A game bunch of new high school graduates from our state is hard at work in Hershey, Pa., practicing for the final Big 33 football game Saturday night (7 o'clock) between Maryland and Pennsylvania.
With the Maryland team having lost its sponsor, the game will pit Pennsylvania against Ohio, starting next year. That's why the Marylanders' jerseys bear the words: One Last Time.
Judging by reports from the practice sites, Maryland has its work cut out.
"The Pennsylvania roster looks like a Who's Who," says Ed Yonni, University of Maryland grad, Harrisburg stockbroker and longtime member of the Big 33 committee. "Pennsylvania has six kids who are going to Penn State. Their kids are going everywhere -- Syracuse, Pitt.
"Maryland's best player is Brent Guyton, the linebacker. He's one of five players from Wilde Lake High on the Maryland team. Schools all over the country wanted Guyton. He's going to UCLA."
Two players from the Maryland team will enroll at College Park next month Andre Martin, a tailback from Wilde Lake, and Jermaine Lewis, a wide receiver from Eleanor Roosevelt High in Greenbelt. Lewis is a star sprinter in track.
As I seem to recall, the word last year was that the Pennsylvanians were too powerful for Maryland. Maryland won the game, of course.
The Maryland coach this year is Jerry Frank, of Northern High. Hershey Stadium is expected to be sold out of its 20,000 seats by game time.
* Blowing two eighth-inning leads and dropping two games within 24 hours in Chicago was hardly the way for the Orioles to finish the road trip that ended yesterday, but, hey, the O's also came from behind and won a couple on that trip. On balance, a 4-3 record for the swing through Texas and Chicago is not bad.
* What are we supposed to do, regard Malcolm Glazer and sons as heroes now that they have agreed to do what Boogie Weinglass and Tom Clancy did last year -- cough up $50,000 to help fund the Maryland Stadium Authority's efforts to land an NFL franchise?
Herb Belgrad, chairman of the stadium authority, is more patient than I could have been when the Glazers balked at putting up the 50 Big Ones -- chump change to people as rich as they're supposed to be. I would have told them to get lost.
By the way, how can the stadium authority not know at this late
TC date whether the Glazers plan to help promote the Miami-New Orleans exhibition here Aug. 27? Clancy hasn't even been contacted about it yet. The game is only a month away.
* To understand what makes tomorrow's Orioles starter, Arthur Rhodes, exceptional, all you have to do is talk to his teammates. The word they keep using to describe the left-hander's pitches: nasty.
* There's a lot of confusion about Dunbar High School basketball stars Donta Bright and Michael Lloyd and the NCAA's Proposition 48. People keep asking why both passed up Maryland, Bright choosing Massachusetts, Lloyd signing with Arkansas.
Atlantic Coast Conference schools -- of which Maryland is one -- can't accept Prop 48 athletes who do not have 2.0 GPAs, 700 SATs and 17 ACTs. UMass and Arkansas can, though the students cannot play as freshmen.
* The Lacrosse Foundation-Lax World Golf Classic held here last month netted more than $2,300 for the foundation's New Start Program, which provides development assistance for first-year lacrosse programs throughout the country.
This year, according to Lacrosse Foundation executive director Steve Stenersen, the New Start Program was the first step for 66 new teams in 17 states. More than 175 inquiries have been received.
* Harvey Kasoff, with a sigh of relief, informs us that the Colts' career rushing record is safe now that No. 2 man Eric Dickerson -- with 5,175 yards, a mere 312 short of the record -- has left Indianapolis and joined the L.A. Raiders.
And just who owns the Colt record? Lenny Moore? Nope. Alan Ameche? Nope. Tom Matte? Nope. It's Lydell Mitchell, who ran for 5,487 yards from 1972-1977.
Interestingly, Kasoff points out that Mitchell and Moore (in third place with 5,174 yards) both played at Penn State, both wore blue and white in college and pro, have the same initials -- and are very good friends.
* Late pre-Olympic note: If you're wondering exactly when Baltimore's Anita Nall will go for the gold, all three of her events will be held early -- the 200-meter breaststroke on Monday, the 100 breast on Wednesday and the 400-meter medley relay on Thursday.
* Sorry, I have to close now so I can go sign up for 15 days of the Olympic TripleCast at $125. The 161 hours NBC is bringing us for free on Channel 2 just won't do it.