Bits & Pieces: Armstrong is inducted into National Soccer HOF

This area has had no shortage of top-notch soccer exports. But even still, it's not often that a local product is inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame. That is why it gives me special satisfaction to pass along the news that Desmond Armstrong was inducted into that exclusive institution recently.

Armstrong played soccer for Howard High and the University of Maryland, where he was named All-ACC in 1984 and 1985. He went on to play in the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, and professionally for a number of teams, including the Cleveland Force and Baltimore Blast indoor teams, and in the Brazilian First Division. He was a member of the U.S. National Team from 1987 to 1994.

After his playing days were over, Desmond used his extensive experience to direct the Soccer in the Streets program as well as coaching the Montreat College (N.C.) team for seven seasons.

Well done, Desmond. We are proud of you.

Welcome Colby

Our sports department grew by one last week with the birth of Colby Kennedy, the son of sports writer Brent Kennedy and his wife, Kim. Brent and Kim met when they were classmates at Howard High. Brent was an excellent golfer, while Kim starred in basketball and volleyball. Colby checked in March 7 at 7 pounds, 4 ounces and is 19 1/2 inches long. We can only imagine what a great athlete he's going to be someday.

The proud parents stopped by the office the other day to say hello, and all three are looking great. So welcome, Colby, to the world and congratulations to Brent and Kim.

Remembering Sal

I am late in remembering one of the great personalities that I have had the pleasure to meet in this community. Sal Bracato, who owned Sal's Barbershop in the Village Green Shopping Center, died Feb. 28.

Sal always had a good word to say about everybody. He knew his stuff and we chatted about whatever was going on in the wide world of sports all the time. The walls of his shop were covered football jerseys, old Colts photos and the like.

He was a true Renaissance man. While his family, which included 20 grandchildren and one great grandchild, came first in his life, he also played golf regularly at Timbers at Troy and was a jazz bassist with his bands Sophisticated Swing and Talk of the Town.

Sal was loved by many and he will be missed. He made us all feel better each and every time we went into his shop.

DeRosier makes his mark

It's always nice to see athletes who starred here in high school continuing their pursuit of excellence at the next level.

Phil DeRosier, who was the Howard County track athlete of the year while at Long Reach in 2002 and has recently helped coach the Lightning, competed at the U.S. Indoor Track and Field Championships Feb. 25-26 in Albuquerque, N.M.

Phil won his semifinal heat of the 60m dash in 6.55, which ranks him fourth in the nation and tenth in the world this year. According to Robert Etheridge, Phil's personal coach and the HCC track sprints and jumps coach, Phil had to sit out of the finals with a slight hamstring issue, but is hoping to qualify for the Summer Olympics. Phil's time at the meet was faster than former Olympic gold medalist Justin Gatlin, who finished second in his semifinal heat.

What an amazing accomplishment. Go get 'em, Phil.

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