As former Lake Clifton assistant athletic director Ruth Travis steps in to replace Mabel Wilson, she not only replaces "my boss, but one of my closest friends."
Wilson, 46, died of cancer last week. Travis attended the funeral for Wilson, nicknamed "Mae-mae" by her family, which was held two days ago in her native Pennlynn, Pa., near Philadelphia. Another memorial service is scheduled for Feb. 12 at the school.
"I think that God does special things with special people," said Travis, 49, a former teammate of Wilson's at Morgan State in basketball, volleyball, field hockey and softball.
"She was my boss, but more important than that, she was my friend of 30 years."
Wilson, who came to Baltimore City schools in 1969, taught at Woodburn (now Chinquapin Middle), Eastern and Southwestern before coming to Lake Clifton.
"A lot of her close friends knew about her illness, but they knew she was a very private person. She had a lot of strength and just talked about it with her close friends and family," said Western athletic director Eva Scott. "It was her way to keep that to herself and to go on with what had to be done. She was very involved in all of the activities at Lake Clifton, and she put in a lot of time and effort in taking care of them."
The last of eight children born to Mabel and William H. Wilson, she is survived by three brothers, three sisters, two brothers-in-law, three sisters-in-law, as well as aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews .
An excerpt from Wilson's obituary read: "Even in her sickest moments after returning to her family in Pennlynn, she talked at length about her children at Lake Clifton-Eastern High School, and her devoted love for Delta Sigma Theta Sorority," of which she was a member.
But in the wake of Wilson's death, Travis came home to more disturbing news: Sunday night's four-alarm fire at Lake Clifton, which caused damage totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars, including some to the gymnasium.
Travis and the staff have been instructed to report to nearby Harford Heights Elementary School, and athletic events -- in addition to Wilson's planned service -- could be affected.
"I haven't seen the school at all, but I understand that there was a lot of damage done to the library, which is in the same general area as the school's auditorium where we wanted to have the memorial service," said Travis.
"The boys' basketball team is supposed to play Wednesday at home, but I'll have to confer with the principal and the coach."
Travis expects to have a better idea of the school's situation today.
Football's big payoff
A financial report from the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association shows high school football produces more revenue than any other fall sport.
In the recent fall tournaments, football grossed $210,180.49 and paid out $41,836 for a net profit of $168,344.49. That's the net from the football quarterfinals, semis and finals in four classifications -- 4A, 3A, 2A and 1A.
Gross totals released by the state are derived from ticket sales only, and the paid-out numbers are expenses such as officials, ticket takers, PA announcers, sideline staff and security. The net profit is used for a number of imperative services provided by the MPSSAA and in essence goes back to the individual schools and districts.
The $168,344.49 net is nearly 90 percent of the total net of $193,454 generated in all fall state tournaments combined -- football, boys and girls soccer, field hockey and volleyball.
Moorhouse new Gibbons coach
Bryan Moorhouse has been named interim head basketball coach at Cardinal Gibbons, where he worked as an assistant for 22 years under late coach Ray Mullis, who died of pancreatic cancer on Dec. 28.
Moorhouse, a Gibbons graduate, played for Mullis and was an All-Metro performer in 1970.
Bishop to coach festival
Western coach Breezy Bishop has been chosen one of two assistants to head coach Stephanie Gaitley of St. Joseph's (Pa.) University on the basketball coaching staff of the West Team in the 1995 Women's U.S. Olympic Festival.
Over 18 years, Bishop has more than 500 victories and has placed six teams in the USA Today Girls Basketball Top 25.
This year's defending 4A state champion Doves are ranked No. 1 by The Baltimore Sun.
Bishop will assist Gaitley along with June Daugherty of Boise State (Idaho) University at this year's U.S. Olympic Festival, which will run from July 21-30 in Denver, with the women's basketball portion taking place July 26-29 at McNichols Sports Arena.
The Maryland State Lacrosse Coaches Association is holding a clinic on Saturday at the U.S. Naval Academy on the second floor of Lejeune Hall.
Instructors include Navy coach Richie Meade, Loyola coach Dave Cottle, St. Mary's High coach Jim Moorhead and Dan Ross, the strength coach for Loyola College.
The cost for registration -- $25 per school or team -- can be sent to John Appelt, No. 3 Somerset Road, Catonsville, 21228. Or call Dan Ross at Howard High School at (410) 313-2867.