Tarleton gives Beth Tfiloh sporting chance AD puts Warriors on the MSA map

Stuart Tarleton has helped the Beth Tfiloh sports program come a long way in a short time.

Tarleton, a Finksburg resident, is in his sixth year as athletic director at Beth Tfiloh. The school didn't have a varsity sports program when he started. Now, the Warriors compete in the Maryland Scholastic Association in six sports.


Beth Tfiloh, a co-educational Jewish private school in northwest Baltimore County, is slowly making progress in the MSA. The Warriors, admitted to the organization in early 1989, spent much of their early days on the short end of scores.

"We had to take our licks," said Tarleton, who has taught at the Carroll Christian Schools for a year. "It's still a process. The hard work [is paying] off, that's for sure."


One place it's paying off is on the tennis courts. The Warriors turned in a perfect season and defeated Archbishop Curley for the B Conference title last spring. Beth Tfiloh also competes in cross country, soccer, basketball, baseball and outdoor track and field.

The work is paying off for Tarleton, too. He has made numerous contacts for the school and was asked to sit on the executive council of the Maryland State Athletic Directors Association.

Tarleton -- who coaches Beth Tfiloh's cross country and track teams -- was a hurdler at Loch Raven and at Western Kentucky. He also is chairman of the MSA cross country program. He scheduled all of the races and directed the MSA championship that took place on Election Day.

On the previous presidential Election Day, however, Tarleton was trying to get his school into the MSA.

Tarleton, who is finishing his master's degree in athletic administration at Western Maryland, started at Beth Tfiloh as a middle and lower school physical educa

tion teacher in 1986. Beth Tfiloh began establishing a high school the next year.

As for the sports program, Tarleton struggled with scheduling an independent school that was trying to build a varsity program.

"I realized it was quite a lot of work to make an independent schedule," he said. "I wanted them to have something to shoot for."


He investigated the possibility of playing in the MSA. Beth Tfiloh applied, went through a probationary period, was accepted in early 1989 and began competing.

Tarleton now hopes to build the girls program, too. Beth Tfiloh makes its first appearance in the Association of Independent Schools basketball league this winter.

Tarleton won't put a timetable on getting the girls teams to the level of the boys teams. He said he just wants steady progress, the same kind the rest of the program went through.

"We're not a pushover like schools may have thought," said Tarleton.

His part in the program's improvement has been noticed.

"Stuart is a person who is very professional in the way he goes about things and very human in personal relationships," said Pieter DeSmit, director of physical education and athletics at Friends. "It's not easy, when you're working with a small number. . . . They come with a good attitude and appreciation for sport and for excellence."


Students at Beth Tfiloh -- which has only about 100 high school students -- are taking more pride in the sports program, something other coaches say is a good sign.

"Once they believe in themselves, that carries over to all other walks of life," said Johnnie Foreman, head track and field coach and assistant football coach at Gilman. "Get the kids to participate and, sooner or later, it'll click."

Tarleton hopes to use the middle school as a feeder program for varsity sports.

"Kids are coming out in droves for middle school sports," he said.

"Athletics are thriving at Beth Tfiloh."