in the 100-meter hurdles in the AAU National Women’s Junior-Senior Track and Field Championships. She was also a member of the elite FTC 400- and 800-meter relay teams that achieved national recognition. At a time when few athletic scholarships were available to women, Rosalind received a full scholarship to run track at Florida State University.
Cara grew up training and honing her basketball skills at the Frederick Young Men’s Christian Association. She was three times the basketball Frederick County Area Player of the Year. She led the Linganore Lady Lancers to two state championships and a 55-game win streak. In 1996 she was named to the AAU All-American Team. She went on to become a four-year starter for the Iowa Hawkeyes and captained her last three years. In her senior Hawkeye Big Ten Championship season, she was named the Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. She was All-Big 10 and AP Honorable Mention All-American. She was drafted by the WNBA Utah Starzz and played one season before embarking on a college basketball coaching career. She became the head women’s basketball coach at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2011.
Ron was an outstanding three-sport athlete at Fort Hill High School in Cumberland, Maryland. He was named to several all-league football teams and went on to University of Maryland on a football scholarship. After Ron moved to Frederick, he quarterbacked for the semi-pro Frederick Falcons, leading them to two Interstate League championships. From 1980-82 he was the Head Coach of the Falcons. In 1986 he became an assistant football coach for Walkersville High School where he served for 16 years, both as a quarterback coach and several years as the offensive coordinator. He helped coach the 1987 squad in winning the Maryland 2A State title. In 1986 he began 30 years of announcing basketball games at WHS and also for the Frederick Community College. He has served as the announcer for WHS baseball games.
Frank played baseball from an early age here in Frederick County. His Little League, Pony League, and Babe Ruth League teams won many state championships and regional titles. At Frederick High School, he was a member of the Maryland State Basketball Championship team, but he really excelled in baseball. In 1957 he was one of 21 players from around the country to be selected to play for the United States All-Star Team. He went on to play for the University of Maryland and was the recipient of the Bosey Berger Award as the most outstanding senior player. After graduation from UM, he returned to Frederick and coached at the Little League and American Legion levels. In 1995, he was inducted into the Maryland State Baseball Hall of Fame.
Jerome, born and raised in Thurmont, was active in youth sports from an early age. Three of the five midget league football teams that he played on went undefeated. As a two-way starter on the undefeated Catoctin High School JV team, he also began his career as a place kicker. As a sophomore two-way starter for the varsity team, Jerome won all-MVAL and all-county honors as a place kicker and set a school record for PATs in a game. As a junior he was named a First Team all-area linebacker and kicker. As senior captain of the undefeated MVAL and region champion Cougars, he was named as the Frederick News Post Co-Defensive Player of the Year, along with repeating all-star honors from his junior year. He went on to set several team kicking and punting records at Towson University.
Randy moved to Frederick County in 1985 and immediately made an impact on area sports programs. In 1992 he was one of the founders of the Western Maryland Youth Soccer Officials Association. Later, in 1996, he was a prime mover in creating the Western Maryland Soccer Officials Association. Perhaps his greatest contribution was in helping to bring high school lacrosse to Frederick County: The addition of high school lacrosse as a Frederick County interscholastic sport was due in large part to Randy’s efforts. In 1996 he founded the Frederick County women’s lacrosse program. He established the Western Maryland Lacrosse Officials Association in 1994. Over the years, he has officiated at more than 3,000 youth and high school soccer and lacrosse games.
As a three-year varsity basketball starter at Frederick High School, Darryl won numerous individual honors, including First Team All-City, FHS’ all-time assist leader, two-time team captain, and in 1981 was named the Frederick Courier Male Athlete of the year. He went on to be a three-year starter at Clarion University and captained the team his final two years. He returned to Frederick and got involved in coaching youth basketball camps and programs. He has coached at the high school level for many years and has been named several times by news outlets as Coach of the Year. He has been the color analyst for high school basketball games on WFMD/WFRE AM 930 for more than 15 years. He has been active in community service and is a motivational speaker for young athletes.