Mervo's Blake awaits his old job, again

August 24, 1993|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,Staff Writer

For the second time in his tenure, Mervo's John Blake had to file a grievance with the Baltimore Teacher's Union to regain his job as the school's basketball coach.

He took that second action last fall, the union ruled in his favor in March, and it appears Blake will be back on the courts in November.

"It's one of those positions that no one wants to give up, and yes, I've missed it very much," said Blake, who filed the grievance in October, but wasn't awarded the job until early March -- nearly the end of the season.

Last year's coach was athletic director Woody Williams. Williams took over the program after an agreement with principal Christolyne Buie.

Williams acknowledged the union's decision to reinstate Blake as coach, but he said "whether that comes to fruition is a horse of another color." Williams would not comment further.

Neither Williams or Buie would comment on why the decision was made to remove Blake, but Buie said, "They [Williams and Blake] are two excellent gentlemen, and it's [the job] not an issue right now."

Blake, who declined to discuss the details of his two removals, said that he is concentrating on his job as football coach and that he is also eager to begin the basketball season.

"Having been away, I'll have to wait and see what [players] we have returning," he said. "It'll be a new team, but it'll be competitive."

Blake had been coach for five years before losing the position to Williams -- a former Lake Clifton coach -- in October of 1990. But Blake filed a grievance with the Baltimore Teachers Union and was given back the job in November before the start of the season.

Williams was an administrative assistant in the University of Maryland athletic department until 1989.

Williams, who went to Maryland after Bob Wade was hired as Terps coach and departed after Wade's resignation, became athletic director at Mervo in 1990.

Williams is stepping down as basketball coach at Mervo at the same time Dunbar is seeking a new basketball coach and athletic director. Dunbar basketball coach and athletic director Pete Pompey is on administrative leave pending an investigation of an allegation of misuse of funds.

Williams said he has not been approached about coaching at Dunbar.

Sauer a movie star?

After starring as an All-Metro baseball player and as a second-team All-Met in football, recent Patterson graduate John Sauer may be making his move to the big screen.

Sauer, a spring graduate and a rookie-league outfielder with the Chicago Cubs, was approached recently about playing a small role in the movie sequel "Major League II".

"They called me on Tuesday and got him on Wednesday of last week and asked him if he would be interested," said Rose Sauer, John's mother. "A man with the Milwaukee Brewers suggested him for a part. I talked to him yesterday [Sunday], and he was excited about it."

Rose said her son "is a good ball player who puts on a good act around the house.

"But I don't know about [acting] in movies," she said.

Recovered Reider ready

Bel Air resident Ron Reider, who 15 years ago was seriously injured in a car accident, left yesterday to compete in the Master's Veteran 1993 World Wrestling championships at the University of Toronto.

The 5-foot-9, 36-year-old systems analyst who was a three-sport athlete at Eastern Vo-Tech in 1975, will compete at 149.5 pounds in the 35-39 division.

Reider's workout partner is Wayne Boyd, 46, a former NCAA champ at Temple who will compete at 149.5 pounds in the 45-49 age group.

"We worked out big time last night, lifting, doing some duck-unders and some arm drags," said Reider last Thursday while preparing for the event, which runs today through Friday.

"Wayne's actually a better wrestler than I am, but I can pin him," Reider said. "He'll be in the 45-49 division, so we don't have to worry about going head-to-head. But after every hard workout, my lower back feels awful."

The injury, and much of Reider's reason for living, comes from his near-death experience in a pick-up truck when he was 21. He and a teen-aged passenger collided with a road grader, and the truck flipped and skidded on its roof.

The passenger escaped with a broken jaw, but Reider -- pinned under the steering wheel for about 30 minutes -- suffered chest and facial bruises, numerous cuts about his head and shoulders requiring stitches, and seven crushed vertebrae.

He spent a week and a half in the hospital, then three months wearing a back brace.

But he's back on the mats.

After winning both titles last season, he was a runner-up in the Aug. 1 Maryland State Games in the freestyle and Greco-Roman Division at UMBC, winning the Greco-Roman award for the most falls (two) in the least amount of time (3 minutes, 42 seconds).

"I'm looking at it [worlds] pretty seriously. I feel good, my body's not hurt. That lower back pain is nothing that's going to take away from it," Reider said. "I've never competed at this level before, but I feel confident that it won't affect me."

Reider barely broke the starting lineup of his wrestling team as a senior, but he's learned a lot about life and the sport since, founding the Maryland State Wrestling Association in 1981 and running it for six years until chairman Haswell Franklin took over.

Reider, an assistant coach to Tom DiCarlo at Golden Ring Middle School, works with Boyd to "Wrestle Drugs Out of America," using their program to deliver an anti-drug message at Baltimore area high schools and wrestling clubs.

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