SMAC programs enjoyed banner spring season
When the Class 2A state indoor track and field championships came to its end in February, a scant three points separated the Lackey Chargers girls team from a state championship. So when the state outdoor championships rolled around at the end of May, those girls were determined to make up that difference to lay claim to the first state championship trophy in the program’s history. They did that and then some. Lackey rolled up 94 points, almost double the total of runner-up Hereford of Baltimore County, to earn the 2A state trophy. That championship marked not just the first state title in the program’s history, it was the first girls state championship in school history and the first state title of any kind for the school in almost two decades.
“It was a big deal for the school and it was also a big deal for the young ladies,” Lackey head track and field coach Jimari Jones said, reflecting on the season on Wednesday afternoon. “They worked hard all year. They fell three points shy of a state championship in indoor, so it made this one that much more special for them.
“We had a lot of key performances from a lot of girls. They showed up big on that day. We ended up winning by a large margin, but that’s testament to their hard work the whole season.”
Junior Sydney Williams won three state championships (200-meter dash, 100 and 300 hurdles) to pace the Chargers at the state meet, while a half-dozen others scored points individually. The team also finished eighth in the 400 relay and took third in both the 800 and 1,600 relays. It was a big deal for the school and it was also a big deal for the young ladies. They worked hard all year. They fell three points shy of a state championship in indoor, so it made this one that much more special for them.
Jones knew the team had potential at the season’s start, and the girls made good on it.
“Coming into the outdoor season I knew we were going
to be pretty tough,” he said. “If everybody brought their ‘A’ game we would be in the race. I let them know that we had an opportunity and it was up to them.”
Lackey’s success was but one of many stellar performances from across the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference this past spring season.
Westlake’s boys made it a Charles County sweep in the 2A competition at the state track meet.
The Wolverines took home six first-place finishes in earning the program’s seventh state title and second in as many years.
Will Moten won the 100 and 200, while Thomas Alcorn (400) and Ja’len Elliott (110 hurdles) also earned state championships. Westlake also took the 400 and 1,600 relays in accumulating 75 points to comfortably top runner-up Century of Carroll County’s 61.
The team titles highlighted a banner year for SMAC track and field programs, as the athletes from Southern Maryland combined to win 21 events at this year’s state meets across all classifications.
But the history-making was not exclusive to SMAC’s track and field programs. La Plata and Huntingtown baseball won the respective 2A and 3A championships, the latter of which was the first baseball state title ever in Calvert County and also the first boys state championship in school history.
In the case of Huntingtown head baseball coach Guy Smith, the state championship realized a goal that spanned back well before his coaching career ever began.
“I’ve been involved in high school baseball since 1984,” he said on the field at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen following the Hurricanes’ 4-3 win over Chesapeake in the 3A final on May 30. “My dad was coaching and I was running around at Northern High School. My dad coached for 35 years and he coached with me here and at Calvert. He passed away, was here the last time we came. So for myself, personally, to have an opportunity to win a state title, it’s for everybody. My father, it’s Memorial Day and he was a vet, to come along and do these things is an incredible feeling.”
La Plata’s softball team earned the first state championship in its history and was one of three SMAC softball programs to play for a state championship.
One of those softball programs, Chopticon, played in the state final for the first time since 1985 when it met Sherwood of Montgomery County in the 4A championship game. And staying in St. Mary’s County, the Leonardtown girls lacrosse team became the first Southern Maryland Athletic Conference lacrosse program ever to play in a state championship game.
The Raiders defeated a pair of Anne Arundel County teams — South River and Broadneck — in succession to win the 4A-3A East Region championship. Leonardtown then built on the momentum of its first regional championship with an 11-6 win over Winston Churchill of Montgomery County in the state semifinals before the run finally ended with a 15-11 loss to Baltimore County’s Dulaney in the 4A-3A final.
For Leonardtown senior Chelsea Kibler, who was named the Most Outstanding Player in SMAC, the journey to get to the final was something she would always remember.
“I think when I look back at the season in the coming years I won’t think about this game or this feeling I’m feeling right now,” Kibler said following the state final. “I’m definitely going to think about those wins we had over South River and Broadneck and how amazing that feeling really was.”
Historically, SMAC spring sports have been strong. Most notable, perhaps, would be softball, where at least one SMAC team has won a state championship ever y year since 2005. Track and field programs have been rather successful in their own right, and if things work out, Jones would love to see Lackey, which had just two seniors competing at the state meet this year, add to that in the future.
“Track in our conference has been kind of flying under the radar for a while,” he said. “Westlake has been good for a while, Huntingtown’s been up and down. We’ve actually had at least an individual state relay title eight years in a row. SMAC has been putting itself on the map, so to speak, even if it’s under the radar . ... Our team is really young, so hopefully, God-willing, we can repeat.”
Lackey High School girls track and field wins the Class 2A state track and field championships team title May 28 at Morgan State University in Baltimore. The championship marked not just the first state title in the program’s history, it was the first girls state championship in school history and the first state title of any kind for the school in almost two decades.
Dominique Jeffery and the Lackey Chargers girls track and field team won the Class 2A state track and field championships team title on May 28, the first of its kind for the program.
Junior Sydney Williams won three state championships (200-meter dash, 100 and 300 hurdles) to pace the Lackey girls track and field to the Class 2A state track and field championships team title in Baltimore.
Will Moten won the 100- and 200-meter dashes at the Class 2A state track and field championships on May 28 in Baltimore en route to Westlake boys claiming the program’s seventh state title and second in as many years.