6 to be inducted into Maryland Hall of Fame

Franklin High coach Reid is among the honorees


May 13, 2004|By Sandra McKee | Sandra McKee,SUN STAFF

When Franklin High School soccer coach Ian Reid plays soccer around the house with his 4-year-old son, Alex, and his wife yells, Reid has flashbacks.

"I don't exactly remember when I started playing, but when that happens, I remember the same thing happening to me when I was a boy," said Reid, one of six men who will be inducted into the Maryland Soccer Hall of Fame tomorrow night.

"My family moved here when I was 12, and my dad, a Scot, was a huge soccer fan. He loved the game, loved to play and always told great stories."

Joining Reid, a native of Liverpool, England, who played for Woodlawn High and was the Outstanding Offensive Player on Loyola College's 1976 NCAA Division II championship team, at the 7 p.m. ceremony at the Columbus Gardens in Fullerton are:

Retired player and coach Richard Cuomo. He played soccer for Dulaney High and the University of Baltimore. As an amateur, he led the Maryland Major League in scoring from 1973 through 1976. As a UB assistant coach, he recruited many of the players who led the team to a 1976 Division II NCAA championship. And he coached the 1990 Baltimore Bays to the American Professional Soccer League title.

Former New York Cosmos, Olympic and national team player Darryl Gee. He was the first black American-born player to be drafted into professional soccer. Gee is director of coaching and player development for the Sterling Youth and Loudon Youth soccer associations in Virginia and the full-time director of the Darryl Gee Soccer Academy. He grew up in Columbia and played for Oakland Mills High.

Towson State soccer coach Frank Olszewski. A player for Patapsco High and Johns Hopkins University, he helped the Blue Jays to the NCAA final four in 1975. In 1977, he was an alternate to the U.S. Olympic team and drafted by the New York Arrows of the Major Indoor Soccer League. He has been head coach at Towson State for 23 years and is Towson's winningest coach.

Blast coach Tim Wittman. After making his reputation at Calvert Hall, he was drafted by the Blast directly out of high school and began a career that set team records and earned MISL titles with the Blast and San Diego Sockers. He was inducted into the Maryland Athletic Hall of Fame in 2003.

The late Jules Bianconi. The lone goalkeeper in the group, he was drafted into the service in 1941, but he continued to play soccer with the 29th Division team in England until called to take part in the invasion of Normandy. When he returned to Baltimore, he signed with the Baltimore Soccer Club of the American Soccer League. After one year, he returned to the amateur ranks and played five years for the Pompeii Soccer Club. He died in 2000.

The program is presented by the Old Timers' Soccer Association of Maryland. In existence since 1952, the group recently was designated by the state as custodian of the sport's history.

Until now, the Maryland Soccer Hall of Fame had no home. But an agreement has been reached to house it in the foyer of the Du Burns Arena. Over the next several months, work is expected to begin on cabinetry in which to display the plaques and memorabilia of the 147 Hall of Fame members.

"I'm biased," Olszewski said, "but I think the Du Burns site is appropriate. Though soccer is played all over the state now, this area historically, going back to the '20s, '30s and '40s, is where immigrants first began arriving and playing the game. It's ironic that the site will be that close to the water. I think it's ideal."

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