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Police say county high school athletes probably are using steroids, but the coordinator of Carroll's athletic trainer program disagrees.

"If it was happening on the athletic teams, I would have known about it," said Paul Welliver, the athletic trainer at Westminster High and program coordinator for county schools. Welliver, a former head trainer at Western Maryland College, also operates a private practice.

Police claims about school steroid use came after a Sykesville resident -- Larry Edward Johnston Jr., 27, of Lincoln Lane -- was arrested earlier this month and charged with distributing steroids. Policeofficials said the arrest came after a four-month investigation.

Westminster City Police Sgt. Andrew McKendrick, a member of the county Narcotics Task Force, said it was likely that the steroids were "making their way" to county high school and college athletes.

But Welliver, who said he consults with the other four county trainers at least once a week, disagreed, at least as far as school-sponsored teams are concerned. He did say, though, that weight lifters and body builders not involved with school teams may be using the compounds.

Welliver also said some students who are not involved in any athletic endeavors, including weight lifting or body building, may be taking steroids just to improve their appearance. "That's really sick," Welliver said.

Most likely, though, the steroids are making their way to health clubs around the county, said Welliver, adding that steroidsare present at a county club where he is a member. He said they werea problem at another county club until several police officers joined, but added the steroid dealing simply moved to the parking lot.

"It's a nuisance that won't go away," he said, noting steroid use cancause health problems as serious as those caused by cocaine.

Welliver's observations mirror what several county coaches and athletic directors said after Johnston's arrest.

South Carroll athletic director Fred Baker and football coach Ken Parker said they knew of no steroid use at their school, and expressed concern that the substances had allegedly been sold in the area.


Long-suffering sports enthusiasts in the Mount Airy area apparently will be getting some moreathletic fields in the near future.

Frederick County -- which hascontributed little in the way of recreational facilities to the town, which straddles the Carroll-Frederick border -- is planning to develop five fields and a playground area at the new Twin Ridge Elementary. The school, under construction on the Frederick side of town, is slated to open for the 1992-1993 school year.

Plans call for two baseball-softball diamonds, two soccer-football-lacrosse fields, and one combination facility that will feature both a diamond and an overlapping rectangular field.

Mount Airy recreation officials also are hoping to perform renovations on the soccer field at Mount Airy Middle School, perhaps using self-help money from the Carroll County Recreation and Parks Department.

The new fields are needed, because Mount Airy is struggling to find playing space for more than 20 youth soccer teams and one adult team. Diamonds also are in short supply for youth baseball and softball teams and adult softball league.

The projects also are helpful because a requested renovation and expansionof Watkins Mill Park has been pushed back to fiscal 1994 in the county's recreation capital budget. And, given the economic situation, it's not likely to be financed that year, either.

So, the fields at Twin Ridge will be important if the area's recreation programs are togrow.


Call the county boys soccer scene a mess.

North Carroll's 7-1 pasting of South Carroll Tuesday was a major surprise, since the Cavs had nipped highly regarded Liberty the previous week.

What all this means, of course, is that Westminster is in the driver's seat in the county title chase. The fight for second -- or the right to move into the driver's seat if the Owls falter -- is basically afree-for-all.

The girls soccer and field hockey races, though, are a bit tougher to call. Liberty, Westminster and South Carroll are the early leaders in both, meaning some dandy county matchups await down the road.

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