Bits & Pieces: Odell is still a champion

It's always nice to catch up with voices from the past, which is why I was pleased to hear that Brooks Carson recently called. Brooks, who works for the Department of Energy in Oak Ridge, Tenn., was in Washington for business and decided to drive out to his old stomping grounds in Columbia. That visit prompted him to call us and update us on his mother, Cynthia Carson Odell, and his sister, Kit Carson Seelbach. Cynthia coached girls soccer at Oakland Mills for 12 years, winning seven county titles and four Bi-County championships, which were the equivalent of state titles.

In 1996 she became River Hill's first girls soccer coach. The next year, her last year coaching here, she led the Hawks to a county title and her first official state title.

Brooks said that his mother, stepfather and sister live in Hilton Head, S.C. Cynthia is "playing a lot of golf and winning a lot of tournaments," he said. Kit is an elementary school teacher.

Tri-ing something new

Last Thursday, was the Learn2Tri Program's "hard" kickoff at Long Reach High School even though the program had its "soft" kickoff in November. Soft or hard, Learn2Tri brings the triathlon into the Howard County School system as part of its ninth-grade physical education curriculum.

The physical education that I took part in when I was in high school did not emphasize lifetime activity. I learned things like climbing a rope, trying not to kill myself on a pommel horse and much more that proved useless in my post-high school life. In fact, I hated going to PE. Riding a bicycle and running, two parts of the triathlon, are things of use later in life and I would have enjoyed both.

Thursday's agenda began with a Maryland General Assembly proclamation and one from our county executive. We were able to hear from some of the ninth graders who were among the first to participate in duathlon activities — cycling and running. The swimming portion of triathlon will not involve actual swimming but land instruction instead.

For the most part these youngsters enjoyed the experience. Some admitted that they were apprehensive at the start, but not after they realized that they could do it. They were good spokespeople for the Learn2Tri Program.

This program clearly profits our young people and I am strongly in favor of it.

Sea Gulls have memorable season

Somehow, the fantastic season that the Salisbury Sea Gulls football team has escaped my recognition. Now that their season has concluded, I see where the Gulls finished with an overall record of 11-2 and a conference mark of 7-0 under head coach Sherman Wood. Salisbury took Frostburg State, 49-7, in the Regents Cup, and Western New England, 62-24, in the first round of the NCAA tournament. In the second round, the Sea Gulls edged Kean, 49-47, before running into Wisconsin-Whitewater in the quarterfinals, losing, 34-14.

When I checked the team's roster, I discovered that the team is stacked with Howard County players — 13 to be exact. Calvin Ford, Curtis Ford Tyler Curley and Drew Allebach are all from Howard High; Kalvin Seamonson, Nick Aloi and Ryan Raines are from Atholton; Juma Richards and Teka Hayes are from Wilde Lake; Matthew Banta and Connor McNeil are from Marriotts Ridge; Andy Bushong and Bryce Boring are from Reservoir and R.J. Murray is from River Hill.

Of the group, only one — Tyler Curley — is a senior. Looks like the future is a bright one for Salisbury.

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