Blast's Stitz returning to Curley as head coach

Former player, assistant takes over soccer program


February 09, 2000|By Katherine Dunn and Lem Satterfield | Katherine Dunn and Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

Curley graduate Barry Stitz, who is completing his final season playing with the Baltimore Blast, has been hired to be head coach of his alma mater, replacing retired coach Pep Perrella.

Stitz, 30, will also be hired as assistant athletic director to Bill Dawson.

"I've been looking to get into coaching for a while, and coming back to Curley to lead the soccer program is a dream come true," said Stitz, a 1987 graduate. "I've been keeping in contact with the program, over the years, and I'll be working with good people."

A former midfielder at Towson University before graduating in 1991, Stitz is in his eighth season with Baltimore, having scored 29 points this season.

A former winner of the Blast's "Unsung Hero" award, Stitz is a versatile player, having played midfield, forward and defender.

He is among the organization's all-time leaders in games played, two-point goals, power-play goals, and ranks second in assists and points.

"It's unfortunate a decision had to be made now, before the end of this season," Stitz said, "but now, I can focus on getting a league championship."

Stitz was an assistant to Perrella, coaching the junior varsity until 1998, and is familiar with several of the returning players.

"I've seen, first-hand, Barry's command of the fundamentals and his ability to teach the game," said Perrella, 47. "Barry's got the experience, locally, and, nationally, and not many people can bring that. I'm thrilled that a Curley alumnus with his credentials got the job."

Perrella coached last fall's Friars to a 19-1-3 record and his third Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference title in 13 seasons.

Poly's Spitzer makes splash

Elena Spitzer is rewriting Poly's girls swimming record book. The sophomore already has broken two marks that have been around longer than she has.

Spitzer, who swims year-round for the Mariners Swim Club, broke an 18-year-old school record for the 100-yard breaststroke with a finish of 1 minute, 19.67 seconds. She also broke the 17-year-old mark for the 200 freestyle with a 2: 18.44 performance.

By the time the season ends, Spitzer will have established records in five individual events. She also will have the marks for the 200 individual medley, the 100 butterfly and the 500 freestyle, because records have never been kept in those events. She also shared setting a new school record in the 400 freestyle relay.

Although the Baltimore City league's regular-season meets are co-ed, separate boys and girls city titles will be awarded at the title meet Feb. 18 at Morgan State.

Spitzer and her Poly girls teammates are among the favorites to win their title. Other key performers include Kate Guth, who is right on Spitzer's heels in the 200 freestyle, and Meghan Gorman, in the 100 butterfly.

Closing in on 1,000 points

Arlington Baptist's Jason Jones can pass 1,000 points for his career as early as Friday's 6: 30 p.m. game at Chapelgate Christian Academy. The 6-foot-4 senior forward has 966 career points.

As good as he is in basketball, Jones is being recruited for baseball by Clemson, Indiana, Virginia, and UNC-Greensboro.

IND Hall of Famers

Joyce Strejcek Kabakovich, Julie Hofferbert, Melanie Vogel Gaeta, Christa Engleman Zalewski and former coach Jerry Hahn have been inducted into the Institute of Notre Dame Athletic Hall of Fame.

Hofferbert, who scored more than 1,000 points in her career, and Gaeta were All-Metro basketball players. Zalewski, the winningest pitcher in IND softball history, was an All-Metro player and Baltimore City-County Player of the Year in 1993. Kabakovich, a 1959 graduate, excelled in basketball and badminton.

Hahn, who coached basketball and softball for 11 years, is the school's winningest coach in both sports, with three basketball and two softball titles.

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