Read his lips. Mervo coach John Blake did not voluntarily resign his basketball post so athletic director Woody Williams could take over the varsity team this coming season.
Blake said he preferred not to discuss the matter publicly, but published reports infer Blake stepped aside willingly. They are false.
"Woody came to me and we both sat down with our principal [Mrs. Christolyne Buie] to discuss the situation," said Blake. "It's not something I initiated, but the decision has been made and, as far as I know, Woody is the head basketball coach."
The teaching contract Blake signed covers his status as a coach. He cannot be removed from a coaching position without an unsatisfactory rating.
"There really can't be just cause for dismissing me," said Blake. "I am very confused right now. Some of my friends are urging me to fight it, to file a grievance. Others are telling me to forget it, to let it go. I don't know what I want to do."
Blake called coaching basketball his first love and said he was not interested in coaching the junior varsity team. He has coached seven years and the Mustangs reached the MSA B Conference playoffs the last two seasons.
Williams coached 16 years at Lake Clifton, compiling a 278-93 record, before taking a leave of absence to accept the position of administrative assistant to former coach Bob Wade at the University of Maryland in 1986. He resigned that post in 1989, the same day Wade stepped down as coach under heavy pressure from university officials.
* John Carroll won its second straight girls Catholic Soccer Tournament title, downing St. Mary's, 5-1. After trailing 1-0 at the half, the Patriots rallied behind goals from sophomores Amy Dean, Katie Nietubicz and Amity Torbit. Seniors Carrie Stallings and Hollie Montague also scored.
* Seedings held in yesterday's MSA A Conference boys soccer quarterfinals. Division I champ Curley topped St. Mary's 3-0, and Division II leader Calvert Hall stopped John Carroll 1-0. Second-place finishers also won as Loyola edged Boys' Latin 1-0, and McDonogh topped Spalding 1-0 in a shootout. Loyola visits Curley and McDonogh travels to Calvert Hall in tomorrow's semifinals. The tourney winds up Sunday at Essex Community College.
* The Fallston boys soccer team, which faces Overlea in the Class 2A state semifinals at Quince Orchard Saturday (5 p.m.), defeated two 13-0 teams, Parkside and North East-Cecil, to win its region.
Fallston (10-1-3) is led by junior sweeper Chris Eatough and senior striker Steve Eisemann for coach Len Petry.
Overlea (11-1-2) has seven shutouts, including two in its regional sweep of Hereford and Towson.
See Scoreboard, page C8, for all state semifinal schedules.
* St. Paul's (8-1) has at least a share of the MSA C Conference football championship, its best season since 1966 when the Crusaders also went 8-1. Credit senior halfback Shawn Mahoney for much of this year's success.
Consider last week when, trailing Boys' Latin 7-0, Mahoney rushed for 30 of the 57 yards in the final drive. He scored from 9 yards out -- he bulled in after being hit at the 4-yard line -- to tie the game with 1:35 remaining. Mahoney then caught the game-winning two-point conversion. He also punts and kicks off.
"Shawn was a soccer player until last year and then tore up his right knee," said coach Mitch Tullai. "The doctors at first didn't think he would be able to play again, then told him to go ahead and give it a try."
Mahoney did, and didn't miss a step. He kicked extra points leftfooted.
The knee is fine now. He rushed for 757 yards and booted 11 PATs this fall.
* The City-Wide volleyball tournament championship was to be decided today at Mervo when Division I champ Poly (12-0) faced Division II champ Western (14-0).
* More than an unbeaten season and the No. 1 football ranking are at stake Saturday at Catonsville Community College (1 p.m.) when Randallstown (9-0) kicks off against rival Woodlawn (3-6). The Rams can notch their fifth straight victory over the Warriors and retire the five-year Knights of Columbus trophy donated by the Woodlawn and Randallstown councils.