TI­TLE RUN Bo Manor boys win 1A state cross coun­try ti­tle

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - By JOR­DAN SCHATZ EA­GLES

— As the race’s fi­nal run­ners made their way across the fin­ish line, Bo­hemia Manor coach Steve Piz­zulli gath­ered his boys’ cross coun­try team to­gether near the win­ner’s cir­cle and poured over the re­sults.

He knew they were within strik­ing dis­tance of a state ti­tle but he wasn’t sure how close.

“It be­comes the guess­ing game,” Piz­zulli said. “I try not to cel­e­brate any­thing un­til I ac­tu­ally see it be­cause a few years ago, when we lost by one to Boons­boro, we were told that we won and then it turned out in the fi­nal score there were some in­di­vid­u­als who were re­moved from the team to­tal and it put Boons­boro up ahead. So it makes me real ner­vous when it’s real close.”

While a third-place fin­ish from Zachary Laird and a fifth-place fin­ish from Alex Longe­way had given Piz­zulli two Top 5 fin­ish­ers, and both Grant and Jack France- schina had taken sixth and eighth, re­spec­tively, to pro­vide the Ea­gles with four run­ners in the Top 10, the long-time coach rec­og­nized that South­ern Gar­rett had crowded the win­ner’s cir­cle with run­ners in both sec­ond and fourth place, an­other in sev­enth and one more at 14.

That’s when Piz­zulli looked up, search­ing the elec­tronic leader­board to see whether his fifth run­ner had crossed the fin­ish line be­fore South­ern Gar­rett’s. It was go­ing to be that close. As it turned out, he did. Fresh­man Colin Parker edged South­ern Gar­rett fresh­man Bryson Wilt by just six se­conds to take 32nd place and help de­liver Bo Manor the 1A boys cross coun­try cham­pi­onship at Here­ford on Satur­day.

“I was re­ally think­ing dur­ing the last stretch that I re­ally had to give it my all,” Parker said. “Up un­til then, I was in sixth place on my team, but go­ing up the hill I passed [my team­mate]. Every­one was telling me that it’s all up to me and I took that into my mind and I tried my best.

“It’s a big deal to me. I’m very ex­cited.”

Satur­day marked the Bo Manor boys’ fourth team ti­tle in pro­gram his­tory and first since 2011. It also came after a fifth-place re­sult last year and a sec­ond-place fin­ish in 2014.

The Ea­gles fin­ished with 52 points, just six points ahead of

CECIL WHIG PHOTO BY JOR­DAN SCHATZ

De­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Dick Achuff cel­e­brates with ju­nior Raiquon Estep fol­low­ing third-seeded Elk­ton’s 12-0 win over host No. 2 Queen Anne’s County in the 2A East Re­gion semi­fi­nals on Fri­day. Achuff’s de­fense pitched a shutout and Estep fin­ished with two rush­ing touch­downs to pro­pel the Golden Elks to the re­gion fi­nals.

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