Howard County is losing one of its marquee coaches.
Terry Coleman, the most successful baseball coach in county history, has decided to step down after 15 years at Glenelg High. He'll continue to teach psychology there.
Coleman's teams won two state titles, four regional titles, six county titles while compiling an overall record of 192-111. No other county baseball team has won a state championship.
"His kids were always well-schooled, and you knew you were in for a competitive game," Atholton coach Kevin Kelly said. "They never gave you anything. You had to earn it."
Coleman cited personal reasons for giving up the coaching position.
"I have a son, Mike, in the seventh grade, and I'd like to spend more time at his games," Coleman said. "And I'm tired of all the peripheral stuff like working on the field."
In addition, he said that Glenelg's switch to a four-period day meant that he'd have four different class preparations per day, and the extra work was a factor in his decision.
Coleman coached a lot of good players during his 15 seasons. The best was Greg Smith, who is now a minor-leaguer at Triple-A.
But Coleman was able to win even when he didn't have the best talent, as he showed in 1992 when his team won a county title despite scoring only 83 runs and batting .255.
Glenelg won its latest state title in 1993, when the team batted .370.
Injuries to key players derailed Glenelg's hopes of a second straight state title last spring.
The loss for the season of Player of the Year Brian Boteler (knee injury) was especially critical. The team batting average fell to .287, and the Gladiators finished second in the league behind Atholton.
Coleman will continue to be active in baseball as a coach for Team Maryland.
Glenelg has not named a new coach.
Centennial draws the last seed
Everyone knew that weird seedings would happen if every team was eligible for the state soccer playoffs.
The Centennial boys soccer team didn't fare too well Sunday when the seedings were drawn by lottery under the new state soccer open playoff format.
The Eagles (9-0-2), top-ranked in the Baltimore area, were seeded last (No. 7) in the Class 3A East region.
That means Centennial must travel to No. 2 seed Poly Tuesday for its opening game. Howard, which is winless in league games, drew the No. 3 seed and will play host to No. 6 seed Mount Hebron, a team that defeated the Lions, 6-3, earlier this season.
Centennial's low seed means it never will play at home during the playoffs.
Centennial coach Bill Stara accepts his team's fate as part of the price for the open format -- a format still widely favored by the coaches.
The format takes the pressure off winning regular-season games and should facilitate scheduling.
Under the old point system, Howard County soccer teams always had problems scheduling games because noncounty teams were afraid of losing to them. Now there is no reason for not playing better competition.
Clapper runs second marathon
Gerry Clapper had mixed emotions after Sunday's Marine Corps Marathon in Washington.
In just his second marathon, the Columbia athlete ran a personal-best 2 hours, 30 minutes and 53 seconds to finish 10th among about 13,000 runners.
But he hoped to run a 2:22 or lower and qualify for the Olympic Trials in February 1996.
He was on a 2:22 pace and one of the two co-leaders for 20 miles. At 22 miles, however, he hit the wall. That's runner's talk for running out of energy.
He said the depletion of carbohydrates in his body eventually caused him to become a little light-headed and to start tripping over himself. In the final mile he had to walk some.
"Maybe the pace was too fast, or maybe I needed to take more fluids during the race," Clapper said. "I haven't figured it out yet. I'm not an experienced marathoner."
He had run a 2:32.50 in his first marathon.
A pouring rain began just before the race Sunday. Many runners ran slower times than they expected.
There was also a problem with split times.
"I think some of the mile markers were not in the right places," Clapper said. "I'm a little down now, but I'll just chalk it up to experience. In my first marathon, I died at the 18-mile mark. So this was an improvement."
Clapper can't be too discouraged. He plans to run another marathon at Disney World on Jan. 8.
"I'm ready to keep trying, but I'm not running at all this week," he said.