In the opinion of his former coach, Kevin Thompson was an excellent choice to be the new boys basketball coach at Northeast High in Pasadena.
Thompson was named Eagles' coach on Tuesday, succeeding John Barbour, who resigned after 19 seasons.
"Kevin was a no-nonsense guy who played with pride and dignity, and that's why I made him a team captain," said Annapolis coach John Brady, who will begin his 23rd season this year and had Thompson as an All-County guard on the first two teams he coached in 1977-78 and '78-79.
Thompson was a captain and All-County guard on those teams, which went 41-8 and made it to Cole Field House both seasons. They lost in the state semifinals in 1978 and in the 1979 final in the last seven seconds by 55-53 to Montgomery Blair.
"I still have nightmares of that one [the '79 final], because we came so close," said Thompson, who also was a captain and fullback on the Panthers' 12-0 state championship football team in 1978. "We just missed a chance to be a state champion in two sports in our senior year."
Thompson learned under the best, playing for not one, but two Anne Arundel County coaching legends.
His football coach was the late Al Laramore, the county's all-time winningest at 156-68-2, and Brady holds the county's all-time highest winning percentage at .838 and is second in career wins with a 460-89 record.
"No question, I learned a lot about sports and life from those two," said the 38-year old Thompson, who played college basketball at the University of Wisconsin-Stout.
An assistant coach to Ken B. Dunn at South River the past four years, Thompson coached overseas in the military during the 1980s and later in the summer league at Truxtun Park.
"Like most assistant coaches, I had it in the back of my mind to be a head coach one day," said Thompson, who works for the Annapolis fire department. "I love kids and am looking forward to working with everybody at Northeast."
Brady predicts the kids will love Thompson in return.
"He carries himself with a lot of poise and will get the respect of his players at Northeast," said Brady. "It will be a challenge [Northeast has been down for most of the decade], and if anybody can turn it around, Kevin will."
Young back at Meade
Butch Young, who had to re-apply for the Meade boys basketball coaching position he has held for 22 seasons, has been retained.
As a retired teacher, Young, who also applied for the vacant Arundel job while waiting on Meade, is considered an emergency coach.
Under state rules, teachers get priority on coaching positions.
After losing out at Arundel to teacher Sam Golder, Young also could have lost out to an in-house teacher at Meade, but that teach withdrew his application.
With Young and Kevin Thompson now in the fold, four of the 12 public high schools have emergency boys basketball coaches, the others being John Spinnenweber (Chesapeake) and Mike Francis (North County).
Girls teams have five emergency basketball coaches.
As noted last week, Severna Park has 11 coaches from outside its building, eight of whom are emergency.
A caller to the 24-hour Sportsline pointed out that one of those positions is rather unique. Falcons girls lacrosse coach Carin Peterson teaches at another school, and Severna Park High teacher Sue Chittim is assistant girls lacrosse coach at Annapolis.
Archbishop Spalding's Lauren Schaech has orally accepted a full basketball scholarship to Iona College in New Rochelle, N.Y.
Schaech, a third-team All-County guard last year as a junior, averaged 11.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists for the Cavaliers.
A two-year starter at Spalding, Schaech will sign officially next month in a ceremony at the high school that will include boys players Derrick Snowden, who has committed to Villanova, and Tremaine Robinson, who will attend Towson.
RB-DB Rayvon Johnson of Annapolis is the only Marylander among 42 national finalists contending for the Dick Butkus Football Network, C. David Baker National High Football Player of the Year Award. The winner will be announced Dec. 10.
Retired referee Al Baldwin Sr., of Riva, who now grades local high school officials, criticized a veteran official at halftime of last week's Severna Park at North County game. Seems the ref was wearing an old, dingy, faded shirt. Baldwin asked the ref to buy a new shirt by this week.
Have a note or idea for Sidelines, call Pat O'Malley's 24-hour Sportsline at 410-647-2499.