Baltimore County weathers nature's punch


High Schools

March 23, 2003|By Lem Satterfield and Katherine Dunn | Lem Satterfield and Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

Despite a mandate that kept schools from shoveling or plowing snow at their athletic facilities and a rainstorm Thursday that wiped out games scheduled for Friday - the first official spring play date - the Baltimore County athletic schedule remains relatively unscathed, said county athletics coordinator Ron Belinko.

"In early March, some requests were made to have [Baltimore County's Department of Facilities] plow snow," from the schools' fields, tennis courts and general athletic facilities, Belinko said.

"But the facilities department advised against it, saying that the potential for damage wasn't worth it," he added. "We simply chose to follow their advice to let the snow melt naturally. It appears we made the right decision."

County fields generally are "playable," said Belinko, adding that many of the activities scheduled for Friday were played yesterday.

Thompson takes over

Marcus Thompson had five goals and assisted on two others to lead the Douglass lacrosse team to a season-opening 12-5 victory over visiting Baltimore City League B Division rival Poly.

The Ducks led 8-4 at halftime when Thompson, an attackman, scored twice and was lifted from the game, said Ducks coach John L. Robinson, a midfielder for Douglass before graduating in 1998.

Thompson scored 93 goals and had 43 assists for last year's Ducks, who went 9-3 overall and won last year's B Division crown. The Ducks will visit Mervo on Tuesday.

All on the line early

Rarely is a championship on the line in the season opener, but that could be the case when the Patapsco and Pikesville girls lacrosse teams meet tomorrow afternoon.

The favorites in Baltimore County's Division II settled the division crown with one goal last season. Patapsco edged the Panthers in the waning minutes of the game and that proved to be the difference between first place and second in the division. The Patriots finished 10-0 in the division. Pikesville was 9-1.

"They have a strong team down there and they want to win as much as we do," said Panthers coach Danielle Spigler, whose team will play host to the game at 3:30 p.m. tomorrow. "It will all depend on who wants it in the last minute of the game."

Pikesville, 12-2 overall last season, has the stronger returning contingent, anchored by senior goalie Samantha Shterengarts. Attacker Kathryn Seidman and midfielder Lindsay Eisenberg are also among 10 returning starters.

The Patriots, 11-1 overall, graduated five starters, but bring back key players Jessica Johnson on attack and Ashley Fassell and Kate Zimmerman in the midfield. Junior Marlena Griffin will face her first action in the goal, but Patriots coach Lori Powers said the rookie keeper looks pretty strong already.

Last year's game was postponed because of rain, moving to much later in the season. With a weekend of sun, however, that appears unlikely to happen again.

"It kind of stinks that it's the first game of the season," Powers said. "We haven't been outside much and we didn't play Friday, but we're both in the same boat."

On the move

When the seasons change, so too does Jim Lancaster.

In the winter, Lancaster coaches Roland Park's indoor track and field team. When spring arrives, he coaches the Seton Keough outdoor squad.

That's because the Reds don't have an outdoor team. The Gators don't field an indoor squad.

Lancaster started at Roland Park three years ago, but took up the post at Seton Keough when he saw an advertisement seeking a coach to fill the position.

The only time Lancaster's worlds collide is when he and the Gators' cross country team travel to invitationals that include the Reds.

"Some of my indoor track girls are running against my outdoor track girls in the same race," he said. "That's definitely weird."

Sun staff writer Edward Lee contributed to this article.

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