Optimist Club youth soccer program preparing for another season


August 02, 1994|By SHERRY GRAHAM

It seems that there's no rest for weary sports parents. The baseball bats and gloves are barely cool to the touch, and suddenly it's time for fall sports.

Drive anywhere close to Eldersburg Elementary School and you'll realize that soccer season is fast approaching.

Soccer goals have sprung up seemingly overnight, as the Freedom District Optimist soccer program prepares for its fall season.

This year, about 1,400 boys and girls 5 to 18 years old will participate. The program has 102 recreational teams and 11 travel teams. A boys under-17 travel team has been added this year and still has some spots open.

League Commissioner Mark Strickler and other volunteers have been busy for weeks conducting registration, forming teams, ordering uniforms, lining up team sponsors, holding travel team tryouts and setting up fields.

Many local businesses are sponsoring teams, but more sponsors are desperately needed, Mr. Strickler says.

In addition to running the soccer program, the league offers a number of clinics and learning opportunities for coaches and referees.

The first of two planned coaches' clinics is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday at Eldersburg Elementary. Coaches and assistants will receive coaching tips from John Dingle of USA Soccer School of Excellence. Everything from minor first aid to fancy footwork drills will be covered.

The league can always use referees, Mr. Strickler says. It's a great way for middle and high school students to earn student service credit. Referee coordinator Glen Warholic (781-4112) would be happy to enlist their services.

The Optimists are also sponsoring two weeklong soccer camps taught by USA Soccer School of Excellence.

The first camp began yesterday and will conclude Friday. The second camp is scheduled for Aug. 15-19. Both camps are being held from 9 a.m. to noon at Eldersburg Elementary School on Johnsville Road.

Players ages 5 to 17 will find a stress-free environment at the camps, which offer instruction and encouragement to players of all experience levels from novice to all-star. Contact John Dingle at 796-2490.

The Freedom Invitational Tournament is an annual league event. This year's tourney is scheduled for Aug. 19, 20 and 21 at the Eldersburg school and will feature travel teams from Carroll and surrounding counties.

Commissioner Strickler expressed his appreciation for the league's coordinators, coaches, referees, sponsors and parents.

He also noted the generosity of the administration at Eldersburg Elementary for use of the fields and parking facilities.

Mr. Strickler can always find a job for a willing volunteer, so if you are interested in helping, call him at 795-1647.


Piney Run Park will be alive with the jazz sounds of the Kevin Hayes Group on Sunday.

The 7 p.m. concert is sponsored by the Carroll County Department of Recreation and Parks, in conjunction with the Carroll County Arts Council, and is part of the 1994 Concerts in the Park series.

The public is invited to bring a blanket and enjoy the music and the stars. Information: 857-2103.

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