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Icy day freezes out schools' schedule, but no big problem; Despite 3rd down day, games not piling up


For the second straight Friday and the second day in a row, icy weather canceled classes in most local school systems yesterday forcing athletic officials to postpone events.

Despite the weather woes, officials said there is still no significant backlog of postponed games.

Most games in Anne Arundel County went on as usual yesterday, because schools there opened after a two-hour delay.

Broadneck's boys and girls basketball games at Annapolis were postponed, however, because of a leak in the gym roof. Both games were rescheduled for Wednesday.

Although yesterday's classes were canceled in Baltimore, the Mayor's Basketball Academy tournament at Coppin State College went on as scheduled with only one team, Anacostia, from Washington, D.C., absent.

Yesterday's Academy boys game between Anacostia and No. 7-ranked Mervo was canceled.

Classes were canceled for a second straight day in Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard counties, as well as for most private and parochial schools.

Howard County's entire slate of basketball games for last night was moved to Jan. 25. In the other three counties and at private and parochial schools, most athletic directors will reschedule games on an individual basis.

Yesterday's scheduled girls basketball game between No. 2 St. Mary's and No. 13 John Carroll is among those to be rescheduled.

Many schools have had to postpone two games within the last eight days, but athletic administrators said plenty of time remains for rescheduling.

"It's too soon to panic," said Jill Masterman, Baltimore County's supervisor of athletics. "Half of the [Baltimore County] schools have already made up last Friday's games. After the winter of '96, this is nothing."

Ice storms in 1994 and snow in 1996 kept students out of school for days at a time, wreaking havoc on sports schedules. Some jurisdictions then dropped a few games, because they ran out of time at the end of the season.

Anne Arundel and Howard County schools already have made up last week's postponements, leaving only a few teams with two games to be made up.

This ice storm had little effect on the biggest event in town this weekend, the three-day Mayor's Academy. Although most of the Maryland schools participating were from jurisdictions where schools were closed Thursday and yesterday, all were allowed to play.

"We were able to get cooperation from every district," said Bob Wade, the Baltimore school system's athletic director, "and we are grateful to them."

Baltimore County's participants -- Milford Mill's girls and boys teams and Randallstown's boys -- got permission to play because of the tournament's educational value, said Ron Belinko, Baltimore County's athletics coordinator.

"There was a commitment by our schools and our student athletes, along with 18 other schools," he said, adding that the Mayor's Academy includes more than just basketball. Among the educational aspects are SAT preparation classes.

Belinko also said special permission has been granted in other situations.

"This is what we do when schools are going to the state tournament and school's closed. In the past, we've allowed teams to go to the state tournament or to practice for that tournament when schools are closed.

In wrestling, the South River Tournament was postponed, because several participants were from schools in systems which canceled classes. The tournament will start at 9 this morning.

The Gary Trott Wrestling Tournament at Fallston and the North Hagerstown Invitational will be held at 9 a.m. today, too, and in Howard County, the Hammond Invitational will open at 8 a.m.

All the tournaments will be one-day events.

The Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association track meet scheduled for today at Essex Community College has been postponed until Feb. 20. However, the National Guard Meet at the 5th Regiment Armory scheduled for today will run as planned.

Pub Date: 1/16/99

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