Howard softball on the road again

9 of Lions' first 10 games away from home, similar to the start of '03 season


High Schools

April 02, 2004|By Ed Lee and Rick Belz | Ed Lee and Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

No one could blame the Howard softball team for being a little road weary.

The Lions are in the midst of a five-week stretch in which nine of their first 10 games are away from home. Howard (3-2 overall, 3-2 county) already has played four games on the road; its only home contest came against Oakland Mills March 24.

Lions coach Dave Vezzi noted that his team endured a similar schedule last spring, playing five of its first six games away from Howard.

"It's just absurd," he said. "It's nice that you finish up at home [seven of eight at Howard], but there's a definite advantage to playing at home. I think most coaches would agree with that."

Don Disney, the coordinator of athletics for the county, called the Lions' schedule "an anomaly" and although schedules are usually submitted to coaches and athletic directors about nine months before the season, he accepted fault for the scheduling.

"He's got a legitimate concern," Disney said when informed of Vezzi's comments. "Ultimately, we're the schedule-makers, and we have to take the blame. I apologize to the people at Howard."

No-go on NDP-Hebron

The girls lacrosse game between No. 1 Notre Dame Prep and No. 3 Mount Hebron, postponed from March 26 because of illness at Mount Hebron, will not be made up. Vikings athletic officials said about 11 percent of the school's 1,600 students did not report to school that day, and seven varsity team members suffered flu-like symptoms.

"Our schedule is too packed and we just couldn't find a date," said NDP coach Mary Bartel, whose team already has 10 games scheduled between today and April 16.

Mount Hebron coach Brooke Kuhl-McClelland said she had hoped to make up the game April 17. However, that would have given the Blazers a fifth game in seven days, including three league games in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference, so Bartel declined.

Two other factors made finding an acceptable date difficult. State rules allow the Vikings to play three games in a single week only twice during the season. Also, the IAAM has a short season, which ends with its tournament finale on May 8.

Glenelg rolls on

The Glenelg softball team's 20th consecutive win against county opponents did not come easily.

Unranked Centennial stayed tied with the No. 15 Gladiators through the first five innings of their game Wednesday until senior pitcher Stephanie Sims singled home freshman shortstop Leah Cossentino in the bottom of the sixth for a 2-1 victory.

Although Eagles freshman pitcher Bailey Kramer's record dropped to 1-2, she surrendered just four hits to a Glenelg squad that had battered its last two county foes for 39 runs and 31 hits. Sophomore Teri Swinson went 1-for-2 with an RBI single.

"We played really well," said Centennial coach Dale Huting, whose team is 2-3 overall and in the county. "We didn't make any mental mistakes. I told the girls to be proud of their play against the front-running team in the county."

Meanwhile, the Gladiators enter spring break with a 5-1 overall record and a 5-0 county mark. Not only did Sims (5-1) drive home the game-winning run, but she also struck out five and scattered four hits.

Cossentino went 2-for-3 with a double and scored both runs.

Sims and Cossentino combined to no-hit Wilde Lake on Monday. Sims, who was credited with the win, pitched a no-hitter against Hammond last season.

"It's a great thing to be undefeated in the county, but ask the girls what their record is and they'll say 0-0," said coach Cameron Rahnama, whose squad is slated to meet No. 2 Chesapeake-AA and No. 7 Northeast at the Cavalier Classic hosted by Archbishop Spalding April 10. "We're just trying to get ready for those two teams."

Wilde Lake AD named

Wilde Lake has promoted Adam Eldridge, the school's assistant football coach for eight years and one-time head wrestling coach, to athletic director. He will take over for Mike Harrison, who will step down as athletic director but continue his duties as assistant football coach.

Eldridge, 29, is a social studies teacher with a bachelor's degree in secondary education from Clemson and a master's degree in school administration from McDaniel.

He played football, baseball and wrestled at Howard, where he graduated in 1992. He was Howard's football scholar-athlete, senior athlete of the year and an All-County guard. He will continue to be the varsity defensive coordinator in football.

"This is one of those opportunities that came along at the right time," said Eldridge. "Mike was doing a great job, but needed more family time. Hopefully, I'll be able to play a leadership role in the school."

Eldridge is married with an 8-month-old daughter and lives in Sykesville.

Sun staff writer Katherine Dunn contributed to this article.

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