Winter wisdom, still fresh and undiluted by the spring


Howard At Play

April 20, 2003|By LOWELL E. SUNDERLAND

SEVERAL leftovers from winter that haven't lost flavor, the kind of stuff that makes sports and the people involved in them at every level so fascinating:

Brandon Lauer, the county's most successful high school wrestler and son of River Hill High School coach Earl Lauer, wrote a periodic journal this past season from West Virginia University for the Maryland State Wrestling Association. His old youth club, the Howard County Vipers, posted his entries on its Web site, too. A nice excerpt:

"One of the most memorable stories I can remember was being three or four pounds [over my weight limit] the night before the region tournament. I was questioned at about 10:30 p.m. by my coach/father what I weighed. I told him and he flipped his lid.

"He proceeded to turn the heat up in our sunroom. He told me I had to get a workout in before I went to bed because there was no way I would make it if I didn't.

"Reluctantly, I got dressed and worked out for about a half an hour. My dad came in and began to grab me up and start to wrestle with me. I started laughing. My dad was going to wrestle with me? Ha! Here I was the defending 103-pound state champion, and this old guy is going to grab me up?

"OK, let's go old man! So we rolled around for about 15 minutes, basically until he couldn't go anymore. I pummeled him pretty good, and by the end of the wrestling he was dead tired. Needless to say, I made weight and went on to win the regional title.

"Not many dads would do that for their kids, but looking back I am sure glad he did."

In case you missed the news, Brandon Lauer, now a sophomore in college, surprised some college wrestling people a few weeks back, earning All-American status in the NCAA Division I tournament.

Soccer Dome's Web site (, under "league criteria" for adult leagues, offers some words that transcend that facility and merit some reflection by parents everywhere:

"Being a soccer mom or soccer dad does not require parenthood; it is a state of mind.

"Soccer moms and dads act with the awareness that adults are role models for children. They behave with courtesy and respect toward everyone on the field. They encourage, nurture and compliment rather than belittle others. They focus on the joy of mastery and teamwork, rather than on personal ego.

"Soccer moms and dads show children how to enjoy the beautiful game."

The Howard County Lacrosse Program goes right upfront on its Web site (

"The objectives of this program are to 1) teach the game of lacrosse, 2) develop physical fitness and coordination, 3) foster teamwork, and 4) encourage and reinforce good sportsmanship.

"Since these goals are sought in a competitive environment, winning and losing may become factors. Winning and losing are, however, considered incidental to the four primary objectives. Those who differ in this regard should consider an alternative program."

From Dan Scafone, the Columbia founder and president of the Mid-Maryland Youth Baseball League, on what he tells coaches about where their emphasis should be in leading kids:

"Your gravestone is not going to have your won-loss record on it. The objective is to give kids a good experience in the sport."

Call the writer at 410-332-6525 or send e-mail to

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