Helmet use urged in girls lacrosse

SIDELINES

April 17, 1994|By PAT O'MALLEY

It was about a year ago that Cathy Samaras of Annapolis, the president of the Chesapeake Women's Lacrosse Association, said of the idea that girls should wear helmets while playing lacrosse, "This is a women's game, and we resent men coming in and giving opinions on our game.

"It's not the same game. Ours is a non-contact sport."

Most of the coaches, officials and administrators involved in women's lacrosse are adamantly against helmets. They believe that wearing helmets would take the beauty and finesse out of their game and replace it with aggressive play.

Recently I talked to a woman who thinks that women should wear helmets for safety. Joan Haas of Towson isn't about to go away.

"I'm dedicated to this issue because I'm concerned about head injuries to girls without helmets," said Haas, who recently spoke to legislators in Annapolis about her concerns.

"I'm trying to shed a different look at the issue and alert parents of problems with their health insurance if their daughter suffers a head injury playing lacrosse.

"I spoke to deaf ears in Annapolis because the senators were more impressed with the number of mothers who brought in their daughters to say there is no danger."

She has met women who have suffered broken bones in the face, concussions, and one girl who has a metal plate in her face from a lacrosse injury. Helmets most likely would have eliminated such injuries or limited the severity.

It's Haas' goal to make the United States Women's Lacrosse Association start giving answers to her questions on safety.

"Litigation is something I see them facing down the road," said Haas.

The hard ball and the frequent swinging and slashing of sticks near the head and face during the game should be more of a concern than it is among the women's lacrosse purists. Haas believes one day it will be difficult and border on negligence trying to explain a head injury in court on a player without a helmet.

"I guess, I'm public enemy No. 1 with these women, but I'm not giving this up and know how opposed the women in Anne Arundel County are to helmets," said Haas. "But I've only just begun."

Learn about scholarships

Those of you with hopes of landing an athletic scholarship in the next few years should mark April 28 on your calendar as a date to show up at Severna Park High.

Severna Park High administrator Bob Ferguson and Dick Chase, chairman of counseling, have set up "Chalk Talk on Students, Athletics and Scholarships" for 7 p.m. that night in the school auditorium.

"Combining college admissions and athletic scholarships can be complicated and sometimes a mysterious procedure for many families," said Ferguson.

"What we hope to accomplish at this presentation is a complete overview of the entire NCAA process. Hopefully, families will be enlightened as to how and why a student needs to plan early in order to be considered for an athletic scholarship."

Ferguson and crew are putting a call out to students in grades eight through 10 because as he says, "early planning is a key to success."

University of Maryland football coach Mark Duffner; Bob Minnex, director of enforcement for the NCAA in Kansas City; Tom Konchalski, national recruiter and editor of High School Basketball Index; Jim Manos, head football coach and director of admissions at Lebanon Valley College; and Colleen Corwell, former Falcon soccer standout who is now the women's soccer coach at American University, will be among the speakers.

The speakers will be there to inform and answer questions on all aspects of athletic scholarships and academic requirements. The seminar is open to everyone in Anne Arundel County.

For more information, call Ferguson at (410) 544-0900.

Reckner heading for Clemson

Old Mill distance runner Jason Reckner, the state 4A cross country champion and a Baltimore Sun All-Metro pick, is headed for Clemson. Reckner hopes to make the Tiger cross country and track teams as a walk-on.

"The only scholarship offer I got was to Towson State, but I've always liked Clemson. Clemson has an excellent program," said Reckner, who will major in pre-veterinarian medicine.

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