Metro coaches not happy with all-star process


Something is missing from the roster of Marylanders chosen to face Northern Virginia's all-stars in the inaugural Chesapeake Football Classic on July 24.

That something is the metro area's best players.

"There were 106 or 107 players nominated, then they ran them through a series of drills, both offensively and defensively," said McDonogh's Mike Working, who along with C. Milton Wright's Steve Harward is one of the Maryland team's four assistant coaches to Linganore's Dave Carruthers.

"The entire tryout took about two hours, then the team's coaches sat down and ranked the players in order according to position. Then the 11 district coordinators were to select the team and report back to the president [Patterson's Roger Wrenn] of the state's football coaches association."

Wrenn said: "The Baltimore-area coaches involved in the process were very disappointed. But it's never easy, knowing that everyone has a touch of nepotism being from different parts of the state. It's something we'll have to work on."

Three All-Metro players -- wide receiver Mike Quarles (North County), lineman Chad Debeau (Severna Park) and wide receiver/linebacker Brad Fordyce (C. Milton Wright) -- were chosen, along with All-County running back Chris Gill (C. Milton Wright) and linemen Kevin Simons (Aberdeen), Cale Christensen Loyola), Richard Abrams (Arundel) and Danny Boone (Hammond).

What's more surprising is the list of players omitted, like Wilde Lake's Nate Casella, The Baltimore Sun 1992 All-Metro Defensive Player of the Year.

Casella tried out as a linebacker, the same position his high school teammate, second-team All-Metro linebacker Donald Gibson -- who made the team -- played at Wilde Lake. The roster lists Gibson as a running back/defensive back, and Wilde Lake's Greg Butler made the classic as a wide receiver/defensive back.

"I wouldn't take anything away from any of the guys who made the team, but I don't know [what criteria] they used. I don't think they can judge you by your size," said Casella, a 5-foot-10, 190-pounder. "I play on emotion and heart, and you can't judge that by agility drills. I know for a fact that I can hit with the best guys -- no matter how big they are."

Others, like All-Metro linemen Charles "House" Adams (Perry Hall) and Dave Sunderland (Mount St. Joseph), second-team All-Metro running backs John Sauer (Patterson) and James Lewis (Catonsville) and 1991 All-Metro quarterback Buddy Edmond (Mount St. Joseph) were chosen as alternates.

And still others failed to show up for the workout, including City's two-time All-Metro quarterback Terrence Suber -- The Baltimore Sun 1992 All-Metro Offensive Player of the Year -- and Gilman's All-Metro nose guard David Shapiro. "Shapiro had a job commitment, and Suber is taking a summer course," said Working.

Working didn't know why two other All-Metro players from City, linebacker Antonio Travers and lineman Shawn Scott, did not show for the tryout, and coach George Petrides couldn't be reached.

Several area wrestlers are heading to Pittsburgh for this weekend's National High School championships at Duquesne University's Palumbo Center.

Topping the list are Owings Mills' three-time state champs, Grant Johnson (171) and Gregg Kessler (135), two-time state champs Johnny Montgomery (145, Randallstown), Zack Fowl (119, Aberdeen) and Cory Setlin (125, Pikesville) and two-time Maryland Scholastic Association champ, Kevin Neville (152, Mount St. Joseph).

Gilman's MSA champ, Gerard Harrison (112 or 119), Randallstown state champs, Kent Morrison (160) and Justin Grodnitzky (135), and state runners-up Ed Overton (189, Owings Mills) and Brandon Grodnitzky (125) are also going.

A reputation for humility

When Loyola basketball coach Jerry Savage canceled a scheduled party honoring his recently completed 25th season and his sixth Catholic League Tournament title, his career-long reputation for humility remained intact.

Savage's actions were typical of his unselfish character.

When Parade magazine named him Maryland's Coach of the Year in 1975, Savage directed the attention to the players, saying, "the kids are the ones who perform. All I do is instruct them."

And after earning his 400th career victory a few years back, Savage prevented his assistant coach from telling a reporter about the milestone after the game.

Rock wants piece of MSA

In January, Rock Church Academy applied for membership to the Maryland Scholastic Association, and athletic director Tim Hines said the MSA's committee will vote on it at next month's meeting.

The school, located on Cromwell Bridge Road across from Loch Raven High School, has approximately 180 students from kindergarten through 12th grade.

"It's a tuition-free school for tithing members who go to church here regularly," said Hines, whose program offers soccer, basketball and baseball for boys, and volleyball, basketball and softball for girls.

"Our program is up and coming, with basketball being our main program of focus."

The boys basketball team has won the five-team Maryland Christian Athletic League two straight years and its baseball team was co-champion last year after winning the title outright the year before.

Classy Cougars

The members of Fallston's girls basketball team not only succeeded on the court this season, reaching the state Class 1A semifinals, but the Cougars also excelled in the classroom.

As a team they combined for a 3.78 grade-point average during (( the second semester. Four players posted 4.0 averages -- seniors Cindy Jenkins and Pam Toth and sophomores Candy Credito and Jenny Weber. The lowest grade-point average on the team was 3.48.

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