A five-time high school state champion, a Major League Lacrosse All-Star, a coach who nearly went undefeated in her career. These are just a few members of the Severna Park Athletic Boosters Hall of Fame class of 2023.
An 11-person committee chose eight inductees from a field of 17 candidates who were nominated. These individuals will be honored during a Severna Park home football game against Annapolis on September 14.
This Labor Day weekend, college football fans and analysts marveled at the performance of Colorado Buffaloes wide receiver and cornerback Travis Hunter, who hauled in 11 catches for 119 yards on offense while adding a red-zone interception on defense.
That stat line made head coach and former NFL two-way player Deion Sanders proud, and it’s also a rare versatility that is not vastly different from the kind displayed by former Severna Park High School standout Dave Briggs.
As a junior, Briggs was a member of Severna Park High School’s first varsity football team, which played at Weems-Whelan Field in Annapolis. A year later, the team hosted games at their own field adjacent to Severna Park High School.
“My senior year, we had a field,” Briggs said. “It was mainly dirt with a few clods of grass.”
Opponents included St. Mary’s, Annapolis, Edgewood and Aberdeen.
“My greatest thrill was the natural rivalry with Annapolis in 1960, when we played to a 0-0 tie,” Briggs said. “That was certainly a moral victory.”
Briggs suited up as both an offensive end and defensive end before moving to tailback when coach George Roberts shifted to a single-wing offense to adapt after injuries of two quarterbacks.
“Against Howard County, I threw only about five plays and three went for touchdowns,” Briggs said, referencing throws of 15, 38 and 28 yards that were caught by Anthony Bramble in a 27-12 win.
Briggs was also a punter.
“Coach Roberts would always get on me, and he was quoted in the newspaper as saying I couldn’t kick a lick in practice,” Briggs said. “Which was true. I don’t know why. But I made kicks in games.”
The 6-foot-tall athlete also made an impact on the basketball team.
“We played the old 2-1-2 defense, and I was the man in the middle,” Briggs said. “I would have far more rebounds than points.”
Although the basketball team was not successful, Briggs enjoyed that experience and his track days. He often ran the 440-yard dash and 100-yard dash, and he competed on the 4x400 and mile relay teams.
Severna Park did not offer soccer, lacrosse or field hockey during Briggs’ tenure, but he enjoyed trying new sports. He earned a scholarship to play halfback for the Rutgers University football team and made the school’s lacrosse team as a midfielder — an accomplishment because he had never picked up a lacrosse stick prior to coming to Rutgers.
“I was not noted as a finesse player,” Briggs said. “I was told, ‘Run, give the ball to the attack, and if you take more than one shot, you’re on the bench.’”
As an athlete, Briggs was revered as a leader, a trait that served him well in the military. Briggs was a first lieutenant during his tour in Vietnam from 1968-1969.
He arrived in Long Binh, near Saigon, and spent seven months as a rifle platoon leader.
“I had two jobs: to keep the North Vietnamese from infiltrating [down the Ho Chi Minh trail from Laos and Cambodia] and trying to keep my 25 to 35 young guys alive.”
Briggs followed his military career with a 30-year stint working for New Jersey Bell Telephone Company, which later became Verizon. He also taught U.S. History at Southeast Missouri State.
Reflecting on his Hall of Fame honor, he is excited to join a family tradition that includes his brother, Jon, being inducted into the Severna Park Athletic Boosters Hall of Fame in 2010. His father, Charles, and his eldest son, David, are in the Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School Hall of Fame in New Jersey.
“I’m very proud, but there’s a humble feeling,” Briggs said. “Probably more athletes from those first few years [of athletics at Severna Park High School] deserve to be in the Hall of Fame.”
High School Lacrosse
High School Football
University of North Carolina Lacrosse
Major League Lacrosse
Ben Hunt is on the short list of Severna Park athletes to reach the pinnacle of success in a professional sport. He played attack and midfield for the Falcons, and later, he was a star for the Chesapeake Bayhawks.
“In terms of the honor to be recognized in an elite group of athletes before, during and after my time at Severna Park High School, the first thing that comes to mind are my coaches, my family and my teammates,” Hunt said. “I cherish the friendships. I still have high school teammates I keep in touch with from those days.”
Hunt’s career can be summarized with a slogan he adopted from former Severna Park assistant coach and two-time NCAA lacrosse championship-winning coach Clayton “Bud” Beardmore: “Be the best.”
“It’s a slogan that applies to everything you do in life,” Hunt said.
With that mindset, Hunt excelled while playing his whole career on the East Coast.
“It was special being able to play week in and week out near my hometown in Arnold,” he said. “My parents and grandparents came to many games.”
With his Hall of Fame ceremony approaching, he shared advice for current students.
“High school goes by quickly,” Hunt said. “Embrace every challenge you undertake. One way I grew at Severna Park was not only the wins but the failures.”
High School Volleyball (player)
High School Tennis
Gettysburg College Volleyball
Lauren Boyd Leventry has always been competitive, and she found the perfect outlet with sports.
“I liked the team sport aspect,” she said. “It’s not like soccer where you can score three goals.
“With [longtime coach] Tim Dunbar and the way he approached the sport, that was important too,” she said. “How you’re introduced is really meaningful.”
She cherished the team sleepovers, sister bags and everything else that contributed to a team culture at Severna Park.
“People I played with were best friends,” she said. “Those bonds led to our success. We all bought into a goal of winning a state title. We never won a title … but those friendships made us better.”
After her playing career, she supported Dunbar and South River coach Maureen Carter in starting Bay Area Volleyball Academy (BAVA).
“There were no other clubs in August 1999 when we started,” she said. “Mo Carter from South River and Tim Dunbar said we need a place in Anne Arundel County … get all these kids to play here and not in Howard County or wherever.”
She also helped start the Anne Arundel Fall Youth Recreation League, which had 502 unique players in 2022, growing the game for all ages and skill levels.
At Severna Park High School, she tapped a former player, Megan Taylor, to take her spot as the JV coach. Taylor left after the 2022 season following the birth of a child and Boyd has returned to make the full-circle transition back to coach.
During the day, she is a financial advisor with the Boyd Filter Caldwell Peterson Group of Merrill Lynch.
“Teamwork is the common thread,” she said, praising her time at Severna Park High School. “We work hard, but we also have to have balance.”
Boyd Leventry won’t have to travel far for the Hall of Fame ceremony. She is excited to celebrate and thank her parents, Nancy and Jesse Boyd, and her sister, Meg Boyd Grossman. She will also celebrate with Dunbar and other coaches, her teammates, her close friends and her husband, “being able to recognize that they were part of the journey.”
“As you go through life, you do what you think is right, what you think is rewarding and what you enjoy,” she said. “So, I did think, ‘Why me?’
“You have to have the internal drive to have a career that’s meaningful enough to be recognized,” she said.
This is the first in a two-part series. Other honorees include baseball coach Bob Felts; tennis coach Kathie Zingler; basketball standout Jim Ledsome; soccer, lacrosse and track athlete Erin Wylde Kindy; and lacrosse and field hockey player Becky Shank Mollot.