Baltimore Beach Volleyball Receives National Attention Courtesy of Cam Newton and the Panthers

| July 21, 2016 | 0 Comments

The Baltimore Beach Volleyball facility at Rash Field has attracted some of the best beach volleyball players in the world, including gold medalists Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers, in its 16 years in South Baltimore, but a visit from NFL MVP Quarterback Cam Newton and fellow Carolina Panthers teammates has brought the popular volleyball attraction national visibility.

On Monday night, Newton and teammates – including quarterback Joe Webb; wide receivers Damiere Byrd, Avius Capers, Tedd Ginn Jr., Stephen Hill, Tobais Palmer, and Miles Shuler; and, tight ends Braxton Deaver, Scott Simonson, and Beau Sandland – stopped by Baltimore Beach. Some of the team, including the additions of Pro Bowl Tight End Greg Olson and wide receivers Kelvin Benjamin and Devin Funchess, also came back again Tuesday evening.

SouthBMore.com was at Baltimore Beach on Monday participating in league play when the Panthers players arrived. The teammates, who are in town for a three-day passing camp at Under Armour’s facilities, asked if they could participate and get in a couple games of four-on-four with players from one of Baltimore Beach’s men’s league and they agreed to the challenge. Many onlookers and fellow league participants gathered to watch, and big smiles and laughs were on the faces of the Panthers players as they played and ribbed their teammates.

The Panthers posed for pictures, many of which are posted to popular social media sites, during and after about an hour of play.

Not only has this appearance generated a lot of buzz from Baltimore Beach participants and residents around Baltimore, but the story and social media posts have been picked up by many local, regional and national outlets. It has been covered by BaltimoreRavens.com, Baltimore Fishbowl,  Black and Blue Review, Black Sports Online, Busted Coverage, CBS Sports, Charm City WireESPN.com and Sports Center, MSN, RMNB, PanthersWire, SB Nation, Saturday Down South, Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, The Baltimore Sun, The Charlotte ObservertheScore, Terez Owens, USA Today, WJZ, and more.

The Baltimore Ravens even went to Twitter to challenge the Panthers in a volleyball match.

Baltimore Beach owner Todd Webster is excited to see the league and facility he built all over the media. “It’s awesome and we love being part of media exposure that’s positive for the community,” he told SouthBMore.com.

He also credited his “great staff” for finding a way to work the Panthers players into some of the games.

The Panthers got to see why Baltimore Beach has garnered so much support in South Baltimore. When plans for a redeveloped Rash Field by Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore left out Baltimore Beach, the community worked hard to change it. A petition, “Include the Baltimore Beach Volleyball courts in the future plans for Rash Field,” garnered more than 1,670 signatures, and an effort led by Baltimore resident David Sivak received letters of support from 10 community groups in South Baltimore and around the harbor.

As a result, in part, when a modified plan for Rash Field was proposed last summer by Waterfront Partnership, a space for Baltimore Beach was a top requirement for the design. A redeveloped Rash Field designed by Mahan Rykiel, the firm chosen for the project, will include volleyball courts, a skatepark, a sports field and event lawn, climbing wall, ping pong, and more. Construction is expected to begin in Fall 2017.

Group shot (Photo courtesy of the Baltimore Beach Facebook Page)

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Shaun Alder taking a selfie with Cam Newton (Photo courtesy of Shaun Alder)

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Cam Newton and Tedd Ginn Jr. on the court with Beau Sandland looking on (SouthBMore.com)

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Cam Newton going up for a block (SouthBMore.com)

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Cam Newton missing a play to the joy of his teammates (SouthBMore.com)

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Renderings from Mahan Rykiel

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Renderings from a Mahan Rykiel presentation (note: renderings are before the addition of the skatepark)

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About the Author:

Founder and Publisher of SouthBmore.com, longtime resident of South Baltimore, and a graduate of Towson University. Diehard Ravens and O's fan, father of three, amateur pizza chef, skateboarder, and "bar food" foodie. Email me at [email protected] and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.
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