St. Frances' Gray uncommitted


Read his lips.

Devin Gray has not committed to Maryland, and the St. Frances senior center, the area's most highly recruited player, did not call a news conference yesterday to announce that he was committing to Maryland, although that is what two Washington-area papers reported last week.

"I didn't call a press conference, and I won't be making my decision for a while," Gray said Saturday after his team lost to Loyola in the Catholic League Tournament.

Gray's coach, William Wells, said that Gray probably won't make an announcement until late March or early April. The signing period begins April 10, so Gray has plenty of time to weigh his options.

Wake Forest, Clemson and Towson State are the front-runners along with Maryland, which probably has a slight edge.

Gray did not score the minimum 700 on his most recent Scholastic Aptitude Test, which is required for freshman eligibility under National Collegiate Athletic Association guidelines. Wells said Gray was 10 points shy.

Gray will take the test again at Allegany Community College while St. Frances is in Cumberland for the Alhambra Tournament on March 14, 15 and 16.

Wells said he would prefer that Gray get his freshman eligibility before making a commitment.

... Defending MSA A Conference lacrosse runner-up Severn habegun practice, but without coach Rob White.

White's Maryland Army National Guard unit has been activated as part of Operation Desert Storm. The fifth-year coach, an infantry first lieutenant, reported for duty Feb. 17.

"Right now, our mission is very much undisclosed. It's just speculation," White said before leaving.

It is not known if White's unit will be sent to the Middle East, but it will undergo a training period of up to two months. That he will be missed at Severn was underscored during a school-wide assembly Thursday.

White was given a banner signed by more than 350 students and teachers. It read, "Rob White: Hurry back, we love you."

The lacrosse team presented him with an autographed ball and a coupon for $350 in phone calls. The team, which has dedicated its season to him, will wear yellow arm bands on its jerseys and American flags on its helmets.

The assembly "was a good occasion, one that brought the school together," said athletic director Fred Hewitt. "It was a commitment to the broader perspective: There is a war, and it's now that much closer to the kids."

White is also a guidance counselor and teacher of psychology and physical education at Severn.

Assistant Peter Trau has been named interim head coach.

... Look for Archbishop Curley to pull out of the Catholic Leaguafter this season.

The Friars, one of the charter members of the league which is celebrating its 20th season, are 8-101 in the league since 1983. Eliminate the 1988-89 season when Curley was 7-7 and the Friars are 1-94.

"Our principal has pushed for it [leaving the league] the last three years, but I've always fought him on it," said Curley coach Dan Popera. "I won't fight him this time."

Curley had only 11 players come out for the basketball team and as of Friday there were only six players left.

Popera said that if Curley pulls out of the Catholic League, the Friars would continue to compete in the Maryland Scholastic Association C Conference. He said Curley hopes to fill the rest of its schedule with non-league opponents from the surrounding counties.

... Sparrows Point's boys basketball team may not have won game, but the Pointers (0-20) got an important victory Friday that put them into a regional playoff game against Owings Mills last night.

Sparrows Point won a coin toss with Catoctin (0-20), Friday morning to capture the final playoff spot in Class 1A, Region II.

There are seven teams in the region, and six make the playoffs.

"It feels a little strange to have that record and be in playoffs," said Sparrows Point coach Russ Lingner. "But the kids don't seem to mind, and that's the real important thing."

Cardinal Gibbons coach Ray Mullis took exception to comments by Southern coach Meredith Smith in last week's column that inferred that biased officiating helped Gibbons beat the Bulldogs in December.

"I thought it was very unfair for him to imply that we won because of officiating," said Mullis. "We shot more free throws, and that's a part of our offense. We drove to the basket hoping to draw fouls, and his team was shooting jumpers."

... The coaches have been selected for the Maryland High SchooWrestling Classic, which brings together the top wrestlers from the MSA and the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association in an all-star tri-meet March 5 at Johns Hopkins.

Robby Smoot of McDonogh will coach the MSA team; Glenn Jones of Lackey will coach the MPSSAA Class 3A-4A team, and Pete Chakmakas of Overlea will coach the MPSSAA 1A-2A team.

The matches begin at 7:30 p.m.

... Wilde Lake football coach Doug DuVall, who led his team to 13-0 record and the state Class 2A title last fall, has been chosen as the head coach for the Maryland All-Star team that will compete against Pennsylvania in the Big 33 game at Hersheypark Stadium on July 27.

DuVall's assistants are Ken Johnson (Chesapeake-Baltimore County), Macon Tucker (Aberdeen), Ernie Ceccato (Quince Orchard), Tom Clark (Bishop McNamara) and Al Thomas (Damascus).

Maryland's Big 33 team will be announced next Tuesday.

... Awards, records, streaks, milestones: After winning the MSchampionship Wednesday, Gilman diver Jamie Edwards qualified as an All-American by finishing first in the Eastern Championships at La Salle on Saturday. Edwards, a senior, set a meet scoring record with 455.05 points on his 11 dives. . . Gene Pleyo of Northeast broke the school's single-season record for assists with 117. . . . At Wednesday's Catholic League Tournament luncheon, awards were presented to St. Frances' Gray (Player of the Year), St. Frances coach Wells (Coach of the Year) and Calvert Hall's David George (scholar-athlete).

... Overtime: Lake Clifton boys basketball coach Charlie Moore habeen selected to work at the Sacramento (Calif.) Exchange Basketball Camp in July. . . . Gilman needs varsity and junior-varsity football opponents for a scrimmage Sept. 5, 6 or 7. Call Jody Martin at 323-7361.

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