Towson High grad carries lacrosse expertise overseas

January 21, 1994|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,Contributing Writer

The salary will not make him a rich man. The hours will make him a tired man. And the phone bills could make him a poor man.

Welcome to the story of Chas Maloy's first job.

Maloy, a member of Towson High's state championship lacrosse teams in 1988 and 1989, started all four years at Franklin & Marshall and graduated last spring with a degree in sociology.

His burning passion, however, remains for the game of lacrosse. And when he found a chance to travel to London to teach the sport, he grabbed it like a loose ball.

Maloy arrived in London in early September after being hired by the English Lacrosse Union to be a local development officer in the British Lacrosse Programme. He teaches and promotes lacrosse.

He's based at the Old Eltamians Sports Club, about 10 miles southeast of London. His job entails teaching lacrosse at approximately a dozen schools in a circuit near the club. Maloy also coaches several teams at varying age and skill levels.

"It's interesting going to the schools and teaching kids ages 8-15," said Maloy. "The younger kids are the ones you're really helping."

Enjoyment seems Maloy's main goal. It's not the money -- he's making only 75 pounds weekly, approximately $100. It's not the hours -- he's working six days a week.

Maloy heard about the position from teammates at college and )) high school. It piqued his interest and, after some thought, he decided to give it a shot.

"I spent 22 years in Baltimore," Maloy said from London. "It's just a way to see another part of the world."

And he's loving every minute of it. Maloy, whose room and most of his board are taken care of, received a 1971 Volkswagen bus for his transportation.

His stay started on a positive note when he first taught lacrosse to children. He went through the day's lesson with little incident. When everything ended, the children swarmed around Maloy like a celebrity and repeatedly asked for his autograph.

That was not the only time he has had to sign autographs.

"It's interesting coming from being an average Joe in the States to being an absolute celebrity overnight," said Maloy.

Still in the States is the remainder of the Maloy family. His parents, Chuck and Diane (sister Molly is a Frostburg State student), live in Lutherville and are quick to admit that they miss their son.

Yet both take pride in the fact that Chas went to London.

"I told him you have a lifetime of mortgage and car payments," said Diane Maloy. "Seize the moment and go for it."

Said Chuck Maloy: "Both of us were very much in favor of it. This represented an opportunity to take time and do something worthwhile."

Chas Maloy, meanwhile, still plays lacrosse while teaching it. He will play in a tournament at Easter in the Czech Republic, once part of Czechoslovakia in eastern Europe. The men's club team Maloy plays for will travel to take on the Czech National squad.

Teaching, however, is his main objective. And that can be difficult in a country where soccer and rugby still stand alone at the top of the popularity ladder.

Maloy said persuading children to try lacrosse is not difficult. But making them become serious is another story when most others in their families play other sports.

"The biggest problem once I've sold the sport is Johnny's dad played rugby or soccer," said Maloy.

Maloy found that out when he went to see the Arsenal Football Club play in North London. He joined the singing, swaying, partying masses for a wild afternoon in the rain. Oh, yes, he even watched some of the game.

But the popularity of lacrosse continues to grow in Britain. In fact, the English Lacrosse Union will play host to the 1994 World Championships in Manchester. Maloy, who might play in that competition, said the increasing interest in the sport astounds .. him.

As for Maloy, his future is up in the air. He loves the British people, and their hospitality amazes him. People have gone out of their way to make him feel comfortable. Receiving several invitations for Christmas dinner from people he did not even know a few months earlier touched him deeply.

His contract runs out in April, but Maloy is seriously considering staying for awhile longer.

"There's a big gap in our house, [but] his room has never been cleaner," said Diane Maloy. "But that's OK. Good for him."

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