Sports Shorts

Compiled from News Releases | 1/27/2009, 4:30 p.m.

Washington Wizards and Amtrak to Sponsor Black History Month Poetry Contest
Courtesy of WizardsCare.com

Washington Wizards center Etan Thomas and AMTRAK encourage all students from the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia to celebrate Black History Month by participating in the 2009 Character, Commitment, Connection Poetry Contest.

In 200 words or less, students grades K-12 are invited to write a poem about any African American leader of the past or present, famous or not famous, that they admire for their Character, Commitment and Connection to the community.

Three grand prize winners will be selected: one elementary school (K-5) student, one middle school (6-8) student and one high school (9-12) student. In addition, three first place winners will be selected. All entries must be received by Wed. Feb. 4. A panel of judges will select the three winning poems, and winners will be announced on Wed. Feb. 11 on WashingtonWizards.com.

Grand Prize winners will receive the following:

€ Four tickets to the San Antonio Spurs vs. Washington Wizards game on February 21st
€ On-court halftime presentation with presenting sponsors and Etan Thomas
€ Post-game meet-and-greet with Etan Thomas
€ Four (4) roundtrip tickets on Amtrak€s Northeast Regional to anywhere along the Northeast corridor

About Amtrak
Amtrak has posted six consecutive years of growth in ridership and revenue, carrying more than 28.7 million passengers in the last fiscal year. Amtrak provides intercity passenger rail service to more than 500 destinations in 46 states on a 21,000-mile route system. For schedules, fares and information, passengers may call 800-USA-RAIL or visit Amtrak.com.

Mystics Unveil New Initiative
Courtesy of the Washington Mystics

The Washington Mystics kicked off the team€s newest initiative, the High School Team of the Week, on Fri. Jan. 23 during a game featuring CH Flowers vs. Bladensburg at 7:00 pm. The Mystics have selected the top high school girl€s basketball teams in the metropolitan area to partner with in this new endeavor.

€We are proud to provide a new platform for local high school girls€ basketball,€ said Mystics Chief Operating Officer Greg Bibb. €We look forward to recognizing these deserving athletes throughout the high school basketball season.€

Participants in the Washington Mystics High School Team of the Week will receive numerous benefits including a chance to be featured on the team€s official website, attend a chalk talk, and participate in a high school all-star game to be played at the Verizon Center and a chance to raise money for their respective high schools.

€I am excited about the partnership with the Washington Mystics,€ said Michael Williams, Howard County Public School Official, Athletics. €We see the value in the program and connecting education and athletics. The program promotes really good girls basketball in the county and the state.€

The following is the current basketball schedule:

1/23- CH Flowers vs. Bladensburg 7:15pm
1/24- Centennial vs. River Hill 7:30pm
2/4- Mount Hebron vs. Altholton 5:30pm
2/10-River Hill @ Howard 5:30pm
2/13-Bishop McNamara vs. Holy Cross 5:45pm
2/23- Paint Branch vs. Blake 7pm
2/24-Howard County, County Championship

Visit www.washingtonmystics.com for an updated schedule.

The Washington Mystics will tip off the 2009 season on Sat. June 6, on the road against the Connecticut Sun. Washington will host the club€s home opener on Sun. June 7 against the Atlanta Dream.

MASN Names Rob Dibble as New Color Announcer for Nationals Baseball
Courtesy of the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN)

MASN has named Rob Dibble as the new color commentator for the Washington Nationals. He will join play-by-play man Bob Carpenter in the booth beginning with the 2009 season under a multi-year contract with MASN. A 2-time All Star and MVP of the 1990 NLCS with the Cincinnati Reds, Dibble was part of the "Nasty Boys" bullpen which helped Cincinnati win the 1990 World Series. His broadcasting career includes stints at ESPN, Fox, and FoxSports.com.

"I'm excited to join MASN in covering one of the great new franchises in baseball, and I'm honored to be part of the MASN and Nationals' families. I will try to bring my experience as a pitcher, a ballplayer, and a broadcaster to the booth and bring fans a deeper understanding of what's happening on the field," said Dibble. "I've never been shy about sharing my opinion, so fans will know where I'm coming from."

"MASN has earned a national reputation for its commitment to the Nationals and to bringing fans inside the game, with features like Wired Wednesdays and pitch tracking. I'm looking forward to being part of the biggest baseball network in the country."
Dibble's arrival at Nationals Park will be a reunion in the broadcast booth, as he worked with Bob Carpenter at ESPN in the 1990€s.

The Nationals' former color analyst, Don Sutton, who was halfway through a 4 year deal with MASN, had asked to be released from his contract for personal reasons.

"I have truly enjoyed the two years I had in Washington covering the Nationals and working for MASN. I will always be thankful that my wife Mary, my daughter Jackie and I had this experience,€ Sutton said. €MASN is a first-class operation and deserves great credit for their pioneering success at presenting the Nationals games and effectively promoting the team.€