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Coaches change for Atholton girls basketball


The girls varsity and junior varsity basketball teams at Atholton will have new coaches when practice begins Nov. 15.

Varsity coach Paul Eckert has resigned after three seasons and will be replaced by athletic director Don Van Deusen. Assisting Van Deusen will be Paul Seadler.

Todd Kriner has been named junior varsity coach, replacing Karen Saunderson and Roland Heurich will be the assistant.

Van Deusen said Eckert's decision to quit was "quite a shock." xTC Eckert said he had been thinking about resigning since last spring and made it official earlier this month.

"It's difficult to ask them [players] to give 100 percent when you can't do them same time wise or effort wise," said Eckert, whose team was 7-15 last year. "I enjoy the game and the kids so much. I just don't have the time to put into the kids."

Eckert said added academic responsibilities at Atholton as well as being the school's head junior varsity football coach forced him to make the decision.

"Coaching the football team is taking a lot more time than I anticipated," said Eckert, who eventually would like to return to coaching basketball.

Seadler, Kriner and Heurich -- all teachers at Atholton -- interviewed for the varsity head coaching position, but Van Deusen decided he was best for the job.

"I had the longest interview with myself," said Van Deusen. "It's quite a commitment."

Van Deusen said he "wound up being the most qualified among the people that applied in the school so I hired myself. I talked myself into it. I think it's best for the school as it worked out."

Van Deusen coached boys basketball teams at Howard and Atholton. The last boys team he coached was at Atholton in 1979-80 and one of his players was Eckert.

His most recent coaching experience, and the only one involving girls, was during the 1989-90 season when he coached his daughter's travel team, the Columbia Magic.

Van Deusen had coached football at Atholton for the past 21 years before resigning after last season. He has been the school's athletic director for six years.

Van Deusen said 51 junior varsity and varsity hopefuls attended a team meeting earlier this week.

Greenberg to speak

Centennial girls basketball coach Dave Greenberg will be among the guest speakers at the Chesapeake Bays Hurricanes clinic Nov. 3-5 at Arundel High School. There is a $50 registration fee and the clinic is open to girls ages 8-18.

To register, call Deb Taylor at (410)-880-6781 or Mike Smith at 1-800-201-8337.

Volleyball draw on Sunday

The regional playoff draw -- using lottery machines and ping pong balls -- for volleyball will take place Sunday at 1 p.m. at Centennial. For county teams, the regular season ends Wednesday and the playoffs begin Friday.

Though volleyball has an open playoff format like most other sports, its playoff structure will be different.

Every sport that has an open format has a new system to ensure each team a home game should it reach the semifinals. That was created because Centennial's girls soccer team, despite being undefeated, received a low seed last year and went without a home game en route to a state title.

However, the volleyball playoff format will remain the same as last year, meaning that a team that gets a low seed could be without a home game.

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