O'Meally answers call to return to coaching

Players help persuade former assistant to lead boys lacrosse program


High Schools

January 23, 2000|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

If John O'Meally was reluctant about applying for the vacant boys lacrosse head coaching position at South Carroll, the Cavalier players weren't.

O'Meally, whose hiring was announced last week, said he wasn't convinced at first that he was the right man for the job. But players like attackman Jesse Buppert, midfielder Steve Grabowsky, and goalkeeper Jason Witte applied their version of a full-court press.

"The students would walk by and they would say, `Are you going to apply for the job?' " O'Meally recalled. "They would say, `You should do it.' "

O'Meally also received the blessing of his wife Wendie, their three children, and his father Ed, who has been a substitute teacher at South Carroll for eight years.

O'Meally, a Cavaliers assistant coach for five years who sat out last season, could not resist the call of coaching once again.

"It's hard to miss March because its the worst month for weather, but I did," he said, adding that he has 19 seniors on this season's roster. "I knew I wasn't stepping into a rebuilding program."

For five years, O'Meally was an assistant at Westminster where he rejoined coach Jim Peters, who coached O'Meally during his senior year of lacrosse.

"I'm tickled he got it," Peters said. "He was a great attackman in high school and I think he will do well as head coach. he's a good offensive strategist."

O'Meally said his biggest challenge is continuing South Carroll's success, which blossomed under former coach Jeff Alisauckas and current athletic director Gene Brown.

"It's a big tradition," he said. "There's a lot of support from the alumni who stop in and watch practice. I want to keep the tradition of winning going."

O'Meally said he has already seen some of his players throwing the ball around and shooting at the cages.

"I see the guys in the weight room, talking about what they want to accomplish," he said. "I'm excited."

New gym close

The finishing touches are being applied to a new $2 million gymnasium at Bowling Brook Prep, the all-boys school in Keymar.

The two-story facility is expected to open in March and will replace the current gym that opened with the school in 1988.

"We'll come into the 21st century," executive director and athletic director Michael Sunday said with a grin.

The new gymnasium will feature two regulation-size basketball courts on the upper level and a wrestling room, health suite, laundry facilities and locker rooms on the bottom floor.

The current gym does not have a wrestling room, locker rooms, or stands and only has one court.

Fans at basketball games sit on benches along the wall or stand on their feet and both the home and visiting teams use adjoining classrooms as locker rooms.

"To have a facility where we can run practices simultaneously, it's going to allow for easy access and facilitation for both the coaches and players," Sunday said.

Little stir in rankings

There wasn't much movement in this month's Maryland State Wrestling Association rankings, which seeds the top four wrestlers in each weight class in Carroll, Montgomery, Frederick, Allegany, Garrett and Washington counties.

Junior Dan Patterson and senior Chris Currence -- both of South Carroll -- remain atop the 125-pound and 171-pound weight divisions. Currence is 10-3 with six pins.

Patterson (18-2, eight pins) suffered his only losses at the Hammond Invitational last weekend.

Cavaliers junior 119-pounder Kellen Weber (16-4 with eight pins) and senior 152-pounder Kevin Clark (16-4 with five pins) remained in the second and fourth spots, respectively.

Despite a 19-1 record with 12 pins, junior Bryan Hamper of South Carroll slipped from third to fourth in the 140-pound class.

North Carroll freshman Tyler Graham, who is 18-2 with 12 pins, also fell one spot from third to fourth at 103, and Francis Scott Key senior heavyweight Greg Frech (14-4) is still second.

Westminster' 125-pound junior, Adam Tenney (16-6), and Bowling Brook senior heavyweight Mike Price (16-1) dropped out of the rankings.

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