Franklin's 'Snake Man' keeps his teams running Notebook

October 15, 1998|By Katherine Dunn and Lem Satterfield | Katherine Dunn and Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

Franklin's Bob McIvor loves coaching cross country, indoor track and baseball.

But four years from now, after 26 years of teaching or coaching, the 55-year-old biology teacher said he'll "probably give it up" for a hobby he'll do "forever."

McIvor's hobby is breeding snakes -- about 250 of the slithering things in his garage during breeding season, McIvor said. "I had between 400-to-500 about two months ago before selling off this year's offspring."

As part of a genetics course he teaches, McIvor houses "four or five" snakes in his classroom. Right now, he has a kingsnake, a milk snake, a black rat snake and a ribbon snake. McIvor also teaches a nature-studies course during an eight-week summer camp and has heard students mutter, "There's 'Snake Man.'"

In McIvor's classroom, said science-department chairman Ronald Price, "There's always something happening or something hatching."

McIvor, who owned his first snake when he was 8, now has them in sizes ranging from 30-inch Louisiana milk snakes to 8-foot-long Taiwan beauties.

McIvor spends 20-to-30 hours weekly selling and cleaning. His snakes devour in a week 200-to-250 mice and small-to-midsize rats supplied by long-time friend Larry Kenton, who calls McIvor "one of those old-school snake breeders."

McIvor also displays his products at the annual mid-Atlantic reptile show, held last month at Timonium Fairgrounds.

McIvor has down-sized from 20 years ago, when his reticulated and Burmese pythons or anacondas reached 17 feet, ate rabbits and chickens, and lived in room-size, floor-to-ceiling cages.

After school, McIvor is busy coaching the Indians' boys and girls' cross country teams.

On his underclassmen-laden boys' squad, the top runner is sophomore Mike Lisby, followed by, in no particular order, juniors Mike Gill, Matt Surber, Steve Resman and senior Tom Koerber.

The girls' squad of senior Pam Schmier, junior Lauren Thomas, sophomore Margo Becker and freshmen Marina Chudnovsky, Emily Mays and Suzy Gill have "won a couple of meets and finished higher at every invitational than last year," McIvor said.

But only one runner, Justin Bosch, has shown an interest in McIvor's unique hobby -- and that's because his father's into it," McIvor said.

Still unbeaten

Dulaney's third-ranked volleyball team has yet to lose a game en route to an 9-0 record, counting yesterday's 15-4, 15-5, 15-4 sweep of Lansdowne.

With a host of club players and a couple of especially strong hitters in seniors Melaney Heagy and Teresa Graham, the Lions JTC have not been tested in any of their matches so far this fall.

Heagy leads the team with 3.76 kills a game; Graham averages 1.7. Both are also excellent servers. Graham, with a powerhouse jump serve, averages 1.8 aces a game.

Setters Erin Reinhardt and Lindsay Lawson each deliver about five assists a game, and LeAnne Costa adds 1.4 kills a game. Heather Hourihan, Julie Salamon and Liz Schmitz also have been prime contributors.

"We're well balanced," said Lions coach Ian Blanchard. "You can't really key in on any one player. Club ball is certainly paying its dividends."

The Lions, favored to repeat as Baltimore County champs, face their biggest test on Oct. 27, when they face No. 6 Loch Raven, which is also unbeaten in the county's Division I.

Panthers stopper

Pikesville field hockey goalie Lindsey Presser made 35 saves in two games last week as the Panthers improved to 5-2-3. The senior had 20 saves in a 1-1 tie with Perry Hall Wednesday and 15 saves in a 4-2 victory over Franklin Friday.

"She's the best goalie we've ever had," said Pikesville coach Timothy Fowler. "The three ties we've got would not be ties without her."

Presser's accomplishment is even more impressive considering she has been in physical therapy for a chronic knee problem all season. She was so active in the Perry Hall game that her knee was still swollen on Friday.

Presser has allowed more than one goal only twice this season -- to No. 3 Bryn Mawr in a 2-0 early-season loss and to Franklin.

On Friday, the Indians took a 2-1 lead before the Panthers rallied. Sara Epstein scored the game winner assisted by Amy Roth, who finished with a goal and two assists.

Gridiron Gator

With 163 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries in last weekend's 20-6 victory over Franklin, Perry Hall running back Marquis Dwarte raised his career rushing numbers to a school-record 3,074, eclipsing the old mark of 3,024 set by Roy Marsh in 1989-90.

Team Maryland

Eleven local field hockey players were among those selected to play for Team Maryland at the U.S. Field Hockey Association's Hockey Festival. The Maryland High School Field Hockey Coaches Association selected 32 players for two teams to participate in the annual event in Palm Beach, Fla., over Thanksgiving weekend.

Those selected: Lauren Aumiller, Notre Dame Prep; Gretchen Crook, Roland Park; Elaine Belitsos, Laura DiCamillo, Jenny Landsman and Erin Oglesby, St. Paul's; Megan Gauvey-Kern, Park; Jessica McAdams, Bryn Mawr; Amy Roth, Pikesville; Shannon Troyer, North Harford; and Ashley Vizzi, Oldfields.

Pub Date: 10/15/98

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