The fall sports season is over and the honors are being awarded to those selected as the county’s most outstanding players in each sport.The public school field hockey coaches met recently and selected the following players to their all-county team.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Alyssa Parker, Glenelg, junior, midfield
Jenna Boarman, Mt. Hebron, senior, forward
Molly Garza, Reservoir, senior, forward
Kayleigh Hinkle, Glenelg, senior, forward
Kim Markovitz, Atholton, senior, forward
Kat Varga, River Hill, sophomore forward
Mary Kate Olson, Glenelg, junior, midfield
Emily Russo, Glenelg, sophomore, midfield
Pauline Shih, River Hill, junior, midfield
Carolyn Sullivan, Howard, senior, midfield
Melissa Linn, Mt. Hebron, senior, defense
Morgan Culler, Mt. Hebron, senior, goalkeeper
Jordan Levy, River Hill, senior, goalkeeper
Stephanie Asher, Glenelg, freshman, forward
Nina Collins, River Hill, junior, forward
Alanna Diffendal, Marriotts Ridge, senior, forward
Danielle Schiavone, Howard, senior, forward
Caroline Bird, River Hill, senior, midfield
Molly Fleming, Marriotts Ridge, junior, midfield
Kelly Jones, Mt. Hebron, junior, midfield
Morgan Philie, Glenelg, freshman, midfield
Alexandra Quattrone, Reservoir, senior, midfield
Shannon Kearney, Reservoir, senior, defense
Andrea Starinsky, Glenelg, senior, defense
Chrissy DiStefano, Centennial, senior, goalkeeper
Didi Ertenu, Wilde Lake, junior, goalkeeper
Amanda Dell, Oakland Mills, senior, forward
Bri Hanlon, Marriotts Ridge, junior, forward
Jacqueline Tape, Long Reach, senior, midfield
Nicole Drummond, Marriotts Ridge, senior, defense
Katie Woolls, River Hill, junior, defense
The Columbia Flier/Howard County Times all-county field hockey teams, including final statistics and final standings, will appear in the Dec. 16 issue.
That’s how far Atholton’s field hockey program has come under Jim Brown, who has announced that he has stepped down as head coach.
Technically, it’s only taken Brown three years to turn a perennial loser into a winner. Atholton, 4-9-2, his first year was 14-4 this past fall, reached the state title game.
Most years before Brown became involved with Atholton field hockey, total victories could be counted on the fingers of one hand.
A soccer coach by training, Brown quickly picked up field hockey, a sport both of his daughters played. He knew the value of year-round play and was an excellent motivator. He was possibly the only county coach to film games — and break the film down.
Brown brought pride into the Atholton field hockey program.
He is leaving, he said, because “the schedule of a high school field hockey coach is not congruent to someone who is not a teacher. My employer has been fantastic but without a child in the program it is very difficult to justify being involved,” he said.
His youngest daughter, Kelly, is a senior.
Brown said Crystal Chandler, his assistant coach this year, will take over the team. She is a teacher at Atholton.
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.”
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.