Growing soccer league taking its business online

February 27, 2003

Western Howard County Soccer Inc. will not send out mailings this year. With a membership of about 2,300 children, the 9-year-old nonprofit has a new Web site where members can find articles, events, coaches, a member list, links and e-mail for board members, said Craig Zimmerman, the group's president.

Starting Saturday, players can register for the fall season on the site,

"We've reached out as far as Fulton, Dayton even to Laurel. People come from way out to play. It's grown tremendously," Zimmerman said.

"We guarantee eight games. And if weather permits us, we guarantee a mini-tournament at the end of the season," he said. "We have about 15 fields that we fill up - guaranteed from 8:30 to 4:30."

Roughly 150 teams play every Saturday, September to November, at Bushy Park Elementary and Glenwood Middle schools and at the Glenwood park, publicity coordinator Vanessa Manzitti said.

"It's just a very colorful experience because all the kids are dressed in their matching socks and shirts, all the way from 5 years old to 18-year-olds," she said.

Manzitti's son, Troy, 10, has been playing since he was 5. He started in "microsoccer league," where teams of three children play against each other on small fields with miniature goals.

"That way, they get more ball-handling skills. He had a female coach, a friend of mine who did it for six years. It's really good for the boys to have moms and females to learn from," Manzitti said.

Her daughter, Bryanne, 12, is in her third year of soccer.

"She really enjoys it and, honestly, I have to say now that she's that age, it is a social thing for the children," Manzitti said.

She and a friend, Joan Orcutt, play in the new soccer dome on Montevideo Road in Jessup on Friday nights.

"Every Friday, there are 14 moms teams. That's an experience. That's a whole 'nother story," Manzitti said.

Western Howard County Soccer Inc. grew from a soccer program managed by Howard County.

"And then, in 1994, four gentlemen, [led by former President Ted Renfro] went to the county and said, `We'd like to take over the organization, call it Western Howard County Soccer Inc.' And ever since, its been growing," Zimmerman said.

"When we moved here, we had to build on 3 acres ... and so many of us are not in small communities, and meeting up there in soccer games unites all of us, every Saturday," Manzitti said. "You can migrate from game to game and enjoy the day."

River Hill High School's `Casino Night' set March 21

River Hill High School will present "Casino Night at the Oaks" from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. March 21 at Ten Oaks Ballroom, in Clarksville.

Black Jack, roulette, money-wheel tables, dice games and a silent auction are planned. Hors d'oeuvres, desserts and beer and wine will be served. A disc jockey will provide dance music.

Tickets are $40. Information: Antoinette Cates, 410-531-2022.

`Once On This Island' slated at Glenelg Country School

Glenelg Country School's Upper School will present Once On This Island, a musical by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty. Performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. March 6, March 7 and March 8 in the school's Mulitz Theater.

All are welcome. Tickets are $8. Information: 410-531-7370, or


Graduates: Army Reserve Pvt. Daniel R. Lee, son of Jo J. Lee of Woodstock, has graduated from the light-wheel vehicle mechanic advanced individual training course at Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C. He is a graduate of Mount Hebron High School.

Deployed: Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Craig R. Knoerlein, son of Larry F. and Margaret M. Knoerlein of Sykesville, recently departed for the Mediterranean Sea and Persian Gulf while assigned to the guided missile destroyer USS Porter, based in Norfolk, Va.


Jonathan Edward Hill: To Randall Hill and Amanda Moreland of Clarksville on Feb. 15.

Around town

Community dance: A community square dance is planned from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Saturday at Circle D Farm, 15535 Carrs Mill Road, Glenwood. The Joe Carta Band will provide music. Square-dance caller Steve Lucius will be on hand. Refreshments will be available. Tickets are $10; $25 a family. Children are welcome. 410-489-7660.

Bull roast, dance: The Glenelg High School Booster Club will sponsor its annual bull roast and dinner dance March 22 at Turf Valley Resort and Conference Center in Ellicott City. Live and silent auctions of vacation and golf packages are planned. The band, Retrospect, will provide music for dancing and socializing. Tickets are $50. Proceeds will help support academics and athletic activities at Glenelg High. 301-831-7672, 410-442-1097 or 301-854-5572.

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