THE FIELD HOCKEY season of North Carroll Recreation Council is measured not by wins and losses, but by how much the girls enjoyed the game.
"We try to teach the rules, but we make sure they have fun," said Julie Gress, who was coaching the youngest players with Carla Cannon and Denise Trentzsch on Sunday at Manchester Elementary School.
This is the second year the recreation council has offered field hockey. The fall field hockey and spring lacrosse programs were originated by Joe Bach, a coach who is known for advocating girls sports with an emphasis on teamwork and friendly competition.
Bach began field hockey as a clinic program last year. Now about 70 girls have joined from North Carroll, Westminster, Hanover, Pa., and Reisterstown.
The North Carroll team plays teams from Carroll Manor, Jarrettsville and Towson under the newly formed Maryland Regional Field Hockey League.
"We're the only field hockey program in this area, so we're automatically a travel team," said Dawn Yelton.
Her three girls, Meagan, 11, Ashleigh, 7, and Emily, 6, chose field hockey over soccer, their former sport of choice.
Emily and Amanda Pattison, also 6, are friends in first grade and on the field.
"I like playing the front line, because I get to move everywhere," Amanda said, clutching the sized-down official stick during a snack break.
"I like defense," said Emily, "because you get to hit the ball."
"For some reason, girls just love field hockey," said Alisae Ostendorf, who played varsity field hockey at Randallstown High.
She cheers her daughter, Casey, 6, plus so many other players by name you would think they were all one family.
"There is competition, but the coaches have gone out of their way to ensure the girls have a great time. It's all about the girls," Yelton said.
The teams are sorted by grade and some grades are combined. Kindergarten and preschool girls gain field experience during practice.
Some girls started the sport at a summer field hockey camp.
Rebekah MacLean-Blevins, 11, who attended camp last summer, is on the sixth-grade team. She was encouraged to join by teammate Kirby Reed, 11.
"I said to try it because you get to play all positions, even goalie, which is really fun," Kirby said.
Kirby's dad, Mike Reed, and Bill Clift are coaches for the older girls.
On Friday, the team will parade in the North Carroll High School homecoming parade, which leaves Hampstead Elementary School at 5: 30 p.m. On Sunday, the girls will play their last game at Hereford High in Baltimore County. A trophy ceremony, where everyone is lauded, will be held at North Carroll Middle School on Nov. 14.
The annual Fall Show by Hanover Area Arts Guild opens with a public reception from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. tomorrow at the Gallery, 32 Carlisle St., Hanover, Pa.
The show ends Nov. 27. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
The recently renovated gallery will feature the works of guild members, including paintings in all media, plus pottery, folk art, woodcraft, jewelry and hand-carved pipes.
Municipal parking is available and the gallery is handicapped-accessible.
Pat Brodowski's North neighborhood column appears each Wednesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.