In holding pattern, teams itch to play

No games or practices for third consecutive day

High Schools

October 10, 2002|By Pat O'Malley and Glenn P. Graham | Pat O'Malley and Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

Arundel's veteran football coach Chuck Markiewicz spoke for a lot of other county coaches and players yesterday when he said: "I don't know what to do with myself."

The reference was to a third straight day without games or practices in Anne Arundel County as a result of precautionary measures taken because of the recent sniper shootings in the Washington area.

"We've never been faced with anything like this before," said Markiewicz, whose Wildcats and the county's other football teams won't play until Monday.

Today's JV football games have been moved along with tomorrow's varsity games to Monday to give the teams a chance to practice today and tomorrow.

Marlene Kelly, the county's supervisor of athletics, said a decision will be made this morning whether to resume today's athletic events.

Saturday can also be a practice day, but most teams will not have full squads because it is a scheduled SAT testing day.

"When we've had football games moved to Mondays in the past because of weather problems, we could at least practice in the gym or something," Markiewicz said.

"But with this situation, we can't even see them [players]. I guess it's a prudent decision."

Said a county educator, who is the mother of an athlete and wished to remain anonymous: "I'm very concerned, but we certainly can't put a football game before a child's safety."

The same parent added: "It concerns me though that we allow this man to shut down our lives, but what do you do? When do you decide to play?"

Linda Leone, the mother of Old Mill's All-County punter Matt Leone, said the situation "is frightening and I don't see how the county can do anything else but call everything off."

"It would be too easy [for the sniper] to pick off kids one by one if they were out on the football field."

One event moving to Monday is the volleyball showdown between No. 4 Arundel (7-0) and No. 5 Severna Park (6-3) at Broadneck.

Even though volleyball is played indoors, Severna Park's Amanda Ingle says she and her teammates "understand that you can't play one sport while all the others don't play. We can't whine over that."

Ingle added that she is concerned about losing the edge her team gained with last Thursday's 3-2 triumph over No. 7 Broadneck.

"I hope the three days off doesn't take away our momentum coming off the Broadneck win," said Ingle, whose team is scheduled today to play host to Northeast-AA.

Severn field hockey coach Carolyn Abruzzo's No. 4-ranked Admirals (9-1-1) were primed to play No. 5 Spalding (10-0-2) in a showdown for first place in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference. They were ready on Tuesday and then again yesterday.

"Frustrating," Abruzzo said. "And that's the general thought from everyone.

"We were coming off a big [6-0 over Sts. Peter & Paul] win on Saturday. It was our homecoming and there was a lot of energy and a lot of excitement. Now is the perfect time to play Spalding. We know it's going to be a tough game all the way through, but the girls were ready. It's been an emotional roller coaster - excited to play, called off; excited to play, called off - I'm wondering how many times I can get them fired up to play. And now, we're probably not going to play them until late in the season."

It's no different on the soccer field in Gambrills, where the No. 9 Arundel girls (7-2-1) were looking forward to another crack at No. 6 Severna Park (9-0) on Tuesday and then again yesterday.

The game was slated as a rematch of last year's county championship game when the Falcons won their fifth straight crown with a 3-1 win. Arundel hasn't beaten Severna Park since 1996, but standout midfielder Melissa Hornfeck thought this could be the time.

"We were really excited and all psyched up about playing Severna Park and now we're bummed because we thought we were ready for them," Hornfeck said. "We're supposed to play Old Mill [today] and then hopefully we can get a couple practices in before finally playing Severna Park."

The game has been rescheduled for Monday, giving both teams just one practice with Severna Park also in action today at Northeast.

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