Buchheister would be good choice


April 20, 1994|By BILL FREE

Give John Buchheister the ball and let him run with it as the new football coach at Westminster High.

That would be the best move the school could make in three weeks, when it names a replacement for Jeff Oeming.

Buchheister has coveted the Westminster job for several years and has the ability to bring a state championship to the school.

He guided Milford Mill to the Class 1A championship in 1987 and Randallstown to the Class 4A title in 1990, his first year there.

In 12 years at Milford Mill and four at Randallstown, Buchheister has a 128-44 record to go along with the two state titles in three championship game appearances and one trip to the semifinals with Milford Mill in 1985.

That 1985 Milford Mill team included Brian Jordan, who has gone on to play major-league baseball and make it in the National Football League.

Buchheister not only knows how to produce winners on the field, but he has been a big winner off the field, helping 60 of his players receive college football scholarships.

Adding to his attractiveness as the next Westminster coach is the fact he lives in Hampstead and knows a lot about county athletes and what it will take to make them successful.

He also played football at Westminster High and has a love for the school and its future.

Buchheister was among the finalists when Oeming was named, but he took himself out of the running when he could not be guaranteed a teaching position at Westminster.

Now, Buchheister has eased his stand on the teaching job.

He said yesterday he has told school officials he would be willing to consider a split teaching schedule, working at a middle school in the morning and at Westminster in the afternoon.

"I did that at Randallstown in 1990," said Buchheister. "I taught at Deer Park Middle in the morning and at Randallstown in the afternoon.

"It was just a matter of getting in my car and driving one mile to Randallstown High from Deer Park."

The only apparent hang-up in naming Buchheister is that he teaches physical education and Westminster doesn't have any openings in phys ed.

But, hopefully, that situation can be straightened out in the next few weeks.

Leaving Randallstown is no problem for Buchheister because he has been told by Randallstown principal Clark Powell that he "is being excessed out of Randallstown to another Baltimore County school at the end of the school year."

"I'm the newest phys ed teacher at the school," said Buchheister. "But in terms of overall seniority in the county, I have 24 years.

"It doesn't make you feel good to be told something like that because I'm confident of what I've accomplished at Randallstown in terms of the football team and getting kids in school. But I guess it doesn't mean that much."

Buchheister is thought to be one of three finalists for the Owls job. The others are Kenwood football coach Fred Myers and an unnamed assistant football coach at a PrinceGeorge's County school.

The Prince George's assistant recently moved to Maryland from football-mad Texas, where he was also an assistant coach.

One of the early candidates for the position, longtime Wilde Lake football coach Doug DuVall, decided not to apply for the job.

Westminster softball surfaces

The Westminster softball team's performance is living up to preseason expectations.

The Owls were struggling with a 2-3 record before Monday's game against ninth-ranked Atholton and the Raiders' hard-throwing Kim Ruprecht.

Talk about a team ready to be had by a top pitcher and a good team.

But in the second against Atholton on the Gamber Field, Beth Lister hit a long home run to right field and the Owls' fortunes began to change.

They had two more long drives (hit by Erica Boyce and Gina Hughes) that went for doubles, they began to hit in the clutch and they beat the Raiders and Ruprecht, 6-5, in eight innings.

Although Westminster is waiting for Julie Backof's bat to come alive, there is nothing wrong with the center fielder's glove.

Backof made a nice running catch on a line drive to right-center by Atholton's Nikki Blankenship leading off the eighth inning.

That catch kept the Raiders from scoring in the top of the eighth, enabling the Owls to win with one run in the bottom of the inning.

Westminster is also very strong behind the plate with Laura Brown and in left field with Kristen Stull.

Brown has one of the best arms in the area, and Stull is an intelligent player who always seems to be in the right place at the right time.

Stull has a good teacher in her father, Guy Stull, who was an outstanding baseball player at Bridgewater (Va.) College and is in his second stint as coach of the Westminster High baseball team.

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