Stara receives national honor Scorpions' Carter quits team

February 05, 1997|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

River Hill's Bill Stara has been named the National Boys High School Soccer Coach of the Year by the National Federation of Interscholastic Coaches Association. He will receive the award at a banquet in Kansas in April.

"It's flattering," said Stara, whose first-year River Hill team posted a 14-4 record and lost in the state Class 1A finals last fall. "But I've been lucky to be in the right place at the right time with dedicated kids who believe in what you are doing."

River Hill had no seniors last season and was predominantly a fresh-soph team competing in Maryland's toughest soccer league.

Stara won seven state championships at Centennial, where he coached 15 seasons before transferring to River Hill. His last five years at Centennial the team went unbeaten four times and posted a 73-2-7 record.

Carter calls it quits

Fardan Carter, Oakland Mills' shooting guard who was averaging 15 points per game, has quit the team.

Carter was benched by coach Dave Appleby after missing two free throws early in the second half of last Wednesday's 53-52 loss to Hammond, and he never returned to the floor. Oakland Mills was just two games behind Centennial in the county championship race before that loss.

"There was a whole bunch of stuff that just escalated," said Carter, who declined to be more specific. "I'm a team player and an all-around player. This is not about scoring. And I don't need special attention, just equal treatment."

Carter had shot 1-for-13 from the floor during that game, and over Carter's last five games he was 14-for-70 from the field and 2-for-25 from three-point range, said Appleby.

"He was in a slump and sometimes it helps to sit out a little while and get a fresh perspective," Appleby said.

During those five games, Carter also made 29 turnovers and had 30 assists, which Appleby regarded as an unacceptable ratio.

"The assist-to-turnover ratio should be 2-to-1," Appleby said.

Appleby speculated that Carter's fall-off in shooting may have been due to a wrist that Carter injured against Centennial Jan. 10.

But Carter denied that his wrist was the cause of his shooting slump.

Carter's benching against Hammond led to a confrontation between the coach and player after the game.

"We had a disagreement over his playing time, and it is unfortunate that he chose to leave the team," Appleby said. "We wish him luck."

Although he was still eligible, Carter also left the basketball team in the middle of his sophomore season in order to improve his grades -- something he points to with pride.

"It's nice to win, but everything's not winning," Carter said. "If people remember me for anything, I hope it's not for anything I did athletically, but that I was down academically and fought back. My academic recovery is what I'm most proud of.

"I love school. I've probably only missed 10 to 15 days my whole career. And I don't want to go out like this. But no one should have to deal with the stuff I've had to deal with at Oakland Mills. Some people call me a nerd or say I act like a reverend because I don't hang out and do bad things.

"I've never been disciplined by the school. And they know I won't do negative things. I'm just a kid who wants to have fun and don't feel like I could do that at Oakland Mills. You want to go out with a bang as a senior, but that's not always possible."

Carter, who also played football, where he was a two-time first-team All-County running back, has signed a football letter of intent with Marshall University in West Virginia.

Otten returns

Brian Otten, a starter who has missed the past three games for Centennial's unbeaten basketball team due to mononucleosis, was released by his doctor to resume playing.

His goal is to play in Friday's game against three-time defending county champion Atholton, which trails Centennial by three games with six games left to play.

6 named All-South

Six county soccer players were named All-South by the Maryland Association of Coaches of Soccer at its annual banquet last Wednesday at Michael's Eighth Avenue in Glen Burnie.

The players included Matt Laycock, who was also named an All-American, Matt Stephenson, Ben Stephenson and Otten of Centennial, and Pat Halter of Mount Hebron. Pablo Webster of Columbia, who played for McDonogh, was also named along with five others.

Pub Date: 2/05/97

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