W. Lake grad Willingham named Oak. Mills girls basketball coach


April 30, 2003|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

Seth Willingham, a prolific two-sport athlete at Wilde Lake in the early 1990s, was named the new girls basketball coach at Oakland Mills yesterday.

Willingham succeeds Marcus Lewis, who had coached the team for four years before being hired to replace Dave Appleby as the boys coach earlier this month.

Scorpions athletic director Ken Hovet said Willingham, a physical education teacher at Oakland Mills who coached the girls JV squad last winter, was one of four applicants.

"He's got a good knowledge of basketball," Hovet said. "He gets along with the kids, and they respect him."

Willingham was an All-County guard in 1994 who averaged 18.3 points, 7.7 rebounds and 4.1 assists a game for the Wildecats. But Willingham made his mark on the football field, where - as the team's quarterback - he guided Wilde Lake to its third straight state championship in 1992.

Willingham inherits a Scorpions program that went 6-17 last season but had advanced to the state tournament three times, culminating in a Class 1A state championship in 1998.

"I want to re-establish a winning tradition at this high school," Willingham said, noting that the team will return four of last winter's five starters. "I hope to bring a lot of energy and enthusiasm. It's a great opportunity."

Softball teams at loss

A rule by the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association that prohibits softball teams from being eligible to claim one of the top four seeds in their regions if they play less than 14 games will have a profound impact on No. 5 Glenelg, No. 15 Mount Hebron and River Hill.

Glenelg (11-0) and River Hill (9-4) both will have played 13 games by the time the seeding meeting is held Monday. River Hill, which plays in the Class 3A East region, is considered to have played only 11 games because two games came from its own tournament, which does not count toward earning a seed.

Mount Hebron (8-2) will have played only 12 games by Monday, but coach Sal Milio seemed unflustered at the possibility of losing a coveted seed in the Class 3A East region.

"The rules are the rules," said Milio, who - like many other coaches in the county - lost potential games to inclement weather. "If it's the rule, it's the rule, and we play by the rules."

Teams that do not meet the 14-game minimum will be placed in an open draw. Glenelg coach Cameron Rahnama, whose squad most likely would have earned the top seed in the Class 2A West region, said he doesn't regret giving his players time off during their spring break rather than scheduling games.

"It's not all about softball," he said. "It's about academics and friends and family."

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