Dunbar principal Charlotte Brown said yesterday that she has accepted four applications and has been "getting several calls" from candidates inquiring about the position of basketball coach.
Last season's coach, Pete Pompey, who led the Poets to a 29-0 record and the mythical national title two years ago, was placed on administrative leave in August and is under a school board investigation for alleged misuse of athletic funds.
"I have four good resumes as we speak, and a couple of them have very good experience," said Brown, who said she hopes to make a decision before Nov. 10 -- the NCAA's early signing date for seniors.
Brown did not rule out the possibility of Pompey's return.
"He's still under investigation, so I just want to hold out as long as I can to see what's going to happen," said Brown. "I'm really trying to wait until the very last minute."
The Poets, the area's No. 1 basketball team for the past three seasons, have earned a No. 8 ranking nationally in Street & Smith's preseason Top 25. Dunbar went 20-4 overall and won the state Class 1A title under Pompey last season, finishing No. 17 in the USA Today Super 25 Poll.
The Poets return 6-foot-7, two-time All-Metro center Norman Nolan, who's listed along with Damon Cason and Kevin Simpson of Southern among the nation's top seniors.
Gibbons' Steve Wojociechowski, who has committed orally to Duke, Dunbar's Rodney Elliott, Dante Williams of Southern and Lake Clifton's Terrance Payne were honorable mention.
Payne's teammate, junior guard Shawnta Rogers, was listed among the top underclassmen by Street & Smith's, along with Dunbar's Robert Foster and Travon Broadway of Walbrook. The Sporting News listed Nolan, Simpson and Wojociechowski among the top 99 seniors.
A big hit
Boxing's hit man is Tommy Hearns. No. 14 Dunbar's hit man is Tommy Polley.
Like the 6-foot-2 boxer, Polley is tall (6-5) and hits hard, but while Hearns demonstrates his power in the ring, the 190-pound Polley does it for the Poets (6-2) on the football field.
"The first time I met him was when I was helping [Dunbar head coach Stanley Mitchell] in the little leagues," said assistant coach Tony Clark. "Even then, he was an enforcer. He loved to hit people and just explodes through the linemen."
Despite missing two games because of a groin injury, the sophomore inside linebacker has 84 tackles (51 solo) with six sacks and four interceptions -- an average of 14 tackles, 8.5 solo and one sack per game. A year ago as a freshman, he amassed over 80 tackles with 10 sacks, earning second-team All-City.
"As a middle linebacker, that's what you're supposed to do -- hit people. But to be truthful, last year I played scared," said Polley, a B-average student. "I like taking on guards. I try to stand them up or maybe wipe them out so one of my teammates can get there."
Also an accomplished basketball player, Polley was a member of last year's junior varsity. But in a varsity playoff state semifinal at Cole Field House last season, he scored nine points with three rebounds, had a dunk and made a three-pointer.
Polley went solo on nine of his 13 tackles in the Poets' third shutout, 18-0, over Northwestern, also recovering a fumble with an interception. Offensively, he has caught 13 passes for 185 yards and three touchdowns and two conversion scores.
"I send him right to the plays because he can shut down a game in the middle," said Mitchell, whose Poets have allowed only No. 2 Poly and No. 13 Forest Park to score in double figures. "He gives 100 percent in every game. This kid can be an All-American."
After last week's 3-2 decision over No. 9 Loch Raven, the top-ranked McDonogh girls slipped a notch -- to fifth place -- in the UMBRO National Soccer Coaches' Association rankings, which appear weekly in USA Today.
The Eagles, who have won their second straight regular-season Catholic League title, are 16-0 after yesterday's 3-2 win at John Carroll. The league tournament begins Thursday.
Major leaguer too
Less than a year after starring as an All-Metro outfielder/pitcher at Patterson, John Sauer soon could be a hit on the big screen.
He's an extra in the upcoming motion picture "Major League II," starring Tom Berenger and Charlie Sheen, which is being shot at Memorial Stadium until January.
"In one scene, Charlie Sheen hits the ball toward the fence in left field, and I'm seen going after it," said Sauer, 6 feet, 2 inches and 215 pounds, who recently completed his first season with the Chicago Cubs' rookie-league farm team.
"Charlie Sheen's a good athlete, with a good arm from the mound," Sauer said. "I don't know how much of me they're keeping, but I'm having a lot of fun."
Gilman's high scoring midfielder Corey Popham (11 goals, nine assists) has had an interesting last couple of weeks.
Last Wednesday, the senior scored a goal and an assist to help the Greyhounds upset then top-ranked Calvert Hall, 3-2.
Four days earlier, he subbed for injured kicker Mike Allan, kicking field goals of 31 and 27 yards as then No. 3-ranked Gilman shut out then No. 7 Calvert Hall, 13-0.
Popham scored eight goals with 11 assists last year, helping the Greyhounds to go from 0-14-1 to 10-6-2 and a playoff appearance.
Pikesville's John Katz, the area's third-leading receiver with 33 receptions for 467 yards and five touchdowns, has 103 career receptions. He reached 100 career receptions two weeks ago in the Panthers' 42-0 victory over Sparrows Point.
Archbishop Curley has an opening for a boys basketball coach. Call head coach Dan Popera at (410) 485-5000.
The following are this year's All-Catholic League Volleyball All-Stars, picked at the league championship tournament:
Player of the Year, Carrie Parsons (Spalding); Coach of the Year, Karen Janney (Seton Keough). First-team members are Katie Loovis (Seton Keough), Heather Ritger (Catholic), Crystal Henderson (Spalding), Rachel Grob (Mercy) and Michelle Chilcote (Catholic).