New fall soccer organizer succeeds, with more than 350 players enrolled


August 21, 1998|By Lourdes Sullivan | Lourdes Sullivan,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

THE SAVAGE Boys and Girls Club Inc. has started registering young athletes -- some as young as age 4 -- in its fall programs.

Philomena DeVito volunteered to organize the soccer teams when Gary Cardinal gave up the job after 12 years.

Actually, DeVito took over after she realized that no regular spring soccer season was organized last year.

Only the traveling teams, composed of the better and more dedicated soccer players who often travel as far as Virginia and Delaware for games, had a spring season.

She's succeeded beyond her wildest hopes. More than 350 elementary-age children have enrolled for soccer. It has been a logistical test to find enough playing fields.

There are eight teams of 5- and 6-year-olds, about 100 children. For the first time, there's a girls soccer league, too, with nine teams.

Not bad for a first effort.

All this is quite an undertaking for the Savage group, a 1,200-member organization run by volunteers.

While there are enough coaches to go around, the club is looking for volunteer referees.

Each soccer game requires three, one on the field and two along the sidelines.

Referees have to take a course offered in Laurel. The club will pay the tuition. The course qualifies participants to referee anywhere.

This is a great opportunity for children as young as age 12 to earn community service credits required for high school graduation.

The Savage Boys and Girls Clubs welcome youths as volunteer referees as well as adults.

There's still room for players in all but the youngest levels of the children's leagues -- second grade through early teen years.

Fees run around $45 to $50 per child to participate, with discount for families with more than one child playing. The fees cover a uniform, eight weeks of games, three Saturday clinics and practices.

The money is all for expenses, not for salaries, as this is a volunteer organization.

DeVito is in the last stages of ordering the uniforms for the teams. She's busy coordinating the sponsors with the teams, because sponsors -- for $250 -- get their names on the back of the uniform jerseys.

Area businesses such as DNP Home Improvement find this a small investment that returns loads of community goodwill. Besides, the children keep the uniforms, so the advertising continues long after the soccer season is over.

Groups that wish to sponsor a team may call DeVito at 301-725-0036.

A special thanks goes to Bill Riley, Phil Puccio and Brian Engelkemier for donating their Saturdays to coaching these teams.

Lisa Nuney and Dennis Stough are the league directors for the girls and boys leagues, respectively. Mary Kirk is organizing the winter basketball leagues.

Fall classes

The Montpelier Cultural Arts Center offers an array of evening adult and children's classes taught by area artists.

Among the offerings are casting small bronze pieces, pottery, stained glass, stone sculpture, watercolor, rug hooking and writing.

It's a curriculum as varied as the artists who teach there. Irene Sylvester is one of those teachers, a local artist who will offer a mixed media collage class. Another local artist, Judith Conway, teaches a class on making fused glass beads. She also teaches fused glass pendant making in a one-day workshop.

Registration begins Sept. 4, with classes starting Sept. 14. Classes cost between $50 and $100, with most in the lower range.

The Montpelier Cultural Arts Center is at 12826 Laurel Bowie Road, near Interstate 295 at Route 197 in Laurel.

Information: 301-953-1993.

Pub Date: 8/21/98

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