CSM con­cludes spring sea­son

Sports teams shine in re­spec­tive 2016 cam­paigns

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By TED BLACK tblack@somd­news.com Twit­ter: tblack­somds1

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.”

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