Challenges nothing new for St. Martin


October 28, 1998|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

A successful high school and junior college girls basketball coach, Linthicum's Art St. Martin has landed his first head boys basketball coaching position.

St. Martin, who coached Brooklyn Park to six state titles in seven trips to the high school finals and then moved on to revive the women's program at Catonsville Community College, has been named boys coach at Howard High.

"I'm used to taking over losing programs and enjoy the challenge," said St. Martin, who turned losers into winners at Brooklyn Park and Catonsville CC.

Howard has not had a winning season since 1988-89 and has gone 10-13 in each of the past two seasons.

"My wife wanted to get me out of the house, so she encouraged me to take the Howard job," said St. Martin, 52, who retired last year after 30 years as a physical education teacher at Linthicum Elementary School.

St. Martin played basketball at Calvert Hall and Towson State, where he set a single-season record for free-throw percentage (.896) in his first of four college seasons.

In 12 years at Brooklyn Park, St. Martin posted an overall record of 218-69 (.760) at what then was Anne Arundel County's smallest public high school and at the bottom before St. Martin turned it around.

The Bees copped state titles in 1982 and from 1985 to 1989, a string of five in a row that stands as a Maryland record for girls and tied the Allegany boys (1930-34).

Had it not been for a knee injury to Patty Dages, the county's all-time leading scorer, the Bees likely would have won again in '83. Dages had to sit out the final game of her spectacular career.

After winning his sixth title (the most in county history, boys or girls), St. Martin accepted the Catonsville CC job, inheriting a team that was 2-20 the year before he took over. He had six straight winning seasons before resigning in 1995.

St. Martin, whose son Mike is also a Calvert Hall graduate and is the soccer coach at Mount St. Joseph, was recommended for the Howard job by one of his former Catonsville CC players.

Shannon Grieve, an Oakland Mills grad who played for St. Martin at Catonsville CC and played her last two years of college at Frostburg State, is in her second season as the Howard girls coach.


Riva's Al Baldwin Sr. is retiring at the end of this football season after 35 years as a well-respected high school referee in Texas and Maryland. Can you believe that 20-time county and 10-time state champion Severna Park (14-1) drew Arundel (10-4-1) for its first game in the 4A East field hockey regional? Severna Park edged Arundel, 1-0, in the final regular-season game and two days later knocked off the Wildcats, 5-0, for the county title. They meet a third consecutive time Tuesday at Severna Park.

The play of senior goalkeeper Katie Brzuchalski did not go unnoticed in North County's winless field hockey season, as she was named to the coaches' All-County team. Ray D'Ambrosio, a '96 Spalding grad, threw for 111 yards and two touchdowns against the College of New Jersey, earning Atlantic Central Football Conference Rookie of the Week honors in his first start at quarterback for Division III Salisbury State on Oct. 17. D'Ambrosio, a redshirt freshman, completed 12 of 19 passes for 138 yards and a touchdown and ran for another score in a 31-24 loss to Wesley (Del.) last Saturday.

Several weeks ago, we listed football coaches who had gone 8-2 in 1983 -- Bart Rader of Northeast and Pete Regala of Old Mill -- as the best record for a coach in his rookie season, but a further check of the archives reveals that Mike Busch was 8-2 in 1977, his first of just two years at St. Mary's. Now a state delegate from Annapolis, Busch was 9-0-1 in '78, one of just seven county coaches to have an undefeated regular season. St. Mary's senior boys soccer goalie Chris Summers saved the No. 13 Saints (17-2) three times last week. Down 1-0 against archrival Severn, Summers blocked a penalty and the Saints went on to a 2-1 overtime victory. The next day, with the Saints down 2-0 and 15 minutes left, coach Jamie McNealey moved Summers to striker and he assisted on their first goal and notched the game-winner in a 3-2 win over Key School. Summers capped the week with four saves in a 1-0 win over Friends.

Severna Park's Gavin Floyd, a 6-foot-4, 190-pound sophomore right-handed pitcher at Mount St. Joseph, impressed a horde of pro and college scouts at a fall baseball tournament in North Carolina this past weekend pitching for the national champion Maryland Orioles. "The scouts couldn't believe that Gavin is only 15 and throwing consistently in the high 80's," said coach Dean Albany.

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

Running wild

Anne Arundel County's two leading rushers, Annapolis' Rayvon Johnson (1,529 yards) and Broadneck's Martel Threadgill have made the county's top 15 single-game rushing performances three times each, tying Meade's Tanardo Sharps (1996-97):

No. Player, School, Year, Opponent, TDs, Yds.

1. Jason Lilly, St. Mary's, 1994, Calvert Hall, 5, 340

2. Frank Brown, North County, 1992, Chesapeake, 7*, 336

3. Lou Carter, Arundel, 1970, Southern-AA, 7*, 335

Rodney Spencer, Glen Burnie, 1983, Chesapeake, 3, 293

5. Tanardo Sharps, Meade, 1997, Glen Burnie, 4, 290

6. Turkey Brown, Annapolis, 1980, Severna Park, 2, 279

7. Joe Tongue, Southern, 1982, Great Mills, 5, 272

8. Rayvon Johnson, Annapolis, 1998, Meade, 1, 259

Tanardo Sharps, Meade, 1997, North County, 2, 254

10. Rayvon Johnson, Annapolis, 1998, Glen Burnie, 3, 251

11. Martel Threadgill, Broadneck, 1998, Gwynn Park, 4, 248

12. Tanardo Sharps, Meade, 1996, North County, 5, 243

13. Martel Threadgill, Broadneck, 1997, South River, 3, 243

14. Rayvon Johnson, Annapolis, 1998, Largo, 2, 240

Martel Threadgill, Broadneck, 1998, Old Mill, 3, 239

* -- County, state record

Pub Date: 10/28/98

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