The Maryland Public Secondary School Athletic Association and the state Department of Education will present a series of seminars next week to study and discuss the alarming linkage between athletics and drug and alcohol abuse in scholastic sports.

Open to students, coaches, counselors, teachers, parents and the public, the seminars will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 8, at Loch Raven High School in Baltimore County; on Wednesday, Jan. 9, at Hammond in Columbia; and on Thursday, Jan. 10, at Woodward in Rockville.

All sessions begin at 7:30 p.m., are free and require no advance registration.

A two-day, in-depth workshop is scheduled at Hammond Feb. 1-2 for "schools that make a commitment to find ways to solve this problem," according to MPSSAA executive director, Ned Sparks.

"We feel that this will offer a very important dialogue and free exchange of much-needed information for everyone involved," said Sparks. "There won't be any incriminations or spying. We're going to be looking for answers.

"We've all seen the Super Bowl or World Series winners' locker rooms. And what do they celebrate with? Champagne and beer," Sparks continued. "Sports and drinking goes too much hand in hand, like the Miller Lite commercials, and we just want everyone to know that it doesn't have to be that way.

"Coaches can really help dispel this alcohol-sports tie. Kids often listen to coaches more than their parents," said Sparks. "Drugs and alcohol only hurt athletic performance and cause untold personal tragedy. We just want to do our part in putting out the word."

Twelve local players have been named to the Catholic High School all-America football team: Mike Anderson, Matt Granzow and Boobie Powell (DeMatha); Pat Jones and Rico Labbe (Carroll); Durwin Greggs and Rich Fox (McNamara); Gary McIntosh and Marcus Cherry (Gonzaga); Bobby Lewis (Good Counsel); Brian MacLean (Pallotti) and Nelson Gonzalez (St. John's) . . . Named among the nation's top 60 scholastic basketball seniors by HS News were DeMatha's Danny Ferry, Northwestern's Bryan Tucker, Suitland's Roddy Peters, Friendly's John Smith and Dunbar's (Baltimore) Perry and Terry Dozier, who led Hammond to the Maryland Class C title two years ago. Mount Hebron's Barry Young was rated the nation's No. 2 sophomore and DeMatha's Gerrod Mustaf was tabbed as the top frosh . . .

Former Wootton forward Ed Woods has made the Maryland varsity team as a walk-on. He is a 6-foot-8, 210-pound freshman who helped lead the Patriots to the Class AA state title two years ago . . .

Joe Flaherty has stepped down as Good Counsel's swimming coach after 10 seasons. He's been replaced by Bill Greenleaf . . .

A preseason baseball training camp will be run by the Montgomery County Recreation Department on Sundays from Jan. 6 to Feb. 24. Call Ralph Ruschel at 593-9670 for information . . .

The longest winning streak in the area belongs, appropriately enough, to DeMatha, which has won 27 games in a row. The Stags are 10-0 this season.