Ginger Kincaid is tired of being patient. Isn’t 12 years enough?“How much longer are we supposed to wait?” Glenelg’s longtime field hockey coach wonders. “I think we’ve been beyond patient.”
Nearly a dozen years ago, the county started converting field hockey fields to Bermuda grass. The new fields are level and the surface more cushioned and uniform. The advantages are obvious.
Bermuda grass makes a “huge difference,” River Hill coach Shelly Chamness said. “First, the girls want to play more because they can actually move the ball around. Their stick skill shows. It pays off for them to develop good stickwork and not to play hit-and-run hockey.”
Hammond was the first to get Bermuda grass. Its field, which replaced a rock-based, sloping pitch, opened in 1998.
In 1999, Wilde Lake, Long Reach and River Hill got Bermuda grass. Centennial and Oakland Mills were blessed the following year, and Howard in 2001.
Land-locked Mt. Hebron had to wait for successful negotiations with BGE, which owned property adjacent to the school. That took until 2004.
Jeannette Ireland holds her thumb and forefinger less than an inch apart.
“I was this close to retiring,” the longtime Mt. Hebron field hockey coach said. “We were on the road for three years. If we had not gotten our (Bermuda grass) field, I was done, because it’s not fair.”
Atholton and Marriotts Ridge hit the field hockey lottery in 2005 and Glenelg Country in 2006.
Now it’s 2008 and Glenelg still waits.
“The whole thing has been put on the back burner because of renovation at the school, which is on septic and well,” Kincaid said.
Her team plays on a field that is a combination of fescue, clover, weeds and bare spots. The ball skips around.
Kincaid understands the priorities of the school come first. When an expanded parking lot was put in this summer the hockey team lost 30 yards that it used for practice.
Kincaid said she was told last spring that construction would start this fall on a new Bermuda hockey field in “the pit.” But a water tower will have to be built first, and no one has gotten a permit for the water tower, she said.
“Either the new field is going to happen or it’s not, but we feel like the stepsisters out here. It’s embarrassing … I’ve long since stopped apologizing, and I’m tired of making excuses. We are in the same county as everyone else. I can’t help it if they don’t see fit to make our field equal to all to the others.”
…Marriotts Ridge senior wide receiver/defensive back.
Williams is a three-sport standout for the Mustangs, earning all-county status in football (twice) and lacrosse, and averaging five rebounds a game for the basketball team. Through four games this season, Williams has seven touchdown receptions, which is six more than he had all of last season.
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Boys soccer, girls soccer and field hockey all had games postponed this weekend because of the rain, which arrived in the area yesterday and, as of this afternoon, was still coming down.
But for other sports, the show goes on, rain or shine.
One of the biggest regular-season cross country meets, the Bull Run Invitational at Hereford, is scheduled for tomorrow (Sept. 27 ), and indications are that the weather isn’t going to keep things from going off as scheduled. The Running Maryland Web site has been providing updates all week on the condition of the course, which also serves as the home to the season-ending state championship meet.
The truth is that, aside from football, cross country is as all-weather as it gets during the fall season. It doesn’t matter if it’s cold, windy, rainy or muddy, these athletes go out and run.
If you’re looking for good news — and I know when you’re cold and wet there isn’t much — the county runners already have a soggy experience to draw upon. Earlier this year, at the Howard County Invitational, the boys and girls races were run in a steady downpour.
As for the races themselves, the county is expected to do well in both of the elite races. Atholton, Mt. Hebron and River Hill are contenders for the boys, and River Hill should be right there for the girls.
Wow. Week 3 was a wild one. Sept. 19 saw: No. 6 Howard (soundly) defeat No. 4 Long Reach for the first time in school history, unranked Mt. Hebron climb into the rankings with a win (first on-field since 2006) over Atholton, a 2007 playoff qualifier; No. 2 Wilde Lake dodge a close call, 38-35, from No. 5 Glenelg; and previously unscored-upon Reservoir give up 38 to Marriotts Ridge. As if all of that weren’t enough, in a game between the two unranked teams, Oakland Mills beat Hammond Saturday afternoon on a 41-yard walk-off field goal. About the only thing that went as expected was River Hill shutting out Centennial, 55-0. Needless to say, there is some major shuffling to do in these power rankings. Good thing my pencil has an eraser…
1. (1*) River Hill. (3-0, 151 points scored, 15 points allowed)
There’s nothing wrong with the Hawks, who got their first shutout of the season. When do the playoffs start?
Last week: Beat Centennial (1-2), 55-0. This week: at No. 9 Mt. Hebron (1-2) Friday at 7.
2. (2) Wilde Lake. (3-0, 113-52)
Can’t dock them for winning close games (Glenelg is tough), but the separation between the ‘Cats and the Hawks is starting to look wider. This week will be very revealing.
Last week: Beat Glenelg (1-2), 38-35. This week: home against No. 3 Marriotts Ridge (3-0) Saturday at 2.**
3. (3) Marriotts Ridge. (3-0, 126-12)
The Mustangs have answered every test so far, and the way Wilde Lake gave up 35 points to Glenelg, it would not be a surprise if Doug DuVall has to wait another week for career win No. 300. Twelve points allowed is a league best (though they haven’t faced a top offense yet). Marriotts Ridge has a chance to emerge as a county championship contender this week.
Last week: Beat Reservoir (2-1), 38-6. This week: at No. 2 Wilde Lake (3-0) Saturday at 2.
4. (6) Howard. (2-1, 84-55)
That Week 1 loss to No. 9 Centennial threw off the scent, but the Lions are clicking now, with the fourth-best offense and the fifth-best defense in the league. How much better are they than No. 6 Glenelg? We won’t know until Oct. 25.
Last week: Beat Long Reach (1-2), 37-8. This week: at Oakland Mills (1-2) Saturday at 2.
5. (4) Long Reach. (1-2, 49-70)
The Lightning looked like a playoff contender after beating up on Glenelg, but then Howard came along and blew them out. They need to come back this week with a win over Reservoir’s tough defense, or they could slip further.
Last week: Lost to Howard (2-1), 37-8. This week: home against No. 7 Reservoir (2-1) Saturday at 2.**
6. (5) Glenelg. (1-2, 76-77)
Hard-luck Gladiators BARELY missed a chance at upsetting No. 2 Wilde Lake and jumping into the top three.
Last week: Lost to Wilde Lake (3-0), 38-35. This week: at Hammond (0-3) Friday at 7 .
7. (7) Reservoir. (2-1, 62-38)
Shutout streak came to an end in a big way against the dynamic Mustangs offense. Not too much of a surprise there, though.
Last week: Lost to Marriotts Ridge (3-0), 38-6. This week: at No. 5 Long Reach (1-2) Saturday at 2.
8. (9) Centennial. (1-2, 21-88)
No penalty for getting shut out by River Hill. And now the Ed Holshue cup is looking even more enticing as a competitive game with something on the line.
Last week: Lost to River Hill, 55-0. This week: home against Atholton Friday at 7.
9. (not ranked) Mt. Hebron. (1-2, 38-87)
Welcome to the Top 10, Vikes! And congrats to Ross Hannon on his first win at Mt. Hebron. A Week 3 stunner over Atholton shows they’re over their 2007 hibernation.
Last week: Beat Atholton (0-3), 28-21. This week: home against No. 1 River Hill (3-0) Friday at 7.
10. (8) Atholton. (0-3, 54-99)
The most puzzling free-fall in the league. Losing Matt Robinson (lacerated hand, back this week) in the Howard game did hurt, however.
Last week: Lost to Mt. Hebron (1-2), 28-21. This week: at Centennial (1-2) Friday at 7.
On the bubble: Hammond (0-3), Oakland Mills (1-2).
* Last week’s ranking
Although a stopped clock may be right twice a day, it is not right at a field hockey game.
That was the feeling Sept. 23. Glenelg was playing Atholton when, one minute before halftime, the visible scoreboard clock was stopped. In that final minute, one team was desperately trying to score a goal while the other team was desperately trying to prevent it.
Wouldn’t it be nice for the players, coaches and fans to know exactly how much time remained?
This isn’t the first time this year that a clock has been intentionally stopped before the end of the half or game. When it happens, the timer brings a hand-held clock on to the field and counts down the final 10 seconds.
The stated reason for freezing the clock is that even though the official’s whistle ends the game, the officials are afraid the players will stop play if they hear the scoreboard horn go off at :00.
But such reasoning is a mistake.
The Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association’s fall tournament bulletin states that “If there is a visible working scoreboard, it shall be used as the official clock.”
The passage is marked as a change from years past.
“The state field hockey committee wants the visible clock used,” said Glenelg coach Ginger Kincaid. She is a member of the committee.
Visible scoreboards and visible clocks are fairly new for field hockey. The main reason is that the fields aren’t often located near a source of electricity. (A wag might insert here that: Nobody cares about field hockey anyway.)
That is changing. Better fields, middle school-level feeder programs and indoor hockey teams are bringing new interest to the game. Gone are those vinyl flip cards that showed the score. They were barely visible from across the field anyway.
At halftime, the Atholton and Glenelg coaches met with the officials and the clock stayed on in the final minute of the second half.
Andrew took his first job with the Howard County Times as an editorial assistant/obituary writer in 2001. He has written about an array of sports, from rugby to roller skate dancing. Andrew was a (mediocre) swimmer at Loyola College, but he enjoys playing many sports, including rec-league softball, kickball, basketball, football, soccer, and ultimate Frisbee. He would play rec-league unicycle badminton if he could find a league. He is a fan of all the Baltimore sports clubs, from the O’s to the Blast. When he’s not obsessing over the athletic endeavors of others, Andrew enjoys watching zombie movies from the 70s and 80s. He resides in Catonsville.