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 Ekponé           Thomas S. Wootton
2009    Olivia Ekponé           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
2019    Taylor Wright           Northwest
2022    Ella Zeigler            James H. Blake
2023    Brooke Cochran          James H. Blake
2024    Iyanni Daley            Wheaton
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
2017    Ryan Lockett            Poolesville
2018    Ryan Lockett            Poolesville
2019    Eldad Mulugeta          Northwood
2022    Nicholas Spikes         Paint Branch
2023    Roberto Terrell Jr.     Quince Orchard
2024    Nicholas Spikes         Paint Branch

Email to fill in missing data
The county championship meet was canceled in 2020 and 2021.

Email | About | Misc