Enrollment shifts, deals with refs hit programs Annapolis, Broadneck, South River expecting revised classification

November 06, 1998|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Two developments -- the result of shifting county school growth and tighter budgets for athletics -- could impact the quality of play in football and basketball, the biggest revenue makers in county high school sports.

Annapolis, which historically has been one of Anne Arundel County's larger schools, is expected to drop in size from Class 4A to 3A in the 1999-2000 school year. The school's enrollment is about 1,700, down from 2,000.

A proposal to reclassify Annapolis, Broadneck and South River, as well as other schools around the state, was made yesterday at the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association classification committee meeting.

Under the reclassification proposal, Broadneck will move into Class 4A, for the state's largest schools, from 3A. South River will move to Class 3A from 2A. The proposal is expected to be adopted at the state's Board of Control meeting on Dec. 5.

Ramifications would be felt mostly in football, in which teams play 10-game schedules.

Eight county Class 4A teams currently play in a league which gives them seven county games and three outside contests. The Class 2A-3A league has four public school teams and a three-game league schedule.

"Each state member school had to submit [its] enrollment for grades nine through 11 as of Sept. 30," said county coordinator Marlene Kelly. "Annapolis had been on the bubble."

Scheduling always has been football's biggest problem and could be a nightmare for Annapolis for the first time -- and even worse for Southern-Harwood, which will be the county's only Class 2A school.

"As far as the competition in the state tournament, there's not a lot of difference in 4A and 3A, but the concern is putting a schedule together," said Annapolis coach Roy Brown. "I might quit if I have to take a couple trips over to the Eastern Shore to get games."

Arundel athletic director Bernie Walter said scheduling could be resolved by putting all the schools in one 12-team league.

The county physical education department will announce today the referee groups that will work boys and girls basketball for the nearing season. The county was required by the Board of Education to put the contracts out for competitive bid.

Two long-standing groups, the International Association of Basketball Officials Board No. 23 for boys and the Anne Arundel County Officials Board for girls, will learn their fates today.

"We based the bids 60 percent on technical and 40 percent financial, because we want to maintain the quality we are used to having," said Kelly. She would not reveal how many groups bid.

Sources familiar with the bidding said the Anne Arundel group expects to lose the girls contract but that IABO Board No. 23, which also works Baltimore and Howard County games, expects to be retained.

Pub Date: 11/06/98

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