Coed flag football - big in Baltimore - fumbles here

At Play

Summer

In Howard County

July 13, 2005|By Lowell E. Sunderland | Lowell E. Sunderland,SUN STAFF

IN THIS sports-savvy county, where you can find someone, somewhere, interested in at least 70 variations of sports, the Department of Recreation and Parks has finally encountered one that is an apparent dud.

That would be co-rec football - men and women playing flag football.

The first advertisement went out during the winter, for a spring season, which the department quickly had to scotch because of staffing problems. But now the brochure is out for fall, with a nice, larger plug for co-rec football, and the result has been:

Zip.

"We haven't had any interest, yet," said a disappointed Nicola Morgal, the sports supervisor trying to get a league started for a game in which she competes in Baltimore - in a 60-team league, no less. "It's very social there."

The concept is a game with a minimum of three women per team, with six players on defense and five on offense. An NFL-size ball would be used, and teams would play Wednesday evenings.

But in Howard County, with July 22 as the sign-up deadline for either full teams or individuals who would like to play but don't know anyone like-minded? Silence. Nothing. Zilch.

In a way, it is ironic because co-rec softball and soccer, to name two team sports, are huge and growing here. Coed volleyball has a strong following, as well. But there is still time for you football lovers. If you need to hear more, call Morgal at 410-313-4718.

Region's best

The Under-12 Soccer Association of Columbia-Howard County's premier girls team was the only county youth team to win a U.S. Region 1 age-group championship over the July 4 weekend in Virginia Beach, Va.

The SAC-HC girls, coached by Kevin Axenfeld, who is moving next season to the Laurel club, proved best competitively not only in Maryland but also among state-level winners from Virginia north to Maine in the U.S. Youth Soccer Association's annual tournament. The USYSA competition results in bona fide national championships for older age groups. Under-12 competition ends at the region level.

The county team's players: Kerry Anderson, Katlyn Axenfeld, Gina Colarusso, Kara Fassio, Julianne Giles, Elizabeth Glaros, Anna Kiely, Cristina Maldonado, Owyn Manson, Krystina Martinek, Jennifer Milbank, Alexa Moore, Kerry Mueller, Alexandra Narron, Leigh Phillips, Michelle Sentinella, Leah Taylor and Amanda Novy.

Mark Anderson was the assistant, and Paul Narron was team's manager.

Along the sidelines

Three other Maryland teams - Potomac's under-12 and under-14 boys and Bethesda's under-18 girls - took region titles. Five New Jersey teams advanced.

BATON: Good luck to the Dynamics, the county's only youth baton-twirling program, with the team on its way to the national youth championships next week at Notre Dame University in South Bend, Ind.

Laurel-area resident Linda Alford has long coached this elite squad, which trains at Volleyball House in Elkridge. It includes, at the moment, only a few Howard County girls but has produced a number of national champions and girls who have become twirlers fronting high school and college marching bands.

Alford has a granddaughter, Kaitlyn Boyer of Glenwood, who has won this year's Mid-Atlantic majorette and twirl-solo titles for beginner juveniles, those between 7 and 9 years old. Boyer's mother is Stacey Boyer, Alford's daughter.

SOCCER: Rec and parks is in high-summer sports camp season, of course, all for kids, with one exception. That's a soccer camp for adults that begins Monday. This is the second year for the adults-only camp, which will be conducted from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. each night on fields behind the Howard County library branch in Columbia's Owen Brown village. About 20 have signed up, same as last year, with more spots open.

The British Challenger organization, which also operates kids' camps locally, provides the instructor, with a market seen as adults - moms and dads - who play in county leagues and who want to sharpen their skills. You can sign up for the rest of this week either online or by calling 410-313-4700.

Call the writer at 410-332-6525 about anything to do with amateur sports in Howard County, or send e-mail to lowell.sunderland@baltsun.comEP

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