As promised by Anne Arundel County officials last year, the starting time for football games is 6:30 p.m.
The traditional 7 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. kickoffs had been moved to 4 p.m. last year as a safety measure after a shooting at a game in Annapolis in October.
Parents complained that the earlier starting time made it difficult to attend the games, and after several weeks the decision was made to start the games at 6:30. The only athletic events still allowed to be played at 7 p.m. or later are boys and girls soccer, wrestling (junior varsity starts at 6, varsity follows) and baseball. Starting times for other sports are 6:45 p.m.
Here are the top games for the first weekend:
No. 10 Arundel travels to Old Mill, where Patriots coach Damian Ferragamo makes his debut against his mentor, Chuck Markiewicz, who coached Ferragamo at North County.
Defending county champion Severna Park gets a chance to avenge last season's 30-0 loss to Calvert Hall in its opener when the Falcons host the Cardinals.
Archbishop Spalding hosts Dunbar of Washington, the sixth-ranked team in The Washington Post.
Pitt family fundraiser
The Severna Park Boosters Club is holding a Run or Walk fundraiser at 10 a.m. Sept. 23 at the school's George Roberts Field track to benefit the Jim Pitt family.
Pitt was at Severna Park from 1972 to 1998 as a faculty member, athletic director, department chair and soccer and baseball coach. He retired in 1998.
His 22-year old-son, Jimmy, was in an automobile accident last winter that left him paralyzed. The Pitts are faced with medical expenses to reconfigure their home and help in their son's rehabilitation.
There is a $10 registration fee and participants can donate up to $5 per lap around the track. Donations will be accepted.
For more information or a pledge form, call boosters club president Larry Sells at 410- 987-6239 or e-mail him at larry. firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to Ferragamo at Old Mill, there are two other new football coaches in the county: Merlin Means at Chesapeake and Len Thomas at Glen Burnie. ... Two of the county's top field hockey players suffered torn anterior cruciate ligaments last spring, won't be able to play this fall and had their knee surgeries on the same day - Hayley Rausch of Severna Park and Megan Hollerbach of Broadneck. ... Severn girls soccer standout Emily Eckert has a 4.0 grade point average and a 2,240 score (out of 2,400) on her SAT. ... Returning All-Metro field hockey goalie Corinne Manuel of Severna Park plays guitar in a band and also plays the banjo and harmonica.