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Bits & Pieces: List of recognition-worthy soccer programs a lengthy one

I apparently stepped into a small minefield when I detailed the success stories of two local soccer programs in a recent column and forgot to mention several other programs that are also alive and well in Howard County.

In that column that set things off, I talked about what I considered the old — the Soccer Association of Columbia — and the new — The Ellicott City Soccer Club. What I inadvertently forgot to mention were the Thunder Soccer Club, with its 36 teams and 400 players, and the Western Howard County Soccer Club, celebrating its 30th Anniversary.

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It didn't take long for the emails to start rolling in.

First came Howard Community College's Athletic Director Diane Schumacher advising me that I had made an oversight by not recognizing the Thunder. Then came a letter from Kristin DeCou, who is an operations administrator within the Thunder Soccer Club.

Those were followed by an email from Michael Hopper reminding me of yet another highly successful program in Western Howard County

Yes, it was an oversight on my part. I should have stated clearly from the start that my intent was not to minimize the great things that the Thunder, Western Howard County and any other local soccer programs have done.

If there was any good that has come from this mess, though, it is that it opened up a conversation between Thunder President Keith O'Neil and myself. I hope those lines of communication will continue to remain open.

One other good thing that came from this was a comment that my wife made to me shortly after she read the emails: "At least somebody is reading your stuff."

Community Sports Hall of Fame

The Community Sports Hall of Fame will hold its annual induction ceremony on Oct. 21 at Turf Valley and this means that nominations are now being sought for next year's class.

I know for a fact that there are a number of very qualified people in Howard County who have not yet been recognized for the great work they have done over the years. As a member of the selection committee, I am asking people from every corner of this county to submit the names of those people they feel are worthy of recognition so that the sports and recreation community can express its gratitude.

In order to start the process, a written nomination form must be filled out for each individual to be considered for induction. With that in mind, those that are interested can go to the Recreation and Parks Department website to download the form.

We realize that we may have missed some individuals who need to be applauded for their years of dedicated service. We can only do that with your help.

Mayotte wins tennis title

Clarksville's John Mayotte pulled off a major upset in Men's 65 Tennis in early September when he beat the No. 1 seed Brian Cheney of Chandler, Arizona at the United States Tennis Association's National Men's 65 Grass Court Championship.

Mayotte entered the tournament as the third seed and trailed in the first set, 5-2, before fighting his way back to claim the title 7-5. 6-4. Mayotte is a former Western Massachusetts and Cathedral High School (Springfield) state champion.

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Mayotte came into this year's event as a decided underdog. His opponent in the championship had lost only one match all year and was trying for a grand slam in the 65 division after winning the USTA's hard court and indoor championships.

The Mayotte name rang a bell with me and it was because I remembered a Tim Mayotte, John's brother, who was ranked in the top 10 in men's singles in the 80s and was a semifinalist at Wimbledon (1982) and at the Australian Open (1983).

Congratulations to John Mayotte for his tremendous achievement.

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