New Girls Hoops League Looks Promising

HITS AND MISSES

January 15, 1992|By Mike Nortrup

Jerry Georgiana apparently didn't think he had enough to do when he took over as president of the Carroll County Girls Basketball League this year.

So he rustled up more work closer to home.

As a league coach the past four years, the Westminster resident felt many local players in the county traveling loop weren't ready forthat level of competition.

"I was seeing a lot of frustrated girls. They were doing their best, but they were being blown off the court," he said.

So, Georgiana decided last fall to start an in-house program to give Westminster players needed basketball experience.

"I'd always thought about an in-house program, so I called up a few people who might be interested in coaching," he said. "After registration, we held clinics in November to see what talents the kids had andthen set the teams up."

Judging from the newly minted WestminsterRecreation Girls Basketball League's opening games two weekends ago,league commissioner Georgiana and his coaches did a pretty good job balancing the squads.

Only two of eight contests were decided by more than five points.

The rec league, which plays at West Middle School and Longwell Armory in Westminster, has about 140 youngsters, ages 5-15, playing on 15 teams. It is affiliated with the Westminster rec council. Early returns on the league look promising.

"I think the coaches and parents have been fantastic," Georgiana said. "I've seen a lot of friendly faces and happy people. It was nice to see.

"I haven't had any complaints yet," he added with a laugh.

*

IfRick Harmer moves up the ladder in the Social Security Administration as he has in Mount Airy recreation circles, he may be running the place before long.

Seven years ago, Harmer, who had just taken a computer programming job at the administration's Woodlawn complex, moved to Mount Airy from Ohio.

He quickly started a second career as arec volunteer.

Beginning as a coach for his daughter's soccer team, he soon found himself coaching her basketball team, then helping in administrative jobs with Mount Airy's variety of rec programs.

This season, the 44-year-old Harmer took over Mount Airy's in-house youth basketball program and now is working to set up an informal indoor soccer league at Mount Airy Middle School. He also will head the Mount Airy Youth Athletic Association's baseball program this year.

He already is doing estimates on baseball equipment costs, even as hepilots his Mount Airy III squad through weekend skirmishes in the Carroll County Girls Basketball league.

To Harmer, official beginnings and endings of sports seasons have no meaning in a year-round cycle in which only a few weeks in July and August are free of rec commitment.

"One (sport) kind of flows into another," he said.

A lookat Harmer's past is the key to his present.

He was active in sports as a youngster and played basketball at Muskingum College in New Concord, Ohio.

"Sports opened up a lot of doors for me. If it hadn't been for that, I might not have had the opportunities," he said. "They need to be there for the kids today. I'm trying to provide that opportunity."

His chance to volunteer quickly arrived when the coach of his daughter Kelly's Freedom Optimist soccer team quit just before the 1986 fall season.

He took over -- and went winless, but didn't care.

"They played to the best of their ability. To me, they're right up there with (my) teams that were undefeated. I don't care if they win, but whether they play up to their ability," he said.

He also coached one under-12 girls spring soccer squad that was undefeated for three straight Montgomery Soccer Inc. campaigns and won a Carroll County Girls League basketball title in 1989.

He loves the player contact and camaraderie coaching provides, but sees himself becoming more heavily involved in the administrative end of rec sports, "where you get all the complaints and headaches."

But, he quickly adds, "It's a job that has to be done."

He said he plans to continue as a volunteer even after his children are out of rec sports.

"My biggest enjoyment has been the quality of the kids. They're fantastic. I've never coached a kid I didn't like. They're all coachable. I've never had one who's been disrespectful," Harmer said.

"I thinkthe future of the country is in good hands."

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