Fighting before, during or after a football game must never be condoned and the Maryland Scholastic Association certainly has the right to discipline its members for such an infraction.
The MSA executive committee erred, however, in its recent decision to give both Northern and Patterson a loss this season for their post-game fight last year. Many of the Vikings and Clippers on this year's squads were not involved in the incident last season. The penalty should have been dealt last season.
Instead, the MSA decided that Northern and Patterson would not be permitted to play each other this season. That raised a question this fall about conference standings, and the MSA's solution was to give both a loss.
* The hottest boys soccer team in the last week has been Old Mill. The Patriots shared the title for the Anne Arundel County 4A Friendship Division by knocking off Severna Park (10-2 overall record) and Chesapeake-AA (9-2-1) in the same week.
Ironically, when state regional play opened today, coach Don Hobbs and his players were idle. The Patriots (6-4-2) trailed the top four seeds -- Severna Park, Chesapeake, Meade (9-3) and Broadneck (8-3-1).
"It's disappointing we are not advancing to the regionals, but it does feel very good to end the season on a winning note," said Hobbs, after his team stopped Chesapeake on a penalty kick, 1-0.
Chesapeake coach Earl Eckhard did plenty of juggling to finish the game. He had lost starting back Eric Daniels with a broken ankle last Tuesday. Then, Friday night against Old Mill, leading scorer Dean Coccia went down in the first half with an ankle injury.
Senior Greg Cameron ended up at sweeper in overtime and was forced to hand a ball in the goal mouth to keep it from rolling into the net. The resulting penalty kick by Old Mill's David Gray was the game-winner.
* Tim Hammontree of Bishop Walsh has raised his career total for soccer goals to 101 with one game remaining. He also has 37 career assists. Those totals include 44 goals and 10 assists this season, just a couple shy of the Bishop Walsh school record for scoring in a single season.
Walsh assistant coach Joe Rowan called to ask if Hammontree can claim the state record for career goals.
He can't, unless he scores eight more goals in Saturday's game at Highland View in Hagerstown. The state record belongs to St. Paul's Larry LeDoyen, who had 108 career goals and was named The Evening Sun Male Athlete of the Year in 1982. Northwestern's Everard Diggs (1980-83) scored 100 career goals.
* Tom Gaylin, rules interpreter for the Maryland Wrestling Officials Association, confirmed a new rule change for the upcoming season that should prove very interesting. For tournament matches ending in a tie, a two-minute, sudden-death period will be used to resolve the outcome. Both wrestlers will start in the neutral position. The first wrestler to score a point is the victor.
If no points are scored in the extra session, a coin flip will be used to decide position (top or bottom) for a 30-second, sudden-death tie-breaker. If no points are scored in that session, the wrestler in the top position will be declared the winner.
"The MSA has not yet voted on adopting the new rule, but they generally do accept new changes," said Gaylin. "It's only for tournaments and will not be used to decide matches at dual meets."
Incidentally, Gaylin already has been selected to work the NCAA national finals at Oklahoma City next March. He will be writing about rule changes in the November issue of The Maryland Wrestler, the official publication of the Maryland State Wrestling Association. Coaches and officials also can hear Gaylin speak on the new rules on Nov. 4 at 7:30 p.m. at Poly.
* With Arundel's Gary Carpenter shooting a 74 to finish fourth overall, the Wildcats won the state golf tournament at the University of Maryland by two strokes over Damascus.
* Charles Duckett, former standout in basketball at Severna Park High and Washington College, will be assisting coach Wayne Mook.