2 athletic directors tackle new schools

Unfamiliarity spurs challenges, zeal


September 10, 2006|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Craig Walker said that transferring to a job in a new school is a little like moving into a new house.

"The first thing you do is you walk in, you look and you think, `Oh, on that wall, maybe I can put such and such,' " Walker said. "I've found myself doing that quite often."

Walker, the new athletic director at Francis Scott Key High School, is giddy with anticipation over the possibilities at his new home.

The sentiment is similar for Randy Pentz, who has taken over Walker's old job at Century after eight years as the athletic director of Owings Mills.

Walker said that the tough thing has been discovering the nuances of his new school's facilities.

"All of a sudden I'm realizing, `OK, where are the microphones kept?' And, `Where's the scoreboard?' And, `Is this the plug?' " he said. "It's one of those situations where you've got to find things really fast."

For Pentz, one of the biggest differences is that, unlike at Owings Mills, Century's stadium has a gate, allowing the school to charge admission to outdoor events.

"Eventually, I think that's going to be a big plus," Pentz said.

"The potential to bring in money to make sure that athletics is covered ... is definitely greater."

Both athletic directors had their hands full last week, as two rain-filled days wreaked havoc with schedules for sports like soccer and field hockey. On Tuesday, 17 games involving county teams were postponed because of inclement weather.

For both Walker and Pentz, however, it's the little things at their schools that are perhaps the biggest challenge. Both found that out when they spoke on the phone about two weeks ago.

"He called to ask me where the CD of the national anthem was," Walker said. "I said, `I don't know, and I'm looking for one here, too.' "

Champion's quest

After coaching his team to its first Class 2A state championship in November, Liberty boys soccer coach Ed DeVincent will face new challenges this season.

One of them could be learning the names of his players. With the graduation of eight senior starters, the Lions have been scrambling this fall to fill holes.

"You can do one of two things as a coach," DeVincent said. "You can keep your philosophy and make the kids mold to that, or you can change formations to kind of fit the needs of your team. That's what we're battling with right now - trying to find the guys who are going to fit the philosophy that our team has established over the past seven or eight years. It's a work in progress."

So far, DeVincent said that his primary task has been teaching some of the more technical aspects of the game to his younger players. It's a job he expects to get easier as the season progresses.

Offense by committee

With the graduation of first-team All-County midfielders Allie Drechsler and Katie Hertsch, the Winters Mill girls soccer team likely won't have a prolific scorer on the roster this fall.

That's just fine with coach Bryan Shumaker, who plans to use a slight change in philosophy to help fill the void.

"Stylistically, we're going to be a different team than people are used to seeing," said Shumaker, whose team finished 8-5-3 last season. "We're going to be a little more attacking-minded and push more players forward. One of the ways we think we can score is with some numbers."

To submit news and story ideas about Carroll County high school sports, contact Rich Scherr at CarrollSports@comcast.net.

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