A smattering of summer vacation 'Q's without A's'

SIDELINES

June 12, 1992|By PAT O'MALLEY

Call this our summer vacation session of "Q's and A's," sports fans.

Your phone calls to the 24-Hour Sportsline, 647-2499, are always welcome.

Let's start the summer season with softball.

* Did you know that the Wagner's Invitational 18-team, fast-pitch softball tournament for girls 18 and under opens at 6 tonight at Randazzo Park in the Severn area near Archbishop Spalding High?

"We've got teams from as far away as New Hampshire and North Carolina coming into the tournament," said Wagner's coach Paul Tewey.

"Games will run simultaneously on all three fields at Randazzo Park, and the fans will get to see a lot of really exciting girls softball."

Tomorrow, the games will begin at 9 a.m. and run all day, with the final games at 10 p.m. The girls will pick it up again at 9 a.m. Sunday, with the championship game set for 3 p.m.

* Isn't it great to hear that still another county softball player -- North County third baseman Tina Armstrong -- has received a college scholarship?

Armstrong, a Baltimore Sun All-Metro and Anne Arundel County Sun All-County third baseman, has received a scholarship to Division I UMBC. The former Knights star is playing this summer with the Jade Garden Bandits.

* How about a fine round of applause for Tom Conley, former coach of the Tangerine Machine (which disbanded at the end of last season) for keeping his hand in local softball by contacting college coaches about the top players in our area?

Conley played a prominent role in helping Armstrong land the scholarship to UMBC. Armstrong played for Conley and his fellow coach Jack Crandell with the Tangerine Machine.

How long do you think Conley and Crandell will be able to stay away from coaching? When will the bug get them again?

* How's this for a happy ending? Jerry Kerbe and Jerry Rogers of the Pasadena Saints have reached a truce with Severn American Legion coach Willie Dominguez over the battle for Chesapeake.

No, it's not that "Save the Chesapeake Bay" project, but rather the battle for the use of the Chesapeake High School baseball field. It seems the two youth baseball organizations were bickering over who had the right to use the Cougars' diamond this summer.

"We worked out a schedule to everyone's liking," said the Saints' Kerbe. "It was a just a misunderstanding, and it has been resolved."

* While it's something he does not have to do, isn't it great that Chesapeake varsity baseball coach Jim Simms is at some local diamond nearly every night to watch his Cougars play with their summer teams?

Doesn't that kind of dedication pay off in terms of running a successful high school program? And doesn't such interest shown by the coach make the players feel really good?

* Doesn't Jason White, a left-handed pitcher with two years left at Chesapeake who is playing this summer with the Glen Burnie Patriots 16-and-under team, show a lot of promise?

Do you veteran county baseball fans remember a Brooklyn Park High star slugger of the late '60s named Boh White? Jason White is his son.

* Speaking of left-handers, didn't Glen Burnie's All-County southpaw Tony Saunders receive quite an opportunity in signing with the expansion Florida Marlins? Won't his chances of moving up the ladder be greater in an organization starting from the ground floor?

* Doesn't North County High School principal Bill Wentworth make a good point about the formation of the Parents For Swimming in Anne Arundel County when he questions whether "quality swimming coaches" could be attracted if the county ever adopted a high school swimming league?

Don Ramsbottom and the Parents For Swimming are starting swim clubs this fall in each of the county high school districts with the exception of North County, Meade and Southern (where coaches and volunteers are needed), with their long-range goal being the development of a competitive high school league.

"I read your column on swimming with interest," said Wentworth. would think the real concern the county public schools would have if we ever got to the point of considering high school swimming is getting quality swim coaches to participate.

"The quality swimming coaches out there can make more money in the private sector than our public schools could afford to pay them."

Wentworth's point is well-taken. But consider that a girls soccer program was started just over 10 years ago, and it has grown to rival hotbed Howard County without any high-profile coaches -- just coaches who grew up with the program.

And the same can be said about other sports. We don't necessarily have top quality coaches in all our sports programs and teams, but we do have coaches and the kids to participate.

Many kids get that extra instruction outside and make their high school teams better. The same certainly could be done for swimming.

Don't you wish all high school principals took an interest in sports the way Wentworth does? Wentworth doesn't always agree with what I write and tells me so, but I think it's great he takes such a genuine interest in kids outside the classroom.

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