Dunbar situation leaves interim coach in middle Some players haven't reported to practice

August 31, 1993|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,Staff Writer

Riding the wave of unrest at Dunbar has been difficult, but Stanley Mitchell, the Poets' interim football coach, says he's still keeping his head above water.

He entered a difficult situation -- replacing Pete Pompey, who is on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation by the state's attorney's office of the alleged misuse of funds. But Mitchell and his coaching staff were enthusiastic about continuing the winning tradition of a squad that returned several players from last year's Maryland Scholastic Association B Conference runner-up, which was 10-1 and ranked No. 13.

Recently, however, some community members have begun protesting the investigation of Pompey. A small group of Pompey supporters was at yesterday's practice, pleading their case with players and handing out a letter they have sent to superintendent Walter Amprey in support of Pompey.

With players not reporting regularly to practice, Mitchell is concerned that they are being affected. Among those not showing up on a regular basis is second-team All-Metro and first-team All-City lineman Derrick Player (6 feet 5, 325 pounds), who is listed in several scouting magazines among the nation's top Division I prospects.

"I've been waiting for some ballplayers to show up, and they just haven't been showing up. And there are a lot of tough situations that the public doesn't know about," said Mitchell, a former volunteer assistant to Pompey. "But there are a lot of kids who are coming to practice and working hard through this. The veterans have to earn it just like them."

Two years ago, Mitchell coached the Northwood Rams' 11-13 Pop Warner team to a national title. Among his former Northwood pupils is City graduate and the Baltimore Sun 1991 Offensive Player of the Year, Hari Lymon, who is now at Johns Hopkins.

"I like to think I'm a teacher, and if given the opportunity, I think we could have a good team of student athletes in a couple of years. But I don't play favorites," said Mitchell, 45.

"It's nothing personal against Pompey. I think he did a fine job," Mitchell said. "But I only came in a day before the first practice, and I just want people to give me the chance to teach the kids. Give me the chance to be myself, then judge me."

Johnson remembered

Woodlawn graduate Omar Johnson, the leading rusher on thWarriors' football team last fall, died in a dirt bike accident last month.

In addition to dedicating the season to Johnson, first-year coach Brian Scriven, who replaced retired coach George Goudy, says several steps are being taken to honor Johnson's contributions to the school.

"We've already retired his jersey, but we'll make that official announcement during our homecoming game against Dundalk [tentatively set for Oct. 22]," said Scriven. "We're also going to put up a memorial for him where his jersey will be hung up in the gymnasium."

Scriven said: "Without a doubt, they wanted to make a sincere dedication and put something nice together for him. It's a sad thing whenever a young life is lost, but the young kids and the coaches can learn from it."

Reider successful

Bel Air resident Ron Reider placed fourth at 149.5 pounds in the 35-39 age division of last weekend's Master's Veteran 1993 World Wrestling championships at the University of Toronto.

Reider, a 36-year-old systems analyst, has made a remarkable recovery since suffering a debilitating back injury 15 years ago.

His workout partner, Wayne Boyd, 46, of California, was a runner-up at 149.5 pounds in the 45-49 age group.

Reider is an assistant coach to Tom DiCarlo at Golden Ring Middle School.

He also works with Boyd to "Wrestle Drugs Out of America" in a program that delivers an anti-drug message to Baltimore area high schools and wrestling clubs.

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