Oliver, Glass win awards

Edmondson wide receiver, Pikesville girls basketball forward receive scholarships as McCormick Unsung Heroes winners

May 16, 2006|By JEFF SEIDEL | JEFF SEIDEL,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Travis Oliver of Edmondson didn't know what kind of role he would have when the football season started last fall. Oliver was trying to return from a life-threatening injury and subsequent surgery and faced a battle for playing time.

Pikesville's Carley Glass found herself in a similar position when the basketball season began in the winter. She had lost her starting role the previous season and found herself playing forward despite being only 5 feet 3.

But both players managed to carve a role out of situations less than perfect. For that work, Oliver and Glass were the winners at last night's McCormick Unsung Heroes banquet at the Hunt Valley Inn.

The winners each received the four-year Charles Perry McCormick Scholarship Award valued at $30,000 over a four-year period. They were chosen from the field of 119 candidates at 72 Baltimore City and Baltimore County public and private schools.

Former major league pitcher Jim Morris, subject of the 2002 movie The Rookie, was the keynote speaker and delivered a message about never giving up and always chasing dreams, no matter what they are or how high they seem. It was a message Oliver and Glass followed perfectly.

Oliver battled through difficult and painful times in the past 16 months. He was hurt in a January 2005 pickup football game after getting hit in the stomach. His mother took him to the hospital two days later, and doctors discovered that Oliver's pancreas ruptured and released toxic enzymes.

He returned to play last season but didn't get some of the spotlight roles of earlier in his career. Instead of catching a lot of passes or playing quarterback or returning kicks and punts, Oliver grew into a solid blocking wide receiver and even filled in as the holder on kicks.

"I thought I was never going to play again," Oliver said. "I just wanted to play. That's all I wanted to do."

Oliver said the scholarship could open some doors for him. He's not sure which college he'll go to, but is looking at some schools where he could play football.

"This makes it all [complete]," Oliver said.

Glass also sacrificed a lot to help Pikesville during her four-year varsity career. The guard often did the dirty work during her first three seasons, serving as the defensive stopper and becoming a team leader.

But she became the sixth man late in her junior year and pushed hard over the summer to get back in the starting lineup. Glass stepped up her training, regained the starting spot and grew into a leader.

Pikesville coach John Grap said in his letter of recommendation that Glass was always one of the first players to practice and the last to leave it. She did things such as set the team's dress code and organize social events for the team to help everyone grow together.

The Panthers asked her to sacrifice again and play against tougher and bigger players by moving to forward despite her height. She showed her tough defensive skills once again and was a solid player for Pikesville, becoming a force along with her sister, Maryanne, and others.

"It was kind of our role to pick everyone up," Glass said. "I like the aggression of defense, and I don't think I would have been a leader without it."

Glass is headed to Chestnut Hill to play basketball next year. The college in Pennsylvania is a Division III school that will soon move to Division II.

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.