The worrying for Mike Bellotte is over. He got the official word yesterday that he will be back as Severna Park's boys lacrosse coach.
In his first season last spring, Bellotte led the Falcons to the Anne Arundel County title, an overall 11-3 record and a No. 15 ranking in The Sun's final poll.
So, why was he worried?
As a so-called emergency coach, one who is not also a teacher, he had to re-interview for his position. Following county policy, the school had to advertise the job despite the effort turned in by Bellotte.
Last Thursday, Bellotte interviewed, as did Brien McMurray, a middle school teacher in Lake Shore. He resigned as Chesapeake coach a couple months ago and applied for the Severna Park and Annapolis positions.
Over the years, McMurray has been an assistant in lacrosse and football at Severna Park, where he lives. The Severna Park job is clearly attractive to him. The fact that he resigned from one coaching position to seek the Severna Park post bothered Bellotte.
"I was pretty upset about the whole thing and somewhat disheartened that I might not be back," said Bellotte. "I believed Severna Park was happy with the job I had done but worried even though I felt all along I was the best man for the job. The team we have returning has a legitimate shot at a state title."
Severna Park athletic director Wayne Mook and principal Mary Gable agreed and gave Bellotte the good news yesterday.
Bellotte, a bank employee, spent his summer watching youth-league lacrosse and has devoted a lot of time preparing for next season.
Bellotte beefed up the Falcons' schedule, adding Queen Anne's, Mount St. Joseph and Good Counsel to start things off, followed by a Kickoff Classic at Severna Park with St. Mary's, Severn and Annapolis.
"And we're going to have a bull roast afterward," said Bellotte.
Bellotte also has mailed more than 100 letters to colleges in hope of garnering scholarships for his players.
"I'm committed to the program and to the best interests of lacrosse in Anne Arundel County," said Bellotte. "It's more than athletics. Lacrosse can be a vehicle to a college education."
The candidates for the Annapolis job are McMurray and Bob Bohanan, longtime assistant to Dan Hart, who retired after winning the Class 4A state title last spring.
And the Chesapeake job is still open. Athletic director Al Grau said the Cougars hope to make a decision soon, because the lacrosse mail is piling up.
Former Severn All-County goalie Jimmy Beardmore, son of former Maryland and Anne Arundel Community College coach and lacrosse Hall of Famer Clayton "Buddy" Beardmore, is among the Chesapeake applicants.
On the court
High rankings and unbeaten records will be on the line at 2: 30 p.m. tomorrow as the No. 2-ranked St. Mary's girls basketball team visits third-ranked Seton Keough in a Baltimore Catholic League showdown.
Both teams ran their records to 6-0 Wednesday, with the Saints winning in Frederick at St. John's Prospect Hall, 92-36, and Seton Keough surviving a 20-point effort by Severn's Naomi Harrison to post a 57-49 win over the Admirals.
A couple interesting boys basketball games tonight are No. 4 Annapolis (4-0) at Severna Park (3-1) at 7: 15 and surprising North County (2-1) at Meade (4-0) at 7.
Annapolis dealt Glen Burnie (3-1) its first loss Tuesday, 69-52, with Thomas Hawkins scoring 19.
Meanwhile, Severna Park lost its first, 50-49, at Westminster despite Ayyub Ali's 29 points.
Last season, the Running Panthers of Annapolis took three straight from the Falcons, two at Severna Park.
North County won big at Southern-Harwood (0-4) by 50-31 on Tuesday, and first-year coach Mike Francis has the Knights playing well. They get a big test tonight at Meade, where the Mustangs are no longer a mystery but a typically tough team.
With the county's most transient student body, Army-based Meade usually has a lot of new faces and question marks. And veteran coach Butch Young usually brings them along as one of the county's top teams, which appears to be happening again.
The Mustangs won two more this week, by 71-48 over Queen Anne's and 63-50 over Bowie, to remain unbeaten. Terrell Ross had a combined 32 points in both wins, and Jeff Charles chipped in 22.
Severna Park's Brycen Erbe, a 6-foot-3, 260-pound tight end at Hargrave Academy (Chatham, Va.), has committed orally to Division I Kent State. Erbe did not start playing football until his senior year at Severna Park, last year.
Have a note for Sidelines? Call Pat O'Malley's 24-hour Sportsline at 410-647-2499.
Pub Date: 12/18/98