Football, cheerleading squads earn high honors in Pop Warner competitions

PLAYING AROUND

Howard At Play

November 04, 2001

A SAMPLER as fall ball fades and winter sports edge into view:

Football: The Columbia Community Church Warriors won the Maryland Football Association Junior Pee Wee (8- to 10-year-olds) championship last weekend, beating Baltimore's Sandtown, 9-6, in Pop Warner tournament play at Morgan State University.

The title, the 3-year-old club's first, advanced the Junior Pee Wees into today's Pop Warner eastern regionals in Georgetown, Del. The team's coach is Lyndell Carmon of Elkridge. Assistants are Reggie Johnson and Darryl Thompson, both from Elkridge, and Greg Landrum, a minister who lives in Ellicott City.

Cheerleading: It took an extra 24 hours and a lot of angst on behalf of parents, as well as the girls, but the Howard County Trojans won the Maryland Pee Wee title in a Pop Warner cheerleading competition last Sunday.

New coach Amanda Lyles' 17 charges, girls between 10 and 13, only three of whom had cheered before, found out Monday night they were, indeed, state champs. But Lyles said the girls had come home from Morgan State mystified, because they hit their routine but got distressingly low marks.

It was all a judge's mistake, they were told late Monday amid a lot of angry words and phone calls. Lyles said the team's score was given to a not-so-perfect squad, and the error wasn't discovered until later.

Next up, the Pop Warner regional competition Nov. 18 in Trenton, N.J., which has Lyles - who began cheering for the Trojans when she was 5- and others in the club scurrying for money to pay for the overnight trip.

The club, if not the girls on this year's Pee Wees, is no stranger to Pop Warner cheering honors. Last fall's Trojan Pee Wees, almost all of whom moved on, won the national Pop Warner title in Florida.

The Trojans were runners-up in the Midgets division (13- to 14-year-olds), also qualifying for Trenton.

The CCC Warriors' Pee Wees finished third in the state - their first competition - a nice accomplishment on which to build.

Basketball: Coaches this winter for Savage Boys and Girls Club teams got a mandatory dose of pro care this weekend. Longtime Columbia resident Phil Chenier, a color announcer on Washington Wizards televised games and a former NBA All-Star guard with the Baltimore and then Washington Bullets, and Buzz Braman, the first NBA shooting coach, led a clinic yesterday.

Soccer: Pro women's soccer is occupying more and more time for Columbian Louise Waxler, whose business manages several large youth tournaments in this area.

Waxler is resigning at year's end after three years as director of the annual Washington Area Girls Soccer tournament. Earlier this year, she also relinquished daily administering of the annual Columbia Invitational Tournament over Memorial Day weekend.

"My focus will be to do my small part in helping to ensure that the Women's United Soccer Association succeeds," said Waxler, who is also the operations manager for the year-old league's Washington Freedom.

The Washington-area and Columbia tournaments are two of the biggest college recruiting tournaments on the East Coast. The Washington-area tournament, played in October in Northern Virginia, and the Columbia event have drawn more than 300 college coaches in recent years.

Waxler said she would continue her involvement in the Columbia Invitational, the smaller Columbia Classic each Labor Day weekend, as well as the KICKS Against Breast Cancer benefit tournament each spring.

More soccer: Speaking of the Columbia Invitational, the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks may have an impact on next year's tournament.

Because Howard County has so few quality fields left, the Soccer Association of Columbia/Howard County in recent years has made Fort Meade's Parade Grounds the 10-field centerpiece for older players and for its title games.

But with the Army base sealed off to the public for the foreseeable future, it's "certainly some cause for consternation," said Jim Carlan, the association president.

"They haven't called us, and this isn't the right time to be talking with them, either. We'll wait until probably January to see what happens, but it's definitely something we're concerned about. It just puts more of a premium in our getting our field complex [off Centennial Lane] built."

Call the writer at 410-332-6525 or address e-mail to lowell.sunder land@baltsun.com.

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