IS THE AGE OF SPORTS HEROES FOR OUR YOUTH GONE FOR GOOD?

THE BALTIMORE SUN

It's time once again to cue up the tape on the 24-hour Sportsline, 647-2499, and listen to what you guys have been up to and what big "Q's" you want me to throw out there for everyone to discuss.

Let me start off today's "questions without answers" session with something rather important to those of us parents who have kids in sports.

* With Pete Rose put in black-and-white stripes for tax evasion, "Iron" Mike Tyson found guilty of rape, Wilt "The Stilt" Chamberlain saying he scored 20,000 times (not points), and pitcher Steve Howe caught at least a half-dozen times for cocaine, should we parents encourage our kids to have role models, only to be let down?

* Is the Orioles' Cal Ripken Jr. the last of his kind, a genuine role model?

* Have you noticed how they're breaking up that ol' gang of ours? The guy who runs the schools for our kids (Dr. Larry Lorton, school superintendent), the man who builds and runs the parks they play in (JoeMcCann, director of Recreation and Parks) and the man who supervisesthe athletic program (Paul Rusko, former coordinator of physical education) all have to replaced.

Rick Wiles is an interim county coordinator for Rusko and has not officially taken over the reins full time.

* Doesn't Old Mill athletic director Jim Dillon almost have towait until the very last minute (spring practice starts March 2) to announce who is going to coach the Patriots' softball team if Debbie Shacklock doesn't?

Shacklock's contract was not renewed, and her grievance case is in the hands of a Maryland State Teachers Association attorney, Susan Russell.

Russell told me Shacklock's case could be settled before the spring sports begin, or it may not. If a decision is made in Shacklock's favor before the season starts, she would be back coaching.

If Shacklock wins after the season starts, Russell said the coach would get her job back next year and the county probably would have to reimburse her salary for this spring.

Do you think Dillon wants to pay two salaries in these economic times? And if Shacklock doesn't get the job back, will Dillon consider calling on the school's very successful wrestling coach, Mike Hampe, to coach thesoftball team?

* Wouldn't that be some softball league, with Hampe at Old Mill joining Wayne Mook (Severna Park) and Bruce Springer (Broadneck) in the ranks?

* Isn't it a great idea of athletic director Carmine Blades and the people of St. Mary's High to have a panel of speakers talking to an assembly on sportsmanship and how it relatesto life on March 3, National Sportsmanship Day?

* Did you know that Feb. 23 is the 12th anniversary of one of the most incredible teen-age basketball accomplishments ever in our county?

It's the date that the Gambrills-Odenton Recreation Council 12-and-under boys basketball team of Coach Jerry Shnupp routed Woodland Beach by 41 points. So what's the big deal about a 41-point romp? Well, Woodland Beach didn't score. Can you believe 41-0?

"That's what you call defense," said a proud Shnupp, who for the last 10 years has been the public address announcer at Arundel High in Gambrills.

A few of the playerson that GORC team were the coach's son, Jerry, Ronnie Young, Scotty Jackson and Denny Neagle? Yes, that's the same Neagle who pitches forthe Minnesota Twins. He was a center for GORC.

* Have you heard that Old Mill's veteran baseball coach, Mel Montgomery, is getting back into the summer baseball grind again? Montgomery, who coached the well-known 20-and-under Johnny's of Baltimore for a few years, is rejoining the Walter Youse-run organization.

* Did you know that it won't be Johnny's anymore? Youse has a new sponsor, Corrigan's.

* Wouldn't it be great if the high school baseball regional playoffs wereplayed at Joe Cannon Stadium, with the winners moving on to the state finals at Oriole Park at Camden Yards? Is that just a baseball pipedream, since the Baltimore City public schools do not belong to the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association, and as long as that situation exists, there can be no true state championship?

* Will the Maryland Scholastic Association ever wise up and merge with the MPSSAA for the better of state high school sports?

* Has there ever been a player's name misspelled as much as that of Joe "A-to-Z" Andrzejewski? A-to-Z is easier, isn't it?

A-to-Z, the former Chesapeake pitcher who recently was released by the Milwaukee Brewers after four seasons in the minors, said this week, "I'm keeping my options from day to day and hope to sign with somebody."

The BaltimoreOrioles and Pittsburgh Pirates are very interested in A-to-Z.

* Did you know that another former Chesapeake pitcher, Steve Monson, also recently was released by the Brewers?

Monson is a six-year minorleague player and he, too, is shopping for another job.

* Isn't it great to hear that former All-County second baseman Mike Arenth of Arundel, now a sophomore at Johns Hopkins University, is doing well in baseball, but more importantly, is carrying a 3.60 GPA?

* With O'Brady's (2-2) blowing out Betty and Jakes (0-4), 60-29, last Sunday in the county 50-and-over Basketball League, did the victors throw ina ringer in Jerry Phipps (10 points)? Phipps, the former Community College of Baltimore hoops coach, is a well-known coach and referee.

* Have you heard that the "Mayor of Brooklyn," Buddy Dashiells, is considering coming out of retirement and joining the O'Brady's team as an enforcer-type on the boards?

* This question from Chuck Pearce of Annapolis and the Peninsula Athletic League on the 24-Hour Sportsline: "Why do we get everybody else, but hardly ever a University ofMaryland men's basketball game on local TV?"

* This question fromLarry Miller of Broadneck: "How can Broadneck High charge $3 for a 9-year-old to watch a girls basketball game? That's outrageous. You can get into an Orioles' game on a discount ticket for $1.25."

* Wasn't that a great crowd (nearly 800) at the Michael's Eighth Avenue pro boxing show last Thursday?

* On my suggestion that Navy's club ice hockey team be elevated to varsity status, and seconded by my hero, John Steadman, of The Baltimore Sun, Francis Wright of Annapolis called to say, "It would be a mistake for Navy to do that. All the goodcollegiate hockey programs rely heavily on Canadian players, and Navy can't recruit Canadians and wouldn't be competitive."

Did you know that some pretty good hockey players come from the Minnesota and New England areas, Fran?

* Is Old Mill's All-County senior footballcenter, Austin Johnson, one of the most underrated basketball players because of his 6-foot-3, 225-pound frame?

"Austin doesn't look like a basketball player, does he?" asked Old Mill coach Paul Bunting."But he has been playing great, very consistent."

* Is Bunting's reason for not reading any local newspapers the most original you have ever heard?

"My wife believes in recycling everything and says that if we don't buy newspapers, we won't have to worry about recycling them," said a serious Bunting.

* Wasn't that a great piece Thursday, Jan. 30 on Spalding's standout girls basketball player and student, Amy Langville, by Keith Mills on Channel 2's "Prep Profile?"

"I thought Keith highlighted Amy very well with a very good interview.I hope a lot of people saw it," said Spalding coach Paul Leimkuhler.

* Why doesn't our school system place as much emphasis on the ordinary student as it does on the student-athlete?

* Finally, can't the county school system think of something better than playing cardsas an alternative for activities period at Severna Park Middle School for those who can't play lacrosse or kick ball? Should we start putting chips and/or dice in our kids' lunch bags?

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