I think we are in the final two rounds of a long bout that will decide whether the Covenant Park soccer complex will be built off Centennial Lane. The residents in the vicinity of the park likely will put up a lively fight in final arguments in their last attempt to have the sports complex stopped in its tracks. A major hurdle still seems to revolve around potential traffic congestion. Understandably, residents don't want to sit in traffic jams on Centennial Lane, nor do they want to have to battle oncoming traffic just to get on to Centennial Lane. It's SAC's job to convince everyone that it won't happen.
Two dates have now been set aside for what I hope will be final arguments. On Dec. 11, some cross-examination will be conducted by Soccer Association of Columbia/ Howard County attorney Dave Carney. On Dec. 18, Dave Kinsley, who represents the citizens group, and Carney will make their closing statements. The Board of Appeals will then make its decision, either allowing the bulldozers to begin construction or telling SAC to look for a new location.
I have followed SAC's search for land for a park for the past decade, and I think this time SAC will prevail and the park will be built. Unfortunately for the residents, they got into the picture too late to stop this project. They should have raised objections much earlier and they should have gotten the entire community galvanized.
Coach to become a TV star
A number of local Howard County TV sports shows have been aired on local channels over the years. They seemed to come and then disappear almost as quickly. Bob Nykyforchyn had an enjoyable show on cable for a while, but it's been gone for years now.
Now comes Hammond High's Joe Russo and a new high school sports show, called FYI, which will start on Dec. 12. Russo has the credentials, most certainly, with more than 30 years' experience in coaching. He's also the current president of the Maryland High School Football Coaches Association.
In other words, Russo knows everybody in high school sports. The show will feature brief clinics, interviews with high school athletes and perhaps game footage. It will be a 30-minute show on Channel 71 and will be seen on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 6 and 10 p.m.
Ross puts spotlight on senior fitness
Speaking of TV, I recently came across a segment spotlighting Howard High School's Dan Ross and his program for seniors at his heralded weight room. The program on Channel 73 was part of the Office of Aging's Spotlight on Seniors.
Howard High's weight room is well-equipped and organized. All of that is a product of Ross' commitment to the student body of that school.
I was impressed that Ross, Howard High and the students there have opened that facility to seniors. It takes a higher level of understanding and patience to work with people, many of whom have never been exposed to weight training and much of what that training facility offers.
Agassi comes to Baltimore
One of the world's best tennis players _ Andre Agassi _ will play in Baltimore next week. He'll face Andy Roddick in the Chevy Chase Bank Tennis Challenge, which benefits Pam Shriver's charity work on behalf of children throughout the area.
The event also includes some fun matches between Orioles, including Brady Anderson, and the legitimate tennis stars, and a "legends" match that features Zina Garrison, Davis Cup player Richey Reneberg, 1998 Wimbledon champion Jana Novotna and tour player Tim Wilkison.
The event will be held Dec. 12 at 7 p.m. at the Baltimore Arena. Tickets are available by calling 410-347-2010.
E-mail Stan Ber at HowardCountySports@patuxent.com.