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Stara expands soccer presence


Bill Stara, the varsity boys soccer coach at River Hill, has been named director of coaching for the Soccer Association of Columbia/Howard County.

Stara, 43, who started coaching in SAC in 1982, and still coaches a U-13 boys travel team, is expected to sign a two-year contract.

His appointment was announced at a SAC board of directors meeting Sept. 26. He replaces John Ellinger, who coaches the U-17 men's national team.

"John did a great job, but because of his commitment to the national team, [he] hasn't been able to be as much hands-on," Stara said. "I'll follow his lead and just try to jump-start things."

Stara has coached 10 state high school championship teams, seven at Centennial and three at River Hill, as well as two national champion club teams. In recent years, SAC club teams have fared poorly overall in Maryland State Cup competition, and Stara hopes eventually to correct that situation.

"It will be a long, slow process. We have over 6,000 kids, and that's a lot to manage. We'll start with restructuring the recreation side, finding more qualified coaches."

Stara will continue to teach and coach at River Hill.

Eagles turn football corner

Centennial's football team made the rest of the county sit up and take notice Friday when the Eagles defeated Long Reach, 28-21.

Long Reach had beaten Centennial three straight times, outscoring the Eagles by a combined total of 86-2.

The win kept Centennial (3-1 overall, 3-0 league) in a three-way tie for first place, with Oakland Mills and Wilde Lake and gave Long Reach its first loss this season.

"I felt we could win," Centennial coach Ed Holshue said. "Our kids played inspired. Long Reach didn't come ready to play, and we did."

Eagles quarterback Pat McKevitt ran for two touchdowns and also passed for two. He completed five of eight passes for 66 yards and rushed for 44 yards.

Brian O'Connor caught touchdown passes of 17 and 27 yards. He also made a key interception with Long Reach threatening at Centennial's 25-yard line and 4:25 to play.

Long Reach had another chance with 1:08 left after a Centennial fumble at the Eagles' 20, but Jim Plank made a game-saving tackle at the 5. Plank also made two fumble recoveries to set up Centennial touchdowns.

After leading 21-14 at halftime and 28-14 after three quarters, the Eagles nearly fell apart in the fourth quarter when they botched a punt, were called for four penalties and lost a fumble.

Parrish's big day

Lamar Parrish showed his versatility last week, and it enabled the Howard football team to ward off an upset bid by Glenelg.

Parrish caught a 12-yard pass with three seconds left to help the Lions to a 40-38 win Thursday. The play completed a 65-yard Howard drive that began with 2:44 left to play.

"We don't give up," Howard coach Vince Parnell said. "No one panicked; we ran a nice two-minute offense, and after we stopped the clock with eight seconds left, our quarterback Boomer Durham chose the play that won the game."

Parrish also had an 83-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, rushed for 103 yards, scored three touchdowns and made 14 tackles.

Smith's Bears win first

It took four weeks, but the Hammond football team suddenly rose from its slumber.

The Bears gave first-year coach Bill Smith his first victory by routing Mount Hebron on Friday, 48-13, in a battle of winless teams. Hammond was down 13-12 with five minutes left in the third quarter before scoring 36 unanswered points.

Smith said it was tough beating his friend and former Hammond coach Larry Luthe, now the Vikings coach.

"We finally played to our potential," Smith said. "We coached better and used our talent better."

The Bears also intercepted the ball five times, one for a 70-yard touchdown by Jeff Frye.

And Taj Murphy had 143 yards rushing and 87 yards receiving. Jay Chesley caught a 73-yard touchdown pass from Jason Maxey, who was 6-for-7 for 189 yards and three touchdowns.

Hawks golfers qualify

Nick Shevland and Alison Matte of River Hill both qualified for the state golf championships last Wednesday at the Class 4A-3A District V tournament at Eisenhower in Anne Arundel County. Shevland shot 81 and Matte shot 99.

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