We just couldn't let the week pass by without giving you a dose of those infamous "Q's without A's," sports fans. Usually Wednesday is the big day for those, but that girls lacrosse sportsmanship controversy was more pressing.
And that is what we will be leading off with today, but before we dive head-first into that, let me review the ground rules.
Remember your comments, opinions and any questions without answers of your own are always welcome. This is your column, your stage to sound off.
To respond, just dial the 24-hour Sportsline, 647-2499,any time.
* Wasn't justice served with North County defeating Southern, 15-9, Wednesday in the replay of a previously forfeited game?
To refresh your memory, Southern forfeited on April 3 after one ofits players was ejected for unsportsmanlike conduct, and Coach LindaKilpatrick refused to leave the field immediately.
It took countycoordinator of physical education Paul Rusko until this past Monday (that's 26 days, folks) to overturn the forfeit and order a replay because girls lacrosse rules say officials can't forfeit a game. Ruskoenforced the rule and by doing so was overlooking the sportsmanship violation.
And if Rusko was so sure that the rule should be enforced and that it was cut-and-dried, then what took him so long to makea decision?
Did Rusko wait to see what Southern would do in its games after the forfeit, hoping that he wouldn't have to order a controversial replay unless it affected Southern's playoff chances?
With Southern at 4-5 through the end of last week, did Rusko make the decision to give it a chance to make the 2A playoffs with a win over North County?
Was the forfeit reversed because the playoffs are moreimportant than the county's so-called "No. 1 priority -- sportsmanship?"
North County is fighting for a 4A-3A playoff berth, and the team and its coach, Tom Taylor, were shocked to learn that they had toreplay Southern in a game sandwiched between games with Annapolis (Monday) and Severna
The North County girls wrote aletter to Rusko with all 17 players signing it to express their disappointment, and they sent me a copy.
In the letter the girls stated, "We feel we are being mistreated."
And the girls asked, "Isn't the official's word final, and aren't we setting a dangerous precedent?
"Why are there officials on the playing field if their rulings will be overruled by people who weren't even at the game?"
The girls concluded, "We will play the game because we have sportsmanlike conduct. However, we will play under protest."
Had North County lost, would Rusko have heard its protest and given the Knights a hearing?
* Is it fair that a student needs only a "D" average (below a 1.00 GPA) and 22 credits to graduate from high school, but to play high school sports a student-athlete has to maintain a 1.67 and some want a 2.00?
What's more important, a high school diploma or participation in high school athletics?
* Have you heard that Rich Covert's Krupnik Brothers Class B men's slow-pitch softball team has qualifiedfor the National Softball Association World Series in Florence, S.C., Sept. 13-15?
Covert's crew took an NSA B qualifier last week by roaring back in the losers' bracket and defeating Irvine Access Floors twice, including 7-6 in the final.
Krupnik Brothers Roofing and Contracting was wiped out by 1st Choice in the opening round, 15-0, but bounced back to rip Elliott's, 12-4, and avenged the loss to 1st Choice with a 20-8 rout.
That put Krupnik Brothers in the finals, needing two wins over unbeaten Irvine, and the mission was accomplished. In the first game, Krupnik out-slugged Irvine, 12-9, and got a two-run homer from Bob Brauer in the bottom of the fifth inning in the championship game.
Outfielder John Hardy, who batted a robust .632 with 12 RBI, was named tournament MVP.
Other Krupnik hitting starsincluded: Brauer (.737, 11 RBI), Lenny Hentz (.733, 5 RBI) and Ross Roberts (.688, 7 RBI).
Covert's club is 12-3 overall, and this wasits first tournament triumph.
For information on the second-year NSA, call State Director Tom O'Hara at 437-4360.
* Isn't it great to hear that Cliff "The Hammer" McPherson of Glen Burnie retained hisEastern Regional Fight Factory Karate Association title Sunday nightby scoring a seven-round unanimous decision over "Big Lou" Chester of York, Pa.?
How about the Hammer winning at the Crown Plaza in Rockville with Sugar Ray Leonard and local matchmaker Josh Hall sittingringside?
Did you know that the Hammer (9-2-2 with two KOs as a kick boxer) will fight for a FFKA national title June 8 in New Hampshire against New Englander Jerry Kimberly?
And that he will box on Hall's Round One Promotions dinner and boxing show at LaFontaine Bleu on May 15?
"I'll be boxing Phil Daniels of Alexandria, Va., on the15th, but what I really want is a rematch with Jake 'the Snake' (Smith)," said the Hammer, who dons an Indian headdress and war paint to enter the ring.