Metro Classic: New name, format Fuel Fund mixer area-wide affair

April 02, 1993|By Kevin Eck | Kevin Eck,Contributing Writer

The Metro Classic Committee has announced plans for a new high school basketball mixer for Jan. 17 at the Baltimore Arena.

The inaugural Fuel Fund Invitational, scheduled on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, will bring together some of the metropolitan area's best boys and girls teams for a five-game event.

Proceeds from the mixer will benefit the Fuel Fund of Central Maryland, which helps needy families pay fuel costs.

The mixer replaces the defunct Metro Classic, which originated in 1983 and matched the boys and girls city public school champions against the Catholic League champions. The format was altered in 1989 to include the Maryland Scholastic Association conference championship games as well as the girls game.

This year's Metro Classic was canceled because of scheduling conflicts resulting from the city schools' entrance into the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association.

The idea behind the Fuel Fund Invitational was to involve teams from the city and the five counties -- Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard -- that are served by the Fuel Fund of Central Maryland. The mixer will comprise three boys and two girls games.

"The Fuel Fund serves the whole metropolitan area," said Fred Lauer, a member of the Metro Classic Committee. "We came up with the format where at least one team is there from each subdivision. It really gets back to the idea of teams giving their time to raise money to help their community."

The girls portion will feature four of the top five teams ranked in The Baltimore Sun's final poll this season. Class 4A state finalist Western is scheduled to play Class 2A state finalist Hammond in one game and Howard County champion Mount Hebron will oppose Catholic League champion St. Mary's in the other.

Matchups for the boys are being put together. So far, Class 2A state semifinalist Edgewood and Class 4A, Region I finalist Woodlawn have committed verbally to participate, and teams from the city and Anne Arundel and Carroll counties also are expected.

The Metro Classic had raised more than $300,000 for the Fuel Fund in 10 years, including $39,000 in 1992.

With the cancellation of this year's Metro Classic, the committee turned its efforts to the Charm City/Big Apple Challenge in November. That event, a joint effort of the committee and the Bill Spotts Foundation, featured teams from Baltimore City against New York teams.

No profit was made from the Charm City/Big Apple Challenge, said Ellen Lockard, executive director of the Fuel Fund of Central Maryland.

In February, St. Mary's and Bryn Mawr played in the Baltimore Girls Independent Basketball Championship, which raised $688 for the Fuel Fund.

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