Howard Co.: Don't run schedules

For security reasons, officials don't want games listed in paper

High Schools

October 24, 2002|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Don Disney, Howard County's coordinator of athletics, requested yesterday that The Sun and other area newspapers refrain from printing any further schedules of high school sports events played in the county.

Howard County school administrators are making daily decisions on how to deal with the serial sniper shootings that have left 10 dead in the Washington area.

"We are taking a lot of other security measures that I can't discuss, and these are just additional ones," said Disney, who added that the county has moved all outdoor evening events to the afternoon.

"We don't want to draw any attention to the sports program, and if the schedules aren't in there [the papers], someone would have to go out of their way to find them. We don't want to make it easy. We think this person reads the newspapers," Disney said. "The playoffs are pretty big events, and who knows what this guy is thinking."

The Sun is honoring Disney's request.

Howard County annually hosts back-to-back night regional soccer championship doubleheaders at Howard High, the county's only lighted high school field, but those games have been switched to the afternoon even though they are the District V region's biggest moneymaker.

"Those games enable us to pay for all the regional bus transportation, and it will definitely hurt [moving to the afternoon]," Disney said.

"It will be disappointing to a lot of parents who won't be able to make it to the games in the afternoon," said John Showman, the father of a Glenelg soccer player. "I can see where the school system is being cautious about protecting their students, but I think the schedules should be published."

The school systems in the Baltimore area continue to practice and play games, while suburban Washington school systems have limited practices to indoors and have canceled games.

Some Washington school districts have moved sports contests to military bases and other undisclosed locations, something that Baltimore-area schools have not done.

"I agree that our programs should continue and that it is important to have normal lives," Disney said. "But we need to take as many security measures as we can."

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