Good news for volleyball fans. The round-robin playoff forma is history. Teams now will advance in the state regional tournament just as they do in basketball. There will be head-to-head best-of-five dual matches rather than the old format, which had four teams in a two-game round-robin setup.
"It's great for volleyball," said Paul Rusko, supervisor of athletics and physical education for Anne Arundel County. "The kids used to play one way all season and then go into an entirely different format for the postseason."
Incidentally, Anne Arundel County does face a schedule problem since nine schools are Class 4A and only three are in the other three classifications.
Football, based on a two-year cycle coinciding with the state's biannual reclassification of all schools according to enrollment, could not be rescheduled this year. Thus, Class 4A North County, the product of the merger of Andover and Brooklyn Park, will mainly play a 3A/2A/1A schedule originally conceived for Andover.
Anne Arundel County has adopted a one-year division setup in basketball, baseball and softball. The nine 4A schools plus Queen Anne's will form a league split into two divisions, Friendship and Bay. The remaining three small schools will be in the 3A/2A/1A division.
Couldn't they come up with a name for it?
* Cross country fans eager for a result on the Matt Ciarpella (Archbishop Curley) vs. Pat Rodriguez (Centennial) showdown will have to wait until the Hereford Invitational (Oct. 6). Ciarpella and Rodriguez were running stride for stride in the Jack Griffith Invitational at Fort Detrick in Frederick and held a 300-yard lead when they ran straight instead of turning left.
Once the error was realized, they got back on course but finished well back in the 10-school field.
Even without Ciarpella, Curley grabbed four of the top 12 places to out-point Good Counsel, 48-56, for the boys title. Calvert Hall's Chris Sisk took individual honors, and Frederick won the girls title.
* You win some and lose some, but some do get rained out. Southern football coach Jack Nehsmann was hoping to get city school officials' approval for his team to return to Chopticon in St. Mary's County tonight to play the contest that severe storms postponed Friday.
* While St. Paul's was walloping Spalding, 34-0, in an MSA C
Conference football contest this weekend, the Crusaders' cross country team was roaming the ultra hilly course for what seemed like 90 minutes or more.
It was a rugged practice session, but it was definitely do-as-I-do, not-as-I-say motivation. Leading the pack all the way was Crusaders coach Desi McNelis.
* Oakland Mills passed its first non-league football hurdle with plenty of room to spare, knocking off Calvert Hall, 21-0. Next up is defending state Class 3A champ Linganore, a 36-7 victor over Franklin. The Scorpions under coach Ken Hovet boast a solid running game with seniors Eric Graham and Korey Singleton accounting for 171 of the team's 255 total yards against Calvert Hall.
* Gilman basketball coach Tim Holley, who assists in the football program, is packed and ready to ship out, should his Naval Reserve unit be activated because of the crisis in the Middle East. Incidentally, the top-ranked Greyhounds could not handle DeMatha, Washington, D.C.'s No. 1 football team (31-12 loss). Gilman is at home against Loyola Saturday at 1 p.m.
* Traveling to play at Allegany is never easy, but No. 2 Poly came away with a 29-6 victory over the Campers on Saturday.
* Old Mill made it a rugged return to area football for coach Shawn Baker. The former Havre de Grace coach brought his LaPlata team to Old Mill and lost, 33-0, as the Patriots' William Beverly scored four TDs.