Tighe, Green are a cut above

Carver, Edmondson players are inspirations

Unsung Heroes

High Schools

May 16, 2000|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

Carver Tech's Colleen Tighe had trouble hearing her name announced as one of the winners at last night's 60th annual McCormick Unsung Heroes banquet at the Marriott's Hunt Valley Inn, and employed a sign language translator to interpret questions from reporters.

But the 5-foot-8 basketball player, who was born hearing-impaired, couldn't help but be overwhelmed at the sight of all the people standing and clapping for her as she approached the stage

Tighe and Edmondson's Jemiah Green, both 17, were chosen from some 105 athletes from 71 Baltimore City and Baltimore County public, private and parochial schools to receive four-year scholarships, worth $20,000 to each recipient.

The banquet, established in 1940 by the late Charles P. McCormick, annually recognizes unselfish team play of those male football players and female basketball players who contribute substantially to their team's success without receiving acclaim.

Tighe's basketball coach, Paul Milan, called her approach to life "a breath of fresh air," and her total commitment to the team "a standard for all who follow."

"She never missed a game or practice. Even when injured and unable to participate, she attended on the sidelines," Milam said. "Although Colleen was one of my few experienced players, she never hesitated to pass the ball." Tighe, a 3.8 student who will major in business or education at Washington D.C.'s Galludet University, said, "I want to have other deaf people see me succeed."

Green, a 6-3, 200-pounder, is the third Edmondson player to earn the award, joining William Morant in 1974 and Tim Newton in '76.

"This is a rush. I'm on Cloud 9," said Green, a member of Edmondson's Class 2A state championship runner-up.

"I wasn't sure where I was going to go to school. I'd been looking at a few, but this gives me a lot of options."

A 3.7 student who would like to play football in college, Green's unselfishness and leadership were critical to the most underdeveloped aspect of the Redskins' team, its line on both sides of the ball.

Coach Pete Pompey said Green's hard work and enthusiasm were so contagious that he was able to convince a player -- who initially wanted to be a running back -- to join him on the line.

"Jemiah saw a need for leadership on the line and asked to be switched to tight end from quarterbackwide receiver. He would encourage linemen to stay after film sessions for additional study," Pompey said. "Jemiah was not worried about the publicity surrounding the team. He just maintained a constant, unselfish need to see that the team succeeded."

The guest speaker was Art Berg, a world-class wheelchair athlete and best-selling author, who advised athleets "to focus on what you have, not on what you don't have, and you will always find new solutions to old problems."

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