Rec Sports Spotlight: Grimm helping CHE soccer grow, improve

Sue Grimm fills a void.

The Finksburg resident heads up a soccer program for homeschooled students who otherwise, would be on the outside looking in when it comes to competitive high school sports.


Grimm and a group of volunteers around her operate the Christian Home Educators United Soccer program which opens that window to homeschooled children.

Hers is one of several area volunteer groups that provide an opportunity for homeschoolers to enjoy high school sports. Others offer football and volleyball.

The Carroll County-based CHE is an offshoot of a similar group that once operated in Frederick County. Grimm's daughter played soccer there. But that group disbanded five years ago, and Grimm and others set up a new organization here.

It offers soccer via co-ed teams for children ages under-8 through under-14 and also under-19 teams for men and women.The latter compete against area Christian high school teams.

The boys team plays in the fall and the girls, in the spring. Both teams continue to practice in their offseasons.

CHE has filled a continuing need since it began operation in 2013. Turnout averages abut 80, and sometimes reaches 100.

“We grew until last season when it dropped off a little. But for the most part, it has grown every season,” Grimm said.

CHE also allows public-school students to play in its program. Oftentimes, these are kids who couldn't make their school teams and find CHE a welcome outlet.


Its teams play christian schools in Carroll County and elsewhere. Some of its opponents have been the Westminster-based Carroll Christian School, Montgomery-based Living Grace, and two Frederick institutions, New Life and the Frederick Christian Academy. Others lie out-of-state.

The schools it plays are far apart, and that entails a lot of driving for parents who must transport the players to their games. That said, the group limits the number of games to two per week. Even so, there is a lot to it.

“On game days we have to line the fields and get everyone to games,” Grimm said. “It gets pretty intense for us.”

The older teams usually play from between eight and 15 games each season depending on what can be scheduled.

Each year's schedule is filled out as CHE organizers find opponents to play. CHE is not part of any league because of the time commitment and money that meeting a league schedule would entail, Grimm explained.

While it's not publicly-funded, CHE does have a couple of angels on its shoulder, the chief one being the Central Carroll Recreation Council.


Grimm coached youth soccer for many years in CCRC. Now, it's helping her homeschoolers soccer program by letting its teams use Deer Park and the Sandymount Elementary School fields which lie under council control.

Getting fields through the rec council saves vast amounts of money. Without the huge discount for field use available through the council, CHE could not operate.

The other big helper is the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, through which the organization purchases the crucial, reasonably-priced insurance that allows it to function. CHE is run entirely by volunteers who must take time off from work to make it to games.

Teams practice only once a week which means that the players must work out on their own to really improve.

Many do.

The girls' teams have done well over the years, partially because of the work they put in at home.

“The first year, we tied one game and won the rest. The second year, we lost only one game,” Grimm said.

And while they haven't reached that level since, the girls have continued to be tough opponents.

“They are incredibly competitive,” Grimm said. “We had a game last season with only 10 players. We out-ran the other team even though they were subbing players in and out the whole time. We were in better condition.

“In another game, we were losing by six or seven goals, yet we came back to win. They just won't quit.”

It has tougher to assemble competitive boys teams. But CHE's high school boys did win some games this year and may be on the way up.

Grimm is proud of her team's accomplishments because they face opponents that play 20 or more games in a season and practice five times a week. She is also proud of her kids' demeanor on the field.

“They are unfailingly kind to each other and to the other team even though they are incredibly competitive,” Grimm said. “Many times the referees come to us after games and congratulate our players on their attitude.”

Because homeschooling is here to stay, the need for programs such as CHE is also here to stay. For this reason, Sue Grimm and those around her aren't 't likely to quit anytime soon.

But that's not the main reason she sticks with the program.

“I do it because I love it,” she said.