'F' for column, Spalding says, (but writer eligible to report)


February 27, 1997|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Let me start with an apology to Archbishop Spalding.

In Sunday's Sidelines, I erred in counting Spalding among county private schools with no minimum grade-point average requirement to participate in athletics.

Spalding has basically the same requirement that Anne Arundel County public schools use -- a 2.0 grade-point average with no more than one failing grade.

The Cavaliers' policy has been in effect much longer than the public school version, which was implemented five years ago.

"Academics are number one at our school," said Spalding's boys soccer coach Rick Carlson, who is also a member of the school's enrollment committee. "We have a lot of good students, but some who are just OK students. We're a regular school, but we work toward producing student-athletes, not athletic students."

Carlson was one of a host of coaches, athletic directors, administrators and parents who flooded my 24-Hour Sportsline (410) 647-2499 to inform me of my error. Others called or faxed our Baltimore office.

There was no intent to slam Spalding or any of the private schools for not having a minimum GPA.

The fact that some private schools don't have a minimum requirement is no knock and doesn't mean that academics are not emphasized.

All three major county private high schools are usually well represented on our annual All-County Academic-Athletic Team.

Last year, St. Mary's and Severn placed three students each and Spalding one on the team that represents the county's best student-athletes.

Pucks and sticks

St. Mary's ice hockey team, regular season (9-1) champion of the Maryland Scholastic Hockey League, plays Gonzaga at 4.30 p.m. today in the semifinals of the league's tournament at the Ice Gardens in Laurel.

Coach Malcolm Foster's Saints had a first-round bye, and on Tuesday, skated to a 6-0 victory over St. Albans in the quarterfinals. Blaine Manning led the winners with a hat trick and one assist.

St. Mary's beat Gonzaga 5-3 during regular season.

Navy's club ice hockey team took third place in the Eastern Collegiate Hockey Association Tournament at the University of Delaware over the weekend. The Mids won the consolation by 7-2 over West Virginia after narrowly missing the final.

Towson State nipped Navy in a 7-6 overtime heartbreaker in the semis. The Tigers lost, 6-4, to host Delaware in the final.

Senior Joe Carney's hat trick and two goals by junior Eric Sager carried the Mids to third place. Navy's first-game win was by 3-2 over Rhode Island on Dan Arndt's goal 1: 50 into overtime. Arndt also had scored -- with 40 seconds left in regulation -- to send it into overtime.

Navy goalie John Bruzza was named tournament MVP after being peppered by 167 shots in three games and allowing only 11 goals.

The Mids will play an exhibition against the Royal Canadian Military at 2 p.m. March 15 at Dahlgren Hall. Admission is free.

Spring is in the air

Spring tryouts and practice start Saturday. Baseball is coming hard around third.

Former Glen Burnie left-hander Tony Saunders, who was 13-4 with a 2.63 ERA at Portland (Maine), leading the Class AA Eastern League in strikeouts (156 in 167 2/3 innings) last summer, is being touted as one of the top prospects in the Florida Marlins' organization.

The undrafted Saunders, who signed as a free agent four years ago, is on the Marlins' 40-man roster, and USA Today Baseball Weekly listed him as one of the "100 Names you need to know for 1997."

"No room in Miami now, but he'll be a factor soon," wrote USA Today of Saunders, who is 23.

All-Metro outfielder Joe Barnes (Old Mill) is playing center-field for perennial national junior college power, Indian River (Fla.).

"Joe is our best outfielder," said veteran coach Mike Easom.

Barnes is batting .320 for his 10-3 team, but Easom said he "needs to put the ball in play more to take advantage of his speed."

News on a couple Barnes' ex-teammates at Old Mill, right-hand pitchers Craig Haney and Mike Ziegler:

Haney has been red-shirted at George Mason University, where Broadneck's second-team All-County first baseman-outfielder Brian Forthofer has made it as a walk-on.

Ziegler, a returning All-County pitcher (7-2, 1.07 ERA), is pondering a full scholarship offer to Shoals Community College in Alabama, another top junior college program.

Davidsonville's Mark Gibbs, a shortstop from St. John's in D.C., is recovering from back and knuckle injuries but is expected to start at George Mason.

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

Pub Date: 2/27/97

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