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Alexandria Sports Briefs

Ireton hires new basketball coach, Alexandria Sportsman's Club update

<b>Ireton Hires New Basketball Coach</b>

Bishop Ireton announced last week that Neil Berkman will take over as the school’s boys’ basketball coach beginning this summer. He will also join the faculty as a math teacher.

Berkman was the Archdiocese of Baltimore’s Regional Teacher of the Year in 2005. He comes to Bishop Ireton after five years as the head coach at Archbishop Curley in Baltimore, where his teams qualified for the playoffs in three of the five years after years of struggling, including a 19-7 record this past winter. A Maryland alum, Berkman coached at the Bullis School before moving to the college ranks as an assistant at Coastal Carolina, Cornell and Siena before taking the helm at Curley.

“He’s a hard worker, he’s a great teacher, and he builds programs the right way, which is what we’re trying to do here,” said Ireton athletic director William Simmons, adding that he had several qualified applicants, including some with head coaching or college coaching experience.

“No one sacrificed more, no one was thirstier than Neil,” Coastal Carolina coach Pete Strickland said in a statement. “He was enthusiastic and devoted to the players as people as well as athletes. You got a hard worker and guy who cares about the kids under his charge. I think you are going to really like him.”

<b>Alexandria Sportsman’s Club</b>

The Alexandria Sportsman’s Club will hold its annual High School Student Athlete Awards Banquet on Wednesday, May 20. This is the 54th year the event has taken place with festivities scheduled to be held at the Hilton Mark Center Alexandria Hotel. This year, the sportsman’s club will be honoring talented athletes from every high school varsity sport in the Alexandria area.

There will be a reception hour and silent auction beginning at 6 p.m. Tickets are $55 per person or $500 for a table of 10. Corporate sponsorships are also welcome. All proceeds will go towards four $2,500 scholarships awarded to deserving student athletes. For more information contact Richard Downs at rdowns@alexandriagmc.com or send a check payable to the Alexandria Sportman’s Club to P.O. Box 1011, Alexandria, VA 22313.