Friends, foes, college roomies

Carroll notebook

May 19, 1999|By Rich Scherr and Edward Lee | Rich Scherr and Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

Craig Rauser and Chas Smith have met on opposite ends of the soccer field. Beginning this fall, they'll be college teammates.

Smith, a midfielder for South Carroll, and Rauser, a Liberty goalkeeper, both signed letters-of-intent last month to play this fall for Shepherd College in Shepherdstown, W. Va.

The two have been friends since they were 2 years old, when their mothers met at a meeting of the Child Study Association of Maryland, a statewide group that helps young parents raise children.

Throughout preschool and elementary and middle schools, Rauser and Smith were inseparable. They played the same sports and sat in the same classes.

Separated by district lines for high school, the boys were forced to compete against each other. But the school rivalry never interrupted their friendship.

"We would talk on the field during a whistle," Smith said. "If he made a big save, I'd run by him and tap him on the shoulder to say, `Nice save.' "

Patti Smith, Chas's mother, said she is always amazed by their close friendship.

"Even if they don't talk to each other for the longest time, they can call each other up and become best friends again," she said. "They never forget holidays or birthdays."

Her son said it's only natural that he and Rauser decided to room together on the Shepherd College campus.

"We're going to be at the same school," Smith said. "Why not live together?"

14-5 and looking ahead

While Friday's first-round loss to Middletown quickly ended Francis Scott Key's hopes for a Class 2A state softball title, for Eagles coach Joe Linthicum, it was just another bump on the road to success.

The Eagles' 9-3 loss to a team they had beaten twice during the regular season followed what many feel was the best regular season in school history, including 1991, when Key advanced to the state semifinals.

"As I told the girls Friday, we've come a long way in three years," said Linthicum, whose Eagles went from 3-15 in 1997, to 6-10 last year to 14-5 this season, setting a school record for wins. "This loss to Middletown was kind of deflating, but we're encouraged by the way we finished [the season]."

Linthicum said he's already looking toward next season, when he'll have both pitchers, Meredith Carter and Misti Myers, returning.

Field power

Westminster girls track coach Tom Fisher can thank his field competitors for keeping the Owls' string of county championships in tact.

South Carroll outscored the Owls, 87-72, in running events at last week's county meet at Western Maryland College, but top-ranked Westminster claimed its fifth straight team title -- and ninth in 10 years -- by outscoring the Cavaliers, 50.5-7, in the high jump, pole vault, shot put and discus.

The Owls recorded their biggest swing in the throws, as Kiara Adams, Katie Selby and Jessica Hester went 1-3-4 in the shot put and Hester and Selby finished 1-2 in the discus.

In what could well have been a major upset, Westminster escaped with a 5.5-point victory in one of the closest finishes in recent years.

A silver lining

Rather than wallow in the negatives, Francis Scott Key girls lacrosse coach Stacie Stouffer said she can see slivers of promise lined in her team's 2-13 season.

Although the Eagles didn't win a game in their first regular varsity season, they did advance past the first two rounds of the Class 1A-2A West regional playoffs.

Despite losing eight seniors to graduation, Key will return sophomore attacker Sarah Guynn, who led the team with 29 goals, and junior goalkeeper Brandi Daigle, who shone in the net with more than 200 saves.

"It was an excellent season," said Stouffer, whose year ended in an 18-2 loss to Franklin Monday night. "We had our share of ups and downs but growing pains like that are to be expected."

Stouffer said one of her biggest challenges was keeping up morale, but after the two wins, "already, I'm saying that we've got next year ahead of us."

Pub Date: 5/19/99

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