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Dunbar sets sights on title as season nears end
(Published November 1, 1999)
By MICHAEL NEWALL
At the onset of the 1999 D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association high school football season, Dunbar Senior High Head Coach Craig Jefferies talked about what it would take for his team to capture a second straight city title: "Iím extremely confident in the team I have. They are a disciplined hard-working group of young men who have been in the big games before. But itís a long season and sometimes unlucky things can happen."
Coach Jefferies did not know how true his words would eventually ring. With two weeks left to play in the regular season, Jefferies and his squad have met plenty of bad luck.
Twice this year, games in which Dunbar was leading had to be stopped because of severe thunderstorms. (A decision had not yet been made at press time about when and if the games can be replayed.) The team also lost standout quarterback Josh Cribbs, a junior, to an ankle injury early in the season.
Still, Dunbar has done what good teams do: win despite the circumstances. They are currently 4-3-1 overall and 1-0 in division play. There has been talk that if their game versus division rival Cardozo cannot be replayed, then Dunbar will be awarded the victory since they were winning at the time of the cancellation.
Coach Jefferies seems confident that his team will once again be playing on Thanksgiving Day for the City Title.
"This team has been through a lot this year and we have managed to keep it together," he said. "Losing Josh was definitely a big loss for us, but senior Michael Cowles stepped up and has performed great for us. We still have two big games left, but I have a lot of faith in these guys."
With the way his offense has been performing lately, there are a lot of reasons for Jefferies to be confident. Senior fullback James Lynch is having another stellar year with close to 1,000 yards and 12 touchdowns. Wide receivers Steven Savoy (37 receptions and six touchdowns) and Darrell Dowrey (19 receptions and six touchdowns) have been a lethal tandem all year.
Dunbar will meet the division leader, Wilson Senior High (2-0 in division play and 2-7 overall), on Nov. 4 in a showdown that could determine who will win the West Division title. Coach Jefferies expects Cribbs to be back for the season finale to help in what he fully expects to be a tough game.
"We know that Wilson will not lay down for us and theyíre going to be a tough team to beat," he said. "But I think my guys are focused and ready so we will see what happens."
Whoever does emerge from the West will most likely have to face H.D. Woodson (7-0), a team that has been dominating this year. Woodson has scored a league-leading 267 points and held opponents to only 118 total points.
Copyright 1999, The Common Denominator