Old Catonsville: Announcer had plenty to say during Catonsville High's undefeated football season

It was exciting night at Comet Stadium on 11-11-11 as the undefeated Catonsville High School football team won its 11th game in a row with a thrilling, 30-28 victory over visiting Paint Branch in the first round of the playoffs.

The contest also marked a perfect way to close out the season for Ron Gurnsey, the public address announcer at Comet Stadium.

"It's the largest crowd I've ever seen at the stadium," said the Legg Mason network engineer, who has been announcing football and lacrosse games at Catonsville High for many years.

An overflow crowd of nearly 2,000, which included six busloads of supporters for the visitors from Burtonsville, kept Gurnsey at the top of his game.

Joe Tebo, a member of the Comet Booster Club and a team parent, is a fan of Gurnsey.

"He does a great job and is the best announcer, bar none, anywhere," Tebo said. "His skill and enthusiasm is at the pro announcer level, not to mention his dedication and devotion to the Comets. I can't imagine a home game without him, except when one of his sons stands in for him!"

Ron has three sons — Eric, who played at Catonsville as a running back; Ron, who played lacrosse for the Comets; and Nikko, an attackman for the Roanoke College lacrosse team that went 17-4 and reached the semifinals of the NCAA Division III Men's Lacrosse Tournament last spring.

Front runners

Congratulations to 39 Catonsville runners who were among the 3,213 who completed the Baltimore Marathon last month.

Among them was Lisa Farias, of Edmondson Ridge, who crossed the finish line with a time of 3:27:48.

There were 118 runners from Catonsville among the 9,166 who took part in the half-marathon.

Josh Billings of Oakcrest led the local contingent with a time of 1:31:32.

Among those hitting the streets were several couples, including Sally and Tom Grace, Jeanette and Doug Nazarian and Helenmarie and Matt Hahn.

FYI for all the runners out there, a cool website, http://www.walkjogrun.net, will measure a course on a map from any address to help you track your progress.

Enjoying the view

Did you catch chiropractor Doug Miller on the sidelines of the recent Ravens-Steelers game in Pittsburgh?

"It was very exciting to be there with the team and share in defeating our rival," said Miller, the team chiropractor. "The atmosphere was always very positive on the sidelines, even when Pittsburgh took the lead.

"I had a pretty good feeling when we got the ball back with approximately five minutes to go that we would drive the field. The offense was saying the whole game that they were close to getting a big play with the holes that were opening up so I knew that they thought it was possible to score," he said.

"The final play was amazing," said Miller on Joe Flacco's touchdown pass to Torrey Smith. "We were all high-fiving and chest slamming each other after the score. It was especially very cool to see the look on the Steelers fans when we scored. It just deflated their spirits."

Spirit of giving

The Catonsville Women's Giving Circle celebrated its inaugural donation disbursement last week.

This great group of women, who pool resources to make a difference in the community, gave grants of $250 to $2,500 to Lighthouse, NeighborSpace Baltimore County, Turning Pages, The Samaritan Women, Catonsville Rails to Trails and the Children's Home.

Members of the group contribute $250 annually to a fund with the Catonsville Community Foundation.

For information about membership or grant applications, go to http://www.catonsvillewomengiving.org or email catonsvillegiving@gmail.com.

Holiday festival news

Bill Mengers learned to drive a tractor when he was 10 years old. He's 64 now and drives it once a year at the Catonsville United Methodist Fall Festival, giving hay rides to kids.

Last year, Bill, who grew up in Catonsville, made apple cider at the festival using an old cider press.

He's married to Judy and raised two kids, Bill Jr. and Emily.

His father's family has lived in Catonsville since before the 1920's.

Don't miss the Catonsville Historical Society's Christmas Open House Saturday, Dec. 3, 1-3 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 4, 1-5 p.m.

The Candy Cane Lane theme promises sweet displays in every room of the Townsend House at 1824 Frederick Road.

Guests can tour the home, learn Catonsville history, eat cookies, visit with Santa, and check out the train garden in the basement.

Go to http://www.Catonsvillehistory.org.

Kristin McTague reminds everyone that St. John's Parish Day School's third annual Mistletoe Village, a fine gift boutique that showcases local specialty vendors, is open Thursday, Dec. 1, 6-10 p.m., at 9130 Frederick Road, in Ellicott City.

Fine artist

Michael Auer, a senior at Mount St. Joe High School, was recently accepted to Maryland Institute of Art, where he hopes earn a Bachelor's Fine Arts degree in graphic design.

He has won several awards at the all-boys school on Frederick Avenue, including first place in Operation Mount cover design, cover design for junior ring ceremony, Mother's Club Fashion Show, T-shirt design competition for homecoming, Kick-4-Cans event and logo design for MSJ Alumni Association.

Deutschland dining

Customers are raving about German chef Christa Seiler's homemade dishes at Duesenberg's American Grille on Mellor Avenue.

She cooks authentic German dishes, such as Semmelknödel (dumplings made with bread crumbs), Wednesdays to Sundays, 5-10 p.m.

Christa moved from Germany to Catonsville three years ago.

Gary Teegardin, owner of Duesenberg's, has bought her delicious pastries and cakes for the past few years and when she approached him with an offer to cook traditional German food several nights a week, he accepted.

She is taking orders for apple strudel, Christmas stollen, black forest cake, chocolate banana cake and Malakoff orange cake for the holidays. Prices range from $36-$38. Cakes can be ordered in the shape of a Christmas tree for $40. Call Duesenberg's at 410-747-7333 or Christa at 443-703-6102.

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