Royster sees son, title arrive over 2 days

Sleepless coach changes diapers, guides wrestlers

Notebook

January 24, 2007|By Lem Satterfield and Katherine Dunn | Lem Satterfield and Katherine Dunn,Sun Reporters

Last weekend was a long one for Milford Mill's Damon Royster.

On Thursday morning, the seventh-year wrestling coach was bedside when his wife, Kenya, 30, gave birth to the couple's first son, 7-pound, 4-ounce Ethan Austin Royster, whose nickname is "Ear," after his initials.

On Friday evening and all day and night Saturday, the 38-year-old coach was at Overlea High, where his Millers won the overall title in the 27-team invitational. The Millers crowned Darian Allen (103 pounds), Terrance Owens (125) and Ryan Smith (160), with David Green (152) and Charles Blue (171) placing second, Adaleke Ibironke (119) finishing third, and Ar-Rashid White (130) fourth.

Royster, who also has a stepson, Tevin Cox, 12, arrived at Overlea on Friday at 2:30 - about an hour before the start of the tournament. Royster did not leave Sinai Hospital, where his son was born at 3:59 a.m. on Friday after an eight-hour labor, until being relieved in succession by his parents, Robert and Cherlye Royster; his brother, Malik Royster, 32; and his sister, Len Braxton, 41.

"I must have changed about seven or eight diapers from the time he was born until I left, but I wasn't going anywhere away from my wife's side if my family didn't come and relieve me," Royster said.

"I have had four hours of sleep since Thursday - two hours each night," Royster said at about 11:30 Saturday night, after the tournament. "I had to wake up and get my stepson in school on Friday morning and then get back to the hospital. The kids wrestled hard. I feel wonderful under the circumstances. But somebody had to change those diapers."

In one of the night's featured title bouts, Woodlawn's Alex Harper (285) improved to 20-1 with his 14th pin of the year. He beat Milford Mill's Nile Alexander, the defending Baltimore County champ, in 5:36.

All wet

The St. Timothy's basketball team has been forced out of its 3-year-old field house because of water damage to the gym floor. Coach Mike Buchanan said a fire hydrant burst over the Christmas holiday, flooding the building on the Stevenson campus of the all-girls boarding school.

"The water came right up through the floor," Buchanan said. "I came in [over the holidays] with a couple of my kids who are local for an optional workout and the floor is bubbled on the court. They're fixing it right now, but we'll be out of there for the whole season."

The team has been practicing and playing at the Odyssey School next door. So far, it is 2-0 in games at Odyssey's gym, but Buchanan said once St. Timothy's old gym is ready, the team could play there.

"It's got that old gym feel. They're trying to get the shot clock and horn fixed," said Buchanan, whose team had to give up a home game and play at Mount Carmel last week.

Hitting 1,000

St. Frances' two-time All-Metro senior, Mi-Khida Hankins, was honored Saturday for scoring her 1,000th career point the night before in a 76-39 win at the Institute of Notre Dame. After Saturday's win over Mercy and Monday's win at Roland Park, the 6-foot-1 forward had increased her total to 1,066. She averages 16 points.

Maryvale forward Stephanie D'Anna also has reached the 1,000-point milestone. The 5-10 senior, who leads the Lions in scoring with a 14.2-point average, hit 1,000 in late December and now has 1,089.

lem.satterfield@baltsun.com katherine.dunn@baltsun.com

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