Coach planned quiet exit, but friends plan a party

August 21, 1994|By SYLVIA BADGER

A team of lacrosse lovers have had a busy summer working on "An Evening to honor Dick Watts," one of the best known names in Maryland's world of lacrosse. When Watts retired last year after 23 seasons in charge of UMBC's lacrosse program, he thought he would go quietly.

Not so, decided members of his 1980 NCAA Division II championship team. Former players Joe Gold and Bruce Baldwin picked up the ball and began planning a gala salute to this elder statesman among the nation's lacrosse coaches. Gold and Baldwin have received a lot of help from committee members Bob Scott, athletic director at Johns Hopkins University; Gary Ruppert, director of alumni relations at UMBC; and Ron Smith, a former player who's the director of financial aid at Coppin State. Tickets are $55, and the party begins at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 1 at the Towson Sheraton.

Watts, a native of Baltimore, was an All-American defenseman for Johns Hopkins in 1956. He coached lacrosse at the Friends School, Poly and Kenyon (Ohio) College before coming to UMBC. During his 37-year career, he served two terms as chairman of the NCAA lacrosse committee, and in 1987 he was the first non-UMBC athlete inducted into the UMBC Athletic Hall of Fame. He's also popular at Villa Julie College, where for six years he has worked as a consultant for Villa Julie's athletic programs.

The invitations are being mailed soon, and if for some reason you don't receive yours and would like to attend, give Joe Gold a call at LAX World, (410) 321-7333.

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While I'm thinking about Maryland's favorite sport: I hear that after eight years with Baltimore's professional indoor lacrosse team, the Thunder, its general manager, Baltimore County District Judge Darryl Russell, has resigned. He tendered his resignation to Chris Fritz and Russ Cline, owners of all five teams that make up the professional indoor lacrosse scene.

Russell, a coach, league commissioner and, for six years, the general manager of the Thunder, says he's resigning because he needs to spend more time with his wife, Kathleen, and their four babies. (Others say Russell has become disillusioned after many years of trying to buy the team.) No word yet on whom his replacement will be.

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When was the last time you tasted a Chateau Lafite, a Romanee-Conti or perhaps a Petrus? If you can't remember or just can't see spending a $100 or more on your dinner wine, perhaps an occasional taste would make you happy.

Dr. Eli Shulman, the regional vice president of the American Wine Society; Tom Anderson, president of the Baltimore chapter; Robin French, president of the Towson chapter, and Al Lawson of Columbia are forming what they are calling a super-chapter of wine tasting. If you'd like to sip fine wines with them, call Dr. Shulman at (410) 466-6700.

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The Trailblazer District Baltimore Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America has selected Marsha Jews, former executive director of the Alvin Ailey Dance Company, to receive its Good Scout Award.

The party will be held at one of Marsha's favorite places, the Polo Grill at the Colonnade, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. p.m. Sept. 19. Individual tickets are $40, and sponsors' tickets are $100. Proceeds will benefit scouting programs.

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It's almost time for a fall calendar of events. If you are planning a function for October, November or December and would like it to be considered for our fall calendar, please send me the who, what, when, where, why, cost and telephone number.

Mail it to my attention at 501 North Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278, or my fax number is (410) 783-2519. The deadline for releases is Sept. 2.

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