Bruins back in title match



Broadneck is in, but Severna Park has to win its final regular-season volleyball match at South River Tuesday in order to play in the Anne Arundel County final, which will be at Severna Park two days later.

The Bruins and Falcons, who have dominated county volleyball since 1999, were both unbeaten before Severna Park lost a five-game match at Broadneck last week, dropping the Falcons into a second-place tie with South River.

Severna Park and South River, which also lost to the Bruins in five games two days earlier, have one league loss each (7-1).

Broadneck clinched its sixth trip to the county final in seven years with the two wins and will be going after its third county title since the championship match was instituted in 1995.

The defending Class 4A state champion Bruins started the season ranked No. 1 by The Sun, but lost their first two matches to a pair of ranked teams - Huntingtown of Calvert County and Centennial.

A third loss to tough Centreville (Va.) also came in the early going, but the Bruins have won eight in a row in the county through the Severna Park game.

"They are really starting to feel sure of themselves out there," said Broadneck coach Romonzo Beans, who has led the Bruins to three state titles over the past five years and county titles in 2000 and 2003.

"We're getting the consistency it takes to win out there with a lot of young girls [seven of 11 are underclassmen]. Playing that big match on Tuesday [the win over South River] gave us the push we needed against Severna Park."

Broadneck won the fifth game over Severna Park, 15-9, mainly on the outside hitting of senior Kanisha Sheppard. Sheppard, who had been suffering from muscle spasms, delivered six of her match-high 27 kills in the last game.

The Bruins, who lost the first two games to Severna Park, got by South River, 15-12, in the fifth game.

Severna Park has the most county titles (seven) since the inception of the final, but hasn't won one since 2002. That was the freshman season of the Falcons' outstanding hitter, Ashlee Allen, a two-time All-County choice who had 11 kills and eight aces against Broadneck.

"Hopefully we will see them [Bruins] again if we beat South River," said Allen, whose sister Julie is the Falcons' coach. "We're going to practice hard for South River and be ready for that game."

Murray appears

Hall of Famer and former Orioles first baseman and designated hitter Eddie Murray showed up at Michael's Eighth Avenue in Glen Burnie last Wednesday.

Murray, along with his wife, Janice, and their two daughters, Jordan and Jessica, flew in from Los Angeles to honor Dickie Connolly on his induction into the Anne Arundel County Sports Hall of Fame.

Connolly, a former fast-pitch softball great as a shortstop, was one of four inducted at the 15th annual event.

Connolly has been battling diabetes for more than 20 years. He has had fingers and toes amputated and undergone numerous surgeries, spending a lot of time at a Baltimore rehabilitation center established and funded by Murray.

Through his health struggles, Connolly also met and became friends with Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo and his wife and former Orioles coach Elrod Hendricks, who were all there last week as well.

"Everybody has somebody they look up to and consider to be a good friend in life, and Eddie is that person in my life," an emotional Connolly said.

Also, inducted were:

Basketball standout and Severna Park resident Steve Wojciechowski (Cardinal Gibbons, Duke), who is now an assistant coach at Duke;

Pat Chance, the county's all-time winningest girls basketball coach, from Old Mill and Glen Burnie;

Eric Reid, of Annapolis High, who went on to become a national champion in track at LSU and was inducted into the latter's Hall of Fame.

Buz Platt, a longtime youth coach with the Glen Burnie Gridiron Rebels and volunteer adviser to county Recreation and Parks, received the County Executive Award for his services to the county and youth.

Quick hits

Jeff Jones ran for 178 yards and three touchdowns to lead Northeast (2-5) to its second straight win, 26-8 at Southern (1-6). ... Also in county football, Steve Holmes caught eight passes for 135 yards in a 20-13 win by Old Mill (6-1) over South River (4-3). ... Archbishop Spalding's football team (7-1) can tie its school record for wins (eight), which it set in 2003 and equalled in 2004 under coach Mike Whittles, with a win over St. Mary's (5-3) Friday at Anne Arundel Community College (7 p.m.). ... Severna Park junior varsity lineman Tommy Sells was released from the hospital Saturday afternoon after breaking his right femur in Friday's football game with Annapolis and undergoing surgery. "There was no knee damage or ligament damage," said his father, Larry Sells. "His season is over, but he is on the mend with a great attitude. "His first words coming out of surgery, were, `Who won the JV and varsity games?' and I told him we did."

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