Van Deusen's return gives River Hill veteran coach

Don Van Deusen, who coached football at Atholton for 21 years before deciding not to coach last season, will return to the sideline in the fall as River Hill's football coach.

Van Deusen, currently the athletic director at Atholton, also will be River Hill's athletic director.


"I didn't go into River Hill anticipating that I would coach football," said Van Deusen. "It just worked out that way."

Van Deusen said he enjoyed the time off from football last year that enabled him to watch his son Brian (football) and daughter Stephanie (soccer) play at Western Maryland.


River Hill's first game will be Sept. 7 at Long Reach, the county's other new high school. The two new schools, which won't have seniors, end the season against each other at River Hill on Nov. 9.

"Normally, I'm not real happy about playing a team twice, but with both schools having just ninth, 10th- and 11th-graders, it's the best thing for the first year," said Long Reach football coach Pete Hughes, who was the defensive coordinator at Hammond for the past 10 years.

River Hill has announced these other coaching hires: Bill Stara, boys soccer; Earl Lauer, cross country and wrestling; Sybill Kessinger, volleyball; and Dave Vitagliano, softball. Lauer, Kessinger and Vitagliano are following Van Deusen from Atholton. Stara is coming from Centennial.

Along with Hughes, Long Reach has made these hirings: Chuck Struhar, athletic director and softball coach; Ed Ashwell, wrestling, and Tim O'Brien, baseball. Struhar and Ashwell come from Glenelg and O'Brien from Oakland Mills.

Heading to college

Two all-county soccer players from Centennial's No. 1 girls team have selected colleges. Defender Tania Riismandel will attend the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., and goalie Rima Sidhu will be a little closer to home at George Washington.

"I'm really excited," said Riismandel, who is interested in becoming a pilot or working in the medical field. "It's going to be tough, but it will be a good experience."

Riismandel, who will play midfield at the Academy, also will join the ski club, which competes against Division I schools.


Sidhu said George Washington's present goalie is coming off a FTC knee injury.

"I think I'll have a good opportunity to compete for the starting position, but I'll have to earn it," said Sidhu, who wants to study psychology and also take medical courses.

Hammond soccer captain Angela Trancucci has signed to attend St. Francis College in Loretto, Pa. St. Francis is a Division I college and member of the Northeast Conference, which includes Mount St. Mary's and Rider.

Altscher named to Elite

Allison Altscher, a first-team all-county field hockey selection from Centennial, has made the Chesapeake region's Level I Elite team. The team has players from Maryland, Delaware, Washington, D.C., and Virginia.

"It's going to be an incredible experience because I'm going to be playing at a much higher level than I'm used to," said Altscher, who has Yale, Rutgers and Richmond topping her list of possible colleges. Altscher had 10 goals for the 3A state


champions last season.

Trio of Peachtree winners

The Metro Volleyball club Eagles won the Peachtree Classic Volleyball Tournament last weekend in Atlanta. Helping the Eagles to wins in all eight of their matches were three Howard County standouts: All-Metro Player of the Year Elisa Davidson of Glenelg, first-team All-Metro Meredith Price of Centennial and first-team All-Howard County Lisa Skaggs of Oakland Mills.

Pub Date: 3/17/96