A Bevy Of Questions Take Stock Of The State Of Sports Prep Rankings, Soccer Scores Draw Queries

SIDELINES

October 28, 1990|By PAT O'MALLEY

Now don't get confused, sports fans, over last night's time change (turning those clocks back an hour) and this "Q's and A's" column, which is usually reserved for Wednesdays.

It is Sunday, and it's only a rare "questions without answers" session to make your weekend.

Ignore the fact that it's a weekend because if you have a question or comment you can give me a call anyway on the 24-hour Sportsline, 647-2499.

Your resident sports nut works around the clock because, as I've said many, many times before, "Sports are my life."

* Let's start off with soccer today and St. Mary's veteran boys coach Tim Laur.

Was Laur right when he said after Thursday's heartbreaking 2-1 loss to Maryland Scholastic Association power Calvert Hall that the Cardinals' second goal "was the most ridiculous play in the history of soccer"?

Here's the situation: It's about a minute and a half into the second half when Calvert Hall's Jeremy Baker kicked the ball through as Saints' goalie J. D. Gattie watched it go over the end line.

"They (Calvert Hall) stopped the ball and brought it back onto the field to take a penalty kick," said Laur. "One of their guys tapped it to Baker, and he kicked it in while everybody was screaming that the ball had gone several yards out of bounds.

"The referee (who was by himself; the other ref didn't show up) said he didn't see it and that he had to award the goal to Calvert Hall."

Laur's Saints dominated from that point on, not allowing another shot on goal the rest of the way as St. Mary's Todd Lord scored to make it 2-1.

With two key players, Rob Tobin and Eamon McCormick, out with injuries, wasn't that quite a showing by Laur's Saints who still have a shot at the MSA A Conference playoffs?

* But why can't we have more scoring in soccer? Couldn't that big Class 4A Region IV showdown with Severna Park at North County on Wednesday have been more exciting than Severna Park winning by 1-0 and the goal not coming until just three minutes to go?

Will we ever see what the non-soccer zealots, but general sports fans, want in scoring? Wouldn't that make it more of a spectator sport if those big games were 5-4 instead of 1-0 or 0-0 in double overtime?

Why is it so tough to score in soccer?

And if you want to argue that I don't appreciate the sport as the soccer purists do with all the great stuff that goes on with guys' kicking, running, heading and passing, here is my argument: Do you think I would enjoy football if all the guys did was play defense, run, pass and kick up and down the field and couldn't score because the end zone was a box of only a certain number of feet instead of the width of the field?

Or how much fun would basketball be if all the players did was run, pass and shoot off the backboard at a 30-foot cylinder?

* Speaking of hoops, did you know that North County athletic director Mike Baker and his assistant, Sally Entsminger, will start interviewing candidates for the boys basketball position this week? That position is vacant because the dean of county hoop coaches, Dick Hart (29 years), is ill and unable to coach this season.

Would Baker, the ex-Brooklyn Park High coach, consider naming himself as basketball coach?

Wasn't the respect and true emotional concern by Meade's Butch Young and Glen Burnie's Terry Bogle for Hart, who has been battling a cancerous brain tumor, moving during a report by WMAR-TV's Keith Mills on Oct. 21?

Wasn't it obvious by the cracking in their voices and expression on their faces that Young and Bogle are really torn up by the crisis, which has hit their close friend and colleague?

* Did you know that North County High Principal Bill Wentworth is chairman of Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association District V, which includes Anne Arundel, and says that it has been recommended to the state committee that the current playoff points system be analyzed to see if any improvements can be made?

Isn't the biggest hang-up in the playoff points system the fact that only football uses bonus points -- a point for every win by a team you defeat in addition to the standard-classification eight points for beating a 4A school, seven for a 3A; six for 2A; and five for 1A -- and does it to reward schedule strength?

* Did you know that county coordinator of physical education Paul Rusko favors eliminating the points system but wonders how ties could be broken?

Why can't they put as many teams as possible in various geographic regions, have them play every team in their region and go by in-region records only to determine the playoff teams, possibly forming eight regions instead of four? That would produce eight region winners for the playoffs, instead of the current system, which produces four region winners and the four teams with the next best playoff points average.

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