Mixed report on Anne Arundel grades

November 28, 1992|By Roch Eric Kubatko | Roch Eric Kubatko,Staff Writer

Parents and students weren't the only ones concerned whe report cards were delivered in Anne Arundel County on Wednesday.

High school coaches are trying to assess the effect of the county's new grade requirements on their teams.

Students must have a 2.0 grade-point average to participate in ++ any extracurricular activity. Last year, they needed a 1.6 -- a rule that applied only to sports.

After report cards came out, Meade basketball coach Butch Young learned that 29 boys who had shown up at tryouts were ineligible. Twenty-seven were underclassmen who sought places on the junior varsity.

"Last year, we were hit hard, just like this year, with the young players," he said.

On the flip side, Glen Burnie High School's Terry Bogle says his boys basketball program enjoyed one of its largest turnouts this year, with more than 60 players showing up for practices. And he plans to have most, if not all of them, around until roster cuts are made.

Meade's varsity came away relatively unscathed, having lost one player who competed on the junior varsity last year "that we were counting on," Young said, and another who was new to the program.

But the junior varsity took another severe blow, "and that has an effect down the road," Young said.

"I figure we lost nine of our 11 best JV players. Some weren't even close. It wouldn't have made a difference if it was a 1.6 or 2.0," Young said.

Bogle said he has three players who could be lost at least temporarily because of the new rule, but he won't know until Monday. He considers himself lucky that such a small number is in jeopardy.

"Until the kids get used to [the new requirement], it will be a problem throughout the county," Bogle said.

Northeast girls basketball coach Calvin Vain, who didn't lose any players, said: "I think you'll find that a lot of the [athletes] who are out because of grades wouldn't have made the team, anyway. They would have cut themselves."

Southern's wrestling team lost someone whom coach Tyrone Neal said would have had "a big impact."

"It could have an effect on some early dual meets," he said. "It's got me a little concerned."

At South River, 15 boys among the nearly 70 who came out for the first basketball practice fell short of a 2.0. Coach Ken Dunn said only two are on the varsity, and he expects them to rejoin the team shortly.

Under the new ruling, these athletes are barred from playing in games for 15 school days, but are allowed to attend team meetings and practices. If their averages haven't improved after 15 days, they will remain ineligible until the next marking period in January.

"I know there's a 15-day probation period, but if I've got 29 ineligible, I can't run them all through practices," Young said. "It would be different if there were three or four."

Students whose grades average under 2.0 also must participate in a tutoring program that has been approved by the school principal and reviewed by the Board of Education's central office staff.

"We have a saying here that the other end of the school was built before they put in the gym," Dunn said. "We have to take care of that other end."

More than 4,200 of the school system's 17,900 students (24 percent) are ineligible to take part in any extracurricular activities, not just sports, school officials said.

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