Oeming staying at Westminster

CARROLL SPORTS

January 27, 1993|By BILL FREE

Forget the seemingly endless rumors.

Jeff Oeming will be the football coach at Westminster High for the 1993 season.

Oeming was told the job was his a couple of weeks ago after a meeting with Westminster principal Sherri-Le Bream and athletic director Steve Thomson.

Thomson said this week: "He [Oeming] is going to be our coach. We met with Jeff and talked about the football program. We do that with all our coaches at the end of their seasons."

But this just wasn't any season for Oeming.

Oeming has been the center of controversy since a scuffle with Owls wide receiver Micah Shaffer Sept. 8, 1992.

There was widespread speculation that Oeming might not survive the run-in with Shaffer. The Owls' Booster Club was thought to be pursuing Randallstown's John Buchheister and Wilde Lake's Doug DuVall as possible replacements.

But all along, Oeming said he would not resign and talked only about his preparations for next season.

And now Bream and Thomson have decided to give Oeming a next season, his sixth at the school.

When Thomson was asked whether he was glad the Oeming situation had been resolved, he said, "I really wasn't expecting anything, anyway."

Oeming, clearly relieved to be back for another season, said, "We're just going to work as hard as we can to put the best football team possible on the field."

The Owls have dipped to 1-9 and 2-8 seasons the past two years after7-3 and 6-4 records the previous two seasons.

Oeming believes he can rebound from those two down years now that he has given up the athletic director's position at the school.

"This year, I'm getting closer to the kids in the off-season because I'm right in there working with them in the weight room," said Oeming, who relinquished the dual role in August.

"Last year, I had to delegate the authority to my assistants. Usually what you see in the fall on the football field is a result of what was done in the off-season as far as weight training and conditioning."

The Westminster coach said it is a must nowadays in high school football to lift in the off-season "just to keep up with opponents. In the '70s, you could get an edge on your opponents if you worked on the weights."

The future of Dodd

NTC

Speaking of lifting weights, Oeming called South Carroll's 245-pound football running back Mike Dodd "a good lifter."

Dodd used that strength to punish foes for 1,299 yards and 14 touchdowns this season, and now it looks as if he'll continue his football career at Division II Shepherd College or Division I-AA Towson State.

Division III Frostburg State is a long shot.

Dodd, whose lack of speed hurt his chances to play at a Division I-A school, might wind up playing linebacker or defensive end if he goes to Towson State or Shepherd.

But he would be a running back at Frostburg.

"Frostburg told Mike he can play anywhere he wants," said his father, Melvin.

Shepherd was the first school Dodd visited, and he said: "I liked the whole situation there. They have a good criminal science program, and that's great since I want to be in law enforcement."

He is ready to visit Towson State and expects to make a decision around March 1.

"It looks like it will be Towson State or Shepherd," said Dodd. "It depends on the money I get offered. Some of my decision will be based on money and some on the education."

Dodd said it really doesn't matter whether he plays running back, defensive end or linebacker.

But it seems as if his father, who was an usher for the Washington Redskins for 22 years, would like to see his son running the football.

"I'm sure Mike could be a running back at a lot of schools," his father said.

Delaware State, Salisbury State, Western Maryland and Bridgewater (Va.) College are other schools that have expressed interest in Dodd.

Melvin Dodd said they have not heard from the University of Maryland.

"There was a rumor they [Maryland] wanted Mike for a linebacker or defensive end, but we haven't heard anything," he said.

Dodd does not have much speed or shiftiness, but it seems as if he could be a tremendous blocking back or a short-yardage running back at a Division I-AA school or some Division I-A schools.

It just seems such a waste to take the football out of Mike Dodd's hands. As has been discovered in the past, there is more to being a great running back than just talent.

Mike Dodd has some things you can't measure with a stopwatch and agility machine. He has heart, character and intelligence.

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