Friday I had a rare night off.

Our football game had been postponed and much of my family was either out of the country, out of town or wanted me out of their business. So, I did what all red-blooded Carroll County soccer fans would do — I found a county high school soccer game that I could spend a few hours enjoying the fresh country air so I didn’t have to sit and watch any more coverage of the Supreme Court fiasco.


I found a game between South Carroll and Liberty where I could watch a few of my current Celtic players and a few of my old Wolves players all on one field. I was there to support my players and see where their high school coaches play them and how they use them in their system of play.

I’m always looking to learn from other coaches who may see things differently than I.

When I pulled up to the facility (I believe South Carroll was the home team) it could have been a scene from “Friday Night Lights,” with cars filling most every parking spot. I couldn’t park in the two lots closest to the game I wanted to see, so I parked over by the tennis courts, a decent walk away.

I quickly understood why the parking was so challenging as there were two soccer games and a football practice going on somewhat simultaneously.

Apparently, the football team was a younger recreation team that had been “squatting” on the fields without permission as nobody was on them, until the two soccer teams from the other game that I wasn’t watching showed up to play.

The South Carroll and Liberty boys game that I went to see was followed by a game of the same schools’ girls teams (where Liberty served as the home team), so the stands were packed with parents, friends and the high school athletes that were waiting their turn on the field.

This is what we strive for in Carroll County athletics.

A game officiated by some of Carroll’s best officials, two competitive teams from two traditionally solid programs with experienced coaches and competitive student athletes. This could have been a scene at any of our high schools across the county.

The problem is that it wasn’t.

These games, these packed parking lots, this electric atmosphere from the fans and players, were at Western Regional Park just across the Howard County border.

If you’ve never been to WRP, they boast three regular grass fields, two enormous multi-purpose turf fields, a couple of baseball fields, and some tennis courts.

Needless to say, 2018 has been one heck of a year for rain.

Back in the spring, the EDP league that many club and travel teams from Carroll County play in had to reschedule over 1,000 — yes, that’s one thousand — games due to unplayable field conditions up and down the East Coast.

This fall has been equally as bad. In my nine years in high school sports, I’ve never had an entire week’s games canceled due to rain and unplayable field conditions. Until this year.


An athletic director friend of mine said, in his 26 years in the county, he’s never seen anything like it.

I believe that at Westminster High School, we’ve had to postpone and reschedule close to 35 games so far, only five of which were due to lightning.

That means that 30 of those games got rescheduled due to unplayable field conditions that could have been played as scheduled had they been able to play on the turf fields on a facility like Western Regional Park.

And we’re just about to the halfway point of our seasons.

So, if other schools are experiencing similar numbers of postponements, and if you take away a few games as they would be against other county teams that would count in those numbers, you’re still around 200 games that have had to be rescheduled across the county, between Labor Day and the end of September.

We’ve had to move our practices indoors (if we can get indoor time) and it’s been well over a week since we had a real practice outside on grass.

I see all over social media that Westminster Soccer Association and North Carroll Soccer Club have had to continually cancel their practices and games due to saturated fields. I’m sure the same for Freedom, Central Carroll, West Carroll, and any other programs I’m missing.

And that’s just soccer.

What about football, rugby, field hockey, fall lacrosse, and all other sports that have had to juggle their practice and game schedules around Mother Nature’s wrath?

The great entrepreneur and automobile pioneer Henry Ford once said, “Don’t find fault, find a remedy; anybody can complain.”

I’m at a loss. I’m done complaining. Does anybody have any good ideas for a multi-purpose turf field complex in Carroll County?