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MPSSAA asks coaches about open tourney


Coaches around the state are going to get a chance to voice their opinion on the open tournament and its random draw. To its credit, the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA) is sending out a survey to all the coaches.

It seems most agree that all-inclusive state tournaments are fine. The problem has been the lottery drawing, where mediocre teams are often rewarded while successful teams are penalized. Under the current system, it's possible that teams with losing records can draw other losing teams early in the tournament, and sometimes get home-field advantage against teams with winning records.

It will be interesting to see how many coaches respond, what they have to say and if the unofficial polling of coaches is correct. If a seeding process is developed, it will put the controversy to rest once and for all.

Prep fans delights

If only we could be four places at once today in baseball, softball and boys lacrosse.

On the diamond, it should be a pretty good pitching matchup at No. 10 Severna Park (4-1) as the Falcons play host to No. 4 Arundel (4-1) at 3: 45 p.m. Junior right-hander Pat Boucher (2-0) is expected to be opposed by two-time All-Metro Arundel right-hander Kurt Light (2-0).

The Falcons and Wildcats look to be the top two teams in the South division.

In softball, No. 3 Glen Burnie (3-1) travels to No. 6 Old Mill (1-2) in a key North division matchup at 3: 45 p.m. The visiting Gophers are coming off a 6-2 victory over No. 2 Northeast (2-1) on Wednesday.

Stick action finds the No. 2 St. Mary's (2-1) boys at Weems Whelan (4 p.m.), looking to bounce back from Tuesday's humbling 14-7 loss to No. 3 Gilman (4-0). No. 6 Calvert Hall (3-1) provides the MIAA A Conference opposition.

"The league is really balanced this year and we have to come back and respond," said Saints coach Jim Moorhead after his team's loss to Gilman.

Upstart Chesapeake (3-2) visits No. 7 Broadneck (2-1), the defending 4A-3A state champion, at 7: 30 p.m. The Cougars ripped Annapolis, 16-9, on the Panthers' turf Wednesday while Broadneck was slipping by North County, 5-3.


A key play in the Chesapeake lacrosse romp at Annapolis was a save of a shot from point-blank range by Cougars goalie Sean Oakley (16 saves) with 7: 55 remaining. Oakley's save came after the Panthers had started the third period with a pair of quick goals to cut their deficit to 12-7. Coach Brien McMurray called a timeout and his Cougars came out and scored two more goals and put a lid on it.

So far it hasn't caused any major controversy, but lacrosse referees have added gloves to their spot checks (they already examine sticks and helmets) this season. Players are not allowed to have cut-out gloves. "The problem is glove palms don't last and who's to say whether the glove was torn or cut?" says Arundel coach Clint Gosnell. "It's not necessary on the high school level."

Old Mill senior right-hander Mike Ziegler (3-0) became the fourth pitcher in state history, the third from Anne Arundel County, to strike out 19 batters in a seven-inning game Wednesday at Meade. Bob Loughery of Northeast and South Carroll's Wayne Hallman first did it in 1970 and Brooklyn Park's Dean Albany matched it twice in 1981.

With Glen Burnie lefty Tony Saunders making the Florida Marlins as the fifth starter, Anne Arundel County now has three pitchers in the major leagues. Arundel lefty Denny Neagle is with Atlanta along with Mike Bielecki, who has resided in Crownsville for nearly 10 years.

Hal Sparks, former successful baseball, football and wrestling coach at Mount St. Joseph, calls Pasadena home and is president of the Youth Outreach Foundation for troubled youths. Archbishop Spalding's Nick Lascola, a sophomore infielder at Mount St. Mary's, is batting .400 with an on-base percentage of .526. Jenny Klimes of Old Mill, a junior soccer player at Mount St. Mary's, was named to the Northeast Conference academic honor roll with her 3.80 GPA as a math major.

Have an idea for Sidelines? Call Pat O'Malley's 24-Hour Sportsline, 410-647-2499.

Pub Date: 4/04/97

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