WESTMINSTER — It may be awhile before athletes at Carroll Community College can play against those at other schools, but at least they'll have the opportunity to compete against their classmates.
The school is starting an intramural sports program, and Dolly Coble, a CCC health and life fitness instructor, said volleyball and flag football teams are forming for the fall semester. She hopes to have competition in other sports throughout the winter and spring seasons, she said.
Neither the football nor volleyball programs have had any competitive play yet, but Coble said teams have started practicing. She saidit appears the coed volleyball loop will have four teams, and that program could run throughout the academic year.
Additionally, she said, basketball is planned for the winter and softball likely is on tap for the spring.
"We have so many great students," said Coble, who began work at CCC in February. "We have quite a bit of talent at Carroll."
She said many of the younger students in her fitness classes and in the intramural program were varsity athletes in high school.
"We need to get the kids out," Coble said, noting that despite signs and fliers around both the South Center Street and Washington Road campuses, most students discover the program by word-of-mouth.
Coble added the fitness classes also attract many older, non-traditional students.
"I think (the fitness program) is good for both ages," she said.
Part of the potential is an ambitious athletic facilities plan, though the current state and county budget crunch may delay those plans.
Already, two softball diamonds and one baseball diamond have been constructed on campus with financial help from the Department of Recreation and Parks, which schedules community group useof the diamonds when the college is not using them.
A stadium -- suitable for soccer, lacrosse and field hockey -- has been graded andcan be used for intramural play. Alan Schuman, CCC's director of administration, said future upgrading of that site includes bleachers and perhaps more permanent seating, a track and a field house for equipment storage, concession stands and goals and flags.
The college also plans to build several tennis courts, outdoor basketball courts and has begun construction of an outdoor volleyball court, Schuman said. A fitness course also could be added to the campus, he said.
Those facilities are part of a $1.47 million project slated for the 1998 fiscal year.
The cornerstone for any future athletic program will be the new physical education center. The college is depending heavily on state money to pay for construction of that building, which will include a gymnasium, activity rooms, class rooms and offices, Schuman said.
The college's five-year capital spending plan proposes that the $11.87 million project be started in fiscal 1996 and be completed over a three-year period.
In the meantime, the indoor activities are taking place at the old South Center Street building, which has a small gymnasium, fitness center and wellness room, Coble said. The wellness room is equipped with tread mills and other equipment to measure fitness.
Coble has taught and coached at Towson State University and also has worked in Pennsylvania and at a private school inMaryland. While Carroll has had a limited offering of physical education classes in the past, Coble said she hopes to expand the offerings as the campus grows.