Bits & Pieces: Former standout returns to county as counselor, JV basketball coach

The last time I wrote about Brian Drnec, he was playing in a wheelchair softball game in Pittsburgh as part of the 2006 Major League Baseball All-Star Game festivities.

Brian, a three-sport standout, who was paralyzed in an automobile accident during his junior year at Mt. Hebron (class of '01), is returning to Howard County sports after a long journey.

While working as a substitute teacher at Centennial High School, the Salisbury graduate was encouraged to try his hand at counseling. He earned a master's degree in school counseling from Loyola University and was hired at Reservoir High School, where he recently joined the girls' junior varsity basketball team coaching staff. We wish Brian success and happiness on this new path.

Hogettes help Kraft live dream

Ellicott City resident Shelly Kraft has stage IV pancreatic cancer, and she recently drew up her bucket list. On the very top of that list was her desire to attend a Redskins game.

She was able to obtain tickets to a preseason game but the living legends, the Hogettes, made things even better for her. Eddie Souder, a Hogette from North Laurel, helped Shelly tailgate with the Hogettes before the game and arranged for her to meet her favorite player, London Fletcher, on the field before the game. It didn't end there, though. Eddie got the photograph of Kraft and Fletcher autographed by the star linebacker, and then hand-delivered it to her house the night before Thanksgiving. Hail to the Hogettes and to Shelly Kraft.

Tominovich returns home

Although Clarksville resident Emilee Tominovich grew up playing soccer, an injury prompted her to follow her father's passion for auto racing.

Emilee, a professional racer, is studying nursing and marketing at Catholic University. Fortunately for us, Emilee is also an ambassador, not just for that sport but also for young people. She recently went back to Pointers Run Elementary School in Clarksville, where she was a student 10 years ago, and spoke with the students about the importance of believing in yourself and following your dreams.

Emilee did just that in her own life and look where she is now: chasing her dream.

Elementary school students are very impressionable, and speeches from adults — especially young adults like Emilee — with unique stories, will resonate for years to come. Young people have to realize that there are no boundaries to what they can accomplish.

Russo's grand achievement

On Dec. 10, Glenelg's Emily Russo became the latest to join an elite group of girls basketball players when she scored her 1,000th career point. Emily, last year's Howard County Times/Columbia Flier Player of the Year, entered the game against Atholton needing to score 13 points. She finished with 20.

Emily, who has signed a National Letter of Intent to play for the University of Maryland, Baltimore County next year, is the eighth girl from Glenelg to score 1,000 points. The game was stopped briefly so that she could be recognized for her achievement. Congratulations Emily, here's to 1,000 more.

Recruiting isn't right

I am against recruiting of athletes at any level of high school sports. I believe that good coaches get the best out of the material on hand. Coaches who recruit or have others recruit for them should be penalized or dismissed.

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