THERE'S NO DOUBT that this will be a memorable day for middle school students and teachers, as the long-awaited opening of Oklahoma Road Middle School finally becomes reality.
Teachers, support staff and administrators worked furiously over the five-day extended weekend to prepare for the arrival of 677 students transferred from Sykesville Middle School.
Students were scheduled to be greeted this morning by a videographer from Fil Sibley Productions, ready to record their first day. Students will have the opportunity to purchase the video as a memento of the school's opening.
The midyear opening has emotions running high for some students. There were some tearful moments among students and teachers Wednesday at Sykesville Middle.
"The new school is big and it's into technology, but I don't think we should have switched in the middle of the year," said Adam Bengermino, a seventh-grader.
Thirteen year-old Andy Stickel wishes he and other eighth-graders could have finished the year at Sykesville Middle. "Most of my friends are staying at the other school," he said.
Chris Johnson also wishes he could have completed the year at Sykesville. "For a lot of us, this was our last year together," he said.
Not all the students are upset about the split, though. Sykesville seventh-grader Brandon Franklin said, "Most of my friends are staying, so I'm not really affected by the move."
My own seventh-grader was not looking forward to switching schools until we took our first tour of Oklahoma Road. He's decided that the new school is "pretty awesome" and "this won't be so bad after all."
Students at Oklahoma Road and Sykesville Middle schools will have a joint yearbook, along with combined events at the year's end to ease the emotions of the move.
A new league is hitting the southeast area full force. Paintball is coming to SuperSports health center.
The sport is typically played as variations of children's games known as Capture the Flag and Center Flag. Players use guns or "markers" powered by carbon dioxide to shoot their opponents with small gelatin balls filled with soap. Protective face masks are worn by all players.
The outdoor paintball fields at SuperSports will cover some 8 acres, including a small pond. The field has been enhanced with bunkers, cracks, crevices and holes, where players can hide.
Games will be played by four-member teams in three divisions: junior, ages 13 and younger; senior, 14 and older; and senior expert, for those with more experience.
The Sunday games will last one hour and be scheduled between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. The first six-week session starts Feb. 2.
Information or registration: 549-9300.
The Freedom Optimist will offer lacrosse programs for boys and girls this spring.
The boys' program will join the Maryland Youth Lacrosse Association (MYLA) and consist of travel teams for players ages 8 to 14. Boys will be placed on a team according to ability and experience. Three levels of competition will be offered in each age group: 8 to 10, 11 and 12, and 13 and 14.
The final registration will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Freedom Community Center on Route 32. Equipment will be distributed at registration. The cost is $65.
Information: Chris or Mary Gunther at 795-7557.
The girls' program will again be part of the MYLA. Girls ages 6 to 14 will be placed on a team. Registration will be held in conjunction with the boys' program Saturday at the Freedom Community Center.
Information: Tim Hastings, 549-3039.
A fundamentals-only clinic will be offered for girls 6 and older who have never played lacrosse before or those who want to improve their fundamentals, in the gym at the Liberty Christian School.
The clinic will be held from 6 p.m. to 7: 30 p.m. Feb. 6, 13, 20 and 27 The cost is $1 per session, payable at the door. Information: Tim Hastings, 549-3039.
Piney Run events
Get out your heavy parka and your warmest footwear and head to Piney Run Park on Friday evening for a night hike with the nature center's Ecology Club.
A naturalist will guide participants 10 and older on a 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. search for nocturnal critters and hooting owls. Park and meet outside the park's entrance gate. Enjoy hot cocoa after the hike.
If you're thinking ahead to Valentine's Day, check out the center's "Pomander Ball" craft class.
Participants ages 8 to adult are invited to create a delicious-smelling pomander ball using apple, cloves, spices, ribbons and natural decorations.
Classes will be held from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 28 and Feb. 13. Both classes are necessary to complete the project. The cost is $3 for members and $4 for nonmembers.
Information and registration: 795-6043.
Sherry Graham's Southeast Carroll neighborhood column appears each Tuesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.
Pub Date: 1/21/97