Centennial's Chapman commits to Virginia, to get baseball aid

November 06, 1996|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Denny Chapman of Centennial is walking around with a big smile these days, even though he will have his wisdom teeth removed tomorrow and his fall has been a blur of recruiting phone calls and baseball trips that have left him tired and homesick.

The 17-year-old is smiling because he has orally committed to attend the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va., on a baseball scholarship. The earliest signing date is not until next Wednesday. But the scholarship is expected to be for 80 percent of the $20,000 yearly cost.

"I felt most comfortable with the coaches, the baseball program was ranked 13th in the nation, and academically, it is a top school. Non-athletes need a 1,400 SAT and a 4.0 GPA to get in. It all just couldn't be matched," said Chapman, who has a 3.67 GPA and 1,170 SAT.

"I couldn't ask for anything more. I didn't think I'd get an offer like this to an ACC school. The conference is ranked No. 2 in the nation. They draw 14,000 fans."

Chapman, a 6-foot-4, 180-pound right-hander who throws 88 mph, played this fall with the Oriolelanders, a team of 21 players selected from Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. The team competed nine weekends in showcase tournaments in front of college and pro scouts. The most recent tournament, last weekend, was in New Orleans.

"The Oriolelanders opened every door for me," said Chapman. "I would not be getting this opportunity without them. There were up to 20 scouts everywhere we played."

Chapman, who also impressed pro scouts at camps held by the White Sox and Yankees, said he was Virginia's No. 1 pitching recruit. The Cavaliers were ACC champs last season.

Maryland, Virginia Tech and James Madison were other schools Chapman considered.

"Virginia told me they have a five-man rotation and that if things go well, I could be their No. 3 starter next season," Chapman said. "This is the beginning of a dream for me. It would be nice to pitch at the major-league level someday."

HCC in nationals

The Howard Community College men's and women's cross country teams will compete in the National Junior College Athletic Association's Division III National Cross Country Meet at Hagerstown Junior College Saturday.

The men's team won the NJCAA Region XX Division III cross country championship Oct. 26 led by Paul Bourg (fourth), Mike Brosenne (12th), Marc Baron (15th), Charlie Simms (18th), Keith Jackson (20th), James Thomas (21st) and Ben Rhode (22nd). Bourg's time for the 5-mile course was 28 minutes, 36 seconds.

Bourg (Glenelg) made the All-Juco and All-Region teams. Brosenne (Wilde Lake) was All-Region.

The women's team finished second in the Region XX race, led by Kathleen Monahan (eighth), Sara Harrah (10th), Mika Roy (14th), Lisa Bentkowski (16th), Susan Miller (17th), Rachel Yellin (20th), Lisa Clavelli (21st) and Yolanda Ryan (22nd).

Monahan, whose time was 24: 04, and Harrah (Atholton) were named All-Region.

Coach Steve Mussleman was named Region XX Division III Coach of the Year.

People

Mikal Baaqee of River Hill is only the second freshman to start for Don van Deusen during his 22-year head football coaching career. Baaqee, an inside linebacker and slotback, also returns kickoffs. Except for the two games he missed because of an injury, he has played every down.

Dr. Mark Cucuzzella, an Ellicott City native, ran a 2: 27, finished fourth overall and was the first American finisher in the Marine Corps Marathon. His best time was 2: 24 at the World Military Games in Rome in 1995. The former Howard County Strider is stationed in the Azores with the U. S. Air Force.

Pub Date: 11/06/96

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