There's no reason to blow whistle on officials

SIDELINES

December 22, 1993|By PAT O'MALLEY

An irate Arundel parent approached me after the Wildcats dropped a 68-65 overtime decision at Broadneck on Monday night.

The man was upset with the officiating and asked, "are you going to write about the officials and what they did?"

I asked him, what I should write and he continued his tirade. Finally, he calmed down and walked away.

It's time that parents and fans stop blaming officials for every loss and accept the fact, as much as it hurts, that maybe their kids didn't play well enough to win.

Officiating isn't the cause of every loss.

It's easy to understand why a parent, fan or coach would be upset with the outcome of a game, and, yes, officials do occasionally err. However, they're right a lot more than they're wrong.

In this particular game, the two refs called the game close, but they called it both ways.

Amazingly enough, Arundel clearly had the edge Monday night, shooting 24 free throws to 14 by the home team.

Arundel sank 21 of its foul shots to 10 by the Bruins. That is quite a disparity.

Also, with the way the game was being called, both team's

leading scorers, Arundel's Bakari Ward and Jason Smith of Broadneck got into foul trouble. Late in the third period, each had four fouls and spent some time on the bench.

Smith came out with 2:35 left in the third period, and Ward came out with 1:05 left.

But as Broadneck coach Ken Kazmarek said, "They [refs] called it kind of close and some of the best players both ways got into foul trouble, which is too bad."

Whether the refs over-officiated or not, their calls were consistent and that's most important. They were fair and that's all teams can ask.

Unfair officiating is rare. It does happen because of personality .. conflicts or maybe because an official simply has a bad game. Players and coaches have bad games, too.

I think once in awhile, we need to give the refs a pat on the back, and say, "that was a well-officiated game."

Unfortunately, the negative is heard too much and we need to lighten up and realize that most of the refs could care less who wins or loses.

Professionalism, hustle and consistency on the part of an official is expected, and that's what I saw Monday night.

*

Isn't Broadneck freshman John Williams going to be a good one over the next four years? The 6-foot-3 Williams has a great touch and is fundamentally sound thanks to his dad's coaching in recreation basketball.

Hasn't North County junior Reno Owens developed into one of the top players on the much improved Knights' team?

Can you believe that here it is just Dec. 22 and not one county 4A boys' hoop team is undefeated? Arundel was the last until bowing at Broadneck on Monday.

At this time last year before the Christmas tournaments, there were four unbeaten Class 4A teams: Glen Burnie and Meade were each 4-0 and Annapolis and Broadneck each started 3-0. Broadneck is a 3A team this season.

The main reason is, of course, the new schedule with the 4A teams playing league games earlier and much more balance in the circuit.

Did you know that the county girls 14-and-under rec team coached by Mike Baker and Bill O'Hara produced two freshmen varsity players in Arundel's Lachelle McHenry and Spalding's Kathleen O'Hara?

How about a tip of the cap to Annapolis girls hoop coach Dave Griffith and his Lady Panthers, who plan to give a needy family a Christmas they didn't expect?

"We've gone through Anne Arundel Hospice and Social Services to participate in the Holiday Sharing Program," said coach Griffith.

"As a team we adopted a single-parent family with three kids [ages 3, 5 and 7] for Christmas and will be supplying clothes, stuffed animals, toys and we hope a turkey for Santa Claus to deliver to the kids Christmas day."

Did you know that the Northeast girls varsity basketball team has a cumulative grade-point average of 3.40?

Old Mill cross country coach Gary Bater reports that 27 of the 32 participants, including managers, on this fall's team made the school honor roll with a GPA of 3.00 or better.

Also, 25 of the 32, received Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA) "Minds In Motion" certificates for achieving a GPA of 3.25 or better.

Did you county football coaches know that Baltimore City's Poly, is looking for a football opponent for Oct. 28, 1994?

Poly was the State Class 3A runner-up to Seneca Valley this season and would certainly provide a very competitive game for any of our county teams, even those classified 4A.

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