Weekend accident claims the life of Severna Park grad


July 06, 1992|By Pat O'Malley

A holiday weekend has ended in tragedy for the family, friends and classmates of popular former Severna Park High lacrosse player Jay Gibbs.

Gibbs, 18, was killed in a fiery head-on collision about 8:30 a.m. Saturday near Ocean City. Gibbs was a passenger in a 1988 Nissan Sentra driven by his 18-year-old girlfriend from Pasadena.

Apparently the driver fell asleep at the wheel and her vehicle crossed the center line and hit a 1984 Ford station wagon driven by 59-year-old Thomas Amacher of Lutherville in Baltimore County.

All three were pronounced dead at the scene.

Gibbs, the son of John and Joanne Gibbs, graduated from Severna Park in June and was headed to the University of Maryland this fall.

He was a starting defenseman for the Falcons for three years and team captain the last two seasons.

"Jay was a quiet kid, very popular and a very conscientious kid who had a bright future," said Severna Park boys lacrosse coach Ed Ulrich.

His sister, Ashley, was one of the Falcon lacrosse managers and will be a junior this fall.

Ulrich said Sunday that most of the boys on the lacrosse team had heard about the tragedy and "were in a state of shock."

* A couple of coaching resignations at Meade High school left athletic director Ralph Beachley looking for a new baseball coach, but immediately filling the outdoor track position.

Elliott Harvey has decided not to reapply for the Mustangs' head baseball position after seven seasons. And Jay Cuthbert is stepping down as outdoor track and field coach after 14 years, but will remain indoor track coach. Football coach Hayse Henderson has been picked to replace Cuthbert.

"We have advertised all the baseball positions for next year," said Beachley on Friday. "Elliott did not reapply for his job."

Harvey had one winning season during his tenure, the 11-7 campaign of 1991 in which Meade missed the 4A Region IV playoffs by a game. This spring, the Mustangs slumped to 6-12, leaving Harvey's seven-year career mark at 44-77-3.

When Harvey took over the reins from Butch Young (the school's boys basketball coach) in 1986, he inherited a 3-17 club and did improve things a tad, going 5-12-1 his rookie season. Unfortunately, Harvey was never able to turn the program around, save for the '91 season.

Junior varsity coach Rick Terry is well thought of around Meade and is a possibility as Harvey's successor.

Cuthbert built the Mustang track program into one of the quality programs in the state. During his tenure, the school won four county boys outdoors titles and two indoor state championships. He is expected to assist Henderson with the outdoor squad while continuing to run the winter program.

* Veteran girls basketball coach Joe Gillespie and his state champion Waves 15-and-under team are trying to raise $8,000 to play in the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Junior Olympic National Tournament in Amarillo, Texas, July 23 to Aug. 1.

"Our girls have had a great summer sweeping the state `f championship in four straight games, and have qualified for the AAU nationals again," says Gillespie, who is also jayvee girls coach and assistant to Kevin McGrath at Severna Park High.

In qualifying for the nationals the fifth time in six years, the Waves buried Edgewood of Harford County, 53-39, in the state title game. The Waves opened the states by blowing out Frederick, 61-25, and followed it up with a 46-34 victory over Edgewood in the double-elimination tourney played at Severna Park and Atholton (Howard County) high schools.

Edging the Annapolis All-Stars, 39-37, in Game 3 of the states, the Waves avenged last year's state championship loss. Annapolis is the only team to beat out the Waves in the last six years.

Ten of the 12 girls on the Waves are from Anne Arundel County with six from Severna Park and two from Hammond High in Howard County.

Severna Park High is well represented by Erin McNeally, one of five varsity players on the squad, Allison Adams, Sandy Jenkin, Megan Jones, Marilyn Kelly and Kathy McCafferty.

Arundel's Jenny Woods, Julie Barr from Broadneck, and varsity players Megan VanWambeke of Chesapeake, Emma Ketterle of North County, Kacy Williams and Sonia Keiner of Hammond complete the Waves' roster.

The team has been playing this summer in the Greater Baltimore Womens' Basketball League where they have gone 3-2. In addition, the team traveled to the Delaware Valley Association Tournament and split four games.

"This is an excellent group and we need all the help we can get to raise the $8,000 to make the nationals in Amarillo," said Gillespie, who is assisted by Tom Williams and Waves president Tom Conroy.

The highest the Waves have ever finished in the nationals is 13th in 1988, but the summer team has been a stepping stone to some 18 Division I scholarships for players over the past six years.

Gillespie says anyone interested in helping the Waves raise the money needed to make the trip to the nationals can call him at 647-4881.

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