Bill Pushing Lacrosse Borders On Ridiculous

SIDELINES

Preppies Seek State-sport Status For Game

March 02, 1992|By Pat O'Malley

Let me tell you, those lacrosse preppies have me fightin' mad, mad enough to get into the ring and go a few rounds.

But seriously, sports fans, after we get into the latest attempt by the stick types to gain some creditability for their sport, we will then recap Friday night's 51st Annual Brigade Boxing Championships held at the U.S. NavalAcademy.

A lacrosse rally is set for the State House in Annapolis tonight to show support for House Bill 1169, which would declare lacrosse as the Maryland state game.

Our legislators, who certainly have many more pressing issues to discuss, are going to once again waste valuable time on a trivial proposal that borders on the ridiculous. The bill is scheduled to be heard Wednesday.

The bill is an admission of defeat on the part of the lacrosse nuts, which doesn't say much for their tenacity. The lacrosse people have surrendered and want to be rewarded for losing.

For the last four years, they have wasted a lotof our taxpayer money and time tying up our representatives in an attempt to unseat jousting as the official state sport.

Realizing that the effort was futile, the lacrosse people now are asking that their sport be made the official state game.

What's next, official state pastime, recreation, indoor sport, outdoor sport, or athletic fun?

It's bad enough that the duckpin bowlers have already wasted thevaluable time of a legislature that can't seem to make up its mind on taxes or no taxes by trying to have their recreation become the official state sport.

The jousters bowled a strike and the duck-pinners never got out of committee. Now, along comes the annual lacrosse beggars. But for what?

Why is it so important that lacrosse be given some kind of official status?

Since the lacrosse lovers are asking kids to come to tonight's rally in their uniforms as a show of support, let's use the kids' participation as a barometer.

Lacrosse ranks sixth in the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA) in high school sports participation. Football, basketball, track and soccer participation practically double that of lacrosse. And baseball (boys' only) is ahead of the stick sport.

Combine baseball and girls softball and that total is way ahead of boys' and girls' lacrosse combined.

It was only recently that lacrosse was given status as a state championship sport by the MPSSAA because so fewcounties around the state play the sport.

So you wonder do the lacrosse lobbyists need some kind of state designation (as if we don't have enough already) to gain credibility?

You don't see soccer players, for instance, clamoring at the State House for recognition. Yet, far many more participate in soccer than lacrosse.

Just think --if soccer, basketball, football or baseball people encouraged their kids to show up in Annapolis in their uniforms to lobby their sport.

You would have a mob scene, but it hasn't happened because those sports leaders don't have the egos of the lacrosse types.

More importantly, they wouldn't think of exploiting kids to satisfy their own motives. The kids have fun playing lacrosse, just as they do other sports, and they probably aren't the least bit interested in all thus political garbage.

So, why bring them into it? Why do adults have to "use" their kids to get what they want anyway?

And please, don'ttell me this is for the kids because the kids care less and so should the legislature. What we need is a bill is to prevent such ridiculous ideas.

Now to something more genuine and sports-like -- brigadeboxing.

Senior Clint Chlebowski joined the prestigious ranks of Spike Webb award winners dating back to 1959-1960 as one of 11 Midshipmen to win a Brigade Boxing Championship at Halsey Field House Fridaynight.

Unfortunately, with nearly 1,500 fans, including their classmates looking on, three local high school grads were not among the 11 champions.

Mike Huber of South River, Dan Holsberg of Broadneckand Tom Shanley of St. Mary's High all lost their respective boxing finals. Despite the disappointing defeats, each knew he contributed to an exciting competition.

"It was a great show, a lot of close matches, and that's what we expected," said Navy head coach Jim McNally.

"It means so much for these kids to win these matches. It's a real hard. There are some real disappointed young men and a lot of realhappy guys.

"All we ask as coaches is for them to give everythingthey have. As coaches we are very pleased."

McNally and his staffof Ron Stutzman, Lt. Dennis Hasson and Capt. Bill Kostrub start training the Mids in September.

For some of them, it takes three to four years to get to the Brigade final, and that makes it special. All the hard work seems so worthwhile when a Mid can step in that ring onBrigade Championship night.

To be back in the championship round was extra special to the 172-pound Chlebowski, who won Brigade titlesas a freshman and sophomore only to be frustrated last year as a junior.

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