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James DeMoss Outstanding Athlete Award



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
1999 	    Missing
2000	Arike Ogundipe		Damascus
2001    Jaimie Smith            Paint Branch
2002	Ashley St. Denis	Walter Johnson
2003 	    Missing
2004 	    Missing
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
---------------------------------------------------
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
2004 	    Missing
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

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