For 15 years, Saundra Owens worked during the day at Social Security Administration, came home to make 60 sandwiches for the kids at the after-school program she ran at a local church, then went to coach basketball until 10 p.m.
The kids in the Banneker rec basketball program dubbed her the "Queen of Basketball."
"Basketball teaches life skills; unity, commitment, physical strength, how to win and how to lose," said Owens, who was recently elected president on the Catonsville Recreation and Parks Council's Executive Board.
Owens had served as the board's secretary for four years and as a volunteer with the Banneker Kings program since 1989.
"I have kids that I coached as 6-year-olds now bringing their kids to play," she said. "My goal is to help all Catonsville rec programs leave a legacy for the kids in the community."
Originally from Philadelphia, Owens moved to Catonsville in 1989. She remembers when the basketball program began in the "den" at then-Western Vo-Tech. The program has grown each year and now several hundred kids play each week at Western Tech, Catonsville Middle School, Westowne Elementary School, the Banneker Community Center and the Bloomsbury Field House.
As president, she said her goal is to increase participation in the rec council meetings and encourage more young people to get involved.
"My aim is to keep the tradition of Catonsville Recreation growing," said Owens, who has six grandsons and two granddaughters.
For more information on Catonsville rec programs, go to http://www.catonsvillerec.org.
More good sports
While fans of pro lacrosse may recognize attackman Brendan Mundorf of the Denver Outlaws as the 2012 Bud Light Major League Lacrosse Most Valuable Player, fans of helping the sport grow know him as one of the founders of a club lacrosse program, Bitmore Lacrosse.
Mundorf played for Mount St. Joseph High School and then the University of Maryland, Baltimore County before going pro. He was chosen MLL MVP by a vote of the league's eight head coaches and general managers.
He and Catonsville High School lacrosse coach Aaron Stubb started the club lacrosse program for boys to play in the under-9, under-11 and under-13 age groups.
According to the program's website, the two said that while practice and discipline got them to where they are today and it's great that young players are playing year round, the ratio of practices to tournaments is out of balance.
They fear that when young players play in four to five tournaments during the summer, often following a full spring season, they tend to burn out. They either lose interest in the sport or develop bad habits. Mundorf and Stubb want to change that by emphasizing practice and physical training in preparation for one fall tournament and two or three competitive summer tournaments sandwiched around the spring season.
Way to go Megan Peercy, Rachel Weker, Amy Nelson and Tracy Horch for their impressive showing in the first Iron Girl Rocky Gap women's triathlon on Sept. 8.
They joined approximately 2,400 other women for the 1/2 -mile swim, 16-mile bike ride and three-mile run near Lake Habeeb in Flintstone.
"We really had a wonderful time," said Megan, a mother of three. "It's a great way for women to get in shape and bond with each other.
"We were so lucky and had beautiful fall weather that day, especially since the day before it poured rain and was windy," she said.
"For me, getting over my nerves about doing the open water swim part was a big accomplishment, and Rachel and Amy really convinced me that I could do it," she said. "I would do it again!"