Eser tourney lauds legacy of a fallen athlete

SIDELINES

April 01, 2001|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

In order to perpetuate the name of one of Archbishop Spalding's finest student-athletes, the school is holding the first Andy Eser Lacrosse Tournament on April 14.

The one-day event will begin with a 9:30 a.m. ceremony to retire the numbers in lacrosse (No. 7) and football (48) worn by Eser, who was killed last fall in an auto accident on the way home from football practice.

Four games among four teams - host Spalding, Chesapeake-AA, Mount St. Joseph and North County - will follow. Eser was linked to each of the four schools.

Eser, who died at age 18, was one of the most popular student-athletes to ever attend Spalding. He was an honor roll student (4.1 grade-point average) who scored 1,280 on the SAT.

The 6-foot-2, 230-pound Eser was a standout two-way end in football who was being recruited by Ivy League schools, Johns Hopkins and Navy.

Eser was the goalie (240 saves) on the Cavaliers' Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association C Conference champion lacrosse team last spring.

"The parents, faculty and coaches at Spalding felt we should honor Andy in some way, and we were able to get schools involved that are representative of his youth league and high school career," said Janet Leister of the parents' group that is helping to organize the function.

Spalding meets Chesapeake of Lake Shore in the first game at 10 a.m. The Lake Shore-Pasadena area is where Andy grew up playing in the Mountain Road youth program and attended Chesapeake Middle School.

His older brother, Jonathan, a three-sport standout at Chesapeake High and member of The Sun's 1998 All-County Academic Athletic Team, plays lacrosse at Cornell.

Eser played JV lacrosse at Mount St. Joseph before transferring to Spalding for his sophomore year and played pee wee lacrosse for coach Walt Blahut in the Andover Apache program, a North County feeder.

Blahut, who also coached Jonathan at Andover, became Andy Eser's coach again three years ago at Spalding.

Karl and Linda Eser, the parents of Andy and Jonathan, are expected to be on hand for the event. Blahut and Cavaliers football coach Mike Whittles will take part in the retiring of Andy Eser's uniform numbers.

"As hard as it will be, we hope to attend all the Spalding lacrosse games for Andy and we'll do whatever we can for the team, " wrote Linda Eser in a recent note to this reporter.

"If I could get in the goal, I would."

The ceremony will be held rain or shine. For more information, call the school's athletic department at 410-969-9105.

Broadneck is back

That big, maroon bear in Cape St. Claire has awakened.

After so many years of consistent excellence, it was really odd last spring when the Broadneck boys lacrosse team won only four games, the same number of state titles the Bruins won during the 1990s.

Still coached by Clay White, the Bruins proved that coaching is not everything, but a part of the equation. White has not changed. His players have experience and that is why the Bruins are back.

At 4-0, the Bruins have already matched last year's win total, with wins over archrivals Severna Park and Annapolis, and climbed back into The Sun's Top 15 at No. 15.

Sideliners

Friday's rained-out baseball and softball schedule will be played Tuesday. The Friends of Joe Cannon Baseball Game of the Week at Cannon Stadium was rained out for a second straight Friday. Broadneck (1-3) and No. 9 Severna Park (2-2) are scheduled to play at 7:15 p.m. this week.

Alex Bitzer of the Annapolis Area Christian School notched his 300th career point last weekend in Durham, N.C. Bitzer is closing in on the county and state record of 324 points set by St. Mary's Brian Wood (1980-83). Wood's record was approached by McDonogh's Bobby Benson, who graduated in 1998 with 323.

Wood went on to become a four-time All-American at Johns Hopkins and was inducted into the Anne Arundel County Sports Hall of Fame last fall.

Bitzer and the Eagles (4-2) will play host to No. 2-ranked Severn (3-1) at 4 p.m. Wednesday. Severn lost its first game Friday, 11-9, to No. 5 McDonogh (4-0).

Glen Burnie's Amy Shacklock, a junior at Division II Barton College in Wilson, N.C., was named Pitcher of the Week in the Carolinas-Virginia Athletic Conference after going 4-1 with a 1.18 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 35 innings. ... Former Severna Park All-County pitcher Darryl DeSalvo, a senior at Arizona, has the lowest ERA (2.84) on the Wildcats' staff and is 1-0 with four saves as a closer.

Have a note for Sidelines? E-mail patomalleysports@aol.com or call Pat O'Malley's 24-hour Sportsline at 410-647-2499.

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