Area briefs: Judges’ Dowrey to play football at Marshall

Posted: December 18, 2013

The Winchester Star

WINCHESTER — Handley senior Jordan Dowrey will attend Marshall University on a full athletic scholarship next year after giving the Thundering Herd a verbal commitment Monday to play as an interior offensive linemen for their football team.

Dowrey will be able to make his commitment official — and join his older brother Derek as a Football Bowl Championship Subdivision player — on college football’s national signing day on Feb. 5.

Derek Dowrey recently completed his freshman season at Penn State (he red-shirted in 2012), and Jordan Dowrey said the atmosphere at that school inspired him to want to be a part of a big college program that could give him a similar feeling.

“Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve wanted to go big,” said the 6-foot-1, 270-pound Dowrey, who has played guard and center during a high school career that saw him start all four years on Handley’s offensive line. “When I really decided to work to go Division I, I was in [Penn State’s Beaver] Stadium, and feeling that environment. I wanted that environment, and [Marshall] definitely fits that.

“The fan support and everything there is great. They’re really excited about the football program, in the stadium and in the community.”

Marshall is a member of Conference USA and is in the midst of a 9-4 season. The Herd played in the conference championship game this year and will play in the Military Bowl in Annapolis, Md., against Maryland on Dec. 27.

Dowrey — a first team All-Northwestern District offensive guard — said he’s also impressed with the coaching staff, the players, and the relationships they have with each other, and he’d thought he’d feel right at home with the Herd.

Until recently, it didn’t even look like Marshall would be an option for Dowrey.

Dowrey said he went to a camp held by the Huntington, W.Va., school over the summer, and the Herd did show immediate interest in him. But Dowrey said Marshall didn’t have a spot for him in their initial recruiting plans for interior linemen, and the two sides lost touch.

But near the end of Handley’s season Marshall reestablished contact and asked for more film, because it needed another interior linemen. Dowrey went to the Herd’s home game against East Carolina on Nov. 29, and the Herd made him an offer that day.

Dowrey didn’t make a decision to accept though until after he made an official visit this past weekend, a trip which helped sell him more on the school and the team. He then called head coach Doc Holliday, offensive line coach Alex Mirabel, and the recruiting coach for the area, defensive tackles coach J.D. Price, on Monday to let them know of his decision.

Before Marshall called again, Dowrey said he was deciding between William & Mary and Richmond, both members of the Football Championship Subdivision’s Colonial Athletic Association.

Dowrey also received a scholarship offer from Connecticut, the only other member of the FBS to offer one. (UConn is in the American Athletic Conference.)

Dowrey said he was definitely interested in UConn, but when the Huskies fired former head coach Paul Pasqualoni in September, that made that prospect an uncertain one. Dowrey said he didn’t give the school much thought after that because of that uncertainty.

BOYS’ BASKETBALL

Colonels 80, Pride 53

LEESBURG — James Wood remained undefeated with a non-district win over Heritage Tuesday.

The Colonels (4-0) were led by Branson Ratlief (15 points), Brady Hepner (12 points), Ryland Williams (11 points, seven rebounds, six assists), Cam Butler (11 points, six assists) and Josh Akeley (six points, six rebounds).

James Wood had just six turnovers in the win.

Pioneers 55, Cardinals 46

INWOOD, W.Va. — Millbrook snapped a four-game losing streak with a victory over Spring Mills (W.Va.) in the opening round of the Musselman Tournament on Tuesday night.

Zach Harrell scored 24 points and had five assists to lead the Pioneers (1-4).

The Pioneers took control early, outscoring first-year school Spring Mills 19-5 in the opening quarter.

Chris Oates added nine points, and Anthony Simonelli finished with eight points and six rebounds.

GIRLS’ BASKETBALL

Pioneers 72, Patriots 44

WINCHESTER — Millbrook remained undefeated with a non-district win over Washington (W.Va.) Monday.

The Pioneers (6-0) were led by Lauren Reed (27 points) and Brenna Cook (19).

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Three SU players earn All-State honors

FERRUM — Shenandoah University had four football players earn All-State honors in selections announced Tuesday morning by the Virginia State Sports Information Directors.

All four honorees come to the second team All-State, two on the offensive side of the ball and two on defense.

Sophomore Andrew Smith and freshman Miles Green are named at running back and tight end, respectively, with Jake Payne picked as a defensive lineman and Byron Mitchell as a linebacker.

Payne is a sophomore and Mitchell a senior.

SWIMMING

Warriors sweep Pioneers

WINCHESTER — The Sherando boys won 94-75 and the girls won 99-70 in each team’s first Northwestern District dual meet Monday night at Jim Barnett Park’s War Memorial Building.

The Sherando girls were led by Kelsey Dingman, who won the 50-meter freestyle in 28.65 seconds and the 100 free in 1:03.37 seconds. Both were state-qualifying times.

Others who won individual events for Sherando were Kathleen Lauer in the 400 free (6:05.59), Brenna Sharp in the 100 backstroke (1:18.73) and Brianna English in the 100 breaststroke (1:29.60).

Individual winners for the Millbrook girls were Lindsay Fairbanks (200 free in 2:19.66), Abbey Essingler (2:41.68) and Emily Lowman (100 butterfly in 1:19.50).

The Sherando boys were led by individual winners Mark Restrepo (200 free in 2:14.88), Daniel Milburn (100 butterfly in 1:10.02), James Williams (100 free in 58.05) and Tommy McVey (100 breaststroke in 1:22.65).

The Millbrook boys were by individual winners Alex Morrow (200 IM in 2:29.22 and 100 backstroke in 1:07.13), Chris Patton (50 free in 27.19) and Colin Ridgell (400 free in 5:15.01).