Guido: Former Freeport star directs Md. prep power
A former standout local athlete is athletic director at one of the nation's most prestigious high schools.
Ed King, a 1974 Freeport High School graduate, has been the athletic director at DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Md., for about eight years.
Known mostly for its basketball program, DeMatha has 13 other sports under King's watch.
“We have 900 students in the school — all boys,” King said. “Our students are very active. A good percentage of them are in the band. When we go on the road, we have as many as 18 band buses for a trip.”
Hyattsville is located about a mile south of the University of Maryland.
Morgan Wootten was DeMatha's nationally-renowned basketball coach from 1956-2002. Wootten posted a record of 1,274-192, an .869 winning percentage.
“Now some of our younger students don't know anything about Mr. Wootten,” King said with a laugh.
Pitt freshman point guard James Robinson is a DeMatha grad.
Other distinguished alumni include Notre Dame basketball coach Mike Brey, CBS NFL studio host James Brown and 1970s basketball great Adrian Dantley.
DeMatha's football program sends a number of players to Division I schools, including 13 who will sign letters of intent Feb. 6. The lobby at DeMatha can sometimes look like a Who's Who of coaching.
“We have a new facility where coaches sign in and wait in the lobby until we get players and coaches to meet them,” King said. “One year, we had 22 Division I scholarship players.”
King was a fullback/nose guard on two outstanding Freeport teams.
The 1972 and '73 Yellowjackets teams combined for a 17-3 record, including an appearance in the 1972 WPIAL title game against Beaver Area.
King led a defense that shutout six opponents in each of those two seasons.
After playing for the University of South Carolina, King spent several years in small-town Carolina before coming to DeMatha.
King tries to get back to the Alle-Kiski Valley a “couple of times each year,” including the reunion/picnic held for legendary Freeport coach Don Earley last July.
George Guido is a Valley News Dispatch scholastic sports correspondent. His column appears Wednesdays.