HAMPSTEAD — A large group of field hockey athletes did a series of warm-up drills under the direction of six former Carroll standouts for what could likely be the last time at Four Seasons Sports Complex in Hampstead on Tuesday.
Four Seasons announced last week via a Facebook post that it’s closing this Friday after 33 years in business. The pool will remain open for the remainder of the season through Labor Day, and can be accessed by any gym member, according to the post.
Members took to the comments to express their sadness and concerns for the complex’s closing and the fate of its equipment, recreational activities, and other programs that take place there.
Gayle Taylor’s skills and conditioning camp is one of those Four Seasons staples, and she said when she moved the camp from Century High School to Hampstead seven years ago it became beneficial — particularly when dealing with inclement weather.
“When we were at Century, we would go into the tunnel but with every lightning bolt and thunder, you’d have to wait 30 minutes so that cuts into what the parents pay for,” Taylor said. “Then you feel guilty because you’re taking a day away. Here, you can take them right inside and with the pool on Wednesdays and Fridays, it helps get their muscles worked out. It worked out good, but it’s time to change.”
Taylor, a longtime county high school coach who coaches the Carroll-based Majestx club team, said she relocated her indoor equipment to Carroll Indoor Sports Center in Westminster on Sunday to get a head start in making the transition go smoothly. Many of her current athletes play indoor and need a place to play, but these players will only have one indoor complex to use in the county when Four Seasons closes its doors.
Allie Williams, an incoming junior at Winters Mill, started playing field hockey when she was in second grade and also plays for Majestx in the winter.
“I’m really glad that I do this because I feel like I wouldn’t do this much on my own,” Williams said. ”It’s good to have a place to go and actually do stuff with other players because I just have my sister so it’s different when you can actually scrimmage new people and play with girls from all over.”
Williams said she swims for Westminster Riding Club in the summer, and the closing of Four Seasons is a “big thing” especially since the Straehle Invitational swim meet is held there every year. The meet has hosted Olympic-qualifying swimmers such as Baltimore native Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian in history.
Rosalia Cappadora, the 2015 Times Field Hockey Player of the Year, returned to help coach the summer camp, along with Georgi Chiavacci (Winters Mill), Emily Dudley (Westminster), Alli Dudley (Washington College), recent Manchester Valley grad Taylor Glover, and Hailey Poisal (Hood College). Chiavacci is an incoming junior and hockey player at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Cappadora, a Man Valley alum, is an incoming senior for the Shippensburg field hockey team. The Raiders have won three straight NCAA Division II national championships.
Emily Dudley helped University of Lynchburg’s field hockey squad capture the Old Dominion Athletic Conference crown last fall, and scored two goals in the victory. She graduated from Westminster in 2017 and said she attended Taylor’s camp for about five or six years when she was in middle and high school.
“I love coming back and helping,” Dudley said. “I feel like getting an older perspective from people what have actually been in those shoes and played on the teams you’re playing on and playing against the people you’re playing against now gives you such a better insight and to see how much you’ve been able to accomplish is exactly what you’re able to accomplish.”
This week marks the final week for Taylor’s camp, and perhaps the last organized recreational activity to take place at Four Seasons. The camp’s purpose is to get these athletes prepared for their high school seasons — the first day of fall sports practice is slated for Aug. 14.
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"Overall, I think a lot of them are in shape and they want to get better with how competitive the county is,” Taylor said. "They have a lot of girls on their teams that are as good, if not better, and they want to earn that starting spot.”