Whether it was on the basketball, volleyball or tennis court, wrestling mat or baseball diamond, there were many memorable moments in sports in 2016. Here are highlights from the past year in sports in Catonsville:
Catonsville senior Matt Rehder scored the game-winning goal with 1:48 left in regulation to lift the Comets to a 2-1 victory over Towson (11-2-2) in the Baltimore County soccer championship game.
Rehder, who also had an assist, scored the winning goal after a corner kick by classmate Drew Meyers.
“No one was covering the back post and in practice, we have been practicing our runs, and so I just went to that spot and hoped for the ball to come there,” Rehder said.
It was the second straight county crown for the Comets, who defeated Perry Hall, 1-0, in 2015.
Devaney wins MIAA
Catonsville resident Quinn Devaney (138 pounds) won a Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference wrestling tournament title to help McDonogh win the team championship for the second straight year.
Devaney, who has committed to wrestle at Maryland next season, scored a 6-0 decision over Archbishop Spalding’s Nick Goray (31-5).
“I was just trying to score points and not let anyone back in the match,” said Devaney, who improved to 22-4.
The Mount St. Joseph basketball team went 33-6 and won Baltimore Catholic League and MIAA regular-season championships.
Mount St. Joseph’s Pat Clatchey and Calvert Hall’s John Bauersfeld were named O. Ray Mullis co-Coaches of the Year.
Gael senior Darryl Morsell committed to play at the University of Maryland before the 2016-17 season and classmate Nigel Jackson committed to Wagner University.
Volleyball reaches finals
The Catonsville volleyball team went 15-2 and had a 13-game winning streak. They also defeated Dulaney [twice] for the first time in Amanda Kaufman’s 10 seasons as head coach.
So, even when the Comets lost to Sherwood in the Class 4A North Region championship match, senior Mitra Harrison looked at the positive side.
“Tonight was very disappointing, but, then again, this has been the best season I’ve had since I was on this team — four years and we’ve never gotten this far,” Harrison said.
“The team totally came together the entire season. Everyone did their jobs.”
Kaufman agreed. “The way they played as a group of seniors, and the way they improved since they were freshmen, whether they were on JV or varsity, it’s nice to see how much they have grown and how well they play as a team,” she said.
Sanchez moves on
Andrew Sanchez finished his senior year in the spring at Mount Saint Joseph High School as a National Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association All-American, qualifying in the 100-yard freestyle.
He also won individual league championships in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle, and was a member of the first-place 200- and 400-yard relay teams during the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference Championship meet in February at McDonogh School.
Sanchez, who hold 10 records at Five Oaks Pool, now swims for UMBC.
Cubs win, Cubs win
A pair of Catonsville travel baseball teams enjoyed outstanding seasons during the summer of 2016.
The Catonsville Cubs 14U travel baseball team proved that playing fundamental baseball and doing the little things together can produce a championship team.
Coach Tim Tacka’s club, which plays its home games at Spring Grove Hospital Center in Catonsville, won 24 consecutive games after losing the second game of the season.
They won the regular-season championship in the 14-team Mid-Atlantic Baseball Association with a 25-1 record and they won the postseason tournament.
The key to the team’s success has been unity.
“I’ve had some of these kids since they were 8 years old,” Tacka said.
The top six hitters in the lineup, who all batted over .300 — Cory Turner, Kevin Alberg, Jackson Tacka, Mark Brady, Sam Brown and Tom Brown.
Winning 37 games this summer was quite an accomplishment for the 12 players on the Catonsville Cubs 13-and-under baseball team, but finishing 23-3 in the Piedmont Division during the Mid-Atlantic Baseball Association regular season was even more remarkable for a handful of players who started travel ball together in the 10-and-under age group.
“Five kids were on the first Cubs 10-under team and that squad finished 3-23,” general manager Chad Doran said. “We actually flipped our record around in a few years. It just takes time and coaches that are patient.”
“They just stuck together and learned to play it out through hard work,” coach Dan Bruno said.
Catonsville’s girls basketball team scored the first 16 points of the 2016 Baltimore County championship game against Milford Mill and cruised to a 60-43 victory.
It was the 13th straight win for the Comets, who extended that streak to 16 victories before falling to Western in the state regional finals.
Catonsville was led by sophomores Jasmine Dickey (17 points) and Jameila Barrett (13) in the county title game.
Early this season, Dickey scored her 1,000th career point in the Comets’ 42-37 loss to Seton Keough.
It was the only loss of the season for the 7-1 squad that won the Bernice Sandler Division championship of the Title IX tournament at the D.C. Armory on Dec. 30.
Dickey scored five of her team's eight points in overtime to lead Catonsville to a 59-55 victory over Anacostia (D.C.) in the championship game.
Dickey finished with a game-high 30 points as the Comets rallied from a 16-point deficit.
Catonsville senior Jen Gast announced before the season that she earned a scholarship to play basketball at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County next year.
Catonsville High’s 220-pound wrestler Naseef Kareem achieved his goal of placing in the state tournament when he finished fourth at the University of Maryland and closed his season with a 33-8 record.
Teammates Eduardo Kelly (120) and Brent Johns (160) also qualified for the state tournament, where they each lost their first two matches.
Senior Jarrad Martin (25-5) was the only Comet to win a Baltimore County title when he won at 126 pounds over Sparrows Point’s Max Hammon in the finals.
Comet senior Andrew Southwell (29-6), hit a milestone on the first day of the county tournament when he won his 100th and 101st matches of his career, becoming the fourth Comet wrestler to reach 100 wins.
Southwell finished third in the tournament.
More on the mat
Western Tech junior Chukwudi Kalu was third at 285 pounds and his teammate Noah Johnson placed fifth at 182 pounds in the Class 2A-1A state championship wrestling meet.
Kalu won a 3-2 decision over Northwestern’s Charles Griffin for third place.
Kalu (34-6) had lost to Griffin in overtime in the Class 2A-1A North Region tournament quarterfinals when he placed third.
At the state meet, Johnson, a junior in his second year of wrestling, pinned Sean Herman, of Middletown, with 13 seconds left in the third period in his first match and pinned Patterson Mill’s Hunter Crowley with eight seconds left in the third period in the quarterfinals.
Johnson (32-6) reached the state tournament by winning the 2A-1A North Region title in the 182-pound weight class.
Comets roll in playoffs
Catonsville High cemented its spot as the best Class 3A-4A baseball team in Baltimore County in the Class 4A North Region playoffs with victories over Perry Hall and Dulaney.
Catonsville entered the playoffs as the fourth seed and the daunting task of opening against fifth-seeded Perry Hall.
The Gators had beaten the Comets twice during the regular season, 2-1 and 2-0, but the Comets won the game 6-5 at home in the bottom of the eighth inning on a suicide squeeze bunt by Nick Grace that scored Eric Sheppard.
They advanced to play at top-seeded Dulaney and won 7-2 behind the pitching of senior Jake Parrott.
Parrott hurled 6 2/3 innings, and classmate Danny Terzi got the final out.
Kevin Deitz had a two-run home run in the second inning and the Comets never trailed.
In the regional semifinals, Bel Air junior Zack Radcliffe pitched a complete game no-hitter in the Bobcats’ 1-0 shutout win over the visiting Comets (13-6).
Bel Air went on to win the state title.
Grace, Jake Getzendanner and Matt Moulthrop earned All-County first team honors and were also on the All-Division first team with Parrott and Ethan Alioto.
Deitz, Terzi and Jack Harrell were named to the All-Division second team.
A streak on the diamond
The Western Tech baseball team won its first 15 games, but a 16-11 loss to Eastern Tech in the Class 2A North Region championship game ended its streak and chance to play in the state tournament.
Junior pitcher Curtis Robinson (6-0) pitched a no-hitter in the team's regular-season finale and added four more no-hit innings in a 10-3 victory over Hereford in the regional playoffs.
The Wolverines advanced to the regional finals with a 5-4 win over Loch Raven.
During the regular season, the Wolverines outscored their opponents 136-19.
The Catonsville High tennis team went 9-1 during the regular season, and in the postseason they produced three championships and sent four athletes to the Maryland State tournament at Olney Manor Regional Park.
After winning a District VI Region title, the No. 2 boys doubles team of Steven Bingaman and Nathan Kesovan entered the Maryland state tournament as the sixth seed.
The girls’ doubles team of Madi Burinsky and Maggie Besse also qualified for the state tournament after placing second at the regional tournament.
Bingaman, who posted a 7-2 record for the Comets during the regular season, also captured a Baltimore County championship in boys’ No. 2 singles.
Burinsky and Besse were 9-1 during the regular season for coach Rich Weitkamp’s squad and also won a county title.
Catonsville’s No. 1 boys’ singles Alex Modell placed fourth in the regionals after going 9-1 during the regular season.
College lacrosse standouts
Colin Heacock, a junior at the University of Maryland, sent the Terrapins into the NCAA Division I national lacrosse championship by scoring the game-winning goal 2:41 into overtime in a 15-14 win over Brown University in the semifinals.
Heacock, a Catonsville resident, had two goals and an assist in the victory over Brown.
In the championship game, a 14-13 loss to North Carolina, Heacock had two goals and two assists.
The Boys’ Latin graduate finished the season with 54 points. His 42 goals and 12 assists were career highs for the junior.
Catonsville resident Colin Reymann, of Salisbury University, was named Most Outstanding Player in the Division III national title game.
Reymann had 15 saves, including one off Tufts’ John Uppgren shot with six seconds left to preserve the 14-13 win in the national title game.
The 5-foot-7-inch, 145-pound junior from Mount St. Joseph, faced 50 shots in the title game and tied a career-high in saves (15) for the 11-time national champion Sea Gulls (23-1).
Overtime at Catonsville
The atmosphere was electric and both defenses were charged up at Catonsville High and when the buzzer sounded the host Comets (6-4) celebrated a 58-50 overtime victory over rival Lansdowne (7-3) on Jan. 8.
Jake Getzendanner provided heroics all night for the Comets.
The 6-foot-3 junior scored six of his game-high 20 points in overtime after scoring his first 12 points on four three-pointers in the first three quarters of the game.
“I was really feeling it,” said Getzendanner, who added five rebounds.