It started on Jan. 12, 1983, in the then Arundel Sun. And 10 years later here in the Anne Arundel County Sun not much has changed, only the names.
Today we pay tribute to the 10th annual Anne Arundel County Sun All-County Academic-Athletic Team.
The 24 boys and girls who make up the team are basically just like the 12 boys and 12 girls we selected back in 1983 -- they are special.
This year's elite group will be honored at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the BWI Marriott at a banquet with the Anne Arundel Trade Council Inc. It is the 42nd annual Spring General Membership Meeting and the individual introductions and awards presentations of the Academic-Athletic Team members are the highlights. Two overall winners, one boy and one girl, will receive special awards after the individual presentations.
As usual, the dinner is open to the public, friends, teachers and coaches of those to be honored. I would advise you, however, to call the trade council at 757-6709 by tomorrow to reserve tickets.
If any members of the team have any questions, please feel free to call me on the 24-Hour Sportsline, 647-2499.
For 10 years, we have showcased student-athletes who masterfully combine excellence in both academics and athletics.
While most of the names are different this year, the quality of the student-athletes is still the same -- exceptional.
Each year this team has grown in prestige, and Archbishop Spalding athletic director Domenic Pachence is among those who have said "this is the most important team selected."
Many coaches, athletic directors, administrators, parents and students have praised the idea of starting and continuing this special team. Each year the thank-you's for recognizing our unsung hero youths pour in by letter, on the Sportsline, and in person.
The compliments are enjoyed, but more importantly we appreciate the fact that so many people involved in high school athletics take the time to write recommendation letters and provide information on the students so we can give such recognition.
We thank you for your vital part, and we all can be very proud for a 10th straight year of the so many outstanding young people we have in Anne Arundel county. Unfortunately, we can't honor all 91 who applied, but we salute those who didn't make it as well.
Narrowing this down to 12 boys and 12 girls each year is no easy task. We try our best to select the most well-rounded student-athletes who compile high grade-point averages while participating in more than one varsity sport, are involved in school and community, prepare a neat resume as if applying for a job or college, include recommendation letters and write a creative essay.
Tonya Kolodziejski and Shawn Moyer of North County are the only returnees on this year's team. Each is a three-sport standout boasting a 4.0 GPA and is extremely active in school and the community. Moyer, who last year became the first sophomore ever named to the team, is the only underclassman, boy or girl, named this year.
The Baker twins, Alison and Amanda, from Old Mill are the first set ever named. We've had sister combos, but never twins. Their proud father, Mike Baker, is North County High's athletic director.
Severn's spectacular senior class boasts three boys -- Jason Moran, Jason Wade and Andrew Web -- and Julie Ayers on this year's team. The four from Severn are the most from any one school.
Severna Park, St. Mary's, Old Mill and Broadneck landed three students each while two each came from Arundel and North County.
There were so many other outstanding student-athletes who didn't miss by much, and they are here on our Honorable Mention list:
Seniors: Sanjay Manickam, Severn (two sports, 3.75 GPA); Maurice Henein, Severn (two sports, 3.8); R. Graydon Ripley, Severn (three sports, 3.58); Richard Hare, Chesapeake (two sports, 3.2); Timothy Wilde, Chesapeake (two sports, 3.25); Michael Wist, Spalding (two sports, 3.5); Brandon Tucker, Broadneck (two sports, 3.5); Scott Rey, Northeast (three sports, 3.2); Dennis Suski, Chesapeake (three sports, 3.1); Thomas Powell, Meade (two sports, 3.2); and Justin Perry, Severna Park (two sports, 3.35).
Juniors: Kevin Reichardt, St. Mary's (two sports, 3.9); Steve Smith, Old Mill (two sports, 3.3); Chris Kelly, Northeast (two sports, 3.6); Chris Yurwitz, Old Mill (three sports, 3.93); Brad Boetig, Old Mill (three sports, 3.9); John Sena, North County (three sports, 3.91).
Seniors: Lisa Garrison, North County (two sports, 3.55); Stacy Reynolds, Northeast (three sports, 3.1); Nicole Cecere, Severna Park (three sports, 3.4); Marge Schreiber, South River (three sports, 3.1); Michele Chin, Spalding (two sports, 3.57); Michelle Meyer, Broadneck (three sports, 3.33); Heather Pandullo, Meade (two sports, 3.5); Melissa Wasowski, St. Mary's (two sports, 3.84); Jen Vickery, Northeast (three sports, 3.2); Rae Ann Dettrey, Northeast (three sports, 3.35); Deanna Castle, Chesapeake (two sports, 3.41); Jen Bostak, Old Mill (two sports, 3.6); Tammy Hodges, South River (two sports, 3.5).
Juniors: Alison Wentworth, Old Mill (two sports, 4.0); Amy Langville, Spalding (two sports, 4.0); Cory Samaras, Annapolis (two sports, 3.88); Nicole Matters, Old Mill (three sports, 3.65); Cheryl Carnes, Broadneck (three sports, 3.78); Melissa Holmes, St. Mary's (three sports, 3.9); Anne Chicorelli, Old Mill (three sports, 3.94) and Kathryn Brady, Arundel (two sports, 3.65).
Sophomores: Cristi Samaras, Annapolis (three sports, 3.5) and Christine Burke, South River (three sports, 3.44).