Annapolis High is making quite a contribution to the men's and women's basketball teams at Eastern Arizona Junior College.
Annapolis grads Jody Beck, Kelsey Watkins and Rodney Watts have contributed to the men's 32-0 season while Shannon Henderson and Janelle Queen, who played for the Panthers last year, are key players on the Eastern Arizona women's team.
Beck, a 1988 Annapolis grad, was named the Freshman and Player of the Year in the Arizona Community Athletic conference after leading the Gila Monsters into this weekend's JuCo Division I playoffs in Hutchinson, Kan.
"I had been talking to coach [Chuck] Lavetter for a few years trying to get Jody out there," said Annapolis coach John Brady, who set up Jeff Brown, a member of the Panthers' 1990 state champion, with the Gila Monsters.
Brady and Brown's recommendations sent Beck out there as a 25-year-old point guard and he has emerged as a top Division II and NAIA prospect. Because he played at Northern Idaho in 1992, Beck had five years to get in four years of Division I eligibility and has forfeited that right.
"They have a chance to win a national title with the way Jody has been playing," said Brady. "Kelsey and Rodney are happy as reserves and expect to get their time next season.
"Kelsey has called me several times recently and says they're doing well in school, too, and that's great to hear."
Brady is trying to get Lavetter interested in signing point guard Teshawn Cooper and forward Ronnie Johnson from this year's 19-5 Panthers.
Johnson averaged 16.7 points while Cooper scored 9.7 while dishing out 7.8 assists.
Henderson was The Baltimore Sun's Anne Arundel County Player of the Year after leading Dave Griffith's Panthers to their first state title. She averaged 18.5 points and 16.3 boards for the 19-7 Panthers.
At 6-foot-1, Henderson is developing into an excellent junior college player and Queen's 5-9 size has helped her as well.
The next time Broadneck assistant athletic director Tim McMullen gets together with his brother Kevin to play golf, last night's 3A state boys basketball semifinal game between Broadneck and Thomas Johnson of Frederick will be a topic of conversation.
When the McMullens play golf, the other part of the foursome is usually Bruin basketball coach Ken Kazmarek and Thomas Johnson coach Tom Dickman. Kevin is the soccer coach at Thomas Johnson, but was formerly soccer coach and assistant to Kazmarek at Broadneck the last time the two schools met in the state semis in 1986.
"It's the first time I've ever gone against my brother," said Tim about last night's playoff game.
Thomas Johnson defeated Broadneck last night, 46-44.
H: Wildcat celebration
Arundel boys basketball coach Gerald Moore doused his players and me with what appeared to be champagne in the trainer's room after Saturday's 85-74 victory over Northern-Calvert in the 4A East final.
"It looks like champagne, but it's Welchade clear sparkling drink," laughed Moore, who promised to take care of my dry cleaning bill.