Brogden Focuses Minds, Not Just Talent

Celebrating Black History/ 'Black Athletes Are Doing Better'

February 26, 1991|By John Harris III

The way Annapolis baseball coach Larry Brogden sees it, today's youth have too many other things to do with their time then spend it participating in sports.

"There are just so many things out there for the students to get into. They want to make money, so they take advantage of all of the part-time jobs that are around. And it seems that everybody needs to have an automobile," Brogden said.

While a student at Wiley H. Bates High School during the early '60s, Brogden, 46, made the most of his athletic and academic opportunities. He was a member of the 1962 county football champions and also lettered in baseball.

After high school, Brogden was an all-Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association catcher/outfielder for the Maryland State College (now the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore) baseball squad, lettering all four years while earning a bachelor's degree in math.

"Not only are the kids finding more things to do, butthose (minority) athletes who are in school now just aren't as prepared as they should be," he said.

"Often times, they wait until there senior year to take the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test), and they haven't even taken the PSAT (Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test). They need to start preparing for college a lot earlier."

Brogden hastaught in the county school system for 21 years, while serving as the head coach for the Panther nine for the past 17 years -- the team won the Class 4A state baseball title in 1988. He is also an assistantfootball coach for the perennial county powerhouse.

His son, Mike, a baseball and football player at Meade, has been accepted by Delaware State College and Salisbury State University to play both sports.

"I think we are dealing with a different attitude these days. It seems that today's (minority) athletes' motivation seems to be lacking. We have to begin encouraging them to do well in the classroom at an early age.

"You really can't fault the coaching staffs, but we need to find a way to deal with these new attitudes. It seems that black athletes are doing better in the classroom than the non-participants, because they know that they have to stay eligible. But there's still a helluva lot of room for improvement."

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