All right, sports fans, I've got some really hot Q's and A's for youthis week, so get on your mark at your Touch-Tone phone to respond on the 24-hour Sportsline, 647-2499.
It's you guys who help me write this column.
* How many of you thought we would extend the deadline for the All-County Academic-Athletic Team as we have in the past eight years? Well, those of you who did are right.
The deadline for applicationsis now Friday, March 29. So that gives some students the extra time they need and asked for. Already, we have received some really impressive applications and are looking forward to hearing from more student-athletes.
Applications must be hand-delivered to our Pasadena office by 5 p.m. March 29 or postmarked by that date to be eligible.
To answer a couple of questions called into the Sportsline, yes, applicants should list all sports played, year by year, throughout theirhigh school careers, not just this year.
Also, to the very nice woman who called and said that "a lot of teachers at our school dread writing recommendation letters and it gets to be a pain for them," I say those teachers are in the wrong profession.
If they don't careenough to take a few minutes and write about a kid who is seeking some recognition for his contributions to school, team and community, then they really don't care about the kids they teach.
Letters can be handwritten or typed, so how can any teacher refuse a kid who is applying for this team of the county's best in the classroom and on the field?
I can tell you a lot of the same coaches and teachers write letters of praise each and every year, and I salute them. For those who find writing a letter to be a pain, I say "boo" to you.
* What would you say if I told you that I really believe we finally will see some of Baltimore City's public schools seek entry into the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association in the near future?
Wouldn't that be great in that we eventually would have true state champions in boys and girls sports? Isn't this the way to go: Allowthe Baltimore City public schools to continue playing in their own leagues with their winners advancing to MPSSAA state tournaments?
When I asked Ned Sparks, the MPSSAA executive secretary about it this week, his responded guardedly, "I have no comment on that, because I don't want people to think that this idea is further down on the roadthan it really is, but there is some interest."
Isn't the Baltimore City public schools entry the icebreaker for the possibility of eventually uniting all state schools, including the private and parochial schools?
* By the way, wasn't that a classy Playoff magazine published by Sparks and the MPSSAA for this year's boys and girls statetournaments -- with a really nice touch on the inside cover: a eulogy and photo of the late Andover coach Dick Hart?
* Did you know that this could be the month that the county school board implements orat least proposes an athletic transfer rule, which basically would have those who transfer just for athletic reasons lose a year of eligibility?
What do you think of Montgomery County having such a rule,but allowing the two principals involved to get together and do whatis in the best interests of the student-athlete in question?
* Doschools and coaches have a right to tell kids they can't try out fora team because "you won't stay academically eligible"?
* How manyof you noticed that three of the four schools that won state titles in boys basketball -- Parkdale (4A), DuVall (3A) and Forestville (2A)-- are all from Prince George's County, where the grade-point average requirement is a 2.0? Prince George's doesn't have any 1A schools, or it might have won that class, too, despite the raising of its academic standards a couple of years ago.
If the 2.0 can work in Prince George's in terms of athletic excellence and obvious academic upgrading, why can't it work in Anne Arundel County, where athletes are allowed to play with a D-plus average, a 1.67 GPA?
* Doesn't the fact that no Anne Arundel football players were named to the Maryland football team for the Big 33 All Star Game against Pennsylvania furtherindicate the county seriously lacks Division I-quality players?
But how do you explain that Severna Park end Darrick Moran could be headed for Division I University of West Virginia?
* Aren't these a couple of great ideas from Arundel High athletic director and baseball coach Bernie Walter?
"For Anne Arundel County to determine participation in high school sports by actually playing in the game, rather than simply being in uniform or on the bench, would result in better player development," he said.
Along the same lines, Walter suggests scheduling jayvee games the day after varsity competition, thus allowing varsity sophomores who didn't play in the varsity game to play in the jayvee game.