Before the winter high school sports season, Baltimore athletes could be required to sign a statement indicating an understanding of their amateur status before being allowed to participate.
"I think we should require students to sign a statement, a single sheet of paper in which we remind the athletes that they have to be extremely careful not to accept remuneration for games played," said Maurice Howard, the assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction for Baltimore public schools.
Howard was responding last Monday to an infraction by two-time All-Metro center Norman Nolan of Dunbar.
Early last month, Nolan and 35 other top senior Division I prospects each received a $100 gift certificate and other gifts at a Nike basketball camp -- unknowingly violating high school rules governing eligibility.
Howard said Donald Williams, specialist for physical education and athletics, is working on the document, which will be presented at the city's Oct. 19 District 9 meeting.
Nolan was given 10 to 14 days to return the merchandise and get a letter of certification from Nike, after which Howard will recommend to superintendent of schools Walter G. Amprey that Nolan be exonerated.
Eagles nationally ranked
McDonogh's girls soccer team, The Baltimore Sun's top-ranked squad, also has achieved national acclaim.
The Eagles (8-0 overall, 5-0 Catholic League) were ranked No. 5 in the latest National Coaches' Association of America poll, published in last Tuesday's USA Today.
The nation's top-ranked team is Newton (Mass.) North, followed by co-No. 2 Bay Village, Ohio, and Santa Rosa, Calif., and No. 4 Mount Lebanon (Pittsburgh).
Hammond and Severna Park, tied for The Baltimore Sun's No. 2 ranking, are ranked 17th and 19th, respectively, in USA Today.
Today at 4 p.m. the Eagles play host to Catholic League rival Mercy (6-1, 5-0), ranked No. 12 in The Baltimore Sun, followed by tomorrow's 5 p.m. contest against defending Catholic League tournament champ St. Mary's at UMBC Stadium.
It is doubtful that any area football team has as tough a schedule as Loyola (1-3) or Forest Park (2-3).
Before adding Washington's top-ranked DeMatha, Loyola's schedule featured second-ranked Gonzaga and former No. 13 St. John's. All three were losses for the Dons (1-3, 1-0), who still must face formidable Maryland Scholastic Association rivals No. 3 Gilman, No. 5 McDonogh and No. 7 Calvert Hall.
"I thought the first part would be really tough, with DeMatha being ranked nationally at the beginning of the year," said Loyola coach Joe Brune, whose Dons edged Mount St. Joseph, 18-13, for their only win. "McDonogh has been pointing towards us. And playing the D.C. teams, I hoped would sharpen us up and prepare us for the league."
Before losing to top-ranked City, 16-15, last week, Forest Park had lost to last year's Class 1A runner-up Cambridge-South Dorchester and Gilman.
"We have no plans to change the schedule next year," said Forest Park coach Obie Barnes. "It makes better football players of our youngsters and gets college attention."
The Foresters (2-3), who are grouped within the 2A East region with Cambridge, No. 13 Southern-Anne Arundel and No. 11 Dunbar, are in a tough race to reach the 2A state playoffs with Dunbar, No. 9 Patterson and Walbrook left to play.
"We know we can't lose again, with Cambridge, Dunbar and Southern-AA in our region," said Barnes. "Our work's cut out for us."
Hot in hockey
Anne Stuart Dawson scored two second-half goals last week, as unranked McDonogh upset then-No. 2 Roland Park, 2-1, in field hockey.
Eagles keeper Stacey Bekman (nine saves) was outstanding in a victory that put the Eagles (4-1, 1-1) half a game out of first place behind Association of Independent Schools rival Bryn Mawr, The Baltimore Sun's fourth-ranked team.
Bryn Mawr defeated McDonogh, 1-0, earlier this year.
"I think we surprised them [Roland Park], and it makes things more interesting," said McDonogh coach Mickey Deegan, crediting the defensive play of Missy Seigman and Evanthe Sophocleus.
"It was tied at halftime, 0-0, but I'd say we dominated the first half with 12 penalty corners," Deegan said. "They [Roland Park] came alive with 13 penalty corners in the second half."
But with 23:36 gone in the second half, Dawson got past the opposing sweeper and beat the keeper with an off-speed shot. Eight minutes later, however, Roland Park scored on its fourth straight penalty corner, as Hedy Born was assisted by Peggy Boutolier.
"But with 3:03 left, Dawson gets by the sweeper again and nails a shot off the left post," Deegan said. "I called a timeout and told the girls to dig down deep. Everybody's going crazy. We're pretty excited."