Man, have things changed in county boys basketball.
A look at The Sun's Top 20 tells you that the pendulum has swung dramatically this season.
It's strange to see Archbishop Spalding and Chesapeake ranked ahead of Annapolis and Broadneck. Neither has been known as a basketball power, but Spalding (5-1) is No. 10 and Chesapeake (4-0) is No. 16.
Also off to a 4-0 start, Southern-Harwood was listed among teams considered for the Top 20, and the Bulldogs should soon be there. But Southern being ranked is nothing new under coach Tom Albright, in his 33rd year at the school. With four, he has more state titles than any county coach.
Most of Albright's guys were on last year's 11-12 team, and they have matured, to say the least.
Annapolis and Broadneck are perennially among the metro area's elite and finished No. 10 and No. 8, respectively, in last season's final poll. The only other county teams in that final Top 20 were Arundel (14) and Severn (17).
Among those four teams, Broadneck was the only one ranked this week, but the Bruins (1-2), who host powerful DeMatha (7-0), tomorrow, could join Annapolis in dropping out of sight.
Chesapeake's status as the No. 16 team is unheard of. The Cougars (4-0) have never had a winning season since the school opened in 1976. The 4-0 start matches the school record set in 1991-92, when it went 9-13.
Have they emerged as the county's best public school team?
"I don't know about that," said Cougar coach John Spinnenweber. "With all these mandatory county games [16 with all schools included], I don't see any easy nights. The county should be pretty darned good."
It could be even better if Annapolis and Broadneck get it back together. And then both South River (3-2) and Meade (1-3), a team better than its record indicates, are to be reckoned with.
What Chesapeake has going for it are experience, intelligence and discipline. All of its starters are seniors, and most are three-year varsity players.
Three Cougar seniors -- Jason Gogolinski, Ryan Plews and Brian Shepley -- also are members of the school's top honor roll, which requires an A-average.
Welcome home, Bruins
Before the tip-off of tomorrow night's DeMatha-Broadneck boys basketball game, the host Bruins will salute six former standout players, four boys and two girls, as part of the official opening of the school's new gym.
The males, all Sun Players of the Year in their senior seasons, are Kenny Wood (1989), Matt Campbell (1990), Jason Smith (1995) and John Williams (1997).
A pair of 1990 grads, Betsy Given and Brooke Smith, who led the Bruins to back-to-back (1988-89 and 1989-90) state titles in girls basketball, will also be cited.
Ken Kazmarek, athletic director and boys basketball coach, said the gym will not be named after anyone at this time. Kazmarek, who has 242 career wins, could be the likely one to have his moniker on the gym -- down the road.
The celebration figures to end once the game starts. The visiting Stags are undefeated and ranked No. 1 in the Washington, D.C., area by The Washington Post.
One of legendary coach Morgan Wootten's better teams, the Stags are off to a 7-0 start, including Wednesday's 80-57 win at No. 13-ranked Loyola (3-3).
At its fall sports banquet, Severna Park High honored 15 student-athletes with sportsmanship awards symbolizing their character, leadership on and off the field, and genuine concern for others.
The honorees: Chris Nardone (varsity football), Josh Banks (JV football), Krista Bowerman (varsity field hockey), Karen Grupski (JV field hockey), Bernie Edwards (varsity boys soccer), Starke Mueller (JV boys soccer), Leigh Anne Emrich (varsity girls
soccer), Erin Snyder (JV girls soccer), Adam Huang (golf), Tracy Johnston (varsity volleyball), Lauren Pollock (JV volleyball), Caroline Woodin (varsity cheerleading), Lauren Cattaneo (JV cheerleading), Rob Pettit (boys cross country) and Meg Fredricks (girls cross country).
Congrats to new Old Mill girls basketball coach Craig White for his victorious debut, a 46-40 win over Catholic on Tuesday. White succeeded Patriots legend Pat Chance (415-150, four state titles).
Winless Severn (0-5) gave No. 10-ranked Archbishop Spalding (5-1) quite a scare in boys basketball Tuesday before bowing, 67-64.
Heavyweight Jeff Beans was the only individual victor (by fall) for Annapolis Area Christian School (1-1) in its 68-6 loss to No. 5-ranked Mount St. Joseph (7-0) this week.
Have a note for Sidelines? Call Pat O'Malley's 24-hour Sportsline, 410-647-2499.
Pub Date: 12/19/97