SOCCER OFFICIALS ARE OUTMATCHED
From: Dave Monroe
I am writing to commend and comment on your article in today's edition ("County soccer teams could sweep 6 state titles in '91," by Rick Belz, Nov. 11). Your comments on the officiating of soccer games could not be more on target.
Worst officiated: How about Franklin vs. Kennedy in the other state semifinal last Friday (Nov. 9)? Two different players from Kennedy each (were) whistled at least five times for taking Franklin attackers down from behind -- no cards. What did it lead to? Possibly the most flagrant display of unsportsmanlike conduct I have seen. In full view of hundreds of spectators, after play had been whistled dead, a Kennedy player deliberately stepped full force on the back of a fallen Franklin player.
While drawing an immediate reaction from players and spectators, both on-field officials and the off-field official claimed not to have seen the incident. No penalty was assessed, with no consideration or respect given to objections raised by players and coaches. The game was now totally out of hand. Thankfully less than two minutes remained. What happened to the idea of player safety first in this competition?
I could not agree more that in this, the fastest-growing participant sport, players and coaches have far outdistanced officials in (awareness) of the great potential for injury allowed in play. I believe this should be of more concern than perceived favoritism or partiality.
Unfortunately, I know of no solution. I do know that something needs to be done by responsible, dedicated fans, players and coaches in the sport because, tragically, there are now coaches and players who are teaching and being taught to take advantage of this gap to win at any cost -- even if it results in serious injury to an opponent. Maybe we do need to ask for more to be done before control of this wonderful sport is lost at all levels.
COLUMBIA'S BEAUTY: LET'S HOLD ON TO IT
From: Carole Martin
To me, if you add more shopping centers, a lot of trees will be destroyed. Also, to add a lot more homes will definitely cause a lot more congestion, plus welcoming the wrong type of people in, which will cause an increase in crime.
Please leave the area as is, with the beauty of the trees, lakes, etc., so all can enjoy.
We do not live in the Columbia area, but when we or any of our friends want to relax and get away from everything we come to Columbia.
There we can walk around the lake and see the beauty of the trees as well as enjoy the ducks, geese and swan out on the lake.
The Mall is very sufficiently set up for all types of things to see and do, plus with the fantastic restaurant in Woodie's, who needs more?
To add more buildings would also take away not only the beauty of a lot of precious land but also deprive farmers of much-needed land. We would hate to see that ever happen, as (we) would definitely feel like (we were) stuck in another D.C. city-type area.
I speak not only for myself but a lot of my friends and neighbors who are farmers, doctors, nurses, vets, senior citizens, etc.
We only wish there was better entertainment at the Merriweather Post Pavilion. When we can finally get a chance to see something, it is usually ruined by all the pot smokers and drunks who are always hollering obscenities, pushing, shoving, plus throwing up all over the place.
That is the biggest downfall of Columbia.
Thank you for giving us a chance to voice our opinions.