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Conflicts between graduations and playoffs need to be resolved

Something has got to be done about the conflicts between graduation and state playoffs.

Year in and year out, hardships are caused for our senior athletes and their teams when graduation and proms happen to be the same date as a state championship or semifinal game. Some games are changed, but others have not been.

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It's too bad that the Class 4A baseball final between No. 4 ranked Chesapeake and Gaithersburg is being played at 3 p.m. today instead of in prime time, 7 p.m. at Joe Cannon Stadium.

Chesapeake has its graduation tonight and that, of course, is top priority, but the conflict deprives the two teams of playing the big one in front of the usual overflow crowd the 4A championship annually draws in prime time.

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The Class 3A game between No. 3 Liberty and No. 6 Centennial has been moved from 7 p.m. to 3: 30 p.m. tomorrow at Cannon with the 2A final moving to 7.

Winning a state championship is unforgettable, but winning it in front of a huge crowd under the lights is even more unforgettable.

Such conflicts don't occur in Virginia, where the state takes care of graduations and proms first -- as well they should -- with state championships played later even if it means running into June.

The Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA) needs to take a cue from Virginia and play the states later. With all that is going on this time of the year, why is it necessary to put a lid on the spring season on May 24?

By playing the states later, more dates would become available and allow time between county championship games and the start of regionals.

Since the MPSSAA is obviously trying to make a buck by charging an outrageous $5 per for those 7 and older, it can help itself get richer by avoiding the conflicts.

Sideliners

* Old Mill's All-County pitcher Mike Ziegler has accepted a baseball scholarship to Shoals Community College in Florence, Ala. Ziegler's batterymate, catcher Steve Reinhardt, will attend Flagler College in St. Augustine, Fla.

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* Old Mill pitcher-center fielder Danny Miller is mulling a scholarship offer from Towson State.

* Arundel's three-year ace, Kurt Light, who has a scholarship to the University of Georgia, attended a Yankees pre-draft workout at Yankee Stadium recently and will pitch this weekend at Fenway Park in a Boston Red Sox tryout. New York and Boston are both interested in drafting Light despite his scholarship.

* Former Glen Burnie All-County player Mike Bronakoski, a pitcher at Missouri Southern, was named to the all-academic team in his conference.

* Shortstop Scott Crandell of Southern was named Big South Rookie of the Year after a great freshman season at UMBC.

* Millersville Sports 12-year-old pitcher Richard Peroutka is making like Johnny Vandermeer with back-to-back no-hitters for his team. Peroutka had 28 strikeouts in the two no-hitters.

* The Friends of Joe Cannon Scholar-Athlete baseball banquet is set for Sunday at Michael's Eighth Avenue in Glen Burnie. The top scholar-athlete from each county high school baseball team will be honored with an overall winner taking a $1,000 scholarship.

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* A testimonial for retired umpire-in-chief and scheduler Jack Kramp is set for Wednesday at Michael's. For information, call Dave Ferris at 410-987-2320 or 410-859-6424.

Free throws

Arundel's All-County and All-Metro forward, Tony Ross, who averaged 17 points and 10 rebounds for the No. 14 Wildcats, has accepted a basketball scholarship to Division II Long Island University. The 6-foot-5, 225-pound Ross, who will major in communications, is expected to be red-shirted.

* Annapolis girls basketball coach Dave Griffith is looking to fill two spots for his eight-team Christmas tournament (guaranteed three games), Dec. 27-30. If interested, call Griffith at 410-766-7009.

Hall of Fame search

The Anne Arundel County Sports Hall of Fame is accepting applications for its next induction ceremony come this fall. To receive a nomination form, call Bernie Walter at 410-674-6500.

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

Pub Date: 5/23/97


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