WESTMINSTER — Tuesdays are often "pizza night" in the Farinholt household this spring.
When you have a family of four athletes playing sports throughout the year, quick meals are fairly common.
"Mom plays softball on Tuesdays, so most of the time I make something easy or it's pizza," said Jessica, 15, a three-sport sophomore at Westminster High.
Robin (that's mom) plays softball for Random House in the Women's Carroll County Softball League. Her husband, Bob,plays semi-pro football for the Frederick Falcons.
Their interestin sports has certainly rubbed off on daughters Cassandra and Jessica.
At Westminster High, Cassandra played four years of varsity soccer, one year of lacrosse and also managed to find time to captain the varsity cheerleading team.
Now a 20-year-old sophomore at Salisbury State University, she is concentrating on her studies and playingintramural water polo and co-ed softball on the side. She maintains a 3.6 grade-point average, with a major in communication and a minor in foreign affairs.
Jessica followed in her older sister's footsteps, playing soccer her freshman year at Westminster. But she switchedto field hockey last fall, then played basketball in the winter and is participating in three events in track and field this spring.
"They are both very competitive," their father said. "They've been around sports all their lives -- going to football and softball games when they were younger.
"It's just a way of life with us."
They are still going to football and softball games today.
Bob began playing semi-pro football for the Carroll County Chargers in 1970 after participating in football and track and field at Westminster High.
"I take it one year at a time," he said, "It's been a great experience. It's not the NFL, but we get to travel throughout the East Coast,and our pay is our playing time."
Robin has played softball for 17 years, including five with Random House. At Westminster High in theearly '70s, she played volleyball and field hockey -- the only sports then offered for girls.
She also has spent a great deal of time coaching her daughters in soccer, basketball and softball.
"It's always been a priority to be there at their games, and we've spent a lot of time together on the field," Robin said. "I think (my) coachinghas kept them enthusiastic, and I just plain enjoy being out there."
Cassandra noted the special bond that sports has brought to the family.
"It has always been a big part of our family," she said. "They have always been there for us, traveling to every game and supporting us. It has really meant a lot."
Cassandra's decision not to play a varsity sport at Salisbury State was a tough one.
"She called me one day and said she wasn't sure whether she wanted to try out for lacrosse and thought she might be letting some people down," Robinsaid. "I told her to get out a piece of paper and weigh the pros andcons of playing, do what you want to do and we'll support it. She isstill into fitness and is now developing her own lifestyle."
Jessica is finishing her second year of track and field at Westminster, where she participates in the shot put, discus throw and the 4 x 100-meter relay. In the summer, she will play basketball as well as softball with her mother in the women's league.
"Basketball is my favorite sport," she said, "It's the most physical (game I play), and you have to play more as a team."
Sports is a special glue for the Farinholts.
"It has given us an area where we share a common interest,and we always have something to talk and laugh about," Robin said. "I think the kids respect the time we put in and the effort we make tobe at all their games.
"A lot of that has come from Bob's parents, who still come out and see me play softball.
"I think we've realized how much their support has meant, and it has reflected on us as parents."