Close race, usual re­sult: SPHS re­tains Penin­sula Cup

The Dundalk Eagle - - SPORTS AND RECREATION - By Bill Gates

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.

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