Classification changes will force revamped scheduling for football

Sidelines

November 08, 1998|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

New classifications for three county schools, Annapolis, Broadneck and South River, will likely be approved at the state's Board of Control meeting on Dec. 5. A couple ideas have been bandied about to resolve impending problems with the county football schedule.

What at first appears to be a possible scheduling hassle could turn into a positive with the prospects of a 10-team county league.

Annapolis always ranked among the largest schools, but this week at the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association classification committee meeting, a somewhat surprise proposal was made to drop Annapolis from Class 4A to Class 3A.

The reclassification seems likely to become effective next fall and last for at least two years.

It's not so much that Annapolis, now with 1,700 students after years of 2,000 or more, has had declining enrollment as much as many other schools around the state have gotten larger.

Broadneck is likely to go from Class 3A to Class 4A, and South River will likely step up from Class 2A to Class 3A.

The county retains eight 4A schools -- Arundel, Broadneck, Chesapeake, Glen Burnie, Meade, North County, Old Mill and Severna Park. They will be joined in the Class 4A East region by Westminster and Harford County's C. Milton Wright.

Annapolis and South River will join Northeast in Class 3A, and Southern-Harwood will be the county's only school in Class 2A.

Football is the only sport the new alignment seriously affects, because of its 10-game schedule.

Fred Stauffer, Annapolis athletic director, may have the best idea to alleviate a scheduling snafu.

Stauffer suggests a 10-team county league that excludes Class 2A Southern and Class 3A Northeast, which hasn't won a game since 1996 and would be in over its head playing 4A schools each week.

"We've kicked this around in anticipation of the changes, and many of us agree it would be the best way to go," said Stauffer. "We've [Annapolis] never been a small school, so this is new to us."

The 10 teams would play nine games with Anne Arundel County opponents and have one outside game to schedule. Traditional final-game game rivalries would be retained, with South River playing Southern for its 10th game and Chesapeake meeting Northeast in its regular-season finale.

Other county teams would have the option of scheduling Southern or Northeast for one of their 10 games.

Old and new

The International Association of Basketball Officials Board No. 23 has been retained to referee county public-school boys basketball games this season, but the girls teams will be seeing new officials.

The Maryland Board of Officials Association landed the girls basketball contract by out-bidding the Anne Arundel County Officials Board. With athletic budgets tightened considerably, the MBOA's $44 fee per official was more appealing to the county than the AACOB's $50 fee, which they refused to lower.

The MBOA also works the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference and the D.C.-area Catholic League.

Pete Medhurst, a MBOA referee, said his group has invited some the Anne Arundel officials to join.

"I think our training classes and overall organization impressed the county, as much as our fee," Medhurst said.

County government is required by law to put the contracts out for competitive bid, with the criteria "60 percent technical and 40 percent financial," said coordinator Marlene Kelly.

Under new commissioner Stacy Brown, who replaced Mike Malone, IABO refused to lower its $50 fees and was unchallenged, said Brenda Barrett in the county finance and budgeting division.

Sideliners

Tony Dokoupil, Severna Park's All-Metro center fielder (.500, five HRs, 20 RBIs) orally committed Friday to attend George Washington University on a baseball scholarship. The 6-foot tall, 185-pound Dokoupil, who has a 3.27 grade-point average and 1,190 SAT score, chose the Atlantic 10 school because he "will get the opportunity to play right away, and I just loved the school when I visited."

John McCurdy, state champion Arundel's All-County second baseman (.302, five homers, 32 RBIs), has committed to Maryland, changing his mind after visiting the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. McCurdy (6-0, 170), who will play shortstop this spring, was impressed with the fact that former Arundel All-Metro Casey Trout is the Terps' starting shortstop.

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

Pub Date: 11/08/98

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