In his 700-game career, Albright makes mark as coach and mentor

SIDELINES

January 19, 1996|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

In our rapidly changing world, Tom Albright has remained a constant and Southern of Harwood is the better for it.

Albright is a Southern icon.

Few have dedicated a lifetime to a school, its community and a boys basketball team as has the 59-year-old Albright.

When Southern takes the floor tonight at North County, Albright will coach his 700th game. It's another milestone (most in county history) in a career that has spanned 31 years and four decades beginning in 1965.

Albright has won more games (442-256, .633) than any coach in Anne Arundel County history (all sports considered) and owns more state championships (four -- 1973, 1981, 1983 and 1986) than any county boys basketball coach.

The coach is very proud of those accomplishments, but they pale in importance next to his fatherly image as a counselor, math and computer teacher, coach and someone everyone in Harwood can count on.

"I love this community and can't imagine not coaching and teaching here," said Albright after his Dawgs (5-5) lost, 75-58, to Annapolis on Wednesday.

Retirement is the farthest thing from Albright's mind and this year's team is part of the reason.

"This team is a pleasure to coach," Albright said. "They're all very nice kids, good students and they work hard. They have a lot of heart."

Albright wouldn't say it, but such team attitude is usually a reflection of the coach.

Twice his Dawgs fell 20 points behind Annapolis in the first period, only to rally to within seven points in the third period. Albright remained confident his kids would bounce back and they did.

He wasn't happy with the result, but was with the effort and can only see his team getting better and making a run in the 2A East Region.

Albright once told me he wants to be remembered as "more than a coach." That shouldn't be any problem.

fTC

Free throws

The Annapolis and Southern basketball rivalry is the oldest in the county, but both Albright and Annapolis coach John Brady agree that it is not what it used to be.

With Annapolis a larger enrollment Class 4A school and Southern a smaller 2A school, things have changed.

Years ago, fans couldn't get a ticket at Annapolis or Southern when they met, but there was plenty of room Wednesday.

Tonight's big game finds No. 6 Annapolis (9-2) visiting No. 12 Glen Burnie (10-1) at 7 p.m. Annapolis is tied for first in the county South Division at 4-1 with No. 7 Broadneck (6-3) and No. 15 Arundel (6-3) while the host Gophers pace the North at 5-0.

Glen Burnie's only loss was 78-64 at Annapolis on Dec. 12.

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