Herrelko's Gold Heroics

Even for Bowie's Frank Herrelko, the 86-year-old retired Air Force Colonel whose athletic ability and energy seem to know no limit [Prince George's Extra, June 16], the West Virginia Senior Games in Charleston were a bit tiring. Of course, a little fatigue is understandable when you win seven gold medals.

In a single day.

On Friday, Herrelko earned golds in bowling (singles and doubles), shot put, long jump, discus, the 1,500-meter race walk and 100-meter dash.

"I was going to throw the horseshoes, but I was a little too tired there by the end," Herrelko said.

Herrelko even tried a new event--the javelin. But he admits he has some learning to do when it comes to throwing.

"For the life of me, I couldn't get the point on that dang thing to stick in the ground," he said. "I guess I'll just have to practice up and try it again next time."

Women's Basketball

Monique Hunter grew up watching Kenner League and Urban Coalition summer basketball games at Georgetown University and Dunbar High, observing such top players as Alonzo Mourning, Walt Williams and Sherman Douglas.

Now, Hunter has created a summer scene for women's players with the Women's Collegiate Summer League, which plays Saturdays and Sundays at Central High in Capitol Heights.

"I thought it would be good to have an opportunity for a women's league," said Hunter, 29, a former Hyattsville resident who describes herself as a longtime basketball fan. Hunter runs the league through her own firm, Jump Shot Inc., which helps high school players prepare for college by giving them information about the Scholastic Assessment Test and college applications.

The Women's Collegiate Summer League enters its second season with two more teams, for a total of six. This year's league includes incoming college freshman such as All-Met Schuye LaRue (Carroll), who is headed to Virginia, and recent Prince George's graduates Tonya Bowman (Gwynn Park), Kiarsha Curtis (Bladensburg), Alicia Clark (Central), Tracie Addison (Surrattsville) and Christina Strothers (Suitland).

The league also is open to recent college graduates and current college players.

"There is more interest in the league this year and hopefully this is something that will grow and become better and better," Hunter said.

Hornets Return Sting

Although it is only summer basketball and not a chance to play for the state championship, Surrattsville's 68-55 win Wednesday against Central in the Falconers Summer League had to be satisfying for the Hornets.

Last season, Surrattsville lost to the Falcons in the Maryland 2A South Region final, 72-67, after leading by nine points with four minutes remaining. Central advanced the state 2A semifinals.

The Hornets' leading scorer, second-team All-Met Donnell Pope, graduated, but four starters return, including 6-foot-3 swingman Terrell Millington. Millington spent most of last season complementing Pope, who averaged 26 points per game.

This summer, Millington has more freedom to play on the perimeter and has blossomed into a top scoring threat. He leads the Falconers League in scoring at 23.5 points per game. His most impressive game came was Carroll June 7. Millington scored 31 points in the first half, then made a buzzer-beating three-pointer to lift Surrattsville to a 53-50 win, handing the Lions their first loss.

BET Pro-Am Tips Off

A number of local boys basketball players will compete in this weekend's BET (Black Entertainment Television) Pro-Am held at the University of the District of Columbia and George Washington University.

Bowie forward Bennie Robinson and Central guard Bruce Haigler will play for D.C. Assault's team and Surrattsville guard Donnell Pope, Central guard Robert Johnson and Laurel forward-center Greg Jones will compete for Team Reebok, which is based in Northern Virginia.

Amateur Athletic Union boys teams from Michigan, Virginia, Louisiana, Baltimore, New Jersey and New York are scheduled to compete in the three-day event, which concludes with Sunday's 5 p.m. final at George Washington.

Play's the Thing

Bowie's Disney-Bell team has experienced growing pains in its second American Legion baseball season. Primarily composed of players from Riverdale Baptist's gold team with a few players from Bowie High, the young team was 6-6 through the weekend. However, there are signs of improvement.

"These kids know what it's about," assistant coach Ray Ruffing said. Against Calvert June 16, Disney-Bell nearly overcame a seven-run deficit in the seventh inning, scoring six runs before leaving runners on second and third when the game ended. "They showed a lot of class, kept their heads up and came back with six runs to come close to winning the game," Ruffing said.

The team's biggest win came June 15 when pitcher David Zellers defeated Frank Riley league-leader Greenbelt and many of his former DeMatha teammates, 5-4.

"I knew they wanted to get to me real bad," Zellers said. "Not that they meant anything bad by it. They just wanted to get the win off me. It felt pretty good to come out on top."

Hall of Fame Honorees

Four county residents were inducted into the District of Columbia Retired Coaches Hall of Fame Saturday at a luncheon in Lanham.

Leo Hill (Cheverly), Edith Shepard (Hyattsville), Doreatha Wills (Fort Washington) and James Tillerson (Camp Springs) were part of an eight-member class.

Hill coached touch football, boys basketball and baseball at Douglass High from 1949 to '52 before moving to Spingarn High in the District where his boys cross-country teams won six consecutive District championships from 1955 to '60. He also started the football program at Spingarn, which won a share of the city crown three seasons after its inception in 1952.

"This means a lot to me," Hill said. "The coaching I did was for free, we didn't get paid. At this time in my life as a senior citizen, you look back and see who you helped and that makes me feel good."

Shepard coached volleyball at Ballou in Southeast Washington for 15 years and Wills coached volleyball at Spingarn. Shepard and Wills are the first women to be inducted into the DCRCA Hall of Fame.

Tillerson coached football at Roosevelt High in the District from the late 1960s through the 1970s. Hill left Spingarn in 1961 and later worked at Cardozo Senior High as a counselor. In 1972, he went to work at Bowie State, where he was chairman of the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation until retiring in 1978.