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Covenant Park getting set to celebrate 10th anniversary

By Stan Ber, howardcountysports@patuxent.com

7:47 PM EST, March 4, 2014

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Time really does fly.

It is hard for me to believe that 10 years ago this coming Memorial Day weekend, Covenant Park opened right off Centennial Lane as the permanent home base of the Soccer Association of Columbia.

Before this location was selected, SAC teams were playing on Board of Education fields, Recreation and Park fields and other fields that could accommodate this growing program. On some occasions, other sports groups were using some of the fields that the SAC soccer teams were playing on.

The fields were often pretty chopped up particularly after some rain. Some were hardly fields and kids had to maneuver through the ruts and holes. There were many times that it was impossible to safely play on many of the surfaces.

It became apparent to the SAC leadership that if soccer was going to continue to grow and survive, a complex would be needed pretty quickly. So the area off Centennial Lane was selected, after the purchase of the property from the Covenant Church, and plans were set in motion to build a $4.5 million soccer facility there.

However, as I remember, there was a big potential problem that could have very well torpedoed the entire project. People living across the street and in the immediate area around the site did not want the complex there. They cited traffic concerns, noise, lights, safety and other reasons why SAC should go elsewhere.

As it turned out, though, after many meetings, those concerns were assuaged and the complex was built. And, over the years, SAC has proven to be a good neighbor since moving there.

SAC opened with eight fields at Covenant Park, featuring several with grass and several with turf. But over the years improvements have been made, including work on the addition of a ninth field. Even with the improvements, though, it still often is necessary to use additional fields within the community to handle the nearly 6,000 kids who play for the nationally recognized organization.

When you have something this good, everyone wants to be a part of it.

So with that in mind I would like to personally say, Happy 10th anniversary, Covenant Park. Here's to many more.

Glen Mar Golf Classic

Registration is currently open for the 3rd Annual Glen Mar Golf Classic, scheduled for May 5 at the Timbers at Troy Golf Course in Elkridge.

The event is hosted by the Glen Mar United Methodist Church, with proceeds earmarked for Grassroots, the county's 24-hour crisis intervention center. The tournament will feature a continental breakfast, silent auction, luncheon with trophies and prizes given out for the foursomes with the lowest score. There are also contests and prizes for the longest drive and the closest to the pin on particular holes during the round.

Anybody who gets a hole-in-one or can "Hit the Circle" on a par three will have the opportunity to walk away with cash prizes.

Registration and breakfast will begin at 7:30, followed by a shotgun start at 8:30. The fee to register is $135 per player or $540 for the foursome. Sponsorships are available from $1,000 for Gold level to $250 for a hole sponsorship.

Golfers can register online at glenmargolfclassic.com.

Growing family

Congratulations to sports editor Brent Kennedy and his wife Kim on the birth of their second child, a baby girl named Carter Reese Kennedy. She was born on Feb. 18 at 10:58 p.m. in Howard County.

Brent already has a son, Colby, who turns two on March 7. I wish them the best with their growing family and many happy, healthy years ahead.