Sports Hall of Fame to honor 8 advocates

Inductees, including a couple, have been active for years in local sports

October 15, 2006|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,special to the sun

The fourth annual Celebration of Sports, sponsored by Howard County Recreation and Parks, will include the Community Sports Hall of Fame induction of eight individuals who have influenced the lives of many through recreational sports.

The gala begins at 6 p.m. tomorrow at the Ten Oaks Ballroom in Clarksville. The evening will include a buffet dinner and an address from keynote speaker Shawn Herne, chief curator for Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum, and the new Sports Legends at Camden Yards museum. Tickets still are available.

The eight who will be enshrined in the Community Sports Hall of Fame are Robert J. Baker, Peter Finck, Russ Flowers, Carol and Philip "Woody" Hearn, P.J. Kesmodel, Adelaine Stocks and Robert Vigorito.

Baker has been a supporter of the Special Olympics for 11 years. He's been with the Special Olympics of Howard County as a coach, program coordinator, assistant director and director. The Howard County program has grown steadily under his watch.

Finck continues to play a large role in tennis in the area. He ran the Columbia Junior Open and the Columbia Flier tournament. He also served as president of the Maryland Tennis Association, was an officer in the Mid-Atlantic Tennis Association and helped found the Howard County Tennis Association.

Officiating has been the thing for Flowers. He started working with recreational programs that the Columbia Association sponsored in the early 1970s. Later in the decade, he helped found the Howard County Officials Association and served as commissioner of officials for adult softball, basketball and football programs.

The Hearns have worked to promote girls sports in the Howard County Youth Program for over 20 years. They have served in a number of roles - coach, official and commissioner - and have helped with a number of other tasks.

Kesmodel is well-known for his prowess as a lacrosse coach. He started the Mount Hebron girls lacrosse dynasty, coaching the Vikings to four consecutive state championships in the early and mid-1990s. But he first got involved in local sports in 1968 while coaching the Forest Hill swim team.

Lacrosse took over after that. He started a boys lacrosse summer league that later added girls. He eventually became a leader to add girls lacrosse in high schools.

More than 20 years ago, Stocks was the driving force in starting the Western Howard County Soccer League, which today serves thousands of children. There was no task too small for her, from writing rules and bylaws to ordering equipment. She had a vision and made it a reality.

Vigorito's passion has been triathlons. He took over as the race director for the Columbia Triathlon in 1986, when the event was just three years old and looking to grow.

Vigorito made it a popular event that now fills its capacity of 1,700 athletes each year and is known around the country.

Tickets are $18, or $150 for a table of 10. For more information, call 410-313-4711. For ticket purchase over the phone, call 410-313-7275.

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