A fall for the books

Maryland Independent - - Sports - Twit­ter: @cfh­philly

So here I sit, try­ing to think of some­thing to write be­fore split­ting town for a few days.

There is some­thing that has al­ways seemed wrong about hav­ing to do the work you would have done had you not been on va­ca­tion be­fore you get to go on va­ca­tion. I mean, as far as edit­ing du­ties go, you can’t put a pa­per to­gether days ahead of time, and pho­tog­ra­phers (what are they?) can’t take pho­tos of events be­fore the events take place.

But enough with the whin­ing, as this week marks Thanks­giv­ing and there is plenty to be thank­ful for.

First, on the topic of pho­tog­ra­phers, we haven’t had staff pho­tog­ra­phers for over a year now. That makes things pretty chal­leng­ing for us in sports, at times, as most of us lack the equip­ment and/or skill to re­ally do that job at a pro­fi­cient level in all set­tings. That said, there are some ridicu­lously tal­ented peo­ple out there who have do­nated their work to us through­out the fall.

Now, I’m re­spon­si­ble for Calvert County and spend most of my time within its bor­ders, so my apolo­gies to any oth­ers in other ar­eas that I’m leav­ing out, but a big thanks to (in al­pha­bet­i­cal or­der) Jerry Bal­lengee, Dar­nell Marbury, Deb­bie McIn­tosh, Mike Rudy, Alex Schlo­gel and Rob Wor­man. Their work has helped to make these pages look far bet­ter than they could have all sea­son, and it is very much ap­pre­ci­ated.

And in the same vein in terms of mak­ing the job eas­ier, another big thanks to Zach Crounse. He may be a few years away from help­ing Patux- ent’s teams as a player, but find me a bet­ter me­dia re­la­tions per­son any­where. I hope the coach takes care of you for your ef­forts.

Thank-yous out of the way, this fall — which tech­ni­cally isn’t over with Calvert’s foot­ball team set to play in the Class 2A semi­fi­nals on Fri­day night — was cer­tainly not lack­ing for high­lights.

On Nov. 12, North­ern’s girls cross coun­try team trav­eled up to Here­ford High School and came back with the 3A state cham­pi­onship tro­phy. The state ti­tle was the first for the pro­gram, and just the sec­ond for any Calvert County cross coun­try pro­gram (Calvert, 2012).

While claim­ing the top state prize was new to the Pa­tri­ots, for Patux­ent’s Hay­ley Jack­son it was old hat. Al­ready a two-time state cross coun­try cham­pion com­ing into her se­nior sea­son, Jack­son fin­ished her high school cross coun­try ca­reer by win­ning No. 3 this year at Here­ford.

There weren’t any state cham­pi­onships in girls soc­cer, but four South­ern Mary­land Ath­letic Con­fer­ence teams won re­gion ti­tles with two play­ing on to their re­spec­tive state fi­nals.

North­ern, after an un­beaten SMAC reg­u­lar sea­son that ul­ti­mately saw the Pa­tri­ots share the con­fer­ence ti­tle with North Point, reached the 3A state fi­nal be­fore set­tling for a run­ner-up fin­ish after a 1-0 fi­nal against Ur­bana of Fred­er­ick County. County ri­vals Calvert won its fourth re­gion cham­pi­onship in the past five years and reached the 2A state fi­nal for the sec­ond time in three years. The Cava­liers fell just short of claim­ing their sec­ond state ti­tle in three years, falling 2-1 to River Hill of Howard County in the 2A cham­pi­onship game.

North Point pro­duced the most suc­cess­ful sea­son in its his­tory, as the Ea­gles tied North­ern in a score­less SMAC cham­pi­onship game and then pro­ceeded to win their first re­gion cham­pi­onship be­fore bow­ing out in the 4A state semi- fi­nals in an over­time game with even­tual 4A cham­pion Wal­ter John­son of Mont­gomer County. McDonough also reached the 1A state semi­fi­nals, giv­ing the con­fer­ence a rep­re­sen­ta­tive in the state semi­fi­nals of each clas­si­fi­ca­tion.

On the boys side, Leonard­town dom­i­nated SMAC on the way to an un­blem­ished reg­u­lar sea­son and the con­fer­ence ti­tle. The Raiders ul­ti­mately came up on the down­side of a heart­break­ing 1-0 de­ci­sion to Sev­erna Park in the 4A East fi­nal. Down in the 2A, La Plata, which played in the 2A fi­nal in 2015, won another re­gional crown but fell to Mid­dle­town of Fred­er­ick County in the state semis.

In vol­ley­ball, 2015 3A cham­pion North­ern made another run at a state cham­pi­onship, win­ning the 3A South Re­gion ti­tle be­fore falling to Da­m­as­cus of Mont­gomery County in the state semis. The Pa­tri­ots were on of three SMAC teams to win re­gion ti­tles, with Calvert (2A) and McDonough (1A) also turn­ing the trick, while Hunt­ing­town de­liv­ered an im­pres­sive reg­u­lar sea­son in claim­ing the SMAC cham­pi­onship.

North­ern’s golf team ran through its reg­u­lar sea­son un­de­feated and then took the SMAC and Dis­trict IV cham­pi­onships be­fore cap­ping the sea­son with a third-place show­ing at the 4A-3A state tour­na­ment.

Patux­ent re­claimed its perch atop the SMAC field hockey land­scape, fol­low­ing up a 1A state run­ner-up 2015 with an un­beaten reg­u­lar sea­son that again led to a re­gional ti­tle be­fore the Pan­thers’ sea­son came to a close in the state semi­fi­nals. La Plata (2A South) and Chop­ti­con (3A South) reached their re­spec­tive re­gion’s cham­pi­onship games but came up short.

So that closes the book on the fall, well, with the ex­cep­tion of Calvert’s foot­ball team. The Cava­liers de­feated Patux­ent 2421 in a game for the ages Nov. 18 to win the 2A South Re­gion ti­tle. So now they’re set to host Elk­ton of Ce­cil County with a shot at reach­ing a state fi­nal for the first time since win­ning the 3A crown in 2000.

Last year, Calvert qual­i­fied for the post­sea­son for the first time since 2002. This year marked the first time the pro­gram had hosted or won a play­off game since that same year. So now two wins into this play­off sea­son, who’s to say there isn’t more his­tory to be made?

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.