Hammond football coach Russo is resigning after 22 seasons; Bears' first, only coach leaves with 119-101 record; Notebook


Joe Russo, Hammond High's first and only head football coach, announced at a meeting of county football coaches that he has resigned as the Bears coach.

Russo, 54, has a 22-year career record of 119 wins and 101 losses -- all at Hammond. The Bears posted a 1-9 record this season.

The Bears never won a Howard county title and their best record was 8-2 in 1985.

In 1990, his team had three running backs with 1,000-yard rushing seasons, including Kelly Woodward, John Bell and Mario Mason.

Currently, two of his players are enjoying outstanding Division I college careers -- Tim Spruill at Virginia and Ron Gamble at Connecticut.

"I still plan to coach football next season, but probably as an assistant at the college level," Russo said.

No replacement has been named.

Lauer signs with W.Va.

Undefeated River Hill wrestler Brandon Lauer (73-0) likes to have a big goal and that goal is to wrestle in the Olympics.

That dream was just one of the reasons Lauer, a two-time All-Met, signed yesterday with the University of West Virginia.

The Morgantown school's assistant coach is Zeke Jones, who was an Olympic silver medalist. Having access to that kind of first-hand knowledge of what it takes appealed to Lauer.

It didn't hurt that Morgantown's program has been ranked in the top 10 the past two seasons.

Or that his 75 percent scholarship is guaranteed in case of injury.

Or that the school has a five-year masters in education program.

Lauer also liked the facilities and the proximity to Clarksville, where he lives.

Goldman a Hoya

Mount Hebron attackman Neal Goldman has chosen Georgetown over North Carolina, Brown and Ohio State. He signed a letter of intent yesterday to join the Hoyas, an NCAA semifinalist last season.

The first-team All-County player scored 37 goals and made 24 assists for the state champion Vikings.

"Georgetown is a great package of lacrosse and academics," said Goldman. "I was comfortable with the coaches and felt I fit in there better than at the other schools."

Goldman was one of five attackmen chosen to the Bay State team, a Maryland all-star team and one of the highest honors a lacrosse player can receive.

King to pitch for Terps

Howard High pitcher Tony King is headed for the Terps.

The first-team All-County left-hander, who posted a 10-1 record with a 3.50 ERA and had 99 strikeouts in 62 innings, intends to sign with Maryland tomorrow.

"They don't have a left-handed pitcher and said they plan to put him into the rotation right away," said Howard coach Rich Jenkins.

Quiz show

Beth Plummer, a former Wilde Lake Wildecats basketball player when she was Beth Micah, will be a contestant on tonight's Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, a quiz show hosted by Regis Philbin.

Her mother, Paula Micah, is head of the foreign language department at Oakland Mills High.

She is also Hammond girls basketball coach Mike Mongelli's niece.

Eagles seek baseball coach

Centennial is looking for a boys varsity baseball coach.

Call athletic director Warren Michael at 410-313-2865.

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