Floyd takes hit and still impresses

SIDELINES

All-Metro pitcher's speed in mid-90s draws scouts' attention at Florida event

January 26, 2000|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Severna Park's Gavin Floyd stoked baseball's hot-stove fires last weekend in Vero Beach, Florida. His arm and jaw were both on fire in Dodgertown when he left amid raves and pains.

Floyd, an All-Metro pitcher as a sophomore at Mount St. Joseph High, was in Vero Beach for the Baseball Factory High School All-American showcase, and the 6-foot-5, 205-pound junior right-hander had pro and college scouts drooling with a 94 mph fastball.

Floyd, who threw twice a week in preparation for the camp, also had the scouts gasping when he took an 87 mph fastball in the jaw while batting the final day. Luckily, he was not seriously injured.

"The first five pitches out of his hand were 94 mph," said Floyd's summer and fall coach Dean Albany of the Maryland Orioles.

Major-league scouting directors "flew in from all over the country to see Gavin, and believe me, he didn't disappoint anybody. He looks so much better than he did last year, but he gave everybody a scare the last game."

Albany, who coached one of several teams chosen to play in Florida, said the pitch Gavin took in the jaw was a "really good shot."

"Luckily his dad [Rodney Floyd], who is a dentist, was there and got right to him when I did," Albany said. "Gavin was squatting like a catcher, holding back tears and telling us he could feel the cut with his tongue. It was a nasty cut under his nose to the jaw."

It took 30 stitches to patch up the cut, and there was no dental or other damage.

"I'm doing fine, but will be out of basketball for about a week," Floyd said yesterday. Floyd is also a member of the Gaels' 12th-ranked basketball team.

The scouts would prefer that Floyd let a designated hitter hit for him, but he doesn't feel that way.

"I love to bat and what happened is not going to change that," Floyd said.

College scouts are not allowed to talk to Floyd until July, and at that time, he is likely to be besieged. His arm and loose, easy release, along with his overall frame that produce extraordinary velocity, are a rare package that scouts pursue.

Three of Floyd's Maryland Orioles' teammates -- Mount St. Joseph All-Metro shortstop Allen Strick of Glen Burnie, pitcher Jeff Aikens (Fallston) and catcher Cody Wargo (Northern-Calvert) -- also attended the showcase.

Bresnahan promoted

Chuck Bresnahan, who played football at St. Mary's High and Navy where he later coached, has been promoted from defensive backs coach to defensive coordinator of the Oakland Raiders.

The 39-year-old Bresnahan, whose younger brother Tommy Bresnahan set the county season record for interceptions (12) at South River in 1982, played defensive end for Gary Tranquill at Navy.

Bresnahan coached briefly at Navy before serving as an assistant at Georgia Tech and later linebackers coach under Annapolis graduate Bill Belichick with the Cleveland Browns.

When the Browns moved to Baltimore and Belichick was not retained, Bresnahan took over as linebackers coach with the Indianapolis Colts. Two years ago, Bresnahan joined the Al Davis staff in Oakland.

Annapolis record broken

Thomas Hawkins broke the Annapolis school record for career points set by the late James Butler in the No. 2 Panthers' 69-54 rout of No. 17 North County (7-5) on Monday.

"I never saw Manpoo play, but I heard he was something else," said Hawkins, who ran his career total to 1,239 -- 15 more than Butler -- to help Annapolis remain unbeaten at 12-0. "Manpoo did it without the three-point shot."

Butler, who averaged 30.4 points his senior year (1985-86), was arguably the best pure shooter to play in the county, hitting shots regularly from where now is considered three-point range.

A different kind of player, the 6-5 Hawkins is also an outstanding rebounder and defensive player, and his achievement cannot be minimized considering the Annapolis tradition.

Annapolis has made a Maryland-record 24 appearances in the 66 state tournaments since 1927 (no tournament during war years, 1940-46), won two state titles (1974 and 1990) and had three players chosen in the NBA draft.

"The thing about Tom is that he can score all kinds of different ways, and has been doing that for four years, been very consistent," said Annapolis coach John Brady.

"He can score from inside or outside, is great from the foul line and he finishes under pressure. A lot of guys can get the shots off, but he can finish them."

Headed to Navy

Long Reach All-Metro place-kicker Justin Havrilla will sign a letter of intent to play football for the Naval Academy next Wednesday, said Lightning football coach Pete Hughes.

Havrilla hit five of seven field-goal attempts this season, including a 42-yarder. He finished his career with 15 field goals in 20 attempts. He converted 28 of 30 extra-point attempts this season.

Sideliners

Arundel baseball coach and athletic director Bernie Walter, who had quadruple bypass surgery in November, is "feeling great." Walter returned to school a couple weeks ago. Roy Brown, Annapolis football coach, is contemplating retirement in the next two years and is looking into a career as a dog trainer. An avid lover of man's best friend, Brown has been taking classes on dog training and expects to be certified later this year.

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

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