Numbers sack Sparrows Point team

September 01, 1994|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,Sun Staff Writer

Problems for the football program at Sparrows Point continue, said coach Sam Scott, whose Pointers will not field a team this season.

Only four players showed up for the first day of practice, and the numbers didn't increase in subsequent weeks.

"I kind of knew that the writing was on the wall," said Scott, who replaced Russ Linger and is one of eight new coaches in Baltimore County. "At the end of last season, there were only 13 players left."

Attracting players has been a longtime problem for Sparrows Point, which lost 30 consecutive games from 1989 to 1992 until beating Milford Mill in 1992. The Pointers, who haven't had a winning season since 1989, went 0-10 last season.

County coordinator of athletics Ron Belinko said the playoff opportunities for teams previously slated to play Sparrows Point won't be affected by the program's demise.

"If the season had started and the program had disbanded, then those teams would have received a forfeit and the corresponding points for a victory," Belinko said.

"Several of the teams will be picking up other teams to play, but playing only nine games won't hurt the teams that don't do that because you simply lower the divisor to nine games."

Lansdowne, currently coached by Reggie Brooks, forfeited its first three games before nearly dropping its program two years ago. Numbers increased for the Vikings, however, and the program remains afloat.

Expect the unexpected

When the city public schools joined the Maryland Athletic Association in football last year, it made for some interesting neighborhood rivalries and some surprising results.

Most notably, the move helped disprove traditional beliefs about there being a great difference between the levels of competition.

For example, Poly, of the Maryland Scholastic Association's A Conference, struggled in a 12-6 victory over Dunbar of the B Conference.

Forest Park, formerly an A Conference team, lost a close decision against Patterson, formerly of the B Conference.

In fact, the entire process, including playing under the lights during playoff games, students being required to pay to attend playoff games and playing into the basketball season played a part in how city teams performed last year.

With a year under their belts, city public schools -- presently with leagues broken into 4A, 3A and 2A divisions -- are gearing up for the new season.

There are 4A teams like Mervo, Walbrook and Southern, as well as Carver in the 3A, which are itching to get another shot at the more high-profile programs that were out of reach in the past.

In addition, with preseason scrimmages having gotten under way, word is circulating that some of the traditional powers are showing signs of weakening.

Parity is on the way, if you ask Northern coach Ike Hemphill.

"What outsiders might consider a normal Friday contest might be more exciting because there are other things at stake," said Hemphill.

For that reason, says Hemphill, "I'm excited."

Hemphill's Vikings went 0-10 in the City 3A League last year, losing eight of 10 games in the final four minutes.

"The fact there are rivalries that exist between kids that are from the same neighborhoods has made the competition that much tougher," he said. "I think it's going to be a great season."

Gilman needs a game

Gilman -- initially slated to play Forest Park on the weekend of Sept. 23 -- ran into a scheduling conflict when Greyhounds coach Sherm Bristow discovered Forest Park had a different football game scheduled for the same day, and Gilman slated for another day.

Bristow now needs a game for either Friday, Sept. 23 or Saturday, Sept. 24.

Call Bristow at Gilman (410) 323-3800 or at home (410) 560-1718.

Coaching change

Henry Franklin, son of Maryland State Wrestling Association chairman Haswell Franklin, has replaced Roy Lobdell as the coach of Calvert Hall's wrestling team.

Henry Franklin, an assistant to Allen Gebhart at Curley last year, was a two-time Maryland Scholastic Association champ and a four-time finalist at Gilman.

Franklin's assistant will be Todd Crandell, a Gilman graduate and a former National Prep runner-up.

Match needed

Perry Hall's varsity wrestling team needs a dual meet, a tri-meet and a late January or early February tournament to attend.

Call coach Jeff Langrehr at home (410) 893-0207 or at Parkville Middle (410) 887-5250, or athletic director Al Miller at Perry Hall (410) 887-5113.

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