This county never seems to come up short in sports news, and thanks to you guys calling the 24-hour Sportsline, 647-2499, all of the time, this space never runs out of questions without answers.
* Did you know that about 50 people showed up Thursday night at the Days Inn in Harmans to give their support to the newly formed Friends of Joe Cannon Committee?
The brainstorm of Anne Arundel Amateur Baseball Association president Lew Holmes, the committee will work with Rec and Parks to promote Joe Cannon Stadium. The state-of-the-art baseball facility is the best amateur baseball stadium in Maryland.
Last summer was the nearly $4 million facility's first full season and not enough was done topromote the games and tournaments played there. Holmes directed the Continental Amateur Baseball Association 18 and Under World Series atCannon Stadium with teams coming from as far as Puerto Rico and California.
Crowds at Cannon could have been better with more promotion in addition to a more active role on the part of the business community. The idea is to pump money into the county with such events so as to have the overall economy profit.
"We need some prominent businessmen to get involved with our committee because other cities across the country hold successful tournaments that make money for everybody," said Holmes, who will run the CABA Tournament here again this summer and plans to have National Amateur Baseball Federation 16 and Under and 20 and Under Regionals at Cannon.
"Our first meeting went great, and Dave Conrad and the 30-and-over Chesapeake Baseball Leaguepeople want to get involved and help every way they can."
Holmes said that Arundel baseball coach Bernie Walter suggested that the committee talk to the county high school principals about scheduling a "Game of the Week" at Cannon and to look into offering attractive college games in the stadium.
Baltimore Orioles scouting supervisor Jim Gilbert has suggested the possibility of playing an occasional minor-league baseball game at Cannon. With the Oriole affiliates, the Hagerstown Suns and Frederick Keys in the state, that could be arranged.
"But we've got to get everybody involved, and any businessman or former player who wants to give something back to amateur baseball should give me a call," said Holmes who can be reached at 760-4138.
Have you baseball types also heard that Holmes is looking for a coachfor his Linthicum-Ferndale Legion Post 289 team this summer? If interested, give him a call at 760-4138.
* Isn't it too bad that NorthCounty High has lost such a fine coach in 27-year-old Jack Conley Jr.?
Conley has to give up his assistant positions in volleyball andbaseball under Amy Williams and Don Usewick, respectively, because of a change in his work schedule. The Mount St. Joseph High grad is a technician for Northern Cancellations Technologies.
"Our company is growing fast, and they need me here more, so I have to give up highschool coaching for now," said Conley, whose dad, Jack Sr., is a keyman in the Brooklyn Park Youth Athletic Association and has been involved in youth sports for more than 30 years.
Conley will keep hishand in coaching by running the Brooklyn Park Raiders 16-and-under team with his brother, Jeff.
"Young Jack was a tremendous help to me when I was head baseball coach at Brooklyn Park High," said Dennie DeWitt, who is now indoor track coach at Annapolis High. "He was the Brooklyn Park connection at North County, and they're losing a quality young coach."
Conley said he "hopes to be back at the high school in the near future."
* Can you blame DeWitt for being so excitedover his freshman distance runner at Annapolis in Kristen Nicolini who this past Wednesday defeated highly touted Severna Park senior Fran Mackney in the one-mile run at Baltimore's 5th Regiment Armory?
Nicolini won the mile-jaunt in a county-best time of 5 minutes, 25.6 seconds, easily topping Mackney who came in at 5:32.8.
"The race was two of them, and then everybody else. With two laps to go, they were even until Kristen just blew her away by 40 yards," said DeWitt.
Nicolini also won the 800-meter run in a county-best time of 2:26.
Do you realize that this young athlete, who might very well win a distance championship at the county meet on Jan. 29, would not be running had DeWitt not revived the indoor program at Annapolis this winter?
* Shouldn't an A-plus be awarded to Old Mill cross country andtrack coaches Gary Bater and Leon Walters for their marvelous publication on their Patriots called "The Rundown?"
The newsletter has stats, results, summaries of meets, reprinted articles, poems, profiles, you name it. Bater took all copies of "The Rundown" printed and put them in a blue binder and gave them away as Christmas gifts.
* Did you know that two former Annapolis basketball players, Tracy Evansand Fred Butler, are playing for North Idaho College (16-1), ranked No. 18 this week among National Junior College Athletic Association teams?
How about the fact that both Evans and Butler are carrying grade-point averages at 2.5 at North Idaho?
Remember Marsell Colbert, the yeoman All-County Annapolis center-forward on the Panthers' state runner-up in 1988-1989?
Well, Colbert was the first to go out to North Idaho and loved it so much that he has stayed out there to work at a juvenile home and settle down. Colbert quit school, but toldAnnapolis coach John Brady recently that he hopes to return next year.
* Speaking of Brady, who gets himself in a frazzle coaching hisPanthers, can you believe his blood pressure was 168 over 102 after a 55-48 victory at Chesapeake Monday night?
Physical therapist RobPatterson took Brady's pulse after the game, but wanted to at halftime, noticing Brady's flushed appearance.
"I couldn't get my sweater off far enough for Rob to take my pulse with the cuff at halftime and didn't want to lift it over my head and mess up my hair," said Brady, adding tongue in cheek. "It was my kind of game."
About 120/80is normal. As much as he jokes around, Brady has gotten serious enough because of his extraordinary intensity during a game to have his pulse taken before and after every game.
* With the Cougars off to their best boys basketball start in school history, will Chesapeake soon be pulling the bleachers down on both sides of the gym as the fans start piling in at future games?
Chesapeake never has pulled outthe bleachers on both sides of the gym, because it's never had that much of a fan turnout in the past. Isn't that changing with Tom Kraning leading the Cougars to their best season ever?
* How proud do you think Northeast High baseball coach Harry Lentz must have felt last weekend in Dallas, Texas, accepting the National Championship Awardfrom the United States Baseball Federation at the Coaches Convention?
Lentz led his Eagles to the state 2A championship last spring, becoming the first Maryland public-school baseball team to go 24-0 andreceive the Easton-Collegiate Baseball Magazine's No. 1 ranking in the nation.
* If you believe baseball authorities, such as the big-time scouts and personnel development guys who say the best young players come from Florida, the Sun Belt and California, isn't it rather amazing that three of the last four American Legion 18 and Under national champions have come from the Mid-Atlantic region, including MayoPost No. 226 of Anne Arundel?
How is that Minnesota Twins pitcherDenny Neagle, University of Nebraska standout pitcher Josh Bullock and slugging outfielder Tommy Taylor of Florida Southern, all Arundel High products, didn't become pro prospects in the eyes of the so-called experts until they left the county?
None of them was considereda pro prospect in his senior year at Arundel High, but suddenly theybecame prospects after leaving -- Neagle at the University of Minnesota, Bullock at Nebraska and Taylor at South Carolina-Aiken before transferring this year to Florida Southern.
* Finally, didn't high school sports lose a friend and man who really understands the values of athletics to education when Larry Lorton announced his resignationas school superintendent Friday?