Private school teams enjoy new level of success

Time to test your memories, high school basketball fans.

When was the last time the county's three private school boys basketball teams all had winning records at the same time? When was the last time two of them were ranked, with the third just missing the Top 20?


The answer to both questions is never -- until this season. Private school basketball in Anne Arundel County has never been better.

To date, No. 15 Severn School is 8-3, No. 19 St. Mary's is 10-5, and Archbishop Spalding is 9-7 overall, just missing the Top 20.


None had a winning record last season. Severn was .500 (14-14), followed by St. Mary's (7-12) and Spalding (3-16).

Severn (24-8) and St. Mary's (14-10) were winners in the 1994-95 season, but Spalding was 12-15. The '92-'93 season had Spalding at 17-10 and Severn at 25-2, but St. Mary's was 11-14.

Spalding's last winning season before '92-'93 was in 1986-87 (14-13) under John Russell, and St. Mary's was 18-11 under the Jim Sheehan (113-122 over 10 years) that season. Severn was 9-13.

In '90-'91, Jim Doyle coached Severn to a 15-7 mark, the Admirals' first winning season since the 1950s. Spalding was 6-20 and St. Mary's 4-20 the same year.

Severn was not ranked until '93 under Doyle at No. 14 and two-year coach Wayne Fowler led the Admirals to a final No. 10 in '95 (24-8) and No. 12 in '94 (23-3).

The teams' success is a tribute to first-year coaches Roger Reed, at St. Mary's, and Tony Martin, at Spalding, and Severn's second-year coach Charles Duckett.

Cable game of the week

Jones Communication's TV 22 is airing a county high school boys or girls basketball game of the week at 7 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays. The games are taped the Friday before, with Jones producer Bill Frey doing the play-by-play.


The Chesapeake at Northeast girls game will be taped tonight -- weather permitting.


Meade boys coach Butch Young now stands at 396-271 in his 30th season in the county after Tuesday's 68-28 romp over Northeast (1-8). The Mustangs (5-5) need four more wins to make Young the 10th coach in the state and third in the county to reach the 400-win milestone.

The crowd of 1,100-plus at Anne Arundel Community College a week ago today to watch Broadneck hammer Annapolis, 55-38, was the largest ever for a Bruins' home game. The only disappointing thing was the absence of Broadneck's lively pep band.

"It's a logistics problem at Anne Arundel, because the kids store their instruments in our school," said Broadneck's Tim McMullen.

McMullen, Broadneck's first athletic director and baseball coach, says sophomore point guard Lehrman Dotson is "the best looking 10th-grade athlete at our school since Jason Smith."


Smith, a standout in football, basketball and track, was The Baltimore Sun's Male Athlete of the Year two years ago and once played JV baseball for McMullen, as did Dotson last spring.

Annapolis and Arundel football coaches Roy Brown and Bill Zucco have traded 1997 Montgomery county opponents. Annapolis needed a non-league home game, so Brown traded his visit to defending Class 4A champion Sherwood to Arundel for a game against Paint Branch.

"Now, who do you think got the best of that deal?" said Zucco, who worked it out for Brown by giving up Paint Branch.

MPSSAA rulings

The Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletics Association board of control has recommended the elimination of basketball, baseball and softball alumni games.

"The current practice is contradictory to other regulations allowing competition with only school teams," says the MPSSAA in its winter newsletter, Scout.


That's ridiculous. Why take away a fun event that brings grads back to their old schools?

One sensible and positive proposal by the MPSSAA board of control is "to allow schools the opportunity to participate in one soccer and field hockey tournament during regular season."

Teams in those sports should play more games than the current 12 a season. After all, soccer kids play year-round with club teams.

Also, Ned Sparks, the MPSSAA executive director, and company continue to display imaginative ideas in carrying on the open-draw charade.

This year's basketball draw, at High Point High in Prince George's County on Feb. 23, is being spiced up with a coaches reception, live entertainment and door prizes, including a trip for two to the Great Alaska Shootout.

Per Scout, "It is our desire to make the draw a special event for coaches, players and fans of high school basketball."


Forget the frills, and make the event "special" by seeding the top teams and rewarding achievement.

Pub Date: 1/10/97