This county never seems to come up short in sports news, and thanks to you guys calling the 24-hour Sportsline, 647-2499, all of the time, this space never runs out of questions without answers.
* Did you know that about 50 people showed up Thursday night at the Days Inn in Harmans to give their support to the newly formed Friends of Joe Cannon Committee?
The brainstorm of Anne Arundel Amateur Baseball Association president Lew Holmes, the committee will work with Rec and Parks to promote Joe Cannon Stadium. The state-of-the-art baseball facility is the best amateur baseball stadium in Maryland.
Last summer was the nearly $4 million facility's first full season and not enough was done topromote the games and tournaments played there. Holmes directed the Continental Amateur Baseball Association 18 and Under World Series atCannon Stadium with teams coming from as far as Puerto Rico and California.
Crowds at Cannon could have been better with more promotion in addition to a more active role on the part of the business community. The idea is to pump money into the county with such events so as to have the overall economy profit.
"We need some prominent businessmen to get involved with our committee because other cities across the country hold successful tournaments that make money for everybody," said Holmes, who will run the CABA Tournament here again this summer and plans to have National Amateur Baseball Federation 16 and Under and 20 and Under Regionals at Cannon.
"Our first meeting went great, and Dave Conrad and the 30-and-over Chesapeake Baseball Leaguepeople want to get involved and help every way they can."
Holmes said that Arundel baseball coach Bernie Walter suggested that the committee talk to the county high school principals about scheduling a "Game of the Week" at Cannon and to look into offering attractive college games in the stadium.
Baltimore Orioles scouting supervisor Jim Gilbert has suggested the possibility of playing an occasional minor-league baseball game at Cannon. With the Oriole affiliates, the Hagerstown Suns and Frederick Keys in the state, that could be arranged.
"But we've got to get everybody involved, and any businessman or former player who wants to give something back to amateur baseball should give me a call," said Holmes who can be reached at 760-4138.
Have you baseball types also heard that Holmes is looking for a coachfor his Linthicum-Ferndale Legion Post 289 team this summer? If interested, give him a call at 760-4138.
* Isn't it too bad that NorthCounty High has lost such a fine coach in 27-year-old Jack Conley Jr.?
Conley has to give up his assistant positions in volleyball andbaseball under Amy Williams and Don Usewick, respectively, because of a change in his work schedule. The Mount St. Joseph High grad is a technician for Northern Cancellations Technologies.
"Our company is growing fast, and they need me here more, so I have to give up highschool coaching for now," said Conley, whose dad, Jack Sr., is a keyman in the Brooklyn Park Youth Athletic Association and has been involved in youth sports for more than 30 years.
Conley will keep hishand in coaching by running the Brooklyn Park Raiders 16-and-under team with his brother, Jeff.
"Young Jack was a tremendous help to me when I was head baseball coach at Brooklyn Park High," said Dennie DeWitt, who is now indoor track coach at Annapolis High. "He was the Brooklyn Park connection at North County, and they're losing a quality young coach."
Conley said he "hopes to be back at the high school in the near future."
* Can you blame DeWitt for being so excitedover his freshman distance runner at Annapolis in Kristen Nicolini who this past Wednesday defeated highly touted Severna Park senior Fran Mackney in the one-mile run at Baltimore's 5th Regiment Armory?
Nicolini won the mile-jaunt in a county-best time of 5 minutes, 25.6 seconds, easily topping Mackney who came in at 5:32.8.
"The race was two of them, and then everybody else. With two laps to go, they were even until Kristen just blew her away by 40 yards," said DeWitt.
Nicolini also won the 800-meter run in a county-best time of 2:26.
Do you realize that this young athlete, who might very well win a distance championship at the county meet on Jan. 29, would not be running had DeWitt not revived the indoor program at Annapolis this winter?
* Shouldn't an A-plus be awarded to Old Mill cross country andtrack coaches Gary Bater and Leon Walters for their marvelous publication on their Patriots called "The Rundown?"
The newsletter has stats, results, summaries of meets, reprinted articles, poems, profiles, you name it. Bater took all copies of "The Rundown" printed and put them in a blue binder and gave them away as Christmas gifts.
* Did you know that two former Annapolis basketball players, Tracy Evansand Fred Butler, are playing for North Idaho College (16-1), ranked No. 18 this week among National Junior College Athletic Association teams?