CSM concludes spring season
Sports teams shine in respective 2016 campaigns
In many respects, the results for the College of Southern Maryland spring sports teams ran the gamut from one championship contender to others looking to overcome numerous adversities.
Ascending to the head of the class among the CSM spring sports teams was the softball squad, which went 24-20 and reached the championship round of the Region XX tournament before succumbing. Freshman hurler Lori Sturgill, a McDonough High School graduate from Waldorf, earned All-Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference first-team and All-Region XX first-team honors.
“Lori had a phenomenal freshman season,” CSM head softball coach Jim Cleary said. “She probably would have even been more effective if she had not missed eight games with an injury she suffered in Myrtle Beach. It was a really great group of girls and the best part is I have Lori and most of my starters back again next year.”
Sturgill was clearly the ace of the staff, but freshman Amber Whelan, a Thomas Stone High School graduate from Waldorf, proved to be a solid number two pitcher. Sophomores Kaitlyn Cave (La Plata High School graduate from Charlotte Hall), Alexis Clark (Lackey High School graduate from Indian Head) and Diana Cruz (Great Mills High School graduate from Lexington Park) all earned postseason accolades. Clark and Cruz were both selected All-MDJUCO and All-Region XX second team, while Cave was an All-MDJUCO second-team selection.
“This entire season really meant a lot to me,” Cruz said after her team’s final home game when the school officially dedicated the revamped field to the Hawks. “I knew this was my last year playing here and we did better than many people expected. Then to have a new field dedicated to us shows how much the school thinks about the program.”
With Sturgill back at full strength for the Region XX tournament, the Hawks advanced to the championship round before being upended by Potomac State (W.Va.). CSM had won its opening-round series against Cecil in three games then trounced Frederick before losing a heartbreaker to top-seeded Chesapeake, but the Hawks eventually knocked Chesapeake out of the double-elimination tournament in the loser’s bracket final.
While the softball team was on the cusp of a championship and is on target to make another run next spring, the baseball team suffered through a 7-30 season. Not long after the season, Jack Cheseldine announced his retirement, ending a coaching career that spanned more than 50 years and stops at Thomas Stone, Bishop McNamara and St. Mary’s Ryken.
“I just thought it was the right time,” said Cheseldine, 73, who plans to spend the summer watching his grandchildren play sports. “I’ve been coaching for 53 years and those days on the field really take a toll. I’ve had a lot of good memories and hopefully I’ve had a positive impact on a lot of young men that I’ve coached over the years.”
In regards his final season at CSM, one in which Zachary Wehausen, a Lackey High School graduate from Welcome was named All-MDJUCO Golden Glove and Christian Rice from Stafford, Va., was named the team’s Most Valuable Player, Cheseldine had an optimistic viewpoint.
“This season started with a slate of challenges where we lost some players prior to the start of the season and then two more during an early season trip to Myrtle Beach,” Cheseldine said. “We struggled on the field at times, but we maintained a strong mindset and were able to carry that into our final doubleheader with a chance to still make the playoffs. Our season did not finish as well as he had hoped, but our players played hard to the end and we were proud of their effort.”
In only its second season of existence the CSM women’s lacrosse team went 5-8 overall and 1-7 in the conference. The Hawks picked up their first win in team history in the season opener against Potomac State and added four more wins to the total.
“The season went very well this year,” CSM second-year head coach Joyce Arter said. “With only five returning players, we added 10 new players to the roster. We were successful in some big games and were able to finish the season 5-7 before losing in the playoffs. The girls worked really hard this season, despite numerous illnesses and injuries.”
Freshman Jordyn Sullivan, a Huntingtown High School graduate from Chesapeake Beach, earned All-MDJUCO and All-Region XX first-team selections. Sophomore Brittany Blackistone, a Northern High School graduate from Chesapeake Beach, earned All-MDJUCO attack second-team and All-Region XX second-team honors. Freshman Mackenzie Garrison, a Thomas Stone High School graduate from Hughesville, earned All-MDJUCO and All-Region XX honorable mention selections.
The CSM men’s lacrosse team went 2-12 overall and was 1-4 in the conference. Sophomore Patrick Smith, a North Point High School graduate from Waldorf, earned All-MDJUCO and All-Region XX honorable mention honors.
“The men’s lacrosse team faced several adversities this season,” head coach Justin Ryan said. “Despite the challenges we encountered, our team always worked hard to improve, never gave up and played hard to the end. What impressed me most about this group of young men was how they conducted themselves as student-athletes and showed good character and sportsmanship on and off the field.”
The CSM golf team finished the season with two victories, two second-place efforts and a pair of thirdplace finishes under second-year head coach Robbie Early. It also finished third at the MDJUCO championships where Jacob Benish, a Northern High School graduate from Owings, and Mark Escanilla, a North Point High School graduate from Waldorf, secured All-MDJUCO first-team and second-team honors, respectively.
“The highlight of the tournament was that Jacob Benish finished as low medalist, earning him a trip to the 2016 NJCAA National Championship at the Swan Lake Resort in Plymouth, Indiana,” Early said. “Overall, coach David Russell and myself were very proud of the team and look forward with a couple of additions to the team to be a dominant force next season.”