Simon blends John Carroll into another championship mix Patriots thrive without a star Coach of the Year.

November 29, 1992|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,Staff Writer

Balance was the key as Herb Simon molded another championship team at John Carroll School to earn recognition as The Baltimore Sun's Harford County Boys Volleyball It was business as usual for the Patriots (8-0), who recaptured a title last held in 1990. Since Simon started at John Carroll six years ago, his teams never have finished worse than second in the county standings. Included in the package are three outright championships and a share of a fourth.

Although not having a dominating player, John Carroll did have an excellent mix of talent at a higher level than the rest of the teams in the county. Included in this makeup were three seniors and five juniors.

The Patriots defeated C. Milton Wright in a match of unbeatens that decided the county title, and the overall level of play was improved over past seasons.

"We're getting better coaches in the county, and the interest is picking up. Most teams did not bump and set, but they're getting better," said Simon.

Simon, whose duties also include teaching at Baltimore City's Hampstead Hill Middle School and serving as an assistant coach for girls basketball at Western High School, came to volleyball late, not starting until he was about 30 years old. A Baltimore native, he attended Towson Catholic High School and the University of Maryland and has been a teacher for 27 years.

"There wasn't much volleyball activity around here when I started, so our team spent a lot of weekends on the road, playing in the northeast and Canada," said Simon, who still squeezes some playing time into his schedule. "I was never a great player, but I became addicted.

"Fifteen years ago, nobody around here had heard of the sport's finer skills. Now the skills are present, and it is possible to play every night of the week somewhere in Harford County."

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