Spirit's 2-year contract offer is not to draftee Hicks' liking Former Towson State star is impressive in workouts


Todd Hicks, a former Bowie High and Towson State star, is balking at the Spirit's contract offer.

Hicks, the Spirit's territorial choice in the National Professional Soccer League draft, was offered a two-year contract yesterday by general manager Drew Forrester.

Barely a week into training camp, Hicks has made a strong impression on coach Mike Stankovic. He reported in shape, he's intense, fast and has a deft touch with his left foot.

"I like what I see," Stankovic said. "He has a good future in indoor soccer."

Only three of the 26 players on the squad missed Monday's and yesterday's double workouts -- Chris Brown (walking pneumonia), George Petrou (sprained big toe) and Sean Hartley (attending a wedding in Sacramento, Calif.). The Spirit will open the season with 16 to 18 players.

Brought in this week for a look was Reynold Carrington, a native of Trinidad and Tobago who played this summer for the New York Fever of the A-League.

This week, Stankovic is emphasizing conditioning and building endurance. Most of the morning sessions at Du Burns Arena have been devoted to running laps and doing push-ups.

"A lot of running, more than ever," said Jason Dieter, who's starting his fifth Spirit season. "It's good, though. Come crunch time, we're the fitter team, while the other teams are dragging in the fourth quarter."

For a change of pace, Stankovic is conducting afternoon workouts on McDonogh's outdoor track. The morning's long-distance runs of 5 1/2 minutes each total 25-plus minutes; the afternoon's one-hour agenda includes 12 shorter runs of 300 yards.

"You can't build quickness without having endurance," Stankovic said. "Most of the guys haven't done much the past four months."

Pub Date: 9/25/96

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