Two county coaches nearing 100 career victories in baseball


April 09, 1999|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Two Anne Arundel County baseball coaches are closing in on 100 career wins.

North County's Don Usewick has 99 wins, and Chesapeake's Jim Simms stands at 95. They are perched to become the 11th and 12th coaches in county baseball history to win 100.

North County (3-4) was the somewhat surprise winner of the Pop Warner Tournament at Chesapeake on Easter weekend before dropping a 15-8 decision to No. 12-ranked Old Mill (5-2) Wednesday.

Usewick is in his ninth season at the Ferndale school and is 85-78. He was 14-38-1 at Andover in three seasons (1988-90) before the school merged with Brooklyn Park to form North County. The Knights coach takes a career mark of 99-116-1 into today's game at No. 19 Annapolis (4-1).

Simms' Cougars have gotten off to the slowest start (1-5) in his nine seasons at the Lake Shore school. His career record is 96-57 going into today's 7 p.m. game at top-ranked Arundel (5-2).

Arundel's Bernie Walter is the county's all-time winningest coach at 432-119, the third-best record in state history. Walter is the only Anne Arundel coach to hit the 400-win milestone.

Severna Park's Jim Pitt is 22 away at 378-214 but seriously considering retirement after this, his 30th county season.

Panthers turn it around

If you haven't noticed, the 19th-ranked Annapolis baseball team is off to a 4-1 start, including a 5-3 victory over No. 9 Broadneck (5-2) on Wednesday.

Annapolis was 7-10 last season, and coach Larry Brogden's Panthers have not had a winning season since their state championship campaign in 1988 (17-6).

"Without question, this is the best pitching staff we've ever had," said Brogden, who is in his 26th season. "We have four quality pitchers."

Senior right-handers John Fontanella and Phil Wilson are both 2-0. Fontanella pitched a five-hitter with seven strikeouts to stop Broadneck and win his second.

Brogden also has confidence in junior Joe Feldmann and sophomore left-hander Matt Sanchez.

Lack of pitching has been an annual problem for the Panthers, even in their state title year. Player of the Year Kevin Alarie was pretty much the pitching staff in 1988, going 11-4 and prompting the "Alarie rule."

After Alarie won all four playoff games, the state set rules limiting pitchers to a maximum 14 innings in a seven-day period and no more than 10 in three calendar days.

Borland to be inducted

Andy Borland, who retired as Severna Park's football coach after the 1997 season, will be inducted into the Maryland High School Football Hall of Fame tonight at the University of Maryland's Adult Education Center in College Park.

Borland was the county's third-winningest coach at 145-108 (.573) in 25 years as Falcons head coach. He also spent 10 years as an assistant to the late George Roberts (71-48-9, 1960-72).

Loyola's Joe Brune, Gaithersburg's John Harvill, and Largo's Rocco Romeo, who will be enshrined posthumously, will enter the Hall with Borland.


Josh Grover, third-team All-County in his senior year (1994-95) at Broadneck after averaging nine points and 10 rebounds for the Bruins, was named to the GTE Academic All-District University Division III basketball team.

A senior at Appalachian State, the 6-foot-10 Grover majors in accounting and carries a 3.54 grade-point average.

Grover contributed to the Bruins' 1996 run to the Class 3A final four at the University of Maryland, where Broadneck dropped a tough decision, 46-44, to Thomas Johnson, of Frederick.

In his last high school game, Grover had the unenviable task of guarding a 6-8 sophomore, Terence Morris, now a Maryland star.

One of the most interesting boys lacrosse games tonight finds Chesapeake (1-2) at No. 14 Broadneck (3-2) at 7: 15.

The Cougars, under first-year coach Jim Beardmore, upset No. 12 Arundel (2-1) by 6-5 last week on Scott Mucci's goal with 28 seconds left and dropped a 12-11 decision to 2-1 South River on Wednesday.

Annapolis boys basketball coach John Brady really liked the character, intelligence and personality of his 1998-99 team that went 23-2, winning the county championship and finishing No. 5 in The Sun Top 20. His opinion was verified when his players voted co-Most Valuable Players in Marcus Johnson and DeWayne Hunt.

Johnson, a 6-5 junior, led the Panthers in scoring (16 points a game) and three-pointers (68) and was named first team All-Metro and All-County. His peers noticed, but maybe more importantly, they recognized the contributions of Hunt.

Hunt, a senior role player, did not finish among the leaders in any category but led in heart, team play, defense and attitude.

"DeWayne could not have given us more than what he did with his senior leadership," said Brady. "He's the kind of kid [who] makes coaching a pleasure. We're really going to miss him."

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

Pub Date: 4/09/99

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