Tables turned on fallen North County

Sidelines

October 01, 1997|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

It seems really strange to look at the high school football polls and not see North County among the elite.

And it's even stranger to look at the Anne Arundel County 4A League standings and see the Knights 0-2 in league play and 1-3 overall.

Such starts have never occurred since the Knights started playing in the county 4A league in 1991, winning their inaugural game by 9-8 over Arundel before losing to Annapolis and Old Mill.

It certainly appears that with losses to Chesapeake (26-12) and longtime nemesis Arundel (34-12) that the county's "team of the 90's" has fallen off its throne. Has the run-and-shoot run its course?

No, but the talent pool appears to have run dry. The tone of coach Chuck Markiewicz was not nearly as optimistic and confident for the first time since he revolutionized the county with the passing game.

This is the eighth year of football at the Ferndale school, the seventh in the 4A league. Before this season, North County was 46-7 against Anne Arundel County foes while going 62-17 overall, including a state championship in 1994 (11-2) under Markiewicz.

We are excluding last year's 0-11 record because of forfeits due to an ineligible player (was only in on five plays all season), and the records we are citing are the on-field results.

Arundel (4-4 or 5-3 with forfeit) and Annapolis (2-4 or 3-3) are the only county schools with more than one win over the Knights while Broadneck, Chesapeake, Glen Burnie and Severna Park (all 0-6) had never won a 4A league game over the Knights before this season.

The Knights were 37-7 in 4A league action coming into this season, going 6-2 their first year (1991), 7-1 in 1992 and 6-1 (after Broadneck dropped down to 3A) in each of the next four seasons with a county championship in 1993 and tri-championships in '91 (with Old Mill and Severna Park) and '94 (Arundel and Severna Park).

Meade, Northeast, Southern and South River were North County nonleague victims in '90, Broadneck a nonleague victory four more times from 1993-96 and Arundel in the '94 playoffs for the other nine wins over county foes.

With the Chesapeake and Arundel losses over the past two weeks, suddenly the Knights are no longer the county's most feared, but rather one of the "most anxious to play" for county foes.

Yes, it's get even time for a host of county teams, especially those who have never beaten the Knights on the field. Next up, the Knights play host to Meade (1-3) Friday.

Hartman sighting

Former Meade coach Jerry Hartman surfaced at a county football game this week. Hartman, who resigned last fall after four seasons at Meade, was the color analyst for the Calvert Hall (won 43-26) at Southern-Harwood game taped Friday by Jones Cable TV 22.

Hartman, who had an extensive background as a college football assistant before coming to Meade, did an excellent job on the Jones Game of the Week that will be shown again tonight at 7: 30.

When leaving the game Friday, Hartman was kidded that he knew what he was doing by leaving Meade before this season's brutal schedule. Rookie coach Mark Frye had to start with what is perhaps the toughest schedule in the metro area and went 0-3 before the Mustangs won their first, 21-20, over Old Mill (2-2) last week.

Meade opened with losses to No. 3 Lake Clifton (4-0) and Prince George's County powers Friendly (4-0, No. 20 Washington Post) and Oxon Hill (3-1).

"I had nothing to do with scheduling those games," said Hartman. "The athletic director [Sam Pandullo] takes care of that."

Sideliners

Meade's standout running back, Tanardo Sharps, had two touchdowns in the Old Mill victory and has five on the season to raise his career total to 24. Sharps would need an average of just over two touchdowns per game to top Kenny Walker's school career record (37) for touchdowns (1990-93).

Melton watch: Severn's Dennard Melton scored eight points in his team's 26-20 loss to John Carroll last week and now has 334 career points. The all-time county record is 348 by Southern's Bob Stach (1964-66). How about the effort by No. 15 Broadneck's boys soccer goal keeper Joey Case, who had ten saves in a 0-0 tie with perennial Prince George's power Bowie? Congrats to the Severna Park girls' cross country team for taking second (with 107 points) in the 22-team Bull Run Invitational at Hereford High in northern Baltimore County. The Falcons' Bonnie Sowa was the highest local finisher at 21: 00 in eighth place. The surprising Annapolis Area Christian School volleyball team took a 10-1 record into this week. Severna Park's field hockey team starts each game a player short in memory of former teammate Beth Balasic, who lost her life in an automobile crash last year.

Have a note for Sidelines? Call Pat O'Malley's 24-Hour Sportsline, 410-647-2499.

Pub Date: 10/01/97

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