Keep photo IDs in picture Implementation would benefit youth football


November 04, 1992|By PAT O'MALLEY

The question has been asked before, but it's got to be asked again. When are county Rec and Parks and the Anne Arundel Youth Football Association going to get smart and implement a photo ID system for eligibility?

Most youth football coaches, players and parents would favor the photo ID to prevent the annual rash of ineligible players, and it would be easy to do.

It seems that most of the cheating with overage players occurs in the upper-age divisions, and county middle and high school youths already have student photo IDs.

Those who come from outside the county and anyone else who doesn't have a student ID would have one issued by Rec and Parks.

Kids would step on the scale each week at pre-game weigh-ins with their photo ID in hand. The referee and coaches could take a look at the photo and clearly identify each player.

Ineligibility often comes from an overage player using a younger kid's name, but if he had to show a photo ID, it would be pretty tough to cheat.

Photo IDs could be used in all Rec and Parks sports programs and would eliminate a lot of problems. Certainly it would not be costly and would save a lot of embarrassment for the youth sports associations.

* Youth football homecomings are nice, but when games start nearly an hour after the scheduled starting time, shouldn't the county youth football association step in and have their teams curtail some of the activities?

Example: Last Saturday at Fort Meade, the Pasadena Chargers' 140-pound team was slated to play the host Cougars at 2:30 p.m. The game didn't start until 3:20 p.m. because of lengthy homecoming proceedings and there are no lights on the Fort Meade youth field.

The game went into double overtime after regulation was ended at 5 p.m. It finally ended at about 5:20 p.m. in the dark. Now really, is that fair to the players?

* Can you believe that the referees at one youth football game last weekend walked off 19 penalties, 11 for 115 yards with five of them 15-yarders against one team?

Don't the officials become the show instead of the kids when that happens?

* Will somebody explain to me how a key player in a big game in youth football is thrown out of a game for fighting one week, and a week later, another key player is only removed for the remainder of a period for fighting?

* How proud must ex-Brooklyn Park coach and current Broadneck teacher/coach Tim McMullen feel with his son and daughter playing youth soccer for Greater Glen Burnie and being coached by two of his former players?

Tim Merritt and Mark McGuire coach the GGB 6- to 8-year-olds.

"High school coaches could take lessons from those two guys," said McMullen, who coached Merritt and McGuire in baseball at Brooklyn Park.

* Did you know that one of McMullen's younger brothers, Kevin, the former 10-year Broadneck soccer coach, has continued his winning ways in his first year at Thomas Johnson High in Frederick County?

Those of us who watched Kevin build programs at Brooklyn Park and Broadneck aren't surprised that Thomas Johnson did an about-face, going from 2-10 last fall to 8-4 and the Class 3A playoffs this year, are we?

* How about a round of applause for Broadneck's boys soccer program that posted its 100th victory in 11 years with a 2-1 win over Arundel last Friday?

Jon Braun has carried on the tradition triggered by McMullen and coached the Bruins' boys soccer team into the playoffs with a 9-2-1 record.

* With one game to go against archrival Severna Park, will Annapolis JV football coaches Tom Newman and Lance Evans complete a second straight undefeated season?

Newman and Evans, who led the Panthers to their ninth straight win by 8-0 over Chesapeake last week, guided South River's JV football team to a 10-0 record last fall before moving to Annapolis.

* Have you heard that standout sophomore runner Kristen Nicolini's older sister, Megan, is loving life at the University of Nebraska, where she is on a gymnastics scholarship?

Is it far-fetched to think that Kristen, who set an Annapolis course record at 18 minutes, 20 seconds in winning the county title Friday, could upset highly touted Amanda White of Dulaney in the state cross country meet?

* Hasn't Teresa Ross, the Anne Arundel County Sun Girls Basketball Coach of the Year last season, been a welcome coaching addition to the Annapolis cross country team of veteran coach Tom Neiles?

* How good do you think county cross country champion Geoff Warren of Arundel made Severna Park sophomore Jackson Longley feel after Longley was a surprising runner-up, just seven seconds behind, when Warren hugged his opponent and told him "you were awesome?"

* Have you heard that there has been a change in matchups and Cliff "The Hammer" McPherson of Glen Burnie is going to duke it out with Boyor "Sugar Boy" Chew of Annapolis in a six-round light-heavyweight bout on tomorrow night's Round One pro boxing and dinner show at Michael's Eighth Avenue?

* Finally, did you know that some parents of Severna Park High football players are petitioning the Prince George's County judge, who threw out the Falcons' forfeit victory over High Point (because of an ineligible player), asking him in a letter to reconsider his decision?

Rhonda Bowerman, the mother of senior quarterback Tim Bowerman, says the group hand-delivered the letter to the judge in hopes of getting the forfeit win back and getting a chance at the playoffs if the Falcons defeat Annapolis Friday.

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