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Fundraising kicks off to start soccer program at Hancock school

February 24, 2006|by KAREN HANNA

HANCOCK

karenh@herald-mail.com

On the soccer fields together since they were little, the players who want to be on Hancock's newest team have seen each other's ups and downs.

They have even gotten a little hyper.

"She loves it, she's loved it ever since she started. She's a different kid when she gets on the field. She's like an animal," Kenneth Bowman said of his daughter, Beth.

If they get their wish, next year the girls will have the intensity of the high school game to match their passion for the sport. Beth and about 10 other middle school- and high school-aged girls helped hand over an $8,700 check to Hancock Middle/Senior High School to pay the startup costs of a new girls' high school squad.

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"It's like a feeling you can't explain," eighth-grader Chandra Yonker, 14, said after the ceremony Thursday. Playing for her high school will make her feel "like I'm part of my school for once," she said.

While the girls have played soccer since they were about 5, Athletic Director Bill Sterner said they had to raise money to start a high school team of their own. The girls also had to show the sport could draw enough interest to survive, he said.

"It's a daunting task that they would have to raise $8,700," he said.

The money, which the girls raised through soliciting businesses and individuals, selling baked goods and food, and sponsoring raffles, will go toward fees for a coach and referees, transportation and paint for the fields, Sterner said.

Formation of the team, which already has scheduled six games and a scrimmage for next fall, is dependent on school board approval, Sterner said.

According to Board President W. Edward Forrest, who was on hand for the ceremony, the board expects teams to pay their own startup costs. Existing sports teams continually sponsor fundraisers, so they can be self-sufficient, he said.

Karen Sornson, who served as Boonsboro High School girls' soccer coach, said she hopes she can take over the new team, which she has guided through indoor and outdoor leagues since the girls were young.

"We've talked about this program since our kids were little," said mother Teresa Hess, a fourth-grade teacher. Her daughter, Caty, is a ninth-grader.

Sornson said age limits could restrict some girls' chances to play in club soccer leagues. Some programs have cut-offs that assume the girls can play high school soccer instead, she said.

For some of the girls, quitting would be unthinkable.

"After I started playing, I never wanted to give it up, and I'll probably keep on playing," Caty, 14, said.

"Everything that bugs you and stresses you out in school, you get to take it out on everyone on the field," Beth said.

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