Does no-seed policy serve kids best way possible, coaches ask

Sidelines

December 08, 1996|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

The no-seeding for state tournaments is like a toothache. It just won't go away.

Most coaches like the open tournament concept, save for that. ** But I can't find a soccer or basketball coach -- boys or girls -- who likes the fact that tournament teams are not seeded.

It galls most coaches that Ned Sparks and the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association remain so stubborn in not seeding teams and, thus, not rewarding stronger teams for their regular-season records.

"I don't like it. The teams should be seeded. Otherwise, why play the season?" asks Pat Chance, Old Mill's girls basketball coach for 25 years. "The way it is now, mediocrity prevails. A lot of decisions are made, not in the best interests of the kids, but because it's politically correct."

It's almost as if the MPSSAA hopes the teams with the top records stumble and a mediocre team slips through the cracks to give Maryland its version of the flick "Hoosiers."

With a lottery draw for seeds, the top teams are often penalized for winning by having to play on the road against a lesser team, instead of being rewarded for their record with a home game.

Severna Park boys soccer coach Don Gregg has a cartoon by Johnny Hart that he likes to fax around. One guy says to the other, "It matters not whether you win or lose, since everybody gets into the playoffs, anyway."

The state's argument is that there is no justifiable way to seed the teams. It's almost as if they don't want to admit that they made a mistake when they implemented the rash postseason change.

This seeding thing is not as difficult as they make it out to be. The old playoff points system could be used to seed, a committee of coaches could seed the teams, information on the teams could be fed into a computer, or the top two or four teams by record would automatically receive home games.

Certainly, some criteria could be constructed, and I doubt that many coaches would complain. For sure, there would be considerably fewer who are unhappy.

Remember when the coaches' majority opinion counted and things were done, as Chance said, "in the best interests of the kids"?

Sideliners

The girls basketball game of the week might be No. 2 St. Mary's visiting No. 20 Severna Park at 7: 30 p.m. Tuesday or how about No. 7 Annapolis and No. 3 Hammond at 5 p.m. Saturday at the College of Notre Dame?

Germaine "Boo" Diggs, the returning boys basketball Player of the Year from No. 3 Annapolis (1-0), is not overly superstitious. After excellent sophomore and junior seasons, Boo changed his number to 12, from 42, because he is an admirer of the Philadelphia 76ers' Jerry Stackhouse.

Diggs and the Panthers, who opened with an 83-63 rout of Poly Thursday, play host to two more Baltimore teams this week -- Patterson on Tuesday and No. 5 Dunbar Friday. Coach John Brady also has DeMatha (No. 3 in the Washington, D.C., area by The Washington Post) and its legendary coach Morgan Wootten coming to Riva Road on Jan. 11.

Southern grad Chris Chaney, who built boys basketball powers at Canterbury and Laurel Baptist, has taken his recruiting talents to Newport School in Kensington, Montgomery County, where Stacy Lawrence is athletic director.

Congrats to Archbishop Spalding goalkeeper Reb Beatty and forward Brian Wright, both junior All-County choices, named to the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference Coaches Team in boys soccer.

When Arundel's All-Metro quarterback Erik Lipton looks for a receiver in the first Baltimore-Metro All-Star football game at noon today at Johns Hopkins, he will see several familiar faces in teammate Joe Parker, North County's Corey Wright and Chris Mangum, and Severna Park's Amiel Morris. Seniors from Anne Arundel and Howard counties are playing those from city high schools and MIAA teams.

Get well note

Linthicum's Ed Perry is battling cancer at St. Agnes hospital. The year old spends much of his time checking up on the Annapolis High and University of Maryland basketball teams.

"Ed is one of our best fans -- and [one] of the Terps' best, too," said Annapolis coach John Brady. "He ragged on our guys' long, baggy pants, and we gave him a T-shirt with "Annapolis Pants Police" on it.

"He has a daughter who did such a good job caring for the sideline headphones to the press box that Bobby Ross gave her a scholarship when he was football coach there."

Have an idea for Sidelines? Call Pat O'Malley's 24-Hour Sportsline, (410) 647- 2499.

County stat chat

Coming into this basketball season, the top Anne Arundel County boys basketball teams in the '90s:

Rank School W-L

1 Annapolis 142-30

2 Broadneck 123-43

3 Glen Burnie 97-64

4 Old Mill 96-66

5 Southern 95-68

7 Arundel 91-70

8 Meade 91-73

Pub Date: 12/08/96

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