Come with me if you will sports fans on a field trip. We will go through a hall of fame, a retirement and the classroom.
Lacrosse legend Mason "Daffy" Russell and former football star and coach Del. Michael Busch will head a list of six inductees at the first St. Mary's High Athletic Hall of Fame ceremony on Saturday, April 4 at the school.
"It's been a long time coming, and we feel we've got six outstanding inductees for our inaugural," said Doug Macey, a former Saints football coach and longtime booster.
Joining Russell and Busch as the inductees are former three-sport standouts James Keating and Susan Powers Stocker, and ex-lacrosse stars James "Cork" Kimball and Eddie Mullen.
Russell was inducted into the Anne Arundel County Sports Hall of Fame last October after going into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1989. The 81-year-old is known as the "Father of Anne Arundel County Lacrosse" for his 60-year association with the sport.
"Three or four years ago, nobody knew who in the hell I was, now everybody in the world knows who I am," joked Daffy.
After founding theAnnapolis High school lacrosse program in 1929, Daffy's encore was to commence the storied St. Mary's stick program in 1950 with Eddie Coughlin.
Russell built a winning tradition at St. Mary's that has been carried on by current coach Jim Moorhead, who took the reins fromKen Winegrad in 1980. Russell also coached football and served as the school's athletic director for more than a decade.
The Maryland Athletic Director's Hall of Fame inducted him in 1985.
It was onlya couple of years ago that Daffy gave up coaching JV football and lacrosse at St. Mary's, but the ageless wonder can't stay away.
"I introduce him as the man who invented the game," laughed Zohn Lamon, who coaches a youth team for the Elks club in Annapolis with Daffy as an assistant.
Macey said, "Daffy just can't stay away from the kids, loves being out there."
Busch presented Russell at the Anne Arundel County Hall of Fame and once played football for him. Busch, a 1963 grad, commuted from Glen Burnie every day to attend St. Mary's and became a standout running back.
In his senior year, Busch won the Rhodes Trophy presented by the Annapolis Touchdown Club to the county's most outstanding football player. Busch received a scholarship to Temple University, but a knee injury ended a promising collegiate career.
Busch returned to his alma mater as head football coach andafter an 8-2 campaign in 1977, led the Saints to a conference championship and their best-ever football season in 1978 at 9-0-1.
Afterstepping down as Saints' football coach, Busch joined the county Recreation and Parks Department as athletic supervisor and recently was promoted to an assistant to the director position.
Busch is also arepresentative in the Maryland House of Delegates, heading up the county delegation.
Keating, who graduated from St. Mary's in 1952 after starring in football, basketball and lacrosse, became an All-American in lacrosse at the University of Maryland.
Later, Keating wasathletic director at the United States Air Force Academy in ColoradoSprings and currently resides in Florida.
Kimball and Mullen, both Russell proteges, were also lacrosse standouts graduating in 1951 and 1973, respectively. Kimball attended Notre Dame Prep School and Mullen went on to become an All-American at Maryland.
Powers Stockerwas one of the finest female athletes to ever come out of the county. The 1975 graduate sparkled in field hockey, basketball and softball. She lives in Washington state.
Macey says tickets to the inaugural gala are available in the school's development and alumni office or you can call him at 269-6611. Tickets are $25 per person, and the ceremony will go from 6:30 to 10 p.m.
"Each inductee will receive aplaque, and we will showcase duplicate plaques in a trophy case in the school," said Macey.
Another big affair is Thursday, April2 at Michael's Eighth Avenue in Glen Burnie. That night the county and friends will honor outgoing director of Rec and Parks, Joe McCann.
McCann recently announced his retirement after serving under fourcounty executives -- Joe Alton, Bob Pascal, Jim Lighthizer and Bob Neall, and a retirement dinner is scheduled in his honor.
During his tenure as director of Rec and Parks from 1975 to present, McCann has been responsible for 5,000 acres and 12 waterfront miles of parkland. During his administration, the Rec and Parks operating budget exploded, going from $800,000 to well into the double-digit millions.
Among McCann's proudest projects are the development of the 360-acre Quiet Waters Farm, Downs Park, the B & A Trail and the state-of-the-art baseball facility, Joe Cannon Stadium.
McCann also is credited with de-emphasizing competitiveness in youth sports by limiting the number of games the county will sanction in any sports season.