Baltimore Poly High School's football team finished undefeated and unscored upon last season, but didn't get a chance to play for the state championship.

Several years previously, Georgetown players David Wingate and Reggie Williams helped Dunbar of Baltimore become the nation's top-ranked scholastic basketball team.

But when the state finals were held at Cole Field House, the Poets weren't there.

The Baltimore schools cannot participate in the state playoffs because they are not members of the 40-year-old Maryland Public Secondary School Athletic Association. That organization was predated by the Maryland Scholastic Association, an all-boys sports league, that has included Baltimore public and private schools since 1919.

Now, after years of separate competition, the two associations are talking about getting together.

Two weeks ago, state supervisor of athletics and MPSSAA executive director Ned Sparks met with MSA president Vince Bagli, a Baltimore sportscaster, to discuss their differences and what changes MSA would have to make to conform with state rules.

"We were just talking informally," said Sparks. "There's nothing big in the offing. We'd love to have (MSA) join us, but there are some differences that would have to be resolved.

"The Baltimore public schools probably could join tomorrow," he added. "Their city rules are very similar to our MPSSAA rules. That step would be relatively easy."

Accommodating MSA private school members such as Gilman, Calvert Hall, Loyola and Boys Latin would be more difficult, according to Sparks.

"Since they're private schools, they have greater latitude since there's no public funding involved and those schools would have to agree to conform to our rules, which are set by the Maryland Department of Education and carry the same weight as state law," Sparks explained. "Other questions like classification, recruiting, length of schedules and frequency of out-of-state trips also would have to be ironed out."

Sparks sees the possibility of MSA schools, particularly Baltimore public schools, joining the MPSSAA one day, but nothing substantive has been discussed or decided by either group.

Lack of suitable indoor tracks have forced state officials to combine the indoor track championships into one meet for all schools on March 4 at the Naval Academy.

Originally, indoor track was to have had championships in each classification from Class AA to C, but the high price and unavailability of indoor tracks like Baltimore's Armory, Towson Center, University of Maryland's Reckord Armory, Catonsville Community College and Essex Community College forced a compressed meet this year.

"We've known about this since last spring and worked through the fall trying to secure sites for the meets, but they were either too costly or the dates we needed were unavailable," said Sparks. "I know that many of the coaches, particularly those from smaller schools, are unhappy, but so am I and I sympathize with them."

"Remember, it's not just sites for championship meets for the four classifications, but 12 regional sites were necessary and we couldn't find enough," he said.