Sign­ings aplenty at St. Charles foot­ball

Mour­taj headed to Delaware State, Ste­wart-Dink­ins off to Howard among seven Spar­tans se­niors who com­mit­ted

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By TED BLACK tblack@somd­news.com Twit­ter: tblack­somds1

In con­trast to the threat­en­ing skies and rum­bles of thun­der out­side that sig­naled the ar­rival of a pend­ing storm, a gen­uine sense of calm­ness, seren­ity and cel­e­bra­tion filled the au­di­to­rium in­side St. Charles High School on May 1.

De­spite still be­ing in its in­fancy, the St. Charles High School foot­ball team had seven se­niors com­mit to the next level, much to the delight of their fam­ily, friends and team­mates and Spar­tans head coach Avery Willi­ams. The sign­ing cer­e­mony in the au­di­to­rium fea­tured speeches and ap­plause that coun­tered the storm sur­round­ing Wal­dorf.

“When me and my coach­ing staff started with the pro­gram three years ago, one of our pri­mary goals was get­ting the play­ers a chance to some­day ful­fill their dreams of play­ing col­lege foot­ball,” Willi­ams said. “It’s great to see so many guys from one class get that chance. A lot of them were only with me a short pe­riod of time, but they bought into what we wanted to do, on and off the field.”

Mour­taj, who played only one sea­son with the Spar­tans, signed with Delaware State Univer­sity, n NCAA Divi­sion-I FCS school, where he plans to ma­jor in business ad­min­is­tra­tion. Mour­taj spent his fresh­man year at North Point and played bas­ket­ball for two sea­sons at St. Charles be­fore shift­ing his al­le­giance to foot­ball.

“This past sea­son I re­ally learned a lot from the coaches about foot­ball,” Mour­taj said. “They re­ally al­lowed me to dis­play my tal­ents. I never imag­ined that I could get a foot­ball schol­ar­ship off one year of play­ing. I al­ways thought bas­ket­ball was my pas­sion, but foot­ball be­came my top sport.”

In ad­di­tion to Mour­taj sign­ing with Delaware State, Saevon Ste­wart-Dink­ins inked with Howard Univer­sity. Mar­lon Brown Jr. and Jeromy Sayles are headed to Alver­nia Univer­sity (Pa.), an NCAA Divi­sion-III school. Jef­frey Hughes Jr. is head­ing to NAIA’s Blue­field Col­lege (Va.), an NAIA Divi­sion-I school, as is Quenten Stu­art, while Keith Wither­spoon signed with Trin­ity In­ter­na­tional Univer­sity (Ill.), an NAIA Divi­sion-I school.

While Mour­taj was new to the pro­gram last fall, Hughes has been a ma­jor con­trib­u­tor to the team for the past three sea­sons. Over­shad­owed slightly by tail­back Wil­liam Kwenkeu, now at Tem­ple Univer­sity, in 2014 and 2015, Hughes was able to dis­play his tal­ents in a va­ri­ety of ways last sea­son for the Spar­tans on of­fense, de­fense and spe­cial teams.

“Ev­ery game for me meant a lot, but the two most mem­o­rable games were our last two home­com­ing game wins,” Hughes said. “We got bet­ter ev­ery sea­son. I was al­ways glad to con­trib­ute. Our coaches did a great job. This pro­gram is still new, but we were able to com­pete with a lot of big­ger schools. Now I’m look­ing for­ward to play­ing at the next level.”

While Hughes was a proven com­mod­ity for the past three sea­sons and new­comer Mour­taj was born and raised in Charles County, Ste­wart-Dink­ins was a gen­uine trans­plant in the area af­ter spend­ing most of his youth in Anchorage, Alaska. While not the state cap­i­tal, Anchorage is the big­gest city in Alaska and not dis­sim­i­lar with Wal­dorf.

“It was easy to adapt to the area be­cause Wal­dorf is a lot like Anchorage,” Ste­wart-Dink­ins said. “Foot­ball here is a lot bet­ter. But I learned a lot my one year here. I felt right at home. The play­ers and the coaches wel­comed me in. I got the same feel­ing at Howard. I felt like they wanted me to come there and con­trib­ute to the team right away.”

SUB­MIT­TED PHO­TOS

St. Charles High School High School se­nior Mer­wan Mour­taj, seated, signed his Na­tional Let­ter of In­tent on May 1 to at­tend Delaware State Univer­sity to play foot­ball. Stand­ing be­hind him are brother Me­hdi Mour­taj, sis­ter Zeynab Mour­taj and mother Sara Ghe­bre.

St. Charles High School se­nior Saevon Ste­wart-Dink­ins signed his Na­tional Let­ter of In­tent on May 1 to at­tend Howard Univer­sity to con­tinue his aca­demic and ath­letic ca­reer af­ter spend­ing the early por­tion of his youth grow­ing up in Anchorage, Alaska.

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