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Shriver gets championship results

June 08, 2007|by ANDREW MASON

The transition from Buddy Orndorff to Ray Shriver as head track and field coach at Smithsburg was such a smooth one, it was hard to tell it even happened.

Shriver picked up this spring where Orndorff left off last year, as the Smithsburg boys team won its second straight Maryland Class 1A state title.

"The kids probably noticed very little change in the way things were run," said Shriver, who was Orndorff's assistant at Smithsburg the previous seven years. "It was a very smooth transition.

"When I first came to Smithsburg, I'd been the head coach at North Hagerstown for 10 years. I was anxious about becoming an assistant again because I had my way of doing things. But my way of running a team and Buddy's way of running a team blended very well. We saw a lot of things the same way."

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For getting the same results in his first year at the helm, Shriver has been named The Herald-Mail's 2007 All-Area and All-Washington County Boys Track & Field Coach of the Year.

It wasn't exactly easy for Shriver this year.

"We were down a paid assistant and a bunch of volunteer coaches," he said.

He had Holly Robison to coach the pole vaulters, and Orndorff returned a few days each week to work with the jumpers and hurdlers. Other than that, it was all Shriver.

"This year, he was pretty much the only coach," said Smithsburg senior Jamal Campbell, who won three events at states. "He'll work with everyone one-on-one at practice. He's moving the whole time. He does track stuff all day in between teaching."

Shriver expects the same dedication from his athletes.

"I'm demanding in practices," he said. "I expect workouts to be done to the best of your ability. If you're not going to do it, go home."

The Leopards stayed, winning meet after meet after meet this spring.

"It's a tribute to the seniors and veterans. They really stepped up into leadership roles, because there wasn't a coach with them at all times," Shriver said. "I'd keep an eye on them, but I wasn't always there."

At the meets, he seemingly was everywhere, keeping track of 18 events for each of the boys and girls teams.

"I just really enjoy watching a track meet when it's my kids competing," Shriver said. "I enjoy watching them compete and do their best. It's probably the most fun thing to do."

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