GAME STORY IS UNFAIR TO GLENELG TEAM
From: Jen Anthony
I am writing about your article, "Defensive error ends Glenelg's season too soon" (by Gary Lambrecht, Nov. 7). As a representative and member of the Glenelg varsity field hockey team, I wish to express my reaction to this article.
For people who are familiar with the sport of field hockey and the strength of the Glenelg team, this article would without a doubt appear unnecessarily negative. Phrases such as "loss stretches title drought to 12 years," "a single mistake," "failed to advance" and "dangerously close" are not only destructive, they fail to paint an accurate portrait of the real story.
Without debating details of the game, nowhere is it mentioned how this team has excelled in recent accomplishments, including our successful regional victory three days earlier.
Looking at only the past four years, the Glenelg varsity hockey teams have won two county titles, three regional titles and advanced to the state semifinals three times. This is quite a list of accomplishments and is impressive compared to the records of other county teams.
True, Glenelg has yet to win a state championship, but no Howard County field hockey team has ever been crowned state champions and no other team has participated in the state games as often as Glenelg.
A more balanced report of the whole story would have better served your readers. For a coach whose name and face are well-known in hockey circles all around the state and a team that strove for the top and always "played their hearts out," this marks an unjust end to an excellent season.
Editor's note: The letter was signed by 15 other members of the team.
BOARD ISN'T SIZING UP CENTENNIAL PROPERLY
From: Jennifer Sun
In regards to the seven-period option that is being phased out at Centennial, there seems to be a lot of shouting and very little listening.
The board has been screaming "class size" as a retort to almost all the concerns voiced by the Centennial community. Whereas the two or three extra students per class may seem like an overwhelming number to the board, it obviously is not a major issue to the teachers, parents, or students.
In fact, when you consider that as a college freshman, a student might have to contend with 200 or 300 classmates, "2.6" seems negligible. It's quality, not quantity, that counts.
Furthermore, the courses that students opt for as their seventh class are often music, journalism or college preparatory classes. And while (Daniel) Jett (director of high schools) complains about class size, any conductor would prefer a 35-person band or orchestra over a five-person one. And a 35-person newspaper or yearbook staff is obviously more productive than a five-person staff.
The quality of Centennial's music and journalism departments speaks for itself. These programs will be sorely hurt not because students don't want to take part in them, but because they won't have the chance to.
Also, without the seven-period option, college prep classes will be small, which only means that less people will have the opportunity to take more advanced courses.
There is obviously a need for a seven-period day of some sort. With pressure from colleges to take many academic subjects while fulfilling Maryland's fine arts and CHIVES credits, students find little chance to take elective courses.
The board says it recognizes this fact, and is looking into other options. But proof of progress in this area is slow in coming. Meanwhile, they want to make the county schools more "equal," even if it means muddling a system that works well.
The schools in Howard County can never be completely equal -- Wilde Lake has a totally different schedule, for example -- just as schools throughout the state and country vary. Do we deny students the chance to learn all they can simply because not all students will have exactly the same chance?
Do we move backward -- taking away an asset Centennial has had for years?
Once again, the school board mutters "class size." Figures show however, that with our seventh-period option, only one to three teachers are needed to bring class sizes down to average.
So why can't we give all the schools one to three more teachers and implement our systems in all the schools that want it? Because, according to the board, we can't afford this. Yet the board's most feasible alternative to our system is the "real" seven-period day (seven periods and lunch), which requires seven additional teachers at each school. If we can't afford three, where will we get money for seven?
My final question is this: How did the board get the power to make a decision against the convictions of the people most directly involved -- the students, teachers and parents?
The school board says it hears what we are saying. But is it really listening?
Editor's note: The writer is an 11th-grade student at Centennial High School.
GIRLS SHOW SKILL, NOT LUCK, ON SOCCER TEAM
From: Connie Copeland
Every time I read an article about Oakland Mills girls soccer, it always seems to insinuate that they are always winning by luck. Luck has nothing to do with the game of soccer.
It takes skill and Oakland Mills has proved they have it. Just look at their record: 7-0 in county and 12-2 overall. County champions for the fifth time in a row and Class 3A/4A regional champions.
They're headed for the state (championship), and for being the only Howard County girls soccer team still in the playoffs, they're pretty "lucky." Let's give a little credit where credit is due.