Wright busy man for Rams

March 10, 1994|By Kevin Eck | Kevin Eck,Contributing Writer

Something has been interfering with Randallstown baseball coach Dave Wright's practice time.

And it's not the cold weather.

Before Wright can devote his full attention to the boys of summer, he has some business to take care of with the girls of winter.

Like trying to win the Class 3A state basketball championship.

Wright, a varsity baseball coach since 1973, has led the ninth-ranked Rams to their first appearance in the state semifinals in his rookie season as a head basketball coach.

Randallstown (20-2) will meet No. 17 Howard (14-11) in a semifinal game at 9 tonight at UMBC.

"With the talent I have, anyone can coach," Wright said.

Wright already has a state title to his credit. He led Milford Mill -- a team that included Brian Jordan (St. Louis Cardinals) -- to the Class C (now known as 1A) state baseball championship in 1984, one of five teams Wright has taken to the baseball state semifinals.

"Any time you win a state title it's really satisfying," he said. "I think this would mean as much or more [than the baseball title] because I haven't won one in basketball."

Wright, who assisted then-head basketball coach Kris Slaughter last season, said the job "fell into his lap."

"They needed someone to do it, and the girls wanted me to do it," said Wright, who has coached junior-varsity boys basketball teams at Poly and Milford Mill. "I did most of the stuff last year, so I said all right."

The basketball team's success has not come without a price, however.

Since baseball practice began on March 1, Wright has been putting in 13-hour days at school.

Basketball practice goes from 4 p.m. until 5:30 or 5:45. Then baseball practice commences at 6 and lasts until 8.

But Wright isn't complaining.

"I've had a good time coaching the basketball team," he said. "I'm already looking forward to next year."

*

Wright had good news on two fronts concerning Randallstown's All-Metro senior forward Nyota Mitchell.

Mitchell, the area's leading scorer averaging just under 30 points per game, has attained the required score of 700 on her Scholastic Assessment Test, he said.

Wright also upgraded Mitchell's physical condition to "about 85 or 90 percent." Mitchell had suffered an ankle injury during a practice Feb. 28. The initial diagnosis was that the ankle was broken, but it turned out to be a sprain.

After sitting out the Rams' 63-27 loss to Towson in the Baltimore County Championship game, Mitchell returned for the regional playoffs and scored 53 points in two games.

*

Western's All-Metro forward/guard Chanel Wright will sport a new look when the Doves face Oxon Hill in today's Class 4A state semifinal at 3 p.m. at UMBC.

Wright (21.7 ppg, 9.2 rpg), who suffered an eye injury during No. 2 Western's victory over Lake Clifton in Friday's regional final, will be wearing goggles as a precautionary measure, Doves coach Breezy Bishop said.

Wright sustained the injury when she was inadvertently poked in the eye going for a rebound. Her eyelid was lacerated causing blood to get in her eye. She wore an eye patch for three days after the incident.

Western (21-2) edged Oxon Hill, 50-49, in the semifinals last season before losing to Old Mill, 59-35, in the championship game.

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