Is The Age Of Sports Heroes For Our Youth Gone For Good?


February 12, 1992|By Pat O'Malley

It's time once again to cue up the tape on the 24-hour Sportsline, 647-2499, and listen to what you guys have been up to and what big "Q's" you want me to throw out there for everyone to discuss.

Let me start off today's "questions without answers" session with something rather important to those of us parents who have kids in sports.

* With Pete Rose put in black-and-white stripes for tax evasion, "Iron" Mike Tyson found guilty of rape, Wilt "The Stilt" Chamberlain saying he scored 20,000 times (not points), and pitcher Steve Howe caught at least a half-dozen times for cocaine, should we parents encourage our kids to have role models, only to be let down?

* Is the Orioles' Cal Ripken Jr. the last of his kind, a genuine role model?

* Have you noticed how they're breaking up that ol' gang of ours? The guy who runs the schools for our kids (Dr. Larry Lorton, school superintendent), the man who builds and runs the parks they play in (JoeMcCann, director of Recreation and Parks) and the man who supervisesthe athletic program (Paul Rusko, former coordinator of physical education) all have to replaced.

Rick Wiles is an interim county coordinator for Rusko and has not officially taken over the reins full time.

* Doesn't Old Mill athletic director Jim Dillon almost have towait until the very last minute (spring practice starts March 2) to announce who is going to coach the Patriots' softball team if Debbie Shacklock doesn't?

Shacklock's contract was not renewed, and her grievance case is in the hands of a Maryland State Teachers Association attorney, Susan Russell.

Russell told me Shacklock's case could be settled before the spring sports begin, or it may not. If a decision is made in Shacklock's favor before the season starts, she would be back coaching.

If Shacklock wins after the season starts, Russell said the coach would get her job back next year and the county probably would have to reimburse her salary for this spring.

Do you think Dillon wants to pay two salaries in these economic times? And if Shacklock doesn't get the job back, will Dillon consider calling on the school's very successful wrestling coach, Mike Hampe, to coach thesoftball team?

* Wouldn't that be some softball league, with Hampe at Old Mill joining Wayne Mook (Severna Park) and Bruce Springer (Broadneck) in the ranks?

* Isn't it a great idea of athletic director Carmine Blades and the people of St. Mary's High to have a panel of speakers talking to an assembly on sportsmanship and how it relatesto life on March 3, National Sportsmanship Day?

* Did you know that Feb. 23 is the 12th anniversary of one of the most incredible teen-age basketball accomplishments ever in our county?

It's the date that the Gambrills-Odenton Recreation Council 12-and-under boys basketball team of Coach Jerry Shnupp routed Woodland Beach by 41 points. So what's the big deal about a 41-point romp? Well, Woodland Beach didn't score. Can you believe 41-0?

"That's what you call defense," said a proud Shnupp, who for the last 10 years has been the public address announcer at Arundel High in Gambrills.

A few of the playerson that GORC team were the coach's son, Jerry, Ronnie Young, Scotty Jackson and Denny Neagle? Yes, that's the same Neagle who pitches forthe Minnesota Twins. He was a center for GORC.

* Have you heard that Old Mill's veteran baseball coach, Mel Montgomery, is getting back into the summer baseball grind again? Montgomery, who coached the well-known 20-and-under Johnny's of Baltimore for a few years, is rejoining the Walter Youse-run organization.

* Did you know that it won't be Johnny's anymore? Youse has a new sponsor, Corrigan's.

* Wouldn't it be great if the high school baseball regional playoffs wereplayed at Joe Cannon Stadium, with the winners moving on to the state finals at Oriole Park at Camden Yards? Is that just a baseball pipedream, since the Baltimore City public schools do not belong to the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association, and as long as that situation exists, there can be no true state championship?

* Will the Maryland Scholastic Association ever wise up and merge with the MPSSAA for the better of state high school sports?

* Has there ever been a player's name misspelled as much as that of Joe "A-to-Z" Andrzejewski? A-to-Z is easier, isn't it?

A-to-Z, the former Chesapeake pitcher who recently was released by the Milwaukee Brewers after four seasons in the minors, said this week, "I'm keeping my options from day to day and hope to sign with somebody."

The BaltimoreOrioles and Pittsburgh Pirates are very interested in A-to-Z.

* Did you know that another former Chesapeake pitcher, Steve Monson, also recently was released by the Brewers?

Monson is a six-year minorleague player and he, too, is shopping for another job.

* Isn't it great to hear that former All-County second baseman Mike Arenth of Arundel, now a sophomore at Johns Hopkins University, is doing well in baseball, but more importantly, is carrying a 3.60 GPA?

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