I have to give the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association a "well done" for trying to bring parity to our varsity athletic programs. Every two years, a reclassification committee at the MPSSAA sits down to see if the system has to be further tweaked for parity based on the population of the 10th, 11th and 12th graders. Teams are classified from Class 1A to 4A and then placed in regions based on location so that schools don't have to travel inordinate distances to play one another.

While some coaches might look at the reclassifications with a wary eye, I personally don't think that it will change the landscape that much. Sure, some schools might find that they have a new challenger in their region, however the job of the reclassification committee is not to punish a school but only to level things out.

I talked to Jack Davis, the new Howard County Coordinator of Athletics, on Friday about the reclassification. He characterized the reclassification merely as "the leveling of the playing field." The system in fact has had a mild effect on Howard County schools. Howard High, the county's largest school, becomes the county's first school to become 4A, moving from 3A East to 4A North. Glenelg moves from 2A South to 3A East, while Hammond drops from 3A East to 2A South. So as it currently breaks out, Howard is 4A, River Hill, Centennial, Atholton, Mt. Hebron, Long Reach, Glenelg, Reservoir and Wilde Lake are 3A, and Marriotts Ridge, Oakland Mills and Hammond are 2A.

Special Olympics hosts Power Lifting


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Special Olympics Howard County continues to amaze me, this time by hosting a power lifting competition on Sept. 8 from 9:15 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Colosseum Gym in Columbia. Athletes from Howard, Anne Arundel, Carroll and Montgomery Counties are expected to attend to compete in bench press and dead lift competitions as a prelude for the state-level competition in October.

Representing Special Olympics Howard County are: Brian Antwarg, Tiffany Brooks, Catherine Gruss, Scott Harold, Amanda Jacober, Angad Jangi, Amit Kathuria, John Kusik, Kenny Long, Randi Penenburgh, Christopher Pinos, Thomas Smith, David Snyder and Michael Waschak. They are coached by Joel Penenburgh, Ian Burgess, Kevin So, Billy Martin, Marcos Pinos, Napoleon Pinos, Napoleon Pinos III and Fred Snyder.

This is the second year that Special Olympics Howard County has partnered with the Colosseum Gym, located on Red Branch Road, to host this event.

The public is invited to attend.

Power lifting is the 20th individual sport offered by Special Olympics Howard County. I don't know who decided to include this sport in the curriculum of the program, but I believe that it was a brilliant idea. The competition should be exciting.

American tennis is struggling

What is going on with American tennis? I have seen or at least read about some promising tennis players both male and female at the local and college levels. Yet, if we didn't have Serena and Venus Williams on the national scene, and maybe an up-and-coming Sloane Stephens, we wouldn't have much. And remember, the Williams sisters can't last forever. The male side appears to be bare. All I remember is Andy Roddick and he bombed out.

I barely wanted to read about the recently held Citi Open, formerly the Legg Mason Classic, in Washington, D.C. because none of the American male tennis players excited me.

It is all European now. First, the Troy Park Tennis Complex in Elkridge bites the dust and now American male tennis on the national and international levels is barely breathing.