Working doesn't miss beat: 3-0

HIGH SCHOOLS

September 28, 1994|By LEM SATTERFIELD

Mike Working's controversial departure as McDonogh's head football coach last spring, coupled with his acceptance of the same position at Mount St. Joseph, left the local community buzzing about the implications of the move.

Working resigned from McDonogh in May after his two sons were expelled from the school for allegedly attacking a student in retaliation for a hazing incident involving one of the Working boys during a preseason baseball camp in Florida.

Charges were dropped against Working's 16-year-old son, while the other, Mike, 18, is being required to undergo a year of supervised probation.

"I don't think there were any concerns about Mike Working's integrity or his coaching ability," said the Gaels' athletic director, Paul Triplett.

"But some people had concerns about how the situation would pan out and whether our program would suffer any backlash from it."

But it appears that Working, whose McDonogh program went from 2-8 to 9-0 in three seasons, has picked up where he left off.

His Gaels (3-7 under last year's coach Tim Perry) are 3-0 and ranked No. 10 in the area.

Last weekend, Mount St. Joseph upset then-No. 9 Annapolis, 26-6. The Gaels debuted at No. 15 two weeks ago after walloping their first two opponents by a combined 95-20.

The Gaels have been led by sophomore quarterback Lucas Phillips and running back Je'von Norris out of an offense that resembles -- but isn't -- the run-and-shoot.

"It's a one-back spread offense with one tight end and three wide receivers," said Working.

"This is the offense that I ran at Tulsa and Appalachian State, but we didn't have a tight end to run it at McDonogh."

Annapolis was the first of five ranked teams on the Gaels' schedule, which includes No. 3 McDonogh (2-1), No. 9 St. Mary's (3-0), No. 6 Gilman (1-1) and No. 12 Calvert Hall (2-0).

"We've got everything to gain here and nothing to lose," said Working.

"I think people thought it would take two or three years [to improve St. Joe's program], and it still might."

Working returned only four starters from last year, but benefited from several players up from the junior varsity.

"Mount St. Joseph had an undefeated junior varsity the last two years," said Working.

"And there was a community of administrators, assistant coaches, players and parents here who were really hungry."

Triplett credits Working with "re-injecting enthusiasm for football into the student body."

Curley is 3-0 in football

Coach Barry Brownlee has Curley's football team off to a 3-0 start for the first time in his four years at the school.

After going 0-18 the first two seasons and 3-7 last year, the Friars have outscored Lansdowne, Owings Mills and Model School by 73-48.

"It feels good. The kids are starting to feel like winners and they're confident in what they're doing," said Brownlee.

"Attitude was one thing that has been hard to turn around in this program, but we've been up and into every game."

Next up for the Friars is West Nottingham Academy of Cecil County, followed by St. Paul's (3-0) in their Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference opener.

New Randallstown coaches

Kim Rivers has replaced Reggie Brooks, who left to become athletic director at Milford Mill, as Randallstown's boys basketball coach. Rivers was previously a player-coach in Melbourne, Australia.

Chris Hodge has replaced Dave Wright as the Rams' girls basketball coach. Hodge coached for two years at Great Mills. Both teams reached the 3A state semifinals last season.

CFL tickets at Poly

Poly athletic director Mark Schlenoff, in cooperation with the Baltimore CFLs, has announced project "Teammates," a program through which he will sell reserved tickets to the pro team's remaining home games at a $5 discount.

Beginning with the Oct. 7 contest against Las Vegas, tickets may be purchased for $20 at Poly's athletic office from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Tickets also will be available for Memorial Stadium games against British Columbia (Oct. 22) and Winnipeg (Oct. 29).

For more information, call Schlenoff at (410) 396-7023.

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