Bits & Pieces: Assault charge dropped, but football fight still casts shadow

Bits & Pieces

December 09, 2013|By Stan Ber,

This is what is commonly called a no-win situation. A fight at a football game on Sept. 21 between Mt. Hebron and Centennial resulted in the following: two coaches and four players ejected from the game. A Centennial player sustained a broken wrist and his father then sued an assistant coach at Centennial for injuring his son. The case went to court and the assault charge against the coach was dropped. But the coach was removed. So everybody essentially loses. The biggest losers unfortunately are the youngster who was injured, the players who lost a coach in the middle of the season, and coaches and future coaches who instinctively would attempt to break up a fight, but who might now have to think twice before wading in for fear of legal action.

It is almost impossible to maintain your cool as a player when you receive what you believe is a cheap shot. But the alternative of fighting usually ends up in regret. It's best to try to keep one's cool.

Duvall is on the air

I happened to turn on Channel 14's coverage of the Maryland public school state championship games this past week and I am glad that I remembered that the games were on. About a month ago, I told former Wilde Lake head football coach Doug Duvall that I would continue to watch those games as long he was doing the telecast alongside Bruce Cunningham and former Baltimore Ravens guard Wally Williams. Doug is simply a marvelous commentator and he also adds a bit of humor to the telecast. He knows the players and appears to know the plays before they actually are run. He is certainly a valuable asset to the broadcast.

Mandela the sportsman

I noticed that a number of national newspapers have articles about the late Nelson Mandela on their sports pages. I honestly can not recall an international political figure being talked about on sports pages before. Mandela brought world championship rugby and soccer to South Africa, but he also liked other sports including boxing and basketball. So he not only had a profound impact on his own country and on the world for his leadership and personality, but he also literally put South Africa on the sports map as well.

Mandela was a former boxer and runner but he was never involved in the two sports, rugby and soccer, and apparently didn't even know the rules of rugby. But he saw sports as a way to bring South Africans together and that happened to be extremely important to his country at the time.

Slifker to retire

In all of the years that I've covered sports, I cannot recall a single instance of ever writing about the influence that an office manager had on a program. But I am going to start with the announcement that Adele Slifker is retiring after 17 years as the office manager for Special Olympics. She has done it all, taking care of the day to day office business, responding to phone calls, maintaining inventory, processing mail, preparing coordinators for each season and tracking uniforms just to mention some of her duties. Adele did it all and then some with professionalism and grace.

She began volunteering in 1996 for 20 hours a week, but consistently worked 40 hours at no additional cost to the program. Bob Baker, who heads the Special Olympics Howard County program, said that "Adele embodied the true meaning of dedication. Our athletes have been better served and our organization has made great strides over the past 15 years because of Adele's involvement."

We tend to notice the play on the field and often fail to remember that there are people behind the scenes who are vital to the success of our programs.

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