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Sports Beat
 February 27, 2007

Sports Beat by Bill McCaffrey

My take of the Washington Nationals is that its going to be a trying year for new manager Manny Acta.† Why this team didn‚§Āt even try to keep Alfonzo Soriano is beyond ones deepest imagination. † They have a super star stud at third base in Ryan Zimmerman who may be the best one ever to wear the W in DC, better than Eddie Yost, Ossie Bluge, etc.† He can bring it! † Brian Schneider is a solid but not spectacular at catcher.† Felipe Lopez is a good player who will be the lead off man for the Nats.† Probably the strongest area for the Nats is in the outfield where they have some decent talent in Austin Kearns, Nook Logan, Ryan Church, Alez Esocbar, Chris Snelling and Kory Casto. † Back to first Johnson will be out for awhile and I think if his health and personal problems are behind him Dimitri Young will be the man to handle the job and he could jack 30 out without a problem and he will hit better than the smooth fielding Travis Lee or Larry Broadway, though none of them are a Mickey Vernon, Joe Kuhel or Joe Judge. † Nick Johnson may be through as a player in the majors.† As far a starters go it really depends if John Patterson, Jerome Williams and Tim Redding are healthy and ready if they are and you add Mike O‚§ĀConner, Matt Chico, Beltran Perez, Joel Hanrahan and Jason Simontacchi and you might be able to come up with a decent starting five. † They have one of the best closers in baseball in Chad Cordero but in order to have saves the set up men have to turn over leads to him and the question is will they be able to? † In the pen I like Jon Rauch, Ryan Wagner, EMiliano Fruto, Chris Schroder, Jason Bergmann, Ray ‚§¶Burger‚§? King and Saul Rivera. † All in all its not bleak but its not bright either.† If they trade Cordero they might get some help but then again they might go winless (the first team to ever do that, eh).† To lose a couple of all-stars like Alfonzo Soriano and Jose Vidro was down right stupid but so was the GM‚§Ās nighttime drive in Florida .

Here's my projected lineup:
Nook logan, CF
Brain Schneider, C
Dimitri Young, 1B
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B
Felipe Lopez, 2B
Austin Kearns, RF
Kory Costo, LF
Christian Guzman, SS
John Patterson, P

Crystal Ball Looks @ NL:
East                     Central                  West
1.†† Phillies††††††††† †1. St. Louis††††††††††††1.†Dodgers
2.†† Braves†††††††††††2. †Cubs†††††††††††††††† 2.†Padres
3.†† Mets††††††††††††††3.†Pirates††††††††††††††† 3.†Rockies
4.†† Nationals†††††††4.†Astros†††††††††††††† † 4.†Arizona
5.†† Marlins††††††††††5.†Brewers††††††††††††† 5.†Giants
6.†† Reds

The only bad thing with the Nationals now is their media department which is terrible.† They finally canned that awful AA person. † Remember the name ‚§≥ Kimberly MacNelly! That‚§Ās right, Kimberly MacNelly.† She‚§Ās a young lady who has been doing the public address for the Villa Julie basketball tams in the NEAC playoffs and she has been doing a super job.† In PA announcing (a subject I know a little about) she is an up and coming voice to be heard from. † The ones I like best are Richard Keller, Michael Buffer, Nino del Buono, Pat O‚§ĀMalley, and the Orioles PA.† They are all ones that do a professional job, they are not screamers, loud mouths who think they are the game or boxing event.† To be a pro you have to have a good delivery and not try to be a know it all who thinks the fans have come to see and hear you and not the event.† Well blabber mouths you ruin the event. † Kimberly is in the mold of the pros of the ones I mentioned above.† She is learning but she has the potential to really be a good one.† Without a doubt she and Richard Keller are the nest basketball ones I have heard this season because they do a first class, smooth no nonsense job.† So not only do you want to remember Richard Keller but also the up and coming Kimberly MacNelly of Villa Julie College .

BALTIMORE PRO BOXING

Jessie "The Beast" Nicklow
Passadena, Md 9-0(3ko's)
vs Matt Berkshire
Mogantown, WV 8-0(3ko's)
When: Sat. March 10th
Where: Pikesville Armory 610 Reisterstown Rd 21208
Who:Jake The Snake Smith† Baltimore Pro Boxing
Also:Mike"ThePersicutor Paschall 10-0
Richard Stewart 11-2-1
Eliase Bouloubassis"The Golden Greek
Irish Glenn Williams
Earl"Mouse"Coal
When:Sat.March 10th Start:doors open @ 6:30
1st fight 8:00
Info:BALTIMOREBOXING.COM
or Call Jake Smith @ 410-375-9175

Three Terps Named to All-ACC Women's Basketball Team
Langhorne tops the list with a spot on the first team

The Atlantic Coast Conference announced today, that Maryland 's Crystal Langhorne, Marissa Coleman and Kristi Toliver were all named to the All-ACC women's basketball team. Langhorne becomes only the third Terrapin to be selected to the first team twice, while Coleman makes a repeat on the second team. Toliver was voted to the third team. It is the third-straight year the Terps have had multiple honorees and the seventh-straight with at least one Terp on the All-ACC team. There has also been a Terrapin on the first team for three-consecutive years, a first since 1992-94. Junior Crystal Langhorne earns All-ACC honors for the third-straight year. She was named to the second team as a freshman. She joins an elite company at Maryland , also becoming just the third player in school history with three All-ACC citations, along with other Terrapin greats Vicky Bullett (1987-89) and current teammate Shay Doron (2004-06). Langhorne is threatening the NCAA field goal shooting record of 72.4 percent. She leads the nation at 72.5 percent, while also ranking in the top 10 in the league in scoring (14.9 ppg) and rebounding (8.1 rpg). Langhorne is among the top candidates for national player of the year honors. A preseason Associated Press All-American, she was named to the preseason watch lists for the Wade Trophy, the Naismith Award and the John R. Wooden Award, garnering a spot on the 20-player Midseason Wooden All-American team. Earning 47 of 55 first team votes, Langhorne is in the midst of a four-game double-doubles streak. Sophomore Marissa Coleman had four first-team votes and was a second team selection last year, en route to ACC Rookie of the Year nods. Coleman posted the first-ever triple-double in school history earlier this season, with a 15-point, 4-rebound and 10-assist performance against UC Santa Barbara in December. A versatile player who can play nearly every position on the floor, she ranks in the top 20 in the ACC in scoring (12.8 ppg), and is in the top 15 in rebounding (10th, 7.2 rpg), field goal percentage (12th, .490), assists per game (10th, 3.37 apg), free throw percentage (T3rd, .825), 3-point shooting (11th, .337) and assist-to-turnover ratio (8th, 1.26). Second on the team with seven double-doubles, three have come in the last four games. Coleman was also selected a Midseason Wooden All-American and was a preseason candidate for three national player of the year honors. Coleman's classmate, Kristi Toliver was named to the third team, garnering 50 points, including one first-team vote. Toliver boasts the second-best three-point shooting percentage in the country and the best in the ACC (48.5 percent). One of 11 finalists for the Nancy Lieberman Award, presented to the top point guard in the nation, she is 23rd in the ACC in scoring (11.9 ppg), 13th in overall shooting percentage (.486) and third in assists per game (4.70). She is also sixth with 2.13 three-pointers made per game and fourth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.50). Earlier this season at Clemson, Toliver broke the school record for three-point shooting percentage, going a perfect 6-for-6 in the game. Toliver entered the preseason a candidate for two national player of the year awards. The Terps are headed to the ACC Tournament this weekend, after closing out the regular-season with a 26-4 overall record, 10-4 in the conference. Maryland clinched a No. 3 seed in the tournament after dominating Boston College, 76-70, earning a first-round bye. The Terps play the winner of the Georgia Tech-Miami game on Friday, March 2 at 8 p.m.

The All-Atlantic Coast Conference women's teams, as voted on by 55 members of the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association:

First Team (votes)
Lindsey Harding, Duke (163)
Ivory Latta, North Carolina (162)
Crystal Langhorne, Maryland (157)
Alison Bales, Duke (125)
Erlana Larkins, North Carolina (125)

Second Team
Abby Waner, Duke (104)
Camille Little, North Carolina (89)
Lyndra Littles, Virginia (83)
Renee Taylor, Miami (78)
Marissa Coleman, Maryland (73)

Third Team
Alicia Gladden, Florida State (65) Khadijah Whittington, NC State (65) Kathrin Ress, Boston College (57) Stephanie Higgs, Georgia Tech (51) Kristi Toliver, Maryland (50)

Honorable Mention (15 or more votes)
Kirby Copeland, Virginia Tech (33)
Janie Mitchell, Georgia Tech (21)
Wanisha Smith, Duke (19)
Gillian Goring, NC State (17)
Yolanda Lavender, Wake Forest (17)

Langhorne helps Terps clinch third place in ACC

Crystal Langhorne helped Maryland get things rolling in the city where last year ended so memorably. † Langhorne scored 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and Maryland (No. 5 ESPN/USA Today; No. 6 AP) rebounded from a loss to top-ranked Duke to clinch third place in the Atlantic Coast Conference by beating Boston College 76-60 on Sunday. † The Terrapins, playing in Boston for the first time since capturing their first NCAA title last April about five miles away at the Boston Garden, will get a first-round bye in the conference tourney, which begins Thursday in Greensboro, N.C. † "We talked a lot about it in the locker room before the game, the perspective of being here to finish the season where we finished the season last year," Maryland coach Brenda Frese said. "Obviously, we love Boston ." † Kristi Toliver and Marissa Coleman each scored 12 points, and Shay Doron had 11 for Maryland (26-4, 10-4 ACC). The Terrapins will open their ACC tourney play on Friday. For one weekend, they were able to briefly reflect on their NCAA title run last year before playing the Eagles. † "As a team we talked about in before the game," Langhorne said. "We were excited about coming back here. We knew a lot of good things happened in Boston ." Kathrin Ress led BC (13-15, 3-11) with 26 points, but the Eagles couldn't stop Langhorne down the stretch. † Maryland, which led 34-27 at halftime, relied on its inside strength to gradually wear down the smaller Eagles midway into the second half. BC had some success in the first half, double-teaming inside, but Langhorne scored 13 of her points in the final 12:12. † "A kid like that is tough to stop," Eagles coach Cathy Inglese said. "Why weren't we double-teaming her in the second half? I don't know. We kept mentioning it [to our players]. That was the key part in the second half. She went to town and had a good game." † The Terrapins lost to top-ranked Duke, which it beat in last year's NCAA title game, 69-57 last Sunday. † "That Duke loss made us more excited to get back on the floor," Toliver said. † Behind Ress , BC kept its deficit in single digits until Jade Perry, Toliver and Coleman had baskets during a 6-0 spree that helped Maryland open its first double-digit lead of the game, 48-36, with 12:56 to play. † "Being in close games and having success, they have that feeling they can get stops or make shots when they need to," BC point guard Sarah Marshall said. † BC closed it to five points twice, the last 56-51 on Ress' free throw with 5:03 left, but Langhorne converted a 3-point play and Doron hit a 3-pointer to open it to 62-51 with 3:44 to play. The Eagles never moved closer than 11 points the rest of the way. † In the opening half, the Eagles led 20-19 before the Terps scored 15 of the half's final 22 points, taking a seven-point lead into the break on Toliver's 3-pointer over two defenders at the buzzer. † Maryland came out with a hot hand from the outside early, hitting its first five jumpers to open a 10-5 edge before BC got on track offensively, mostly behind Ress' play. † BC's Ayla Brown, an American Idol final 13 contestant last year, sang the National Anthem.

Doron Named Finalist for Lowe's Senior CLASS Award
Doron among 10 finalists on the national ballot

Maryland's Shay Doron was selected one of 10 female finalists for the 2006-07 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. Her name, along with the other nine, will appear on the official ballot for the nation's premier tribute to college seniors. Finalists were selected from a list of 30 candidates based on personal qualities that define a complete student athlete. While the on-court performance thus far during the college basketball season was a factor in determining the finalists, the off-court areas of focus for the award include classroom, character and community. Aside from Doron, the other female finalists are Alison Bales of Duke, Amanda Brown of Penn State , Jessica Davenport of Ohio State , Dee Davis of Vanderbilt, Katie Gearlds of Purdue, Lindsey Harding of Duke, Kate Hobbs of the United States Naval Academy , Ivory Latta of North Carolina and Shay Murphy of Southern California. Ten male finalists were also selected: Jared Dudley of Boston College, Nick Fazekas of Nevada, Aaron Gray of Pittsburgh, Adam Haluska of Iowa, Jarrius Jackson of Texas Tech, Acie Law IV of Texas A&M, J.R. Reynolds of Virginia, Curtis Sumpter of Villanova, Anthony Tolliver of Creighton and Alando Tucker of Wisconsin. These finalists will be placed on the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award ballot for a nationwide vote during the NCAA Tournament in March. Fan balloting will be coupled with votes from coaches, media and sponsors to determine the male and female recipients. Winners will be announced during the men's and women's respective Final Four weekends. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the award was launched during the 2001-02 season in response to the trend of college basketball players leaving college early to turn professional. The award was conceived by sportscaster Dick Enberg, who continues to serve as Honorary Chairman. Previous winners of the men's award include Juan Dixon of Maryland (2002), David West of Xavier (2003), Jameer Nelson of St. Joseph 's (2004), Wayne Simien of Kansas (2005) and J.J. Reddick of Duke (2006). Recipients of the women's award include Sue Bird of Connecticut (2002), LaToya Thomas of Mississippi State (2003), Alana Beard of Duke (2004), Kendra Wecker of Kansas State (2005) and Seimone Augustus of LSU (2006). An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award was launched during the 2001-02 season to honor the attributes of college basketball seniors who remain committed to their university and pursue the many rewards that a senior season can bring.

Pairings Announced for the 30th Annual ACC Women's Basketball Tournament

Duke clinched the No. 1 seed in the upcoming 2007 Atlantic Coast Conference Women's Basketball Tournament, which will begin Thursday, March 1, at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro , N.C. The Blue Devils finished the regular season undefeated for the first time in ACC and Duke history.

The 30th Annual ACC Women's Basketball Tournament is set to tip-off at approximately 11 a.m. ET on Thursday, March 1 and will conclude with a 1 p.m. championship contest on Sunday, March 4. The title game as well as the semifinals showings will be broadcast by Fox Sports Net (FSN), while an ACC-record seven of the 11 games will be televised either regionally or nationally.

The Blue Devils have played in eight of the 30-year tournament's title games, taking home five ACC crowns. Also in the four-day tournament's history, the top seeds have won 13 of the 29 ACC titles.

Thursday:
Game No. 1 - Seed No. 5 Florida State vs. Seed No. 12 Wake Forest, 11:00 a.m. (RSN)
Game No. 2 - Seed No. 8 Virginia vs. Seed No. 9 Clemson, 3:00 p.m. (RSN)
Game No. 3 - Seed No. 7 Virginia Tech vs. Seed No. 10 Boston College, 6:00 p.m.
Game No. 4 - Seed No. 6 Georgia Tech vs. Seed No. 11 Miami, 8:00 p.m.

Friday:
Game No. 5 - Seed No. 4 NC State vs. winner of Game 1, 11:00 a.m. (RSN)
Game No. 6 - Seed No. 1 Duke vs. winner of Game 2, 3:00 p.m. (RSN)
Game No. 7 - Seed No. 2 North Carolina vs. winner of Game 3, 6:00 p.m.
Game No. 8 - Seed No. 3 Maryland vs. winner of Game 4, 8:00 p.m.

Saturday:
Game No. 9 - ACC Semifinal 1, 2:00 p.m. (FSN)
Game No. 10 - ACC Semifinal 2, 4:30 p.m. (FSN)

Sunday:
Game No. 11 - Championship Game, 1:00 p.m.

(FSN) FSN ⤳ Fox Sports Net and affiliates RSN ⤳ Fox Sports Net South (FSNS), ComCast Sports Net (CSN), Fox Sports Net Florida (FSNFL), New England Sports Network (NESN) Tickets are available and may be obtained by calling tickets.com at (888) 397-3100, by visiting tickets.com on the web at www.tickets.com, or by calling an ACC school's ticket office for tickets in that team's section.

Field Hockey National Champs Sign Talented Class for 2007
Six signees bring a wealth of playing experience

Six-time National Coach of the Year Missy Meharg has announced the signing of six student-athletes to National Letters of Intent. The talented class, which boasts winners of several state titles, a couple of All-Americans, players with international playing experience and a U.S. National Team member, have committed to play for the University of Maryland beginning the fall semester of 2007. "We are so pleased to add these six great student-athletes to our hockey program and the University of Maryland . They fit in perfectly with the tradition of excellence that has been built here," said Meharg. "These players have experienced being No. 1, winning several state titles and earning extensive experience playing internationally. We welcome the new Terps and are proud of this great group of student-athletes." Meghan Dean hails from Marathon , N.Y. , and attended the same school as former National Champions and Terp standouts Carla Tagliente `01 and Tiffany Marsh '06. A three-time All-American by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA), she was named to the first team twice. She brings extensive playing experience to the Terrapins after joining the U.S. Under-21 National Team in 2006. She helped the Americans to a first-place showing at the CanAm Challenge last year and has been selected to the U.S. tour of China in 2007. Dean was a member of the Maryland Elite Performance Training squad which won the USFHA National Tournament last summer and has been involved in many facets of the U.S. program, including the Futures and Olympic Development programs, to name a few. "Meghan is a pure, naturally tough and gifted elite athlete. Maryland is fortunate to have Meghan joining the attack-midfield unit. Her selection to the U.S. U-21 team will give her the playing experience over the next six months to complement the present tempo and tactics of the Terps." At Marathon H.S., she led the team to four-straight undefeated seasons and three sectional and regional titles. Playing on the forward line, she led the team in scoring as a junior and senior, combining for 57 goals over her last two seasons. " Maryland has a history of Marathon H.S. athletes, but I chose Maryland because it fit my personality, both academically and athletically," said Dean of her choice. "The relationships between the players and coaches remind me of home and I am excited and honored to be joining the Maryland field hockey team." Her parents, Bill and Janice, added, "The coaching staff is wonderful and we know our daughter will be in good hands at Maryland . Maryland is the entire picture and develops well-rounded individuals who will succeed in the `real world'. When she graduates, not only will she have one of the best educations, but she will have worked with the best coaches." Graduating from Quince Orchard High School in Gaithersburg , Md. , Emily Ellenberger is coming off a successful senior campaign where the team went 16-2 and won the state title. She was named the Washington Post's Player of the Year, as well as earning the honor from the Gazette and the Washington Examiner. "As the Washington Posts's Player of the Year it is so fitting Emily has chosen to play here at Maryland ," said Meharg. "Emily is a very talented and versatile player who can contribute in all three lines of play. She is a natural leader and communicator" Ellenberger is a four-year letterwinner at midfield, playing under head coach Jenna Siegel Ries, also helping the team win the AAAA Region title twice. She is a two-time all-state and all-county honoree. Ellenberger has been a member of the USFHA Futures Program for four years and has also traveled to tournaments in Belgium , Holland and England . A two-time NFHCA All-American, Amanda Himmelheber has also elected to stay close to home for her collegiate career. In four four years at Severna Park High School, she led the team to four-straight state tournament finals, winning the crown three times. Also leading her team to four regional and county championships, Himmelheber was selected to the all-state team and all-county first teams twice, while garnering Player of the Year nods by the Baltimore Sun, Baltimore Examiner and the Annapolis Capital. The Washington Post also selected her Anne Arundel Player of the Year and a two-time All-Metropolitan honoree. "Amanda is a Maryland student-athlete, inside and out. A premier player in the state since her freshmen year, it is an honor to have Maryland 's best stay at home and compete for the Terps. Amanda is technically and tactically advanced and possess hockey intelligence." Himmelheber participated in the Futures National Tournament three times, earning a gold medal in 2004. She also won gold in 2005 at the Junior Olympics and led her squad to first place in pool play at the National Field Hockey Festival that year. "Since the beginning of high school, Amanda has dreamed of attending and playing at Maryland . I encouraged her to explore other options, but Maryland remained number one in her heart. Upon meeting coach Meharg, I was sold, too," said Himmelheber's mother, Cheri. Katie O'Donnell highlights the 2007 signing class. Hailing from Blue Bell, Pa., she was selected to play for the U.S. Senior National Team in 2005, becoming the youngest athlete to earn an international cap at the age of 16. In the fall of 2006, she led the U.S. Junior team to a best-ever seventh-place at the 2005 Junior World Cup, playing alongside former Terrapin great and national champion Lauren Powley. "After making my official visit, Maryland just felt right," said O'Donnell. "I meshed well with the players and the coaches. I loved the campus and, for a big school, didn't feel lost. After also meeting with the academic support staff, they broke down for me what my next four years would be like academically. Every aspect of my visit was covered... how could I not attend a school that fulfills all this?" O'Donnell attended Wissahickon High School , earning first team NFHCA All-American honors three times. Playing in the USFHA Futures program and the 2004 Junior Olympic games, she was named to the U.S. U-21 team. "We are really excited to have a national team caliber player like Katie come into the program," said Meharg. "Already having experienced the tempo and quality of play at the international level, she will make an immediate impact on the attack unit. We are honored to have Katie as a Terp." A midfield standout from Newark , Del. , Mary Reilly earned four varsity letters at Archmere Academy , earning All-Catholic Conference honors in her final three seasons, leading her team to four-consecutive trips to the state tournament as a midfielder. She led Archmere to the 2003 league crown. Playing in the Under-19 USFHA Festival, her squad was declared pool champions in 2005 and 2006. Her experience with the U.S. field hockey program ranges from invitations to the Elite Team Trial Tryouts, Futures Elite, the National Futures Championship and the Olympic Development Select programs. "I chose the University of Maryland because of the high expectation of excellence from the student-athletes, in both the classroom and on the field," said Reilly. "As a student, I will be provided with the opportunity to pursue a career in marketing, while also experience top-level collegiate coaching as an athlete." "Mary is a dynamic and tenacious attacker who will challenge our backs and goalkeepers, immediately. She is exceedingly quick and agile, which will make her tough to mark. Mary is simply exciting to watch." Melissa Vassalotti will be added to the Terps' goalkeeping core. A three-year starter at St. Basil Academy in Jenkintown, Pa., she recorded 659 saves as a senior, earning Southeast Pennsylvania all-area honors, while garnering Catholic Academies League All-Star first team honors for the second time. Participating in the USFHA's Futures program, she was undefeated in pool play at the Under-19 Festival and did not allow a goal in six games. At the 2006 National Indoor Tournament, she posted the lowest goals against average in pool play, leading her squad to first place. Vassalotti has extensive international experience, as well. She has traveled to play in U-19 tournaments in Australia and Argentina , helping the Mystx Elite earn second place in the 2005 Argentina Cup. "Melissa is a serious and vibrant, well trained goalkeeper who will add competition to our already strong goalkeeping unit. She thrives on the challenge of playing top level, Division I hockey and being a Terp. We are excited to have her aboard" "Everyone I met, from the administrators, to the coaches and players, treated me like family, which is why I chose Maryland ," said Vassalotti. "I love the diversity among the students and athletes and can't wait to be a Terp spend my next few years at Maryland . It has everything I am looking for in a college." The Terps are coming of their second-straight NCAA title run, winning the program's fifth national crown. Maryland defeated Wake Forest , 1-0, in Winston-Salem , N.C. , to claim the trophy.

WE GET LETTERS

Ed's letter to Mike Preston Baltimore Sun

Hi Mike, You are clearly biased against Coach Billick and that is all you can write about these days. It appears that you were the one who did not watch the Colts playoff game†or the rest of the playoffs for that matter. We had no running game because our RB†is banged up and getting old, our QB had a bad game, and the Colts defense was a different one that played the regular season (they did shut down the Chiefs, Bears, and NE†in†the second half in the playoffs).†You can add not watching the regular season as well to your record. A 6 point increase in offensive production is HUGE in the NFL especially with the Ravens defense. The Billick OC era†stats show that†the Ravens were in the top 10 in offense, something they had not done ever in Brian's tenure. Perhaps he should have taken over the play calling earlier here. The players like him, the owner likes him, he is a winner, he has groomed several assistant coaches for better jobs and NFL head coaching positions and he even modified his attitude this year with the media.†But hey, I'd have†a bad†attitude too if I had to deal with clowns like you every day. So perhaps you should look in the mirror and clean up your act. Better yet, just go away. You don't know football, that is very clear from your columns. All you know how†to do is try and beat up Billick and he is one of the best coaches in the NFL. Baltimore is lucky to have him as a coach. He is a winner and it just burns you up. † Perhaps you'd do better covering the Orioles. They are the ones who need bashing and you seem to be good at finding ways to do that. But your paper is in bed financially with the O's so I guess we won't see that. So much for journalistic integrity. You guys at the Sun have very little of that when I see ridiculous columns like the one you wrote today. All it shows is your personal dislike for Billick. Ed

Ed, Good one. Bill

Bill, Thanks so much for my favorite sports column.† A bit disappointed with the Lady Terps this season but really excellent that Kristi Tolliver is up for the coveted Nancy Lieberman award, sure hope she gets it.† Whole lotta amazing sports up there but, boy, was the Daytona 500 a big, big disappointment.† That creepy, very unpopular Kevin Harvick stole Mark Martin's destiny and just really broke sooo many fans hearts. Major letdown to start the 2007 season and what should have been an amazing, unforgettable 500.† Mark Martin (who lives here in the Spruce Creek Fly-in I believe where John Travolta used to live with his huge plane) showed his class tho, as always.† My Dr. Rhonda is scheduled to contact Dr. Ben Carson, Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins soon to see if she will be able to work with him and his team in just a couple of months now.†I am scheduled for a visit with my daughter this August†and we will tour the awesome, but huge, wow, Yale campus, do† Manhattan of course (can you see the headlines - "Dale does the Big Apple"?, ha ha ha) and some wonderful New England sites. Your #1 fan in Daytona Beach , Dale

Dale, Good report. Bill

Bill, Good news just now on MSNBC, perhaps some of my veteran friends saw this or have read or will read it in the Post. Showing the Secretary of Defense Robert Gates†in a news conference†regarding the appalling conditions he witnessed for himself while touring Walter Reed Army Medical Center . Possibly in response to the recent articles in the Washington Post.†There is to be an independent review group to deal with the situations in our disgraceful†veterans medical facilities. Photos were shown of mold and rot and who knows what else they found and even what they did not see.† It was mentioned disciplinary action will be taken regarding those responsible for the neglects.††What a shame that it seems our nation only responds to such things†when there is international publicity and at political election times it seems. And now how about the blog downs in Veterans Administration Affairs for our vets who save the world, regarding their pensions and their burial sites and other essential issues. Let's hope all veterans organizations, Senators and Congresspersons†will rise up and bring publicity to these disgraces†in the immediate future. May God bless America , and especially our military men and women who have served, are serving, and will serve for peace in the world. Love to all, Dale

Dale, Good report. Bill

Bill, For the benefit of your readers who are interested in the deplorable conditions at Walter Reed Army Medical Hospital and in our veterans rights, Don Imus of "Imus in the Morning" on MSNBC mornings from 6 til 9 am, had Evan Thomas of "Newsweek" Magazine as a guest on his show Monday and the disgraceful situations at Walter Reed Army medical facility are on the cover and are the featured article.in "Newsweek." Dale

Dale, You and the I-Man are on top of this. Bill

From: Mark Opsasnick
Last summer I was interviewed by Kristy O'Brien for the Doors.com website. The interview, which focuses on the research and writing of my book ‚§¶The Lizard King Was Here‚§? and my thoughts on Jim Morrison in general, has finally been posted. To read it, visit: http://www.doors.com/magazine/opsasnick.html † Thanks, Mark O

Bill, How did Rex Snyder do in his WNST sports talk show host tryout last week?† I hope Rex got the gig, as he really knows his B'more sports.† I wonder if Downtown Brown considered trying out.. Sincerely, Loyal B‚§Āmore Colts Fan in Ellicott City

Dear LBCF, No I don't. Bill

SPORTS NOTES

Our deepest sympathy goes to Congressman Chris Van Hollen and his family on the death of his mother. † Also our sympathy and prayers go out to Colleen Johnson and her family on the death of her father. † Don‚§Āt forget to vote for the outstanding Doug Segree at www.whatsupmag.com. † 403 arrests in Las Vegas on NBA All-Star weekend tells the story of why Las Vegas citizens really don‚§Āt want the NBA there.† People who follow the NBA are on a par with those that follow pro wrestling. † One of the best pro sports analysts is right here in this area ‚§≥ he‚§Ās Roy Yanosh.† He‚§Ās the best and ESPN should sign him up now. † Gary Williams is ready for the ACC and NCAA playoffs don‚§Āt be surprised if the Terps take it all in the ACC and make the ‚§¶Sweet 16‚§?. † Was that ‚§¶Downtown Brown‚§? doing the ‚§¶Downtown Shuffle‚§? at the Morgan State game on Monday? † Now I can see the San Diego Chargers axing Marty Schottenheimer because he should have won the NFL Super Bowl but his poor coaching made it no way they would BUT to hire Norv Turner to replace him, man oh man, what a stupid move.† Both are ex-Redskin coaches and were bad when they called DC home. † Bernie Brooks who runs the popular ‚§¶Henrys Soul Caf√©‚§? (Home of the sweet potato pie) is a look-a-like for Tiger Woods or Bernie Williams.† Besides the pie, Henry‚§Ās has great mac and cheese, soul fries, fried fish and chicken and those string beans aren‚§Āt bad either.† Check it out! † Whatever happened to Kwane Brown?† Is he still in the NBA? † Allegany College in Cumberland follows the world wide pro hoops scene with 15 Allegany grads playing the pro game. † Is it true that the Ravens all-pro linebacker Adalius Thomas is headed to the Washington Redskins? † Are the Ravens pursuing ‚§¶Pacman‚§? Jones and LaVar Arrington?† Jones would be a perfect fit for the Ravens.† Where‚§Ās Laurence Phillips when the Ravens could use him? † In the February 19th Baltimore Sun Joe Burris had a great article on the ‚§¶Mighty Rasta‚§? aka Lester Spreight, the ‚§¶Mighty Rasta‚§? is really moving up in the movies and TV.† A couple of years ago he was on my CTV show ‚§¶Inside Sports‚§? (channel 76 in PG County). † Some of my favorite events are coming up: March 11th at Michaels 8th Avenue the annual Bull & Oyster to benefit the Glen Lutheran Church in memory of Audrey & Frank Lombardi and the Cal Ripken Jr./Lou Gehrig Fund for Neuromuscular Research in memory of Ken Konig, tickets are a very reasonable $38, call Marc at 410-554-8240 or Tim at 440-553-0536 for information. † On March 17th at McNamara‚§Ās Barn in Bowie they are honoring Mary Conroy on her favorite day for her outstanding service to the citizens of the 23rd District and the State of Maryland .† Time is 7-10 p.m.† RSVP to Diane Polangin at 301-262-8636 or 301-249-5815 or e-mail dpolangin@verizon.net.† Its $35 for adults and $30 for seniors.† Make checks payable to ‚§¶Friends of Mary Conroy‚§? and mail to 3006 Savoy Lane , Bowie , MD† 20715 . † It‚§Ās the United States Submarine Veterans (Chesapeake Base) at Michaels 8th Avenue on March 24th from 8 to 1 and featuring Big Cam and the Lifters with music and entertainment.† For information contact Dick Lyons at 410-525-0263 or 410-454-7128. † Also on April 28th an Oldies but Goodies Fundraiser will be presented by the Leon Day Foundation from 9 to 1 at the AFSCME Union Hall at 1410 Bush Street in Baltimore .† Tickets are $35 and DJ Big Jim (WEAAFM) will be spinning the sounds.† For information call Roy Banks at 410-866-4815. † We are looking for James ‚§¶OX‚§? Mowry Hilton, let us know where he is now. † A big happy birthday greeting goes to the Knott Twins who are celebrating on March 1st, way to go Ed and Len.† They were ‚§¶leaders of the pack‚§? at Elliott Jr. High School and Coolidge High School .† Hey guys by the way do you know where Hariett Ross, Ruth Ann Rafferty and Aileen Kragh are today? † Our prayers go out to John Cox (former LaPlata HS football coach and Charles County School Administrator) and Frank Gilbert (Ring 101 in Baltimore ). † Our deepest sympathy goes to the families of the following‚§? George Preas (former great offensive lineman of the Baltimore Colts and Virginia Tech) Dennis Johnson (Boston Celtic great) Bob Huffman (nephew of the late Leonard Herbert) Jacob W. Folk (George Washington HS grad) † Villa Julie leads in the standings for the NEAC Presidents Cup (like the ACC‚§Ās Carmichael Cup). Villa Julie‚§Ās Steven Segears averaged 16.3 pts, 9.7 rebs (3.7 off reb, 6.33 def reb) a game this season. Villa Julie‚§Ās Captain of the Women‚§Ās team Cara Hill (Oxon Hill) averaged 14.3 pts, 8 reb, 5 assists, .325 3-point percentage, 0.63 blocked shots, 4 assists, and 34.19 minutes per game this season. † Cara Hill made the NEAC All-Conference first team and Tanisha Foster the second team.† Steven Segears made the NEAC All-Conference Men‚§Ās† 1st team. Villa Julie women‚§Ās team lost to Keuka in the NEAC title game. † Villa Julie won the men‚§Ās NEAC Tournament downing Chestnut Hill 94-92 in overtime and advanced to the NCAA.† Steven Segears scored 17 pts,, grabbed 10 boards and dished out 3 assists for the Villa Julie Mustangs.† Cilk McSweeney (22 pts), Jason Lambert (18 pts), and Chris Warren (15 pts) helped the Mustangs attack. † Some readers asked about Phil Wood, I heard its Northern Virginia where he is on XM, WAVA or WARL I just don‚§Āt know.

Sad news, Guy Ferguson, Jr. passed away, he attended Central HS in DC and owned the newsstand at 11th and Penna. Ave. NW in DC next to the Evening Star building when I was growing up.† His place, 14th and New York Ave. and Shefferins at 14th & Kenyon Sts NW were three of my favorite newsstands but the ill fated riots in the 1960‚§Ās destroyed them.† You know those stupid riots by every thug in the DC area that set the DC area back on its heels for many years. † Senator Roy Dyson has a great idea in helping to save the Diamondback Terrapin since I once served as vice-chairman of the House Environmental Matters committee I realize how important it is to take every step we can to prevent a natural resource of our State to be completely wiped out.† I urge passage of Dyson‚§Ās SB532.

Our deepest sympathy goes to the family of Franklin ‚§¶Roosie‚§? D‚§ĀAlesandro who passed away last week his father was Mayor of Baltimore (Thomas D‚§ĀAlesandro) from 1947 to 1959, his brother Tommy was Mayor of Baltimore from 1967 to 1971 and his sister is Nancy Pelosi (US Speaker of the House).† One of his cousins is Nonni Stermer whose husband is one of my favorite artist Jeri Stermer. † No I did not watch ‚§¶the Oscars‚§?.† I am no fan of Ellen deGenares, nor of Al Gore (who I understand has bolted to Hillary‚§Ās short list for VP).† The Oscars used to have some attraction way back when but now who really cares? † One of my favorite shows ‚§¶Shield‚§? will be back for a 6th season starting April 3rd for the first of ten new shows and they will be back for their final season in 2008.

Coming up very soon at the Potters Guild of Baltimore !
1.This coming weekend is our Half price sale Feb 24-25.
Sat 11 am - 4 pm, Sun 12 -5 pm

2.John Hesselberth workshop is March 3 10 AM - 4 PM Members:† $65
Non members: $80 For registration information, call 410 415-5526 Workshop seats are limited to 15 participants. Register early.

3.Breaking news! Fun Day with Clay is March 24!
(See the attached flyer!)
10 AM-1 PM Introduction to Clay/ Parent-Child Funday. One three-hour session, by staff.
Three times a semester the Guild opens its studio doors to provide folks with the opportunity to try their hands at the potters wheel and hand building with the help and encouragement of one of our talented staff members.† Special emphasis is placed on the accommodation of children and parents. Cost: $40

The Society of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick will be celebrating its 52nd Annual Luncheon at the Sheraton Baltimore City Center Hotel. The celebration will be held on Saturday, March 3, 2007 beginning at 10:30 am with lunch being served at 12:30 pm. This year tickets may be purchased for $65 per ticket/$650 per table or ‚§¶Ring of Kerry‚§? tables may be purchased for $100 per ticket/$1,000 per table. Tables are assigned on a first-come first-serve basis. Please send in your money as soon as possible to insure you receive a preferred table. † Make your checks payable to: The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick Please specify the number of tickets/tables you are reserving and a contact name with a telephone number. † Mail your checks to: Friendly Sons of St. Patrick John McMaster PO Box 324 Timonium, MD 21094 † If you need further information about the luncheon, contact: John McMaster at 443-206-4208 or Dan Mead at 443-955-4513.

LADY BULLDOGS WIN REGULAR SEASON FINALE
Bowie State Beats Virginia State in Low Scoring Affair

The Lady Bulldogs of Bowie State University wrapped up the regular season and sent its lone senior out on a positive note, beating the Virginia State University Lady Trojans 45-37.† Bowie State and their 17-10 overall record (12-8 in the CIAA and 5-5 in the Eastern Division), will take the Lady Bulldogs into next weeks CIAA Tournament as the fifth seed and a first round bye. † Bowie State led pretty much all of the first half except on two occasions.† BSU jumped out to a 6-0 lead on back-to-back 3-pointers by sophomore Tracy Cole and senior Genet Moore and led until a 3-pointer by Virginia State‚§Ās LaQurisha Gray put the guest in front 13-11 with 10:44 remaining in the first half.† BSU sophomore Tyrah Lusby tied the game at 13 on a jumper combined with a field goal and a pair of free throws by junior Allyson Swailes put the score at 17-13 Bowie State by the 8:28 mark.† However, Virginia State ‚§Ās Gray popped two straight trifecta‚§Ās to shift the advantage back to the Lady Trojans at 19-17.† Bowie State reserve Bethany Sloat tied the game at 19-19 with 5:40 remaining before halftime and a Lusby steal and lay-up gave the Lady Bulldogs a push which led to a 26-23 halftime lead. † The Lady Trojans began the second stanza with a 9-2 run which gave Virginia State its largest lead of the night at 32-28, a little over three minutes into the period.† However, just like the first half, Bowie State was determined not to lose their final home game of the season.† Bowie State went on a run of their own (7-0), retaking the lead at 35-32 by the 8:21 mark.† Virginia State ‚§Ās Katania Walker (8 points) knotted the score at 35-35 on the Lady Trojans‚§Ā next possession.† Both teams went scoreless over the next 2:45 before Bowie State ‚§Ās Sherika Thomas‚§Ā (six points and a team-high seven rebounds) lay-up put the Lady Bulldogs in front to stay with 5:21 left in the game. † Not one Virginia State player scored in double figures but Gray did lead the way with a team-high nine points off the bench.† Janiya Bellard, Jana‚§Āe Johnson and Walker added eight points each for Virginia State .† Bellard also pulled led both teams with a game-high eight rebounds.† Virginia State (8-19 overall and 5-15 in the CIAA) shot a dismal 16.7 percent in the second half, making only three-of 18 from the field. † The Bowie State duo of Swailes and Lusby paced the Lady Bulldogs with 13 and 10 points respectively.† Bowie State ‚§Ās field goal shooting was nothing to jump for joy about either.† The Lady Bulldogs hit 17-of-48 (35.4 percent) from the field for the game.

VIRGINIA STATE SWEEPS BOWIE STATE
Trojans Squeeze Out 75-69 Victory Over Bulldogs

Virginia State overcame a halftime deficit and came back to beat Bowie State 75-69 to sweep the season series.† The Trojans improve their record to 20-7 overall (15-5 in the CIAA) and will take a lot of momentum into next weeks CIAA Tournament in Charlotte (NC) as the second seed.† Bowie State closes out their CIAA portion of its schedule with a conference record of 11-9 (16-9 overall). † Bowie State led by as much as nine points in the first half (19-10) and appeared on its way to breaking even in the season series.† BSU senior guard Gil Goodrich scored 11 of those points by way of three 3-pointers and two free throws.† However, Virginia State ‚§Ās Michael Johnson scored a lay-up and free throw as part of a 9-0 Trojans run, giving VSU a 20-19 lead with 7:15 remaining in the first half.† Joshua Johnson‚§Ās subsequent lay-up and free throw shifted the advantage back to Bowie State .† Bowie State maintained its lead for the rest of the period and went into halftime with a 36-33 advantage.† Virginia State was lucky not to trail by more since the Trojans missed seven of its 16 first half free throws.† In contrast, Bowie State made nine-of-11 from the free throw line in the first half. † Virginia State would trail then tie the game three times in the second period before Avis Wyatt took over.† Over a 4:16 stretch, Wyatt scored six VSU points and added another two at the 13:44 mark to put the Trojans in front to stay at 49-47.† The Bulldogs could get no closer than three points four times in the final 20 minutes with the last coming with 36 seconds left in the contest.† † The Trojans improved on their free throw shooting in the second half, converting 16-of-20 and increased their second half field goal shooting to 50.0 percent (12-of-24).† In comparison, Bowie State‚§Ās free throw shooting decreased in the second half, falling to six-of-15 (40.0 percent).† BSU‚§Ās field goal shooting went up slightly to 43.3 percent (13-of-30). † Bowie State‚§Ās Goodrich led both teams with a game-high 23 points.† Fellow senior Tyronne Beale chipped in another 19 and sophomore Jason Ingram hauled down a game-high and season-high 10 rebounds.†† † Wyatt led Virginia State in scoring with 18 points, hitting eight-of-14 from the floor and tied teammate Brian Henderson with six rebounds.† Michael Askew added 16 points and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds.† VSU‚§Ās Edwin Torres came off the Trojans bench to contribute 12 points, 10 of which were from the free throw line.

DIFFERENT DAY BUT THE SAME RESULT
Bowie State Trounces Columbia Union 92-48

Playing their final home game of the season, Bowie State University ‚§Ās Bulldogs beat the Columbia Union College Pioneers 92-48.† Bowie State ends its regular season with a record of 17-9 and will begin CIAA Tournament play either Wednesday (2/28) or Thursday (3/1) in the Charlotte (NC) Bobcats Arena at a time to be determined. † Columbia Union (4-21) and Bowie State met for the second time in a matter of 72 hours but the end result was the same.† Bowie State raced out to an 8-0 advantage three minutes into the game and extended that lead to 18-4 by the 9:20 mark of the opening period.† In fact, Columbia Union didn‚§Āt reach double figures until the 5:16 mark, trailing 22-11 by that point.† The Pioneers of Columbia Union made just seven‚§≥of-35 first half field goal attempts (20.0 percent) while the Bulldogs hit 16-of-37 first half field goal attempts (43.2 percent).† Bowie State ‚§Ās inside game was just too much for Columbia Union to handle.† Bowie State scored 22 points in the paint in the first half compared to only eight for Columbia Union.† BSU‚§Ās Bulldogs led by as much as 24 points in the first 20 minutes and strolled into the half with a very comfortable 40-18 lead. † The second half was just as bad for Columbia Union as the Bulldogs began period two with an 11-0 run, which turned into a 27-9 run and a 67-27 Bowie State lead midway through the second half.† What you may not know is the majority of the second half was played by Bowie State ‚§Ās bench.† Columbia Union was able to improve its shooting percentage ever so slightly to 28.6 percent in the second half, but so did Bowie State .† The Bulldogs torched the A.C. Jordan Arena twine at a 61.1 percent clip, making 22-of-36 from the floor, which included four-of-eight from behind the 3-point line. † Bowie State created 24 Columbia Union turnovers in the game that translated into 32 Bulldogs points.† So far this season, whenever Bowie State shoots 50 percent or better from the field, they are unbeaten at 12-0.† Furthermore, Bowie State ‚§Ās Bulldogs are 10-1 when they score 90 or more points. † Senior Tyronne Beale and junior Orlando Wright led Bowie State with 26 and 15 points respectively and junior Joshua Johnson added another 14 points off the Bulldogs bench.† Johnson also pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds. † Darren Travis was Columbia Union‚§Ās leading and only double figure scorer with 14 points and top rebounder with eight.† The trio of Jeff Bigelow, Elvis Rivera and Mike Harper added seven points apiece for the Columbia Union Pioneers.

BOWIE STATE ADVANCES TO SEMIFINALS
Beat Fayetteville State 76-68

The Bowie State Lady Bulldogs (18-10) advanced to the semifinals of the 32nd CIAA Women‚§Ās Basketball Tournament with a 76-68 victory over Fayetteville State ‚§Ās Lady Broncos.† The win marks the first time since the 1999-2000 season that Bowie State has advanced to the semifinals.† All-CIAA junior Allyson Swailes scored a game-high 20 points to lead the Lady Bulldogs. The loss snaps Fayetteville State ‚§Ās three game winning streak and ends the Lady Broncos season at 18-10. † In today‚§Ās match-up, Bowie State managed around the full court pressure of Fayetteville State and scampered on a 6-0 run during a three minute span to put the game in their favor for the remainder of the half. BSU reached its largest lead of ten points (29-19) with 4:20 remaining. Fayetteville State did not fold after the run. The game turned into a physical, high tempo game. The Lady Broncos defense forced BSU into 20 first half turnovers.†† Bowie State shot the ball well in the first half, knocking down 50 percent of its shots (14-of-28) and held Fayetteville State to 11-of-34 from the floor (32.4 percent).† Bowie State controlled the glass in the first 20 minutes, pulling down 27 rebounds compared to only 12 for Fayetteville State .† The Lady Bulldogs went into the locker room at intermission with a small 33-26 lead. † Bowie State reached its largest lead of the game at 51-35 with 12:29 remaining despite increasing its turnover count. The Lady Bulldogs retained a double-digit lead up until the 5:15 mark when Antoinette Smith made her ninth of 13 points.† Smith‚§Ās score sparked a FSU 7-2 run to put the Lady Broncos within three (60-63) with 3:43 remaining.† Fayetteville State remained in close contentions with 1:17 on the clock and down by four points (66-70).†† The dominance of the Lady Broncos defensive pressure forced BSU to commit a season-high 51 turnovers for the game. Fayetteville State took advantage of the earned opportunities and scored 43 points off of the turnovers. † BSU Sophomore Markeya Watson finished with 14 points and led both teams with a game-high nine rebounds.† Senior Genet Moore also scored in double figures, accounting for 12 points.† As a team, Bowie State scored at a 68.4 percent clip in the second half, converting 13-of-19 field goals and 57.4 percent (a season high) for the game. † Jamara McMillian led Fayetteville State with 16 points while Smith came off the Lady Broncos bench to score 13.† Chelsea Jeter added another 12 points for Fayetteville State and Tenisha McArthur paced FSU with a team-high eight rebounds.

The Lady Bulldogs will face the winner of North Carolina Central versus Virginia State game ‚§≥ Friday, March 2nd at 1:00 p.m. † † †

Join us this Thursday for a new chapter... as the hottest Thursday night party moves to PLAY LOUNGE, 1219 Connecticut Avenue ! Just 2 doors down from 1223...get free passes!

Doors open at 6pm with a premium open bar 6-8pm PLAY LOUNGE is a fresh & exciting venue with a cozy atmosphere that lends itself to good times & fun with friends!

Power Move Thursdays....we are doing it again! Please spread the word & let everyone know that the best Thursday night party has a new home & it's PLAY LOUNGE....new, fresh & sexy for spring 2007!

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