Norwood S. Sothoron, 93, veteran, lacrosse coach and athletic director

February 11, 2005|By Jacques Kelly | Jacques Kelly,SUN STAFF

Norwood Spencer Sothoron, a retired lacrosse coach and athletic director at the old Charlotte Hall Military Academy, died of Alzheimer's disease complications Feb. 4 at his old school, now a veterans home in St. Mary's County. He was 93.

Born in Charlotte Hall, Mr. Sothoron earned a business administration degree at the University of Maryland.

He was the 1934 senior class president at College Park and earned letters in football, lacrosse, basketball and baseball. He waited tables at the dining hall to pay his tuition. In his senior year, he was headwaiter.

He was selected first-team All-American in lacrosse in 1933 and 1934, and was named to the All-Southern Conference Football Team in 1934. He received an honorable mention on the All-America Football Team in 1934. In addition, he received the Senior Award as best athlete.

After graduation, Mr. Sothoron played semi-pro football for the Washington Presidents.

A student captain in the Reserve Officer Training Corps at College Park, Mr. Sothoron served in an Army anti-aircraft unit at Pearl Harbor and in the Philippines during World War II, attaining the rank of colonel.

He was commandant for 23 years at Charlotte Hall, a private boys' school. He ran its military program, introduced and coached lacrosse, and coached soccer, basketball and baseball.

"He was a natural athlete at anything he did," said a son, John Sothoron, who lives in Lexington Park and was an All-American lacrosse goalie at what is now Towson University. "He never talked about his achievements. He never bragged. As a coach, he believed that every kid should get in the game."

Mr. Sothoron retired in 1969, becoming an officer of the Maryland Capital Savings and Loan Association in Lexington Park.

Mr. Sothoron was inducted into the University of Maryland Athletic Hall of Fame in 1983 and the U.S. Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1972. His name appears on the state Athletic Hall of Fame plaque at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

Services were Wednesday.

He also is survived by his wife of 62 years, the former Jane Spaulding Bennett; two other sons, Norwood S. "Cokie" Sothoron of Lexington Park and Kenny Sothoron of Mechanicsville; a daughter, Peggy Wormwood of Davidsonville; nine grandchildren, four of whom have played lacrosse, including Reed Sothoron, captain of the Towson University lacrosse team; and two great-grandchildren.

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