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Ex-pro soccer player stresses good sportsmanship to children


IT'S NOT every day that a former professional athlete coaches sports clinics for a local recreation council, but that's what Ray Vigliotti is doing in Taneytown this month.

Vigliotti is directing Taneytown Soccer Camps at Northwest Middle School. The camps began this week and will run through June 27, registration permitting.

Vigliotti has lived in Taneytown less than a year, but he is bringing his passion for the sport to northwest Carroll. In addition to directing the sports camps, he plays on the Taneytown men's soccer team.

"I've been playing soccer for 30 years," said Vigliotti, 38. "I'm still addicted to it."

Vigliotti grew up in Laurel and became an All-American soccer player while playing for Laurel High School. At the University of South Carolina, he was selected for the U.S. Olympic Team. But that was the year the United States boycotted the Olympics, and the team did not get to participate.

Vigliotti was drafted to play professional soccer and went on to join the New York Arrows. He also played for the Baltimore Blast and Wichita Wings.

What does this soccer die-hard hope his young players learn about the game in his summer clinics?

"The first thing I try to stress, over and over, is that I want them to be good sports. You're not always going to win. I want them to encourage each other, and say positive things to each other.

"When someone says something good to you, you feel like doing better. And I want them to have a good time and to learn about soccer," he said.

Emphasis on the basics is a big part of the program, as well as the joy of the game. "The game is fast-paced and everybody is involved in the game. One player is just as important as everyone else out there," he said.

Assisting Vigliotti at the camp are Francis Scott Key High School students Gina Bear, Amber Bowman, Philip Hayward and Dan Witcomb. The three clinics are held weekday mornings at Northwest Middle School. Cost is $55 per session. Information: 410-756-1266.

Vacation Bible School

It's time for Vacation Bible School. In northwest Carroll, churches often combine efforts to offer activities for children.

In Union Bridge, St. James Lutheran Church, Union Bridge United Methodist Church and Union Bridge Church of the Brethren are joining to offer "Adventure Fair: Kids in Action," a Bible school for children ages 4 through eighth grade.

A storyteller and balloon vendor -- one of the sponsoring church's pastors -- will visit the program each morning, relaying stories with a message. The program offers music, and local artist Marcia Leiter has planned crafts activities.

Middle school children attending the Bible school can fulfill community service hours by participating in the planned neighborhood outreach programs sponsored by the churches.

A host of people have worked to put the program together. Local ministers participating are Roy Johnson, Anna Lease, Richard Michael and Dwight Sheesley.

Betty Caricofe has been involved in the community Bible school since 1983. The rewards of putting together something positive for children keep her involved year after year.

"I think it's a neat experience for the children," she said. "And I think it's a good community outreach. It brings kids in who don't have a church affiliation, and the long mornings let us do interesting things like craft projects, playing together, having music.

"There's usually positive feedback -- sometimes I hear from parents that their kids are singing the songs they learned [in Bible school] all summer. That's why we keep doing it."

Union Bridge Community Bible School is from 8: 45 a.m. to 11: 30 a.m. June 23-27 at Union Bridge Church of the Brethren. Registration is free and encouraged by Sunday. Children must be 4 by June 30 to participate. Information: 410-775-2717.

New pastor at Uniontown

Welcome to Pastor Steven P. Hreha. Hreha has been installed as education discipleship pastor at Uniontown Bible Church.

He has been hired to devote his ministry to children and youth, and to train teachers and small group leaders in ministries at the church. His education includes degrees from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., and Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. Hreha and his family will live in Taneytown.

Judy Reilly's Northwest neighborhood column appears each Thursday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

Pub Date: 6/12/97

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