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EYO president, registrar and coach; Profile; HOWARD AT PLAY


Name: Richard "Rich" Grantham

Job description: Third year as president, Elkridge Youth Organization. Also is EYO's registrar and coach of his daughter's under-14 fast-pitch softball team. EYO is nearing 1,000 youngsters in baseball and softball, ratio about 3-1 boys. Smaller basketball and fall soccer programs. Annual budget about $150,000.

Age: 44

Residence: Canbury Woods section of Elkridge.

Personal: Navy kid, born in Puerto Rico, lived in Cleveland, Australia and Mississippi, where he completed high school, then joined the Navy for eight years. Technical-support specialist at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory since 1980. Also a member of Elkridge Adult Athletic Association, which helps support youth activities.

Best part of EYO job: "Working with the kids, seeing them learn. It's always a thrill to see a young player realize he or she can hit, or catch, or throw correctly to a teammate. Also, because of the growth in our area, we have about 400 5- to 8-year-olds -- about 40 teams in the two age brackets. Seeing them improve as they grow is going to be exciting."

Biggest challenge for EYO: "We have an awful lot parental support, but getting them to do more, to volunteer as coaches or work behind the scenes, is the challenge. The combination of two parents working and young parents being unsure of whether they can coach kids holds a lot of people back. But we're trying to get them involved by asking them to help, by watching what we do -- then they step up. The more people we can get, the easier the job is."

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