Close to 1,000 local fans and admirers have taken the time to sign a petition asking for the induction of Glen Burnie's Charley Eckman into the State of Maryland Athletic Hall of Fame. The list is growing.
We told you a couple weeks ago that John Keith had put a petition in Jerry Wood's Seaside Restaurant in Glen Burnie.
Having read about it, Manny Spanomanolis of the Club 4100 in Brooklyn drew up one of his own and has gotten close to 500 signatures. Wood's Seaside is closing in on 500.
"We've got the petition in the restaurant and at my seafood carryout," says Wood. "People keep signing it."
Eckman, who is in the Anne Arundel County Sports Hall of Fame, is not eligible for the State Hall because its bylaws do not allow inductions of coaches, referees and broadcasters.
Loyal Eckman fans are hoping that a load of signatures will result in a change in the rules to give Eckman his due. If you haven't signed , you still have time before the signatures are turned over to the Hall of Fame committee.
Eckman, a Glen Burnie resident with his wife, Wilma, and family for more than 40 years, was an NBA coach and referee, one of the top NCAA basketball referees in his younger days, and later became the Baltimore area's most recognizable sports broadcaster.
Battling cancer for the past 2 1/2 years, Eckman, 72, remains perky as ever.
The Baltimore Spirit pro soccer team plans to honor Eckman on March 28 at Michael's Eighth Avenue banquet. For information, call Diane Osborne at (410) 721-2764.
Scholar athlete banquet set
The 12th Annual Sun for Anne Arundel Academic Athletic Team banquet will be held May 4 at the BWI Marriott. We honor the county's top 20 (10 boys and 10 girls) student-athletes that evening.
As always, to apply for the team that showcases 20 teen-agers who excel academically and athletically, be looking for a ballot that runs frequently on these pages. All high school students who reside in Anne Arundel County are eligible and deadline for entering is April 8.
Chalk Talk at Severna Park
Often scholarships come the way of the academically outstanding students and sometimes for the athletically excellent. There is, however, a misconception that athletic scholarships are plentiful. They are not.
To dispel that notion, Severna Park High administrator and former JV football coach Bob Ferguson and athletic director/head football coach Andy Borland are holding a 7 p.m. conference April 28 at Severna Park called "Chalk Talk."
University of Maryland football coach Mark Duffner and two of his assistants and Severna Park graduate Colleen Corwell, the women's soccer coach at American University, will be among several college coaches who will speak and answer questions. The forum is open to everyone in Anne Arundel County.
Athletes such as former All-County Severna Park player Jamie Bragg, Maryland's starting center, will be on hand to talk about what it's like being recruited.
For more information, call Ferguson at (410) 544-0900.
Dickerson gets Unsung Award
Glen Burnie's "unsung hero" Jeff Dickerson has been named recipient of the Dick Hart Award that goes annually to a county boys' basketball senior who typifies the characteristics of the late Andover coach.
Hart coached 30 years at Andover High and stood tall when it came to discipline, defense and determination.
County coaches voted Dickerson the honor this week. A third-team All-County forward, Dickerson, 6-feet-2, averaged 7.0 points (team high 52.6 percent from the field among the starters), 6.2 rebounds and had 45 steals. Glen Burnie coach Terry Bogle often referred to Dickerson as "our MVP" because of the intangibles and little things he did so well for the 20-5 Gophers, who made it to the state semifinals.
Howard is No. 2 scorer
Chatney Howard of Southern, The Baltimore Sun's Anne Arundel County Basketball Player of the Year, is the county's second all-time leading scorer with 1,582 points behind another Southern player, Vince Barnett, who had 1,823 (1988-1991).
A few weeks ago, I erred when I wrote that Howard was only the second county boys player to go over 1,500 points. Andover's former 6-foot-9 star, Steve Stielper scored 1,502 in his three-year career (1973-76), including a county record 892 in the 1975-76 season.
Stielper's 33.4 points per game stands as the county standard. The late James "Manpoo" Butler came the closest to Stielper with his 30.9 average in 1985-1986 for Annapolis.