Republished with permission granted by The Washington Newspaper Publishing Co. LLC d/b/a MediaDC (G. Terzian). The following article was originally published in the Montgomery Journal on Wednesday May 16, 1984.
Jim Demoss Dies, Pioneer in Track
By Mark O'Hara
Journal Staff Writer
Jim DeMoss lost his long battle with cancer Sunday morning.
Today at noon, services for Mr. DeMoss will be held at Ashton United Methodist Church with the burial to follow at Norbeck Memorial Park.
While coaches, athletic officials, and former athletes around the county are taking time to remember all of the good things that the coach of four different high schools' track and football teams did for sports and his students, nothing tells more about Jim DeMoss than his battle with cancer that started in 1979.
The coach wasn't expected to survive. Then there was a heart attack, surely the fatal blow. Finally, a second bout with cancer that had people saying that he wouldn't make it to Christmas last year.
"He fought like hell," said longtime friend and fellow Coach Ed Rouse. "But that was one of his trademarks. He was a battler."
While his death caught some people off guard, it wasn't a total surprise, and in a grand sense of good timing, the county awarded the first annual James DeMoss Track Award at the county track meet on Saturday. Coach DeMoss had been shown the trophy and read the inscription last week.
The inscription reads, "This award is presented annually to the outstanding female and male athlete at the MCPS County Meet in the name of James DeMoss, whose leadership, courage and humanity taught us all that character is a victory, not a gift."
While the recipients knew that they were being honored, they probably had no idea how much Jim DeMoss had done for track during his almost 30 years of coaching in Montgomery County.
"Jim was instrumental in the growth of track and it becoming a first class sport in Montgomery County," said Rouse, who started the Northwood track program along with DeMoss in 1956.
"In our county alone, he was one of the guiding factors," Gaithersburg track Coach Fran Parry said. "He always had the Northwood Invitational back when it was a cinder track in the '50s and '60s. Then when he left Northwood, he started again when he was at Richard Montgomery and the Magruder Invitational was one of the class meets in the East. He was pulling in national class acts.
"He did it for years and everybody volunteered their time and they did it for Jim DeMoss.
"All of these men, 100 guys - I was the same way. I was coaching at Northwood and I would tell everyone when it came to the Magruder meet you can forget me coaching. I'm working the meet. I had a principal once told me you can't do that, you got to be coaching. I told him that I would quit. Just for Jim. He was that kind of fella."
During the early to mid-1970s the Magruder Invitational drew more than 1,000 participants. When DeMoss got sick, the meet was cancelled and never resumed.
"Jim also was very active in the state of Maryland, improving the track program, the officiating and the way things were done," Rouse continued. "He was chairman of the track committee for the state for a long time and for many years ran the state meet.
While Coach DeMoss was best known for his contributions to track, he was also a head football coach at Northwood and Magruder and assistant coach at Richard Montgomery and Paint Branch. In 1973 Magruder won the County Class A title.
Coach DeMoss also started the football program at Southern High School in Oakland, MD, in 1952.
"He taught me a lot about just handling kids," said Northwood Coach Brady Straub, who was Coach DeMoss' quarterback at Northwood in 1964 and '65 when the Indians didn't win one game. "When I was there, it was a very frustrating time and he would talk and listen to me and help me get through those two years."
"He was always a good sound fundamental football coach," said Gaithersburg Coach John Harvill. "We used to referee basketball games together and he was the same way, good, sound, and fundamental."
"He will be missed."
O'Hara, M. (1984, May 16). Jim DeMoss dies, pioneer in track. The Montgomery Journal, pp. C1-C2.
Award Winners 1984 to Present
1984 Lisa Winter Gaithersburg
1985 LaShawn Haythe Gaithersburg
1986 LaShawn Haythe Gaithersburg
1987 Laurie Bruce Walt Whitman
1988 Judith Owens Albert Einstein
1989 Tyra Moore Springbrook
1990 Angie Mitchell Montgomery Blair
1991 Torrey Simmons Walter Johnson
1992 Teresa Israel Paint Branch
1993 Sally Glynn Walter Johnson
1994 Sally Glynn Walter Johnson
1995 Natalie Johnson Paint Branch
1996 Casey Childs Damascus
1996 Sharkara Grant Wheaton
1997 Sarah Petit Magruder
1998 Ruth Kura Quince Orchard
2000 Arike Ogundipe Damascus
2001 Jaimie Smith Paint Branch
2002 Ashley St. Denis Walter Johnson
2005 Erika Zoller Damascus
2006 Leslie Morrison Walt Whitman
2007 Audrey Gariepy-Bogui Winston Churchill
2008 Olivia Ekpone Thomas S. Wootton
2009 Olivia Ekpone Northwest
2010 Thea LaFond John F. Kennedy
2011 Thea LaFond John F. Kennedy
2012 Gwen Shaw Thomas S. Wootton
2013 Gwen Shaw Thomas S. Wootton
2014 Claudia Ababio Clarksburg
2015 Alexus Pyles Clarksburg
2016 Taylor Wright Northwest
2017 Taylor Wright Northwest
2018 Taylor Wright Northwest
1984 Kris Herdt Walt Whitman
1984 Andrew Bevan Magruder
1985 Kevin Joyce Springbrook
1986 Marty Walker John F. Kennedy
1987 Robert Jackson Gaithersburg
1988 Mark Wheatle Albert Einstein
1989 Terrance Taylor Albert Einstein
1990 Kirk Morris Gaithersburg
1991 Clive Brooks B-CC
1992 Phil Marshall Springbrook
1993 Onaje Robinson Quince Orchard
1994 Peter Kimball Walt Whitman
1995 Bob Garhart Gaithersburg
1996 Jason Joubert Richard Montgomery
1997 Zack Adams Magruder
1998 Tuan Wreh Richard Montgomery
1999 Denis Campbell Paint Branch
2000 Hubert Koj Watkins Mill
2001 Steve Hayes Churchill
2002 Damon Hill Gaithersburg
2003 Jared Wasser Wootton
2005 Andrew Jesien Walter Johnson
2006 Chris Moen Walter Johnson
2007 Elias Tousley Bethesda Chevy Chase
2008 Wil Zahorodny Damascus
2009 Marcus Brown Quince Orchard
2010 Brandon Addison Watkins Mill
2011 Sheldon Trotman Northwest
2012 Elad Covaliu Walter Johnson
2013 Jalen Walker Northwest
2014 Solomon Vault Gaithersburg
2015 Diego Zarate Northwest
2016 Rohann Asfaw Richard Montgomery
2017 Ryan Lockett Poolesville
2018 Ryan Lockett Poolesville
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