Denno (ODU), Payne (UM) make choices

March 31, 1993|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,Staff Writer

Two of the county's premier soccer players have made their college choices.

Glenelg goaltender Russell Payne is headed to the University of Maryland and Atholton fullback Alex Denno is bound for Old Dominion University. Both will receive soccer-related scholarships.

Payne still is waiting word on a possible full-academic scholarship and won't take the soccer money if that comes through.

"I haven't actually signed yet, but the scholarship has been put aside for me," Payne said.

Payne, a goaltender on the regional Olympic Developmental Program team, will join Malcolm Gillian (Oakland Mills) and Sean Wray (Oakland Mills) already at Maryland.

Payne was a field leader for Glenelg and made many sensational saves. He recorded seven shutouts and allowed only 14 goals as his team won its first 2A state championship last fall.

"It's possible I could start next year depending on my work ethic," Payne said. "They only have one upperclassman coming back who's a keeper."

Denno leaves Friday for a nine-day soccer tour in Ireland and Wales with the state ODP team. He will play defense for ODU coach Ralph Perez.

Denno scored four goals and had four assists for his Atholton team that lost to 3A state champion Centennial in the regional playoffs. His long kicks helped set up many Atholton scoring opportunities.

Another outstanding player last fall, Glenelg's Dan Gaertner, is undecided but leaning toward James Madison or Loyola, with Mount St. Mary's and Washington College also possibilities.

Gaertner, a striker, scored eight goals and had five assists for Glenelg. He is proficient at creating dangerous situations either by driving the wings and getting corner kicks or by getting fouled to set up free kicks. He also is skilled at protecting the ball.

Gaertner is a teammate of Denno's on the state ODP under-17 team.

Atholton scoreboard

The Atholton Raiders already have the best baseball field in the county, but it is about to get a little better.

Pepsi-Cola has paid for an 18 feet-by-10 feet baseball scoreboard to be constructed beyond the center-field fence as soon as the field can accommodate truck traffic.

The field is named after athletic director and former baseball coach Don Van Deusen, who put in countless hours making it the best in the county.

It is the only county field with dugouts and was the first baseball field to have its own scoreboard. The new one will replace the original smaller scoreboard.

"Pepsi also purchased our football scoreboard for us five years ago, and we were happy with that one and they were happy with the exposure it gave them," Van Deusen said.

"We're just waiting for BG&E [Baltimore Gas and Electric] to put up the supports, the school system's grounds crew to dig the trenches, the electrical department to do the wiring and the electronics department to hook up the cable."

Basketball in Ireland

Hammond assistant coach Dana Beszczynski and Bears super sophomore Mike Matthews will be headed to Ireland for eight days this summer as part of a Baltimore all-star basketball team.

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