Sharps is best county has seen

Sidelines

November 16, 1997|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

When we last checked, Meade's football season had finally ended. There were rumors of coach Mark Frye and a few parents considering a law suit because of three playoff teams having been scheduled to start the season.

No! Just kidding!

But that's where the problems started for the Mustangs, who started their season 0-3, losing to three playoff teams: Friendly, Class 3A's top seed; Lake Clifton, Class 4A's fourth seed; and Oxon Hill, Class 4A's eighth seed until an ineligible player resulted in forfeits of all its games. You know the story.

If Meade had beaten either Lake Clifton or Friendly, all of the controversy over Walbrook, and not Meade, replacing Oxon Hill in the playoffs this past week could have been avoided.

One of the suggestions I heard during the week was, why couldn't the state association have left all the seeds the way they were and refigured just for the No. 8 seed to fill the tournament?

Sounds easy enough, except when you consider this: Suppose the top seed had an ineligible player? Move everybody up one place and refigure for the final berth? What if No. 1 beat No. 3 and didn't play No. 2, and so on?

The state rule of taking the next team in line is the best route, unless there is time to refigure the entire field -- and such time wasn't available last week.

So, Tanardo Sharps' sensational two-year career ended with the Mustangs' 10th game, and Sharps ends up with two of the three highest single-season rushing totals in county history: 1,862 yards this fall and 1,765 last season.

Sharps also set the county record for career rushing yards (3,627) in just two seasons.

This reporter has had the privilege of watching everyone on the top 10 list (see box), and in my humble opinion, Sharps was the best of them all.

No one 5-foot-11 and 180 pounds has combined the speed, shifty moves -- with the ability to accelerate, stop on a dime and jet off again -- and surprising power and spin moves in a crowd.

They say Sharps runs the 40-yard dash in 4.4 seconds, but I honestly believe he gets it down to 4.2-4.3 when being chased. He was special, and it's a shame we only got to see him for two years.

Sharps played youth ball in ninth grade, and JV his sophomore season while Roman Harrison was tearing it up for the Mustangs.

Sideliners

How about a salute?: For attorneys Michael L. Wilsman and Michael J. Carlson of the Severna Park law firm of Corbin, Schaffer, Wilsman and Aviles for handling the Meade football team's legal complaint against the state for free?

"We took the case without talking about compensation and considered it a public service," said Wilsman after Meade had its bid to be placed in the Class 4A state playoffs rejected by a circuit court judge.

Possible football coach retirements: Andy Borland, 25 years at Severna Park; for the second year in a row, Dave Rigot, 21 years at Glen Burnie; Bill Zucco, seven years Arundel; Tom Kraning, 10 years Chesapeake.

Old Mill's Pete Regala officially announced his retirement after 15 seasons.

Congrats: To the Annapolis Area Christian Schools' girls soccer team for winning the Tri-State league championship. Junior goalkeeper Jessi Seep and sophomore striker Amy Hendricks were named co-players of the year.

Collectors: The second annual sports card and memorabilia show for the non-profit Friends of Joe Cannon Stadium committee, which raises money for high school and amateur baseball, will be Nov. 30 at Michael's Eighth Avenue in Glen Burnie. For information, call John White, 410-360-1768, or Bill McCaffrey, 410-255-1427.

Baseball news: The outstanding Southern Maryland Baseball Camp, run indoors on January and February Sundays and directed by California Angels' scout Jerry Wargo, will be held at Arundel High in Gambrills. The camp is moving from Calvert County to the Wildcats' spacious gym.

Scores of players, many from Anne Arundel County who have attended Wargo's camp in recent years, have received college baseball scholarships or signed professionally because of the huge number of college coaches and pro scouts who attend the camp.

Bernie Walter, Arundel's coach and athletic director, made it possible for Wargo's camp to be more centrally located, especially for Anne Arundel players. Information: Wargo, 301-855-8558.

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

County's 10 most prolific rushers

Year Name, School................. Games Yards TDs

1997 Tanardo Sharps Meade ........... 10 1,862 22

Gary Thall Severna Park ........ 10 1,835 20

1996 Tanardo Sharps Meade ........... 11 1,765 19

John Vereen Severn ............. 10 1,702 27*

Roman Harrison Meade ........... 12 1,676 19

Frank Brown North County ....... 11 1,652 24

1994 Topper Ellis North County ...... 13 1,631 23

1983 Rodney Spencer Glen Burnie ..... 10 1,630 17

1992 Brandon Steinheim Chesapeake ... 10 1,562 18

Bob Stach Southern ............. 10 1,519 23

County season record

Pub Date: 11/16/97

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