Without fanfare, but not forgotten


November 25, 1992|By BILL FREE

Awards are being handed out across the state for the top high school athletes, coaches and teams.

The people who got the job done this fall rightfully are being honored. But there will be no awards or rewards for the men and women who have to make tough decisions to keep an athletic program running smoothly.

Whoever heard of an Athletic Director of the Year? The athletic directors handle the mundane daily chores of scheduling and rescheduling, transportation, security and a long list of game-day operations without any fanfare. If they mess up, there would be no game.

As we head into the winter sports season in Carroll County, it is time to recognize some men who did a lot of right things this fall.

Liberty athletic director Bob Henard and South Carroll AD Fred Baker come to mind because their schools were involved in a lot of late-night games that required a lot of patience after long days in school.

For the athletes, coaches and teams to get recognition, they need to talk to reporters after a game for stories to be filed. Henard and Baker understood that.

Henard was the ultimate gentleman, offering assistance and volunteering facilities. He often went out of his way to help locate a coach or player on a holiday weekend.

Baker was just as helpful, but in a different manner. Baker nearly always came through with a much-needed telephone or other necessary help.

When games ended at 9 o'clock at Liberty and South Carroll, Henard and Baker were well beyond 13-hour days at that point and obviously eager to get home. And, for sure, they weren't on an overtime clock.

It was really just another headache in a sometimes thankless job. If Henard and Baker could laugh all the way to the bank, that would make the situation more bearable.

Everybody, though, knows school teachers and athletic directors aren't laughing when they go to the bank.

Most likely, the other three athletic directors in the county would have been as cooperative if the need occurred. Westminster's Steve Thomson, North Carroll's Ed Powelson and Francis Scott Key's Gary Watson got lucky most of the time. Their games ended earlier.

The last word on football

One last look at the Carroll County high school football season.

Although the overall record of the five schools was the same as last season (12-38), there were some positive signs in the final three weeks.

Francis Scott Key won two of its last three games to finish 3-7, an improvement over last season's 0-10 record. Key coach Mike Coons now is looking forward to 1993.

There were also good signs for the Westminster Owls, who played county champion South Carroll tough before losing, 14-6, in their final game. Westminster (2-8) was certainly a much better team at the end of the season under coach Jeff Oeming than it was at the start.

The Owls' defense stopped Mike Dodd and South Carroll at the 1-yard line late in the fourth quarter, and the Brad Gibson-led Westminster offense played well enough to win if it had not been for two fumbles in the second half.

And South Carroll (6-4) could take solace because three of its losses were to teams that made it to state championship games, and the fourth was to a Thomas Johnson team that barely missed the state tournament.

Wilde Lake (1A), Damascus (2A) and Linganore (3A) were winners over South Carroll this season.

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