Local girl to play in national field hockey tournament


November 25, 1999|By Jean Marie Beall | Jean Marie Beall,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

WHILE THE REST of us are doing the traditional Thanksgiving thing, gorging on turkey and pumpkin pie, Francis Scott Key High School senior Kim Mathias will be competing at a national field hockey tournament.

Kim left Tuesday for the U.S. Field Hockey Association Festival in West Palm Beach, Fla., and will return Sunday.

In June, Kim scrubbed plans to join her family on vacation and instead decided to compete for a spot on Team Maryland, sponsored by the Maryland High School Field Hockey Coaches Association at Harford Community College. Nearly 200 girls from around the state tried for a spot on Team Maryland.

"But only 36 girls, including alternates, made the team," Kim said.

Kim was one who made the team.

"It was really exciting because it was a goal that I wanted to achieve," she said. "I was going to try out one other year, but didn't because my family went on vacation. This year I decided to skip the vacation and try for the team. I didn't want to always wonder if I could have made the team."

Her coach, Allison Weiss, who also is a chemistry teacher at Francis Scott Key High School, said she was not surprised at the results.

"I knew she had a good chance," Weiss said. "She has good stick work, she had good speed and she has good knowledge of the game."

Field hockey runs in Mathias' blood. Kim, 17, of Union Bridge, said she got started because her mother and her aunt had played.

"I started playing when I was 11," she said. "I was on a team called the Union Eagles at Francis Scott Key High School, but it was a recreational team. I was a student at Northwest Middle School then."

By the time Kim reached her freshman year in high school, she was ready to join a school team.

"Halfway through my freshman year, I started on the varsity team," she said. "It was an honor. Most students don't make the varsity team until their junior year."

That was the year the team made it to the state finals.

"We took second place," Mathias said.

Mathias has played on the high school varsity team since. She has also played indoor field hockey at Four Seasons in Hampstead.

"I like the adrenalin rush when someone gets a goal," Mathias said. "I like the fact that it is a fast-paced game. And as a team, before the game, every girl sets a personal goal and then the team sets a goal to win. I like everything about this sport."

Mathias loves the game so much she was also involved a program called Futures, which is an Olympic development group.

"It's pretty much based on people who are dedicated to the sport and want to learn more," she said.

Mathias is staying at a hotel in West Palm Beach, Fla., this Thanksgiving, but it is not the first time she's been away from home while competing in a sport.

"I played softball this summer in Alabama," she said.

School craft night

Holiday cheer arrived early at Runnymede Elementary School recently when more than 200 children and parents showed up for a holiday craft night at the school's gymnasium.

The holiday craft night was sponsored by Runnymede Elementary School's PTO.

"This was our second year doing this," said Randy Ripley, PTO co-president. "The kids got so much out of it last year."

Ripley said his co-president, Claudine Dunn, developed the idea last year.

"She had all the craft books," said Ripley, whose children, Cameron, 8, and Colin, 5, attend Runnymede.

The PTO provided all the materials to make the seven crafts. Parents brought baked goods and drinks. Everyone was asked to bring canned or dry goods to be donated to Carroll County Food Sunday in Taneytown.

"We asked everyone to try and bring something," Ripley said. "But if a family couldn't, we understood."

In addition to providing craft night for the students and parents, the event allowed 15 middle and high school students to earn community service hours.

One of those was Charlie Thompson, 12, a pupil at New Windsor Middle School. Charlie was busy collecting the canned and dry food from the parents and children as they arrived.

Charlie said he volunteered because he could earn community service hours and his mother, Martha Thompson, was helping at the event as well.

"The planning doesn't take too long," she said. "It's the preparation that takes a long time."

Each table had a different type of craft set up. One was snowman cans, old coffee cans that had been painted white. The children pasted faces on them with colored felt. Another table had Christmas trees made from green construction paper. The children glued cereal on the trees.

Rita Aiello, 10, a fifth-grader at the school, held up a Christmas ornament she had made. She said craft night was fun and if she weren't going on to middle school next year, she would return next year for craft night.

Asked what she like best about the holidays, she replied with a grin, "Getting presents."

Sue Gruentzel, whose 9-year-old, Erin, attends Runnymede, praised the PTO for its work.

"I think it's wonderful," she said of the craft night. "It gives the kids ideas, and it gives them things to do. And it also gives the parents ideas. You always read about all the crafts, but here you actually do it."

Christmas open house

Northwest residents Betty Nelson, her daughter Laura, and daughter-in-law Stacey will sponsor a Christmas Open House from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 4 and 5 at 271 Stem Road in Union Bridge. Fresh wreaths and holiday crafts will be available.

"And I'll have a few other vendors as well," Nelson said. "There will be woodwork and Avon products as well."

The Nelsons will serve light refreshments also.

"If it is a success," Nelson said, "we'll make it an annual affair."

Information: 410-775-2235.

Jean Marie Beall's Northwest Carroll neighborhood column appears each Thursday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

Pub Date: 11/25/99

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