Towson High boys lacrosse coach Randy Dase has heard all of the criticism about his team's schedule being too soft, and he agrees. In fact, he'd like to do something about it.
Dase says that at the postseason lacrosse meeting for Baltimore County coaches, he will ask for two things that could solve the problem. First, he's requesting to secede from the county and to be able to play a 12-game schedule against "anybody, anywhere."
Second, he'll ask to have his Generals, who compete in Class 1A-2A, put in Class 3A-4A to face stronger competition. Dase says he's not too optimistic about having his requests granted but that he has to try.
Towson is stuck with a nine-game schedule against other Baltimore County Class 1A-2A opponents. Most of them do not have strong teams, which means little competition for Towson and an easy path into the state playoffs.
But the easy schedule comes back to haunt Towson in the playoffs, when the competition gets tougher. The Generals lost to Howard County's Mount Hebron in the state semifinals this year.
"We have essentially nine games we have to play," says Dase. "Unfortunately, the competition is so poor it's very difficult for our kids to rise to the occasion" in the playoffs.
Dase says he'd love to play Maryland Scholastic Association schools such as St. Paul's, Boys' Latin or Loyola but that the only time such games could be played is in March.
"What good is a game in March going to do in May?" asks Dase, whose team beat MSA BB Conference finalist Friends, 14-11, in its only competitive regular-season game this year.
The state playoff point system presents another problem for Towson when it comes to scheduling non-league opponents.
If the Generals scheduled, for example, three MSA A Conference schools and lost to two of them, their chances of making the state playoffs would be slim. If Towson lost all three, it probably would be out of the playoffs.
Don't look for Pikesville junior Danielle Dilloff to defend her state girls singles tennis title this weekend. Just before the season started, Dilloff found she would be ineligible because she would have to miss some Pikesville practices and possibly some matches to participate in a national junior tournament.
Ned Sparks, executive secretary, of the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association, said MPSSAA rules state that an athlete on a school team can play the same sport outside of school with some restrictions.
The rule specifically says, "Outside participation shall not conflict with practice or the contest schedule of the school, including district, region or state championship play."
The rule has been around for a long time, but Sparks said it has not been strictly enforced over the past few years.
Dilloff said she missed practices and played in a national tournament during the 1990 season. The question of eligibility arose at last year's state high school tournament, said Sparks, adding that Dilloff was not the target of the original complaints.
"Some people were saying this wasn't fair," Sparks said. "They were asking whether these youngsters who were involved in that kind of thing were really eligible."
MPSSAA officials studied the situation and strictly enforced the rule this year. Sparks said Dilloff is not the only player affected. Others include Bresha Byrd of Middletown, whom Dilloff beat in last year's state title match.
Records, streaks, milestones, awards: Nine area softball players were awarded $1,000 scholarships recently by the Maryland State Amateur Softball Association. They are: Tammy Kuebel, Stepahnie Lazor, Mellissa Scarborough, Kelly Tibbs, Nicole Meister and Heather Isaac (Northeast), Carrie Shank (Thomas Johnson), and Joy Barnes and Kimberly Gary (Parkville). . . . Several local athletic directors won awards at the Maryland State Athletic Directors Association Conference in Ocean City last month. Hammond's Bob Maxey won the merit award. Lansdowne's Ed Walker was named the National Council Athletic Director of the Year. District Athletic Director of the Year awards went to Carol Satterwhite (Wilde Lake, District V), Mitch Moon (Sparrows Point, District VI) and Kathy Jo Harris (Catholic, District VIII). Former McDonogh athletic director Dutch Eyth was inducted into the Hall of Fame, and Sparrows Point's Moon was named MSADA Athletic Director of the Year.