We are going to have another soccer program here in Howard County, with Tim Ryerson recently announcing that he will be the executive director of the new Ellicott City Soccer Club.
Former soccer coaching great Bill Stara will serve as the technical director. And, as could be expected, the club will feature many former Soccer Association of Columbia (SAC) individuals on board.
The name Ryerson brings about memories of Oakland Mills High School soccer legends. Tim played on a Maryland state champion Scorpions team under coach Don Shea.
He then went on to star at UMBC, serving as a captain of a 15-3-1 squad. Following graduation, he held a myriad of important positions in the sport, at one time taking youth teams abroad for international competition with his brother, Rich. He then decided to join the family business, Ryerson Soccer. His desire to get into soccer full-time prompted his return to Maryland and eventually the formation of this new soccer club.
The name Bill Stara is synonymous with winning soccer as well. A former coaching director with SAC, Stara was the National Coach of the Year several times. His Centennial High School boys soccer teams won seven state championships and, starting in 1996, his River Hill teams won another seven.
To this day, parents whose children played for Stara have told me on more than one occasion that he was one of the best things that ever happened to their kids in terms of discipline and hard work.
This new soccer program has the philosophy of "We are soccer people, serving soccer families," according to Ryerson. And it makes sense considering almost everyone connected with this new program from top to bottom has either played or been involved with soccer in the past.
Ryerson also added, "We serve every playing level including special needs and we seek to develop the whole individual participant."
The new program has a site that is almost done, and a news conference was held recently to outline the programs and introduce some of the other people involved.
Celebrating 50 years of lacrosse
Howard High School has had more than its share of great athletic feats, and now the Ellicott City school will permanently display a plaque to celebrate one of the oldest ones. An 18x22 bronze plaque will be placed at the Howard High stadium to commemorate the first ever Howard County lacrosse game played in 1964.
The team back then made their own goals and used any equipment they could scrap together, and still somehow managed a 5-5 season. There was even more to come the following year, as on a Friday night in the spring of 1965 the Howard Lions played the first night lacrosse game in the history of the sport here.
The players on those first couple teams were honored prior to the Howard boys game against Long Reach on April 4. The guys all got together on the track inside the stadium and shared stories, memories and took pictures together with the plaque that contains the names of 36 players, and coach Joe Mitchell.
Now, I wasn't here when the games were first played back in the mid 60s, but I do want to mention the names of those who made history as part of that pioneer group.
The former players listed are: Doug Anderson, Eric Asendorf, Keith Besse, Steve Benninghove, George Botler, Geoff Boyd, Dick Burns, Greg Cole, Jim Crismer, Ray Cross, Doug Duvall, Nelson Fenwick, Ed Feuerhurd, Ray Finnegan, Pete Freeman, Archie Galloway, Harry Gowl, Buddy Green, Jerry Hanson, Don Heinecke, Frank Hurst, Mike Karnes, John Kerchner, Bill King, Ellsworth Lawson, Case Marsh, Bob McCulley, Bruce McGuire, Jim Medwin, Larry Miller, Jack Redmond, Ed Rich, Steve Tharp, Dan Toomey, Mike Washington and M. White.