Hard work on and off field sets stage for Key's debut Senior Corsini sees effort pay off with school's first club lacrosse team

Local Sports : High School Lacrosse Preview

March 21, 1996|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

All Mike Corsini wanted to do a couple years back was play some lacrosse.

And now, after nearly 80 signatures, some start-from-scratch practices, a round of cow chip bingo and plenty of support, the vTC Francis Scott Key senior and 29 others who followed will get their chance.

Francis Scott Key High will break new ground Saturday when it begins its 11-game club lacrosse schedule, playing fellow club team Smithsburg at 11 a.m. at Key. Another go at cow chip bingo, the club's top fund raiser, will follow.

"This adds another dimension to the school and gives the kids another outlet in the spring," said co-coach John Baugher. "With the rapid growth of the school, it's a great addition to the sports program. Everyone has been very supportive at Key."

The team will compete in the Western Maryland Lacrosse Conference, a league comprised of club teams from schools in Washington and Frederick counties.

Baugher, who played recreation league lacrosse in Randallstown before playing at Mount St. Joseph's in high school, was approached by Corsini two years ago to help start a lacrosse program. Carroll Seiler, who played at North Carroll and Western Maryland College, also is coaching.

The club, mostly comprised of first-time lacrosse players, started last spring with 15 players and three practices a week. There are four players with extended lacrosse experience on the roster. After daily practices this year, the team had its first scrimmage last weekend against veteran club Thomas Johnson.

"Last year, we didn't know what to expect so we slowed it down a bit and did a lot of teaching. It's really taken off since," Baugher said.

"We have a lot of different characters on the team," Baugher said. "It's a combination of soccer players, quite a few football players and some guys who have never played any sports. We even have a guy from the cross country team.

"The kids have been very receptive and are doing a wonderful job. Once other kids see what the game is like, more will come out."

Corsini, who played two years in the Gamber-Smallwood lacrosse program, is eager to start playing games.

"Everybody is psyched for Saturday and ready to go. We're planning on doing pretty well. It's a great feeling, all the work is finally paying off," he said. "I'd really like to stick around for another year or so."

In the beginning, there was no equipment, just a couple lacrosse balls to toss around. The county helped by purchasing some helmets and shoulder pads. Players sold pizza kits along with the cow chip bingo, which raised $700 last year. There's a "Pennies for Lacrosse" jar in the team room at Key.

The money raised pays for goals, league fees, lining the field and transportation.

"There's a lot of tiny things needed to run a program, I learned that in a hurry," Baugher said. "The kids have been very responsible and the parents and faculty at Key have helped a great deal. The kids have spent many cold, cold Saturdays raising money in front of the Wal-Mart."

Everything is in place for Saturday's debut.

The players have found positions and Baugher and Seiler also will do their share of experimenting throughout the season.

Both coaches were pleased with last week's scrimmage against Thomas Johnson. There were a couple unnecessary penalties and other mistakes made as a result of inexperience, but the Eagles stayed with them and out-hustled them most of the game.

It has been a learning experience for everyone involved and some stories along the way. To get to know one another, the players were all given nicknames. 'Tweetie,' 'Bird' and 'Gump' are just a few.

One of the toughest pieces of the puzzle was finding someone to play in goal. They found a good one in 'Melon'.

"We searched high and low for a goalie," Baugher said. "We finally convinced one of the football lineman [junior Mark Plank]. The first couple of practices, he kind of cringed when the ball came his way. But he's since come a long way and is doing a spectacular job."

Smithsburg's club started a couple years back with about 30 players participating in its first year and increased to between 50 and 55 the next year. Francis Scott Key is looking for the same kind of results and plans to eventually turn it into a varsity sport.

A girls program also has been formed and is at the stage the boys were last season.

"I think that's definitely the plan," said Francis Scott Key athletic director Gary Watson. "Frederick County and Washington County told schools not to expand on athletic programs and that's also the situation here in Carroll for now. The pinch will pass and hopefully we can constitute the programs. And when something does arise, we'll be prepared."

Pub Date: 3/21/96

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