All-County winter sports teams announced
County teams end with productive seasons
The winter high school season is over and what a season it was.
The Westlake boys indoor track and field team, the 2016 Class 2A state champions, had another strong run in the postseason this winter, surging to Southern Maryland Athletic Conference and 2A South Region championships titles before settling for a runner-up finish at the 2A state championships to Century of Carroll County.
Despite falling short of their second state indoor crown in a row, Westlake did see state gold individually as senior sprinter Will Moten won the 300-meter run by nearly a second and junior distance runner Jay Hall claimed the top spot in the 3,200 run.
“I cannot say enough about Jay Hall. He is one of the most dedicated runners I have ever met. His individual state championship was the icing on top for this indoor season,” Westlake head coach Beth Shook said. “Team points were close and when I spoke to Jay he asked me what we needed, I told him we needed a place in the 800, he said OK and went to warm up. This was one of the few races I was able to watch start to finish. I was so proud of him.”
Shook added that Moten, “is a naturally talented young man. He makes running the short distances seem effortless. His performance in the 300 was flawless.”
Shook, who recently was named the All-SMAC Coach of the Year for boys indoor track and field, was honored by the Maryland Independent for this year’s All-County Coach of the Year.
“Winning this [COY] was special as it’s my last season as the indoor coach, this group of boys is very special,” she said. “We have had some rough times but have made through as a team and I think it has made us stronger. The most rewarding as a coach this season was watching the young McDonough team being coached by one of my former athletes Kenard Harris. Seeing him have success on the sidelines of the track was what makes this all worth it to me.”
The Lackey girls indoor track and field squad, also a 2A state champion in 2016, claimed the SMAC and 2A South crowns and took third at the state championships.
Lackey junior Dominique Jeffery brought home state gold individually in the 300.
“Dominique’s championship was a breath of fresh air,” Chargers head coach Jimari Jones said. “She really deserved it.
Jones, who was named the SMAC Coach of the Year in girls indoor track and field, also added the All-Coach of the Year
honors to his résumé.
“It always feels good to win an award, but I am only as good as my assistant coaches and we are blessed with a group of talented athletes,” he said. “We had a good winter season, but fell short of our goal. We will be ready for the outdoors.”
The North Point girls basketball team, led by head coach Mike Serpone, was once again prolific on the hardwood as it finished with a 23-4 season, collecting SMAC and 4A East Region titles.
The Eagles advanced to the state semifinals for the second straight season, ultimately falling to eventual 4A state champion Catonsville of Baltimore County.
“This was definitely a different type of season for us but still a successful one. We have never had such a distinct difference in our lineup with the classes that we had this year,” said Serpone, who also was named the All-SMAC and All-County Coach of the Year. “Four seniors and four freshmen out of a 10-girl squad is something we have never seen before. It worked out great because we had that experience of the seniors to counterbalance the inexperience of the freshmen and it also sets us up well for next year with those girls returning with a year under their belt where they didn’t have a lot of pressure because our seniors were reliable and could handle the bulk of the pressure.”
In boys basketball, Westlake went the furthest among county public school teams, reaching the 2A South championship game.
Grace Christian Academy had a successful end to its postseason as the boys and girls teams each won three games in three days to win the Mid-Eastern Regional Christian Schools tournament.
North Point did not just have a successful winter in girls basketball. The girls swimming team ended Leonardtown’s 153-meet win streak on Jan. 13 and later claimed the program’s first SMAC regular season title and first SMAC championships crown. The boys — which also won a conference regular season title — and girls finished the regular season with perfect 13-0 records.
In regional swim competition, La Plata’s boys edged Lackey 322-308 to win the 3A-2A-1A South championships crown.
The Warriors were also the county’s top team in wrestling with a thirdplace 11-2 SMAC mark, a third-place finish at the SMAC tournament and a runner-up showing at the 2A-1A South tournament.
Necole Hope and the North Point girls basketball team finished with a 23-4 season, collecting SMAC and 4A East Region titles.
Despite falling short of their second state indoor crown in a row, Westlake did see state gold individually as senior sprinter Will Moten won the 300-meter run by nearly a second.