New county title pairing confuses some

SIDELINES

December 10, 1998|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

How Anne Arundel County champions in boys and girls basketball will be determined this season is causing some confusion.

The county's new policy of having the top two teams play for the county championship applies in all sports.

Even though basketball teams are still playing North and South Division schedules, no longer will division winners play for the title -- unless they end up with the top-two records.

Schedules are drawn two years in advance and could not be changed; thus, the North and South Division schedules continue. That means the six teams in each division play the other five teams home-and-away, making 10 games. The remaining six on each school's schedule come from playing the other division's six schools once.

The 16-game schedule will come up again in the spring in baseball, softball and lacrosse.

The county will soon draw up a new schedule for the next two years with the top two teams, as they did in fall sports, continuing to play for the county championship.

State news

It's official. Beginning in the fall of 1999, Annapolis will be a Class 3A school for the first time, and Broadneck will move back to 4A status from 3A. South River will go to 3A from 2A, leaving Southern as the county's only Class 2A school.

The Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association Board of Control met Saturday in Laurel and made the new classifications, based on projected enrollments, official.

Anne Arundel County will be affected mainly in football, which uses a 10-game schedule and decides state championship contenders on a point system that includes consideration of the enrollment-class of competition.

A team gets eight points for beating a Class 4A opponent, seven for a 3A foe, six for 2A teams, and five for 1A wins. Teams also get bonus points every time a team it defeats wins. With eight Class 4A teams next fall, three 3As and one 2A school, county athletic directors are drawing up a new schedule that will be as close to a true county league as can be done.

The Board of Control also voted 25-25 to continue the state rule to allow counties that so desire to permit athletes to play more than one sport in a given season, such as a soccer player also kicking for the football team.

"I've never seen a vote that close," said Marlene Kelly, county physical education coordinator. "It takes a two-thirds vote to change it."

Anne Arundel County does not allow it two-sport participation.

"We don't have the concern that smaller 1A schools around the state have with a shortage of athletes," said Kelly. "We have no 1A schools, so we allow our student/athletes to play just one sport per season to provide more opportunities for kids to play."

For the county to change its rule, it would have to be done at the legislative committee meetings in March.

What do you think? Call the 24-hour Sportsline with your opinion.

Trophy department

Annapolis running back Rayvon Johnson, the Anne Arundel County football Player of the Year, has won the 40th Rhodes Trophy to be presented to the county's top football player by the Annapolis Touchdown Club at its February banquet.

Arundel All-County linebacker/guard Jeff Blachly became the first Wildcat to win the Al Laramore Award, named after the late Annapolis coach in 1989 and given to the county's top lineman.

Johnson is only the fourth junior selected and the ninth Panther so honored. It's the 10th time Annapolis has claimed the award -- the most of any school-- but Annapolis had not had a winner since 1984 Player of the Year, J Johnson.

Bill Glotzbach, of Annapolis, won the first two in 1959 and 1960 and Arundel's Louis Carter, who went on to star at Maryland and play in the NFL, was the only other back-to-back winner in 1969-70.

Southern's Bob Stach won the award as a junior in 1965.

vTC The 5-foot-10, 170-pound Rayvon Johnson became the county's first 2,000-yard rusher in his first year of high school football, finishing with 2,060 yards on 254 attempts (8.1) in 11 games for the Panthers (8-3). His 1,947 yards in the 10-game regular season is also a new record.

In addition, the speedy, elusive, 4.4 runner set school records for rushing touchdowns (18) and total touchdowns in a season (20), and was an outstanding defensive back who coach Roy Brown said "never got beat.

"I don't think there was any question that Rayvon was the best all-around player in the county," said Brown. "In the 20 years I've been at Annapolis, Rayvon is the best running back we've had."

The two-time All-County Blachly, known mainly for his defense, led the Wildcats in tackles (110) and had three sacks, but the 6-1, 210-pounder was also a crisp and powerful blocker who was a main reason the Cats rushed for nearly 2,400 yards.

Sideliners

Bill Giblin, Severna Park's first-year girls basketball coach, said in yesterday's game article that "Mercy beat [Severna Park] by 50 last year and St. Mary's by 40 -- 80 the year before."

In fact, the Falcons lost last winter to Mercy by 34 and to St. Mary's by the exact same score (71-50) Tuesday, and by 37 the previous year.

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

Pub Date: 12/10/98

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