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AACPS Awards Night honors past, present

Wednesday night was a night to celebrate some current student-athletes who served as examples to others, as well as some veteran figures who contributed so much over the years.

As the Anne Arundel County Public Schools Coaches Association celebrated the end of another successful year at its Awards Night at Two Rivers Restaurant in Pasadena, it presented three scholarships to student-athletes and also presented awards to five other contributors. In addition, the 13 public schools in the county recognized the teams named as their Sportsmanship and Service award winners, named for the late Craig T. White, the former girls basketball coach and athletic director at Old Mill who died in 2015 following a battle with cancer.

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Former president of the Coaches Association, Broadneck athletic director Ken Kazmarek, opened the event with a short history of the Coaches Association. He noted the association is roughly 50 years old and credited Bob Pascal, a former youth football coach and county executive, and Steve Carroll, a former athletic director at Arundel, with supporting the county’s coaches.

Twenty-six teams were honored as the winners of the Craig T. White Sportsmanship and Service awards. The teams were selected by the athletic directors and a committee from each school and the coaches of each team accepted their awards on Wednesday. Among the recipients of the Sportsmanship awards were the Annapolis swim team, which won the MPSSAA Sportsmanship Award at this year’s state swim meet, the Old Mill field hockey team, which organized a Black Out game in memory of White and to raise money for the Melanoma Research Foundation and the Southern outdoor track team, which welcomed a teammate who has autism and helped him during training and meets throughout the season.

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The Service award winners included the Arundel field hockey team, which participated in several projects throughout the season; the Broadneck girls lacrosse team for its work with the local youth program; the BAYS and its work in providing meals for the Lighthouse shelter; and the Ronald McDonald House and Northeast’s football team, which participated in a host of projects during the season and in the offseason.

Three student-athletes, Terrence Agbaw from Meade, Kyleigh McQuade from North County and Pat Martinek from Northeast, then read the essays that won them their scholarships.

Agbaw spoke of an example of sportsmanship he witnessed in a game last season with Northeast where players from both teams came to the aid of a player who was injured.

“He assisted me carrying my crippled teammate to the trainer’s table,” Agbaw said in his essay. “I was shocked because of what was at stake in that game, both teams were fighting against each other for a playoff spot. I questioned if any of my teammates would have been willing to display such sportsmanship with what was at stake.”

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McQuade explained how some of the best lessons are those learned when a team suffers a tough loss.

“If my four years as a three-sport athlete, I have experienced many defeats,” McQuade said. “but it’s how you lose and how you come back from those losses is what defines you as an athlete and a person.”

Martinek, one of the top boys lacrosse goalies in the county, spoke about how impressed he was with the athletes who participated in the Unified sports offered in the county and his own encounter with a fellow Unified athlete where, what he thought was a simple gesture, was noticed by someone else as much more. While trying to assist another athlete with her medal, he was also having difficulties, so he removed his medal and slipped it around her neck.

“She immediately broke into one of the biggest smiles I’ve ever seen,” Martinek said. “I didn’t think it was anything extraordinary or unusual until an adult that was witnessing the exchange told me that was one of the best displays of sportsmanship they had ever seen.”

The Coaches Association then awarded Bob Pascal Awards to Topper Ellis, Chuck Markiewicz, Carin Peterson and Robert Silkworth and a Steve Carroll Award to Bruce Sider.

Marianne Shultz presented Ellis with his award and noted how Ellis created a bond with North County High School and the surrounding community.

“He has always been active with providing students with as many positive experiences as possible,” said Shultz, a former athletic director at North County. “He helped them set goals, reach them and become better citizens.”

Veteran coach Merlin Means presented Markiewicz with his award and noted how the longtime coach did so much during his time as a coach in the county.

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“His impact on all of us who coached with him has been tremendous,” Means said. “I feel fortunate that I’ve spent several years on his staff.”

Bruce Lawton spoke about Peterson, a former standout field hockey and lacrosse player at Severna Park and the University of Maryland and head coach of 12 state championship girls lacrosse teams at Severna Park. Peterson is now a field hockey official in the state.

“At Severna Park, most of the young ladies who played under Carin aspired to go on and play at the college level,” Lawton said. “Many of them have come back and have said playing for Carin prepared them for playing on a college team. They saw the kids who were not prepared and how they suffered.

“In coaching with Carin, I saw that she worked hard with her girls, she showed them that hard work, dedication and attention to details is what made Severna Park lacrosse one of the most highly-respected teams in the state,” Lawton said

Lisa Magness, outgoing president of the Coaches Association, presented Silkworth with his award. Silkworth, an educator in the county for 46 years, has been an announcer at North County sporting events since the school’s opening.

“When I started at North County in the fall of 2013, Mr. Silkworth was extremely welcoming and helpful,” Magness said. “Often when North County was not playing a home game, I would see Mr. Silkworth in the stands at my games while I was coaching at Severna Park. Mr. Silkworth bleeds AACPS and our county has been very fortunate to have had him for 46 years.”

The final award of the evening was presented to Sider, the longtime athletic director and baseball and wrestling coach at Glen Burnie. As he presented the award, current Glen Burnie assistant athletic director Ryan Woods referred to Sider as “The Maestro.”

“That is the nickname Coach Sider has answered to for over 20 years,” Woods said. “When you think about that nickname, it’s seems to be a perfect fit for a man who led a group of misfits to a state championship baseball title in 1999. While I don’t know much about his ability to conduct classical music, I do know he has been able to unify his performers like that 1999 team.”

As part of the event, the Association also held its elections for officers. With Magness stepping away as president, former vice president Mike Gimon was elected the new president. Means will remain secretary and William Crutchfield remains treasurer.

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