Baseball Coaches Go To Bat For Own Scholar-athletes


Inaugural Banquet Is Planned For June 2

February 26, 1992|By Pat O'Malley

All right, sports fans, let's get into another batch of Questions without Answers. Remember the rules: Any comments, answers or Q's of your own are forever welcome here. All you need do is call the 24-hour Sportsline at 647-2499.

* Do you agree with me that any time we can honor student/athletes for their academic achievements, it should be full speed ahead?

We've got our All-County Academic-Athletic Team, which honors the24 most well-rounded boys and girls we can find each year. This year, we will salute our 10th annual team; but now, for the first time, one of our major high school sports is going to honor its finest.

The county Baseball Coaches Association, in conjunction with the Friends of Joe Cannon Committee, is going to hold its annual Scholar-Athlete Baseball Banquet June 2 at Michael's Eighth Avenue.

"We've got 13 county schools that play baseball," Del. Michael Busch said in Annapolis yesterday, "and each one will select its top scholar-athlete for the banquet. Our committee will name an overall winner or winners,who will receive scholarships."

Busch is the county Rec and Parksliaison to the Cannon Committee, which was formed recently to promote both the first-class Cannon baseball facility in Harmans and amateur baseball in general.

The idea behind honoring local high school players who excel in the classroom came from Busch and coaches BernieWalter of Arundel and Harry Lentz of Northeast.

"The scholarship money will come from ticket sales to the banquet and possibly local donors," Busch said. Corporations and businesses will be asked to buy tables.

The committee is discussing other awards for the banquet, such as Coach of the Year, Player of the Year, etc.

Don't you agree the whole thing is a marvelous idea and deserves support?

* Did you know the Cannon Committee has also approved the return of the Continental Amateur Baseball Association 18-and-Under Tournament for this summer?

Isn't it good to know that Lew "Never too exhausted to promote amateur baseball" Holmes, who stuck his neck out last year to bring the CABA here, is going to get the support necessary to run a big-time event?

With all the exciting news on amateur baseball, doesn't Cannon Stadium supervisor Don Brooks deserve a lot of credit as the unsung hero behind getting things moving and getting good people involved?

* Hasn't college football lost a model coach, as well asa man who was nothing but a positive influence on young people, withthe resignation of Phil Albert at Towson State University?

Didn'tAlbert do a great job during his 20 years as the Tigers' coach in recruiting kids from our county?

And won't that continue with Gordy Combs, who trained in Anne Arundel County as a physical education teacher, succeeding his former coach?

* With Old Mill naming Lori Darnall as its new softball coach this week, isn't it a shame we can't find out why Debbie Shacklock is not returning?

After three winningseasons (42-16 overall, playoffs each year), Shacklock did not have her contract renewed by the school and Athletic Director Jim Dillon. Shacklock has filed a grievance, which will be heard next week.

Shacklock claims she has yet to get a reason from Dillon or the school why she was not invited back. You can understand her disappointment: Here is a woman who has been in that program for 15 years, the first 12 as an assistant to her predecessor, George Valiska.

"The whole situation stinks. I just wish I could get some answers," Shacklock said.

The question I would like to ask you guys is: Is it good or bad that athletic directors are not allowed to divulge personnel matters?

Is it fair to all parties that, after her hearing, Shacklock can comment if she cares to, but the athletic director and school is told not to say anything?

Is it any wonder that speculation and rumors tarnish people's reputations in such instances?

* What's the connection between Navy's ex-assistant coach (27 years) Steve Belichick, who still hangs around the Mids as a scout of sorts, and ArchbishopSpalding football?

Belichick was the only football person on the committee that selected a new Spalding football coach. An announcement is expected this week.

* Isn't it good to hear that ex-Spalding coach John Russell is having success in his new business career?

*How about a round of applause for ex-Southern and University of Maryland football star Dale Castro, now the head football coach at High Point in Prince Georges County, who received D.C. Metro Coach of the Year honors?

Castro was honored with a plaque from the Brookland Club of D.C. during a banquet Saturday night at the Bethesda Marriott after leading his Eagles into the State 4A final this fall.

* What was North County Principal Bill Wentworth, whose daughter Alison plays at Old Mill, doing in the stands at Glen Burnie Friday night as theGophers entertained front-running Annapolis?

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