EDITOR'S NOTE: Girls athletic teams in Carroll County have done wellsince Title IX made equal opportunity in sports (and other areas) federal law. We have been asking readers if they believe female athletes are treated fairly and equally in the county high schools, if girlsare given the same opportunities as boys to participate in sports and what changes, if any, the Board of Education or individual schools should make to ensure female students have equal opportunities. Here is another reply:

From: Jennifer Lynn Beverungen


Having just graduated from Westminster High School, I feel I am "safe" to comment on the treatment of females in school.

I started playing sports for the high school in 10th grade. I decided to play field hockey and lacrosse. I played both sports throughout the rest of my years at WHS, but chose to quit lacrosse my senioryear due to scheduling conflicts with my job.

My opinion of the athletic program at WHS is that it is top-notch. Athletes are respected and looked up to in most cases. The coaches (for the most part) treat their players as if they were their own children.

However, in some cases, female athletes are treated unfairly. A fine example is field hockey, or better yet, fall sports for girls.

Field hockey is the only girls sport that is allowed to practice at the high school. The boys have a soccer field, in reality two soccer fields, and a large football field.

The hockey coaches have been forced to fight tokeep our field. Behind our hockey field, on our old baseball diamond, the JV football team practices.

The girls soccer team has been forced year after year to be bused or car pool to East Middle to practice. Our volleyball team is fortunate to have the gym to itself.

During the spring season, the females are again treated unfairly when it comes to having a place to practice. Year after year, the girls lacrosse team has been displaced.

Being that the program is new, I would have thought they would do everything possible to encourage the new lacrosse program. However, it is treated as more of a hindrance than a blessing!

The lacrosse team has gone from practicing at Robert Moton (where the field is three-quarters the size of a real lacrosse field) to practicing on Carroll Community's far field in the back of our school.

Our coach has made a running plan up that makes thetrek up to the campus more bearable, but the boys have never had to experience this inconvenience.

The boys lacrosse team uses the twofields that the soccer team uses in the fall and also uses a hill-type field by our stadium lot. (This field is a great place to practicefor them because their coach encourages the stamina it takes to run up and down the hill.)

The boys baseball team practices on the newest addition, the upper baseball diamond. (The JV team practices at Landon Burns Park.)

The JV boys players practice on the hockey field, therefore -- during the spring -- no girls are practicing around the school's fields (except track, in the stadium with the boys).

The girls softball team practices at Deer Park (which also creates a problem for those who have no form of transportation).

Despite the fact that the females don't get to practice around the school, I think the program at WHS is great. It is nice to be recognized as an athlete of WHS, whether male or female.

I think that now that the fields are being filled-in and moved, maybe the female athletes at WHS won't have to be transported to their practice areas.

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