River Hill athletic director Don Van Deusen said yesterday that he plans to retire in July, ending his 33-year career with the Howard County school system.
Van Deusen, 58, is retiring so that he can take the position of assistant general manager for the Columbia Association's Fairway Hills and Hobbit's Glen golf courses.
He will finish the school year as athletic director and physical education teacher at River Hill, and work his new job on weekends and evenings until school ends.
"I enjoy what I'm doing, but it's exciting to try something new," said Van Deusen, an avid golfer who has served as executive director for the First Tee program at Fairway Hills for two years. First Tee is a national program that offers golf access and learning to children who otherwise would not have access.
The assistant general manager's position opened up after the retirement of Gene Ward as general manager Dec. 1 and the subsequent hiring of Joan Loveless as the new general manager.
"We needed someone whose skills would match with Joan's," said Bob Bellamy, CA's director of operations for sports and fitness. "They will make a good team."
Loveless, head pro at Fairway Hills for eight years, is PGA- and LPGA-certified; Van Deusen is not PGA-certified. His job will be an administrative one, running the pro shops and tournaments and supervising the course rangers and starters.
Van Deusen has worked as a ranger and starter during the past five summers.
Bellamy said he received 100 resumes for the assistant general manager's position and that 10 people were interviewed.
"CA has been good about letting me finish up my job at River Hill," said Van Deusen.
Van Deusen has spent 14 years as an athletic director, eight at River Hill and six at Atholton. He coached football and basketball and taught for three years at Howard starting in 1971, then spent 22 years at Atholton before helping to open up River Hill.
He coached football 21 years at Atholton and four years at River Hill, and also coached baseball 10 years and basketball eight years at Atholton.
The Long Island native was a Little All-American in football and baseball at Concord College in W.Va., and played two years in the New York Yankees' farm system.
He is the father of five, two of whom currently coach in Howard County. Brian is head football coach and basketball coach at River Hill. And Stephanie is head girls soccer coach at Atholton.
Mat rivalry, chapter 8
Dominic Ventura of Centennial and Jeff Plasse of Oakland Mills have an incredible wrestling rivalry.
The two have wrestled nine times over three seasons, and Plasse holds a 6-3 edge. All but two of the first eight meetings were close.
Plasse defeated Ventura three times when they were sophomores, but Ventura defeated Plasse four times last season until Plasse beat Ventura at the state meet. Plasse finished fourth in the state, and Ventura was sixth. Ventura won the county title, and Plasse was second.
Last weekend at McDonogh's Ray Oliver Tournament, they met for the ninth time, and Plasse pinned Ventura on a nearside cradle at 3:10. The 125-pound match was scoreless at the time of the pin. Plasse finished the tournament as runner-up.
Atholton's wrestling team, after winning just two matches all last season, won its first two matches this season and did it against two strong opponents, archrival Hammond and an Oakland Mills squad that returns three all-county wrestlers.
After Tuesday's surprisingly easy 50-24 victory over Oakland Mills, Andrew Brazis won as a substitute for sophomore sensation Jeff Zillmer, who was sidelined by the flu.
Brazis credited Atholton's coaching staff for the fast start.
That staff, headed by veteran Bruce Lindblad, includes Hroon Rashed and Chris Williams. Rashed coached the Hammond JV the past two seasons and Williams was a state champ at Hammond in 1996.
The Raiders also expect to have two-time regional champ and Atholton alumnus Mark Carbone coaching in January when he turns 21 and becomes eligible to coach.
Oakland Mills wrestler Sean Kendig gave up only two points while winning the Ray Oliver Tournament at McDonogh last weekend.
Kendig, a junior, won the 171-pound county championship last season and sailed through all four bouts at McDonogh, winning by 9-1, a pin, 8-0 and 6-1. He beat the tournament's defending champ in the finals.
Hearings on lights
The school board gave its permission this fall for the construction of lights at every county stadium.
One of the mandatory steps each school must take in the process of constructing those lights is to hold a public hearing at which the community will have a chance to speak out.
Only Howard currently has lights, and the other 10 schools each has scheduled a hearing.
All hearings will be at 7 p.m. at the school auditoriums.
The dates are: Atholton, Jan. 12; Centennial, Jan. 20; Glenelg, Jan. 12; Hammond, Jan. 13; Long Reach, Jan. 15; Mount Hebron, Jan. 14; Oakland Mills, Jan. 28; Reservoir, Jan. 14; River Hill, Jan. 13; Wilde Lake, Jan. 15.