There won't be many dull weekends at the Carroll County Sports Complex during the upcoming softball season.
The place will be jumping virtually every Saturday and Sunday from the first weekend in April until the end of October.
The schedule includes several Charles Carroll Recreation Council events, such as opening and closing day ceremonies for its youth baseball and softball programs, along with Carroll County Men's Softball League games and tournaments.
Also scheduled are 14 softball tourneys conducted by either the Amateur Softball Association, National Softball Association or United States Slo-Pitch Softball Association.
Many of these 14 dates will be qualifiers that land the winning teams a berth in the respective sanctioning association's regional tournament.
Also included, however, is the ASA women's Class D Mid-Atlantic Regional Aug. 31-Sept. 2. That affair, says ASA state publicity spokesman Frank Novotny, could attract 30 to 35 teams from Maryland and nearby states.
Also on the menu are a number of state championship tournaments.
Two are girls' softball competitions with the first, an NSA affair, scheduled for June 15-16 and the second, sponsoredby the ASA, to be held a week later.
ASA's tourney will match girls' fast- and slow-pitch teams in the 12-under through 18-under categories.
ASA state youth softball coordinator Mike Schaeffer says the event could attract up to 35 teams.
NSA's competition will be for slow-pitch teams only.
NSA will also hold its men's Class A and B state tourneys at the Complex Aug. 3-4.
The ASA state championships for church league teams will be July 19-20. On July 27-28, the ASA state men's Class C state tournament is in town. Novotny says the latter could draw 30 or more teams.
Men's regional qualifying tournaments include the USSSA classes A-B-C-D on April 6-7 and 21-22, the NSA C-D (April 27-28), ASA C-D (May 11-12), NSA B-C (May 18-19), USSSA C-D (June 1-2), NSA A-B (July 13-14) and USSSA C-D on Aug. 10-11.
Carroll Men's League tourneys include the April 13-14 early bird for Men's League teams only, a May 25-27 Memorial Day tournament open to outside teams and the league championships on Aug. 24-25.
The Westminster Lightning flashed past its opposition at the Meyers Pavilion in Baltimore to win the just-concluded winter session under-16boys' indoor soccer crown.
Sunday it closed out an 8-0 campaign by edging Jock City of Dundalk, Baltimore County, 6-5.
Six players on the team, coached by Pat Fiore of Westminster, played on last year's Lightning squad, which also won the Myers under-16 title. The returnees gave the team some stability as it entered this season.
But while the Lightning never lost, Fiore said it could have, particularly the first half of the season.
"We didn't play well," Fiore said,citing a lack of team play as the main problem. "But we surprised some teams."
The team's weekly practices at the Four Seasons Sports Complex not only sharpened skills but also imparted a team concept asthe season progressed.
Fiore cited the practices, plus an improved attitude, as the reasons for the Lightning's success.
"The kids who played defense really enjoyed it. In indoor soccer (which emphasizes offense), it's hard to find those who want to play there," he said.
Fiore cited an early January game against a strong team from East Baltimore as the season's turning point.
In that game, it exploded for five goals in the final seven minutes to erase a three-goal deficit and win 5-3.
"That was the key game," Fiore said. "It's an unselfish team now. It doesn't really matter to them who scores."
The recently concluded Four Seasons indoor lacrosse season drew positive reactions from two county varsity boys lacrosse coaches whose players participated.
Jim Langrall, who will move up to the Liberty varsity after coaching the junior varsity last year, watched mostof his players' indoor games.
"I was real happy with it. It's always good if they have a stick in their hands at a time when they normally wouldn't," said Langrall.
He said the rapid transitions between offense and defense in indoor lacrosse helped make his stickers better all-around players and also improved their stickwork.
South Carroll coach Gene Brown felt similarly.
"It develops stickwork, and if it does that, it's good," Brown said. "If they can play and use their sticks this time of the year, I'm happy."