There are many new arrivals this season in girls basketball. Long Reach and River Hill will field teams for the first time, and three schools -- Atholton, Glenelg and Mount Hebron -- have new coaches. Hammond has a 6-foot-1 transfer student from Prince George's County who will make the Golden Bears tough to beat.
There is one more.
It weighs 7 pounds, 8 ounces and -- at 19 inches -- can't dunk.
It is part of the Wilde Lake staff. And how this person performs will have a profound effect on Kelly Storr, the head coach, and her husband and assistant coach, Don. Especially in the middle of the night.
Kelly had a baby.
Kaelyn Marie Storr was born yesterday at 4: 13 p.m. at Howard County General Hospital. She arrived 18 days early, but just in time for tomorrow's regular-season opener.
Kelly, who now refers to the epidural as "the greatest invention in the entire world," was "exhausted" but fine as she held her healthy daughter last night. Don, who cut the umbilical cord, was sent home by Kelly late last night.
"He'll be at practice [today] and the South Carroll game Thursday," Kelly said. "The girls need him, and I want him there, too."
But Kelly will be back.
In fact, only an hour before Kaelyn was born, Don said to Kelly in between breathing maneuvers, "You're going to be back for the IABBO [holiday tournament]."
"I know," Kelly replied.
It was Kelly's intention to teach her science classes at Harper's Choice Middle School and coach her Wildecats until the birth of their first child.
She was at school Monday before leaving early because of what she thought were contractions. Her doctor didn't think they were, and Kelly went with Don and their team to a scrimmage Monday night at North County High School in Anne Arundel County.
Kelly sat on the bench, the contractions coming every so often.
"I don't want that baby born on my floor," North County coach Sally Entsminger told Kelly.
The big contraction came at 4 a.m. She was at the hospital an hour later.
Kelly and Don met in 1990. They each coached at Hammond -- Kelly the JV softball team and Don the JV baseball team.
"The kids on our teams set us up," Kelly said, laughing. "We would have to bus together and they would fill up all the seats except one. We had to sit together."
They began dating in 1991, and when Kelly became the girls varsity basketball coach at Wilde Lake for the 1991-92 season, she asked Don to be her assistant.
Don asked THE question on Oct. 8, 1993.
Kelly answered THE question affirmatively.
When they looked for a wedding date, they first consulted a Howard County school calendar. Kelly was coaching volleyball at Wilde Lake, so the date had to follow the volleyball season but come before basketball started.
Wilde Lake's volleyball season should have been over by Oct. 29, 1994. But thanks to the open playoff format and two byes, Wilde Lake had a match that afternoon.
L "I called from the reception to see how we did," Kelly said.
fTC Kelly, 29, and Don, who turned 32 Monday, had talked about adding a little dribbler to the family. Checking the calendar, they figured the end of March or early April would be a good time.
"We were aiming for then," said Kelly, who coaches Wilde Lake's softball team. "It just kind of happened."
Practices at Wilde Lake have been different for a while now, but not that different.
For instance, throwing the ball to the coach hasn't been like it used to be.
"I didn't want her to miss it and hit her stomach," said junior guard Toni White, "so I rolled it. But she couldn't bend over, so I ran over and picked it up and gave it to her."
OK, so the coach couldn't move like she used to. But she still had her voice and was determined as ever.
"She's sitting down a lot more but she hasn't softened up a bit," White said. "She's still hard on us and makes us work."
A year before Kelly took over, Wilde Lake was 1-19. The Wildecats were 9-13 her first season and made the playoffs. Two years ago, Wilde Lake won the Class 1A state title and Kelly was named Howard County Coach of the Year. Last season, the Wildecats earned their first county title since 1982-83, and lost to Hammond in the region final by three points.
So why does Kelly still want to coach after giving birth to her first child?
Because she loves it, is good at it and has worked hard to be successful and doesn't want to give it up.
Don, who teaches computer applications at Wilde Lake and also is the school's baseball coach, will coach the basketball team until Kelly returns to the bench, possibly as soon as the holiday break. Junior varsity coach Bill Delinsky, a neighbor of the Storrs and who ran yesterday's practice, is available as needed.
"Everybody keeps telling me that I won't be back as soon as I think I will," said Kelly. "We'll see what happens. Maybe I won't, but I'm going to try."
Kelly, who played high school volleyball, basketball and softball in her hometown of Pittsburgh, will return to teaching in March. At that point, Don will stay at home through spring break. They plan to have day care after that.
In the meantime, Kelly plans to bring the baby to practice and to games. The players on her softball team have volunteered to baby sit during the basketball season, and the basketball players will do the same during softball season.
The girls were there yesterday in Kelly's room, before Kaelyn arrived and after. They will be back today. "They want to hold her," Kelly said.
Pub Date: 12/04/96