Team Is Classy (no Question About That)


January 04, 1991|By Pat O'Malley

Your "Q's & A's" fix is on the way, sports fans, but first let me tell you about one of the nicest and certainly classiest things I've seen a group of high school teen-agers do.

You may recall a couple of weeks ago, I cracked on a bunch of Northeast High students for calling up the 24-hour Sportsline, 647-2499, to harass me over picking the North County boys to win their first game over Northeast only to have the Eagles wipe out the Knights.

There is no problem calling up and letting me know when I'm wrong and rubbing it in. In fact, I welcome those calls because that's the fun of this job.

What is a problem is when bad language is usedon the 24-hour hot line, as one of the kids did. After my passing mention of it in "Sidelines," a concerned Northeast coach Johnny Barbour called me to talk about it.

Barbour listened to the tape and was able to identify a few of the callers. He wasn't happy about it, apologized for the callers and discussed it with his team the next day.

That was enough for me, and as far as I was concerned, it was over with thanks to the highly professional gesture on the part of the veteran coach.

Well, a few days ago, I received a letter I will cherish not only because it was an apology from the Northeast kids, but because it showed young people admitting a mistake and making a genuine apology. That doesn't happen all of the time in this day and age.

"Basically, Mr. O'Malley, we are all good kids who this one night just used bad judgment and acted a bit immature and not at all like a class-act team, which we like to think of ourselves as being," said the letter.

"Again, the players and students, as well as myself (the young man had the guts and class to identify himself and in essence took the blame for his teammates and fans) apologize for the incident and hope this letter of apology will be accepted by you in the sincere manner in which it is written."

It was signed "Northeast Varsity Basketball Team and Northeast Students."

The apology is most definitely accepted, and I salute the guys for taking the time to scribe the letter. It's not that this thing was such a big deal that a letter of apology was necessary.

Northeast's gentlemanly coach, whom I have always admired for his professionalism and the way he promotes his kids, did all that was needed by apologizing on the kids' behalf and more importantly taking the bull by the horns.

Barbour gave the guys a lesson in respect and where to draw the line as mature young adults. The Northeast guys passed with flying colors, and I appreciate their going the extra mile to write me a letter. I especially salute the young man who had the courage to identify himself.

Those guys are what they said they think they are -- a class-act team. Good luck to them the rest of the season, but don't think for a minute that the Prophet won't ever pick against them again.

* Despite being the hottest boys hoop game of the season thus far -- Broadneck (8-1) at Annapolis (8-0) at 7:30 tonight -- will it also be the battle of the pep bands?

Shouldn't you get there early for this one,hoop and pep band fans?

* Can you believe that Annapolis coach John Brady missed last Thursday's Cap City semifinal romp over City College of Baltimore, 108-74, because he "went sleigh riding?"

WithBrady working toward 300 wins and claiming 285 at the moment, shouldhe get credit for that win over City or should Roy Brown, who bravedthe blizzard to be there Thursday night?

Can you believe Brown, the Panthers' football coach whose team had trouble scoring, had the guys light it up for 108 points?

Wasn't that a great idea for Brady and staff to present state championship rings to the players on last year's banner team?

* Isn't it great that Chesapeake head hoopcoach Tom Kraning finds time to coach his 10-year-old son Danny's youth basketball teams, the Annapolis Express?

Did you know that Kraning's oldest son, Steve, who is 6-foot-5, is a junior on the LoyolaHigh Dons' 12th-ranked hoop team?

* Legendary football coach George Allen died suddenly on New Year's Day at 72, but won't his spiritlive on in Dave Dolch, the former Northeast High standout athlete, who is currently the coach of Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa,the school where Allen's coaching career began in 1948?

Did you know that it was Allen who took a liking to Dolch many years ago and recommended him to Morningside after admiring the way he had turned around the program at Bowie State College?

* Have you heard that they're taking up a daily collection at county Rec and Parks for the Ron Mox Fund? Mox, who is a Rec and Parks athletic supervisor, has twotickets to the Super Bowl, but has no place to stay and no plane tickets.

Aha! So, that's where the savings on postage is going with Rec and Parks sending out forms to county youth coaches requiring postage due?

* Isn't it great that the custodians are back watching TV on weekends at your local schools and getting paid to do it?

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