Close race, usual result: SPHS retains Peninsula Cup
The usual reliable Sparrows Point spring sports, softball and lacrosse, again helped the Pointers retain possession of the Peninsula Cup.
That’s 12 years in a row now, and 14 of the 15 years the Cup has been contested. Patapsco in 2006 remains the only year Sparrows Point has not won the Peninsula Cup, awarded to the area high school that has the best overall record against the other two schools in all sports.
Dundalk was right on Sparrows Point’s heels entering the spring, with the Pointers (12-5) clinging to a narrow lead over the Owls (12-7). But for Sparrows Point, leading the Cup race entering the spring usually means it’s all but locked up.
The Pointers haven’t lost a softball game to Dundalk or Patapsco since, I don’t know, the 1990’s or something. Probably not since Dundalk had that team that won a regional title in 1993.
Sparrows Point hasn’t lost to Dundalk in boys lacrosse since 2001. Since then, the Pointers have lost twice to Patapsco, most recently arund 10 years ago.
The Pointer girls lacrosse team last lost to Patapsco around 2000, and last lost to Dundalk in 2006.
Those three sports act as a pretty good lockdown closer for Sparrows Point.
Sparrows Point had an 8-4 record this spring, while the Owls went 8-8. That gave the Pointers a final record of 20-9 (.690) to Dundalk’s 2015 (.571).
Patapsco had a 5-9 record in the spring and finished 13-23 (.361) overall.
Sparrows Point went 4-0 in softball and lacrosse; toss in tennis, and the Pointers had a 6-0 record in four sports.
The Pointer baseball team went 1-1, beating Patapsco and losing to Dundalk, and 1-3 in track and field (swept in girls track, beating Patapsco and losing to Dundalk in boys track).
Head-to-head, thePointers were 4-3 against the Owls in the spring. Sparrows Point won in softball, boys lax, girls lax and tennis, while Dundalk won in baseball, boys track and girls track.
Patapsco had an assist for the Pointers, beating Dundalk in tennis, baseball, softball and boys lacrosse. If the Owls win those four matchups, Dundalk has a 24-11 record and is percentage points behind Sparrows Point (.686).
With four more wins and only two more losses than the Pointers, I’d call that a virtual tie (although, since someone has to have actual physical possession of the Cup, that .004 would be used to award the Cup to Sparrows Point).
The future of the Cup appears cloudy at the moment. Patapsco did not play Sparrows Point in boys and girls lacrosse this season, citing the lopsidedness of recent games, and both Dundalk and Patapsco had reportedly told Sparrows Point they will not schedule the Pointers in wrestling next season.
The Point last lost a wrestling match to one of its rivals in the early 2000’s (Patapsco), and the matches are usually blowouts.
Dundalk’s strongest sport, football, does not play Sparrows Point because beating a Class 1A school would not help the Owls in terms of making the playoffs. Unlike the other team sports in Maryland, only the top four teams in each region compete in the postseason playoffs (and wins against bigger schools help in that respect).
The Owls also dominate in boys basketball, and once played a home-and-away series with Sparrows Point every season. Now, they only play once a season.
It’s no secret all schools, to some extent, bring in students from outside their districts for spor ts. The Peninsula Cup results demonstrate how much more difficult it is to get athletes into a school where they must audition for a spot in an arts program, as opposed to just applying to a magnet program and entering a lottery.