Colvin passes on, but not before leaving mark on tennis here

Bill Tanton

December 19, 1991|By Bill Tanton

C. Price Colvin, one of the best tennis players Baltimore has ever produced, died last month in Sun City, Ariz.

There aren't many people around town who remember Colvin. He was 83 years old when he died Nov. 29. He moved to Arizona 48 years ago because of a respiratory disease.

Ken Volk remembers him, though. Volk, who won many doubles titles here with Bart Harvey, retired from his dentistry practice in 1988. This year, however, Volk and Jim Jeffries won the Middle Atlantic 65-and-over doubles championship.

"For about 10 years," Volk recalls, "Price Colvin won about everything he got in. In later years other fine men's players came along -- Tim Thaler, Buzzy Hettleman, Steve Krulevitz and so on. None of them was any better than Colvin."

The most prestigious tennis event in Baltimore used to be The Evening Sun tournament. Colvin won that five straight years from 1935 through 1939. He played in the nationals at Forest Hills in '35 (he lost in the first round to Greg Mangin). Colvin and Alex Keiles, also of Baltimore, went to the finals of the national public parks championships in 1935.

"My dad had a roomful of trophies he won in tennis," says Price's son, Jonathan, a private investigator in Glendale, Ariz. "He had fond memories of Baltimore and he was very proud of his tennis accomplishments."

He had reason to be.

* No one even questions that Maryland's Gary Williams is a great basketball coach and that he's going to lead the Terps back to national prominence.

But there's another college coach here who's doing an amazing job in his own right. That's Bill Nelson of Division III Johns Hopkins.

At a school that has never been a basketball power, Nelson's team is 6-0. There are 10 players on his squad who are either pre-med or engineering students.

In the last three seasons Nelson's Blue Jays have gone 17-10, 20-8, and 19-10. With 80 wins in 5 1/2 seasons, Nelson is now the winningest basketball coach in Hopkins' history.

One of Nelson's admirers is Nap Doherty, who retired as the Blue Jays' coach in 1986 and was succeeded by Nelson.

"That was something when Hopkins won at Widener last week," says Doherty. (It was the first time Hopkins had won there since 1964.)

"You ride the bus 2 1/2 hours to get there. The gym is always empty and then Widener throws up a 1-3-1 zone, which you never see. It's one of the toughest places to win."

Hopkins next plays Jan. 4 against Carnegie Mellon at home. Coach Nancy Blank's Hopkins women's basketball team, also undefeated at 5-0, entertains Carnegie Mellon the same afternoon.

* It seems absolutely insane to me for Towson State and UMBC to be joining the Big South Conference, as they will in '92-'93.

Gee, I can hardly wait to see Charleston Southern, Coastal Carolina, Winthrop and Campbell. I hope the Towson and UMBC players enjoy long bus rides.

The perfect thing for the local schools would be to form a conference of their own consisting of Towson, UMBC, Loyola, Mount St. Mary's, Coppin, Morgan State and a couple D.C. schools. That would save a fortune in travel and the rivalries would be infinitely more compelling.

Says John Carpenter, commissioner of the East Coast Conference, which Towson and UMBC are leaving:

"Loyola should have joined our conference. Rider would have stayed with us and Towson and UMBC could have stayed and we could have had an automatic entry to the NCAA tournament. We'd be all set. But Loyola joined the Metro Atlantic Conference."

* For a small high school (enrollment 520), St. Mary's of Annapolis continues to turn out an extraordinary number of outstanding athletes.

Two of the best in Anne Arundel County are members of the same senior class at St. Mary's. Melissa Wasowsky has been the top field hockey scorer in the county for two years and this year was named the county's outstanding player. She wants to go to Wake Forest.

Randall Goldsborough was voted the county's best soccer player this year. Two days ago she scored 26 points to lead St. Mary's to a 62-39 basketball rout of Institute of Notre Dame. She has an athletic scholarship to go to Maryland.

Last spring St. Mary's went to the MSA A Conference lacrosse championship game and lost to St. Paul's. Every one of St. Mary's coach Jim Morehead's starters is now in college on a scholarship.

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