Wrestling Overlooked

The article "Year in Review, The Five Biggest Stories in Southern Maryland Sports" (Southern Maryland Extra, June 6) missed the biggest story in Southern Maryland Athletic Conference sports for this year -- SMAC wrestling. I agree that four of the stories were big, but how can you pick the building of a school over what occurred this year in SMAC wrestling?

Let's take a look at the dominance the SMAC had in wrestling over the rest of the state: The South Region Duals champion and State Duals champion was Calvert High School (its first wrestling state championship in school history) with a record of 18-0; the state tournament champion was Chopticon High (its first wrestling state championship should have been your choice for the article because it goes with the team concept and because Calvert volleyball was already selected) with Calvert placing second and La Plata High School (the South Region tournament champion) placing fifth. The SMAC won 12 out of 14 South Region tournament championships and four of the 14 state championships.

Of the four state champions, two seniors -- Eli Black and Randy Oates Jr. -- have signed national letters-of-intent to Division I schools. Black, from Chopticon, will be attending the University of Maryland, and Oates, from Northern High, will be attending George Mason University on a partial wrestling scholarship. The Post has yet to report on these two accomplishments by two outstanding young men. The third state champion, Matt Myers from McDonough, beat a national champion who had never lost a high school match in his high school career until Matt beat him for the state championship.

I am a subscriber to The Washington Post as well as a wrestling parent and fan. I was disappointed to see the building of a school overshadow the hard work and dedication exhibited by these teams and their student athletes.

Randy Oates


Wal-Mart, Other Issues

While I do agree 100 percent with what Michael Smith wrote concerning a Wal-Mart to be built in Dunkirk, I feel there are a few other issues that were not mentioned.

* Other Wal-Mart stores, located in Clinton, Waldorf and La Plata, serve many Calvert County residents as well as those in Bowie and Prince Frederick. They either are within the 26-mile radius or are certainly drivable quite easily. The Web site for the Dunkirk Volunteer Fire Department even shows that its firetrucks have been sent to the firehouse in Clinton to cover Clinton's apparatus, which was out on other emergency duties, so the drive isn't that far.

* Rumors continue that Home Depot wants to build in Dunkirk. Like Michael Smith, I agree that the U.S. 301/state Route 4 needs to be the focal point simply because the road structure is better and there is more population to support it. As I understand, Home Depot agrees and is building just north of the Marlboro Pike intersection with Route 4, or so a sign says.

* The Wal-Mart in Prince Frederick was one of the first on this side of the bay in Maryland. I continue to shop there, and I see nothing wrong with it. Some say the La Plata Wal-Mart is so much nicer, but I don't see it. The Waldorf Wal-Mart is huge, excessive and doesn't even sell groceries, as far as I know. I would not like to see that kind of excess in Calvert County.

* Food Lion was supposed to come to Dunkirk where the CVS is now. So far, I'm glad it hasn't. I've spoken with many folks who've either worked for them or shopped at several other locations in the area. Let the marketplace deal with them.

* Shoppers Food Warehouse competes with Safeway and Giant in Clinton and Waldorf -- maybe they would be a good addition near Prince Frederick, but traffic is terrible there now many hours of the day. Giant and Safeway will still survive.

* I like the idea of a Giant in Dunkirk. Calvert County can handle the traffic from within and from nearby portions of Anne Arundel (called "South County"), which turned down a big Safeway in Deale.

Yes, I truly believe politicians should survey 15 to 20 percent of all county residents before they plan alterations that would change the county and not for the better in many respects. I wish somebody had done that before that ugly little strip of stores was built down near Huntingtown.

Bill Peters