This year's public school state football championships, slated for Nov. 29-30, will not be played at the University of Maryland because of a scheduling conflict. The Terps play host to Wake Forest on Nov. 30.
"It was just one of those things that sort of fell through the cracks," said Ned Sparks, state association executive secretary. "They [Maryland's athletic department] apologized profusely for not letting us know earlier, and we didn't anticipate them going that late into the season."
The state tournament has twice been moved in the past, most recently in 1993.
Sparks said he is looking into a number of possible sites.
"Our first criteria is to look for a place to hold all four games. We like the idea of a central site," Sparks said. "It might come out that we go to high school sites, but right now, the focus is a single site. We've simply put out feelers. We hope to have it wrapped up by mid-September."
New football coaches
The area's 18 new varsity football coaches are: Dante Carter (418), Chris Armstrong (419) and Johnny Brown (Walbrook) in the city; Dave Eubank (Dundalk), Mike Thomas (Franklin), Jeff Mueller (Lansdowne), Joe Sargent (Milford Mill), Keith Robinson (Overlea), Jeff Markle (Parkville) and John Spencer (Patapsco) in Baltimore County; Richie Schell (Boys' Latin), Ted O'Connor (Cardinal Gibbons), Brian Abbott (Loyola) and Dave Dolch (St. Paul's) in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association; John Baugher (Francis Scott Key), Matt Martello (North Carroll) and Marty Brennan (Liberty) in Carroll County; and Ross Hannon (Centennial) in Howard County.
Western Tech coach Jason Blind, the only coach the seventh-year school has had, will step down after the season to move closer to relatives out of state.
Road Warriors part III
Construction of Mervo's football field, slated for completion last year, is still not finished, making this the third straight year the Mustangs will play every game on the road.
"The city school board, which is building the field, said we're not going to be on it for another year," said Mervo athletic director Woody Williams. "The track's surface hasn't been put in, and the field was seeded but needs to be allowed to grow over the next year."
A fledgling rivalry
First-year varsity teams, Baltimore City's Southside Academy and Carroll County's Century, will meet at the end of the season at 7 p.m. Nov. 8 at Century.
Southside's coach is Mike Clay; Century's is Matt Flanagan.
A graceful union
The Mount Zion Warriors, a private Baptist Christian school in North Baltimore, and nearby Greater Grace Christian Academy Crusaders, a private interdenominational school, comprised a varsity football team beginning with an Aug. 19 practice at the Warriors' James Welling field near Morgan State University.