Gilman's Cornes is making the most of his options

April 04, 1994|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,Sun Staff Writer

Gilman All-Metro lacrosse midfielder Mark Cornes is effective at taking advantage of his options.

Take, for example, the course of study Cornes has chosen at the University of Delaware, with which he signed earlier this month.

"I got into the business school," said Cornes, a 19-year-old B-average student. "It leaves me open to a lot of different possibilities. I can pursue a lot of things, not just one."

FOR THE RECORD - The spelling of St. Paul's coach Mitch Whiteley's name has been corrected for the database. See microfilm for original story.

Cornes, who has 45 goals and 35 assists for his career at Gilman, is all business on the lacrosse field. His versatility along with an ability to make split-second decisions forces opposing coaches to design game plans around him.

"Mark's a nose-to-the-grindstone player who does a lot of the finer things in the game that some people overlook," said Gilman coach John Tucker.

Cornes, 5-feet-11 and 170 pounds, was a three-year starting quarterback on a Greyhounds football team which was ranked TC among the area's top five teams all three seasons. He transfers those same abilities to lacrosse, Tucker says.

"Mark's committed to leadership and exemplifies what our program is all about," Tucker said. "As a former midfielder, I believe in playing both ends of the field. And whether it's getting ground balls, taking faceoffs or cutting toward the goal, Mark does a tremendous job with whatever he's asked."

St. Paul's coach Mitch Whiteley can attest to Tucker's sentiments about Cornes, who began playing lacrosse in Cockeysville's recreation program when he was 5 before attending St. Paul's from fifth through 10th grade.

Cornes played the defensive midfield for the Crusaders in their first of two Maryland Scholastic Association championship seasons under Whiteley.

"As his former coach, I know he's a real competitor who plays with a lot of heart and intensity," said Whiteley. "He's the only Gilman player who's been on a championship team, so he brings good experience."

Thinking he needed an extra year of development both academically and athletically, Cornes repeated his sophomore year under Tucker, scoring 17 goals with 19 assists and earning honorable-mention All-Metro honors during Gilman's 11-6 season.

The Greyhounds, ranked No. 2 in the area during the past two preseasons, barely missed last year's playoffs. Cornes was the Greyhounds' No. 2 scorer last season with 24 goals and 14 assists as Gilman -- ranked No. 4 at season's end -- went 12-3, including a 10-7 victory over eventual MSA champ St. Mary's.

Gilman whipped eventual runner-up Boys' Latin, 7-5, and lost only to St. Paul's (by scores of 12-10 and 8-7) with a split against Loyola (including a 9-8 loss).

Still, the Greyhounds missed the playoffs by a hair.

If Gilman (2-0) can duplicate last year's effort, it is not likely it will miss the postseason under the newly formed Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association's expanded format. This year, the MIAA is divided into three divisions, with the top two teams in each qualifying for the playoffs and the two teams with the best records receiving first-round byes.

"We felt we had more momentum last year than any team that made the playoffs; that's why we want that No. 1 or 2 seed to say, 'This is where we should have been last year,' " said Cornes, who has four goals and two assists so far.

"I'm hungry personally, and so is the entire team. I want to leave Gilman the same way I left St. Paul's -- on a championship team."

Cornes is getting plenty of support from first-team, All-City attack teammate Lorne Smith, a junior who scored 26 times with 16 assists last year.

"Mark's the hustling guy, the man who does all the hard work," said Smith, who has six goals and two assists so far. "In the past, he could get a little selfish, but now you know he's going to pick up the key ground ball and do the right thing with it."

Smith gets no argument from senior attackman Mike Allan, who scored 18 goals with 19 assists last year, including five goals against St. Mary's. Or from sophomore Chase Martin (three goals, one assist), who scored 18 goals and 17 assists last season, including four goals in a 12-10 loss to St. Paul's in a game that was tied five times in the first half.

"Mark's a good leader, motivator-type and a good cutter who can finish well or spot the open man," said Allan, who has three goals and four assists. "Whatever is good for us, whatever is needed, you know Mark's going to do it for us."

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