St. Paul's School for Girls' athlete receives Courage Award from Bennett Institute

June 02, 1994|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,Sun Staff Writer

Tehma Smith, a sophomore who lettered in three sports at the St. Paul's School for Girls despite suffering from a curved spine, is this year's recipient of the Courage Award from the Bennett Institute of the Children's Hospital in Baltimore.

The award, which Smith received at the school's May 19 athletic banquet, honors the student who has triumphed over personal adversity by demonstrating resolve, endurance and spirit to achieve personal goals.

Smith, a Baltimore City resident, has worn a back brace for 18 hours a day since middle school. Yet, she participated in middle school sports and this year earned letters in cross country, basketball and badminton.

"Tehma truly represents what all of us mean by courage," said John Bielawski, executive director of the Bennett Institute.

"She has demonstrated the kind of human spirit that characterizes individuals that can beat the odds throughout life."

Ophelia Hollingshead, athletic director at the St. Paul's School for Girls, added: "She is such an unassuming, quiet girl that no one would know that she has a physical condition to overcome.

"Tehma is so dedicated and focused on her goals in life that she is able to overcome the pain and physical therapy to come out on top."

Poly's Schlenoff honored

Poly athletic director Mark Schlenoff endured a rough year -- his first as a one-man show running the school's traditionally strong athletic department.

Members of the Maryland State Athletic Directors Association took notice, honoring him as the city's District 9 Athletic Director of the Year at a May 21 banquet in Ocean City.

Schlenoff faced the difficult task of handling all of the athletic director's chores himself after longtime assistant Augie Waibel retired from teaching last June but remained as football coach.

"I was teaching 12 classes the first semester plus all the duties of an athletic director," said Schlenoff.

He also took over the baseball team -- his first baseball coaching job since 1976 -- and led the Engineers into the playoffs.

In fact, several of the Engineers' teams reached the playoffs, including Waibel's top-ranked, state-runner-up football team and the volleyball, boys soccer, boys and girls basketball, softball and boys lacrosse teams.

"I've been told that I'll have some staff help next year," Schlenoff said. "Our programs were successful, but it was an experience that I wouldn't want to go through again."

Also honored at the banquet was former McDonogh athletic director Ed Novak, who was inducted into the state's Athletic Director's Hall of Fame.

Cornell signs local athletes

Three lacrosse players from the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association have signed with Cornell University.

The players, among 13 incoming freshmen to coach Richie Moran's program, are St. Paul's Fred Peightal (6-foot-2, 180 pounds), Calvert Hall's Joe Perriello (5-10, 180) and Gilman's Matt Wise (6-2, 180).

"I'm delighted that these young men have selected Cornell University for their future education and lacrosse careers," said Moran.

"They played major roles in their high school programs, which are among the strongest in the country. I feel extremely confident that they will have an instant impact in the program."

Wise helped Gilman to win this year's MIAA crown, Peightal helped the Crusaders to split victories with Gilman, and Perriello helped to guide the Cardinals to a victory over St. Paul's.

St. Joe needs lacrosse coach

The varsity lacrosse coaching position is still open at Mount St. Joseph. For information, call athletic director Paul Triplett at (410) 644-6364 or mail resumes to 4403 Frederick Ave., Baltimore, 21229 by June 8.

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