This week's "Q's and A's" session starts with a somewhat painful question.
Isn't it hard to accept an entire county high school basketball season without the dean of county hoop coaches, Dick Hart, on the sidelines?
With last week's announcement by North County administrators that the 53-year-old Hart would not coach the Knights' first team because of recurring effects from radiation treatments he's been taking for a cancerous brain tumor, there will be quite a void.
Hart was the only basketball coach Andover High ever had in 29 years (record of 330-294), except for Dan Krimmelbein filling in on an interim basis last season when Hart became ill. Andover, of course, merged with Brooklyn Park to become North County High, and Hart was named its first head hoop coach.
But the unique chance to start two programs at the ground floor apparently will pass Hart by. For now, the most important thing is for the man to get well and continue to battle that horrible illness.
As for Hart's replacement, the school is accepting applications, according to Principal Bill Wentworth. Krimmelbein, at one time the likely successor to Hart, is not interested in being a head coach.
So, the position is open with a couple of interesting candidates in Brad Wilson, longtime Andover junior varsity coach under Hart, Bruce Brown and Gerald Moore.
Will Wilson, ex-Meade hoop assistant to Butch Young, but currently a football assistant at North County, get the job?
Or will Moore, who otherwise would be starting his second season as Arundel's head coach, be the man?
Arundel High Athletic Director Bernie Walter would have to move fast to find a coach if Moore were to be named, but said yesterday he would not stand in Moore's way if the North County post was offered to him.
"I could understand Gerald taking it, because it would increase his chances of getting a teaching position at that school," said Walter. "It's not likely he would get the same opportunity here for awhile, but being right there at Lindale (Moore teaches phys-ed at the middle school), he would have more of a chance to be a coach and teacher in the same high school."
That, of course, is the ideal situation for teacher/coaches.
* With Hart stepping down, possibly for good, will this also be Tom Albright's last year at Southern where he is ready to start his 26th season? How many of you heard that this is going to be the very successful Albright's farewell campaign?
* With reports that the owner of the Baltimore Orioles' minor-league franchises in Frederick and Hagerstown is seeking a AAA franchise for the Annapolis or Anne Arundel County area, where would the team play?
It sounds like a nice idea, but there is no place to play in Annapolis.
So, will owner Peter Kirk invest in building a stadium in the Annapolis area or he will attempt to use the newly constructed Joe Cannon Stadium in Dorsey?
Wasn't that the last thing -- extensive use by a minor-league club -- the Cannon Stadium committee wanted when it helped design the county's finest baseball facility? Wasn't Cannon Stadium intended for amateur baseball, not pro baseball, and wouldn't catering to the latter be an absolute travesty?
The County Council and Rec and Parks Department wouldn't sell out local baseball coaches who waited so long to have a great facility such as Cannon Stadium, would they?
* Did you know that national American Legion champion Mayo Post No. 226 is leaving Saturday morning via Delta from BWI airport to Oakland, Calif., for game four of the World Series between the A's and Cincinnati Reds?
Coach Bernie Walter, his staff and players will be honored prior to the fourth game on Saturday evening with Commissioner Fay Vincent handing out the awards. If there is a fifth game, the Mayo team will stay for that as well and return home for school via one of those "redeyes" Monday morning.
The national American Legion is picking up the tab.
* Isn't it great to hear from Babette Bilek of Anne Arundel Community College that the Fighting Pioneers annual bull roast for the benefit of the athletic scholarship program raised $8,500 after the bills were paid?
* For those of you there on Sunday at the AACC fund-raiser, wasn't it moving, as both former athletic director Johnny Laycock and former All-American football kicker Jeff Herrick, who is head football coach at Broadneck, were the first to be inducted into the school's Sports Hall of Fame?
Wasn't it obvious that Laycock and Herrick were both deeply thrilled and honored to accept their inductions in front of family and friends?
How neat was it for Laycock, who is in his 60s, to be inducted with his parents, who now reside in Virginia, looking on proudly?
And didn't Herrick's final line of his acceptance speech say it all, when the Broadneck football coach broke down while thanking his former coaches, friends, teammates, mom and wife, said, "Shoot, I hope none of my football players are here?"
Herrick cracked up everyone in attendance.