EVERYONE KNOWS about soccer moms. They shuttle their children around to fields for practices and games. From the sidelines, they watch and cheer on the youngsters.
That's the extent of their involvement in the sport.
Not anymore. Soccer moms are getting off the sidelines and taking to the fields.
Recently, a group of western Howard County moms formed a team to play in a Soccer Mom league at the Volleyball House (VBH) Indoor Soccer Arena in Columbia.
Last fall, Joan Orcutt's daughter, Lindsey, was participating in a soccer clinic for 3- to 4-year-olds at Volleyball House and having fun.
Orcutt said she wished a comparable opportunity was available for women who had not played sports as children.
"I had coached my older daughter Kendra's soccer team for two years, but never really felt that I knew enough about the game since I had never played it myself," Orcutt said.
Then opportunity knocked.
"I saw a flier at VBH and participated in two clinics they ran for beginners," she said.
Orcutt recruited seven women.
All have children involved in the soccer program of Western Howard County Soccer Inc., the organization that sponsors recreational soccer programs for children in the area.
The women participated together in several clinics at Volleyball House and decided to enter league play as a team.
They call themselves the Hot Flashes, and sport hot-pink T-shirts.
The T-shirts were provided by Rocky Run Tap & Grill in Columbia, where post-game discussions and celebrations take place.
Orcutt said she thought it would be fun to play among friends and not worry so much about winning. After having seen competitive play during the Volleyball House clinics, she said, "I knew we wouldn't be one of the better teams but thought we could have fun and learn about the game."
And learn they did.
"Playing requires a lot of stamina," said Mary Gouker, mother of five. "After I played just one game, I vowed that I would never yell at one of my kids on the soccer field again. It's a lot harder than you think."
Orcutt echoed the thought.
"You won't hear me telling my kids to keep running all the time," she said.
Soccer Moms league games consist of two 25-minute halves with a brief halftime. Player substitutions are made when a player on the field needs a break.
Some of the women in the league have had experience playing soccer, either in college or from Volleyball House clinics.
"But most of them are like us," said Bobbie Leon, mother of three soccer players. "They've spent a lot of time on the sidelines with their kids and just want to try it."
Other Hot Flashes from western Howard are Jan Pawtowski, Dottie DeCesare, Kerri Gibian, Mary Kay Thierer and Maureen Waller.
Leon mentioned exercise, camaraderie and competition as benefits of playing.
But she said the biggest benefit is a closer identification with her children and their soccer experiences.
"It's easy to sit on the sidelines and know what needs to be done, but a lot harder to be out there executing it," she said.
Information on Volleyball House clinics: 410-312-2774.
River Hill rocks
If you need a midwinter pick-me-up, plan to attend River Hill High School's RHHStival, a musical variety show, on Saturday.
Musicians from River Hill and other Howard County high schools will perform from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the auditorium.
"This isn't just a concert of school-sponsored bands," said parent volunteer Bruce Montgomery. "We are featuring many side bands -- the bands kids play in on weekends. And they're from several area schools."
With musical acts from rock to jazz, the concert should offer something for everyone, Montgomery said.
Middle and high school students in particular should enjoy the performances, he said.
Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the door.
The school is at 12101 Route 108.
4-H award winners
Three Dayton 4-H Club members have been presented with the Howard County 4-H Key Award.
Alex Post, Laura Johnson and Stephanie Grutzmacher received the award for outstanding performances in a wide variety of 4-H activities.
To be eligible, senior members, ages 14 to 18, have to earn at least 95 points from projects, demonstrations, public speaking, club leadership and other activities.
Applications go through rigorous review and judging by the University of Maryland Cooperative Extension.
Hope Jackson, 4-H extension educator, said the purpose of the award is to develop and recognize well-rounded 4-H Club members.
Dayton 4-H club reporter Danielle Betz also announced new members.
Matt Biegal, Samantha Mathis, Kimberly Via, Stephanie Simmens, Jenna Taylor, Ben Oliver, Joseph Oliver, Dana Michaels, Michelle Michaels, Stephanie Michaels, Joshua Burchmick, Kaitlyn Curtis, Broc Wilkerson and Samantha Probey.
Information on the Dayton 4-H Club: 410-313-2707.
The faculty of Mount View Middle School will take on a group of parents in a basketball game Feb. 19.
The game is scheduled at 7: 30 p.m. in the gymnasium of the school at 12101 Woodford Drive.
Tickets, which cost $2 for adults and $1 for students, will be available at the door.
Proceeds go to Parent Teen Power, a PTA organization that promotes improved parent-child communication through special programs and projects.
Information: Jackie Dail at 410-750-6081, or the school at 410-313-5545.
Dinner in the ballroom
Would you like to see the new Ten Oaks Ballroom in Clarksville? Here's your chance to see it, dine there and have a good time.
The Triadelphia Ridge Elementary School PTA is holding a silent auction March 6 in the ballroom.
It will begin at 6: 30 p.m., followed by a live auction at 8 p.m.
A dinner featuring hand-carved roast beef, turkey, vegetables, pasta, pastries and beverages, including beer and wine, will be provided.
Tickets are $20, and are available by calling Marleen Beck at 301-854-6767 or Mary Jane Barbato-Grauso at 410-531-3463.
Proceeds from the auction will benefit the school.
Pub Date: 2/11/99