It was great news Saturday night to hear that the Bel Air Bobcats baseball team had won the Maryland Class 3A state championship at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen.
The Bobcats beat the La Plata Warriors, 3-2, in a close contest, which coincidentally, is the same score of the Bobcats other state crown won in 1996. I can't recall who the opponent was and I can't get any help through our archives, but I remember covering the game at Joe Cannon Stadium, which was the site of the 3A final in those days.
Breaking news: Thanks to Bel Air Athletic Director, Phyllis Hemmes, the Bobcats' 1996 opponent was Atholton.
While I can't remember this and that from that day, I do remember a few of the names that were key to the Bobcats success.
The late Mike Lacey was a big, strong, dark-haired kid who I recall came in to throw BBs. I also remember Billy Greenwell, a steady player in the infield and at the plate.
Head coach Mike Ennis, a friend, was once my gym teacher back in my days at Havre de Grace High School. Ennis was an assistant coach at Havre de Grace before leaving for Bel Air and taking over the Bobcats program, with assistance from Jeff Eaton.
I'd say the move worked out pretty well.
As for this year's Bobcats, I read the names and the results, but having not covered baseball in a few years now, I don't know the ins and outs of the team.
I will say this though. I do know of Matt Hottman and Nick Loiodice, as I had the pleasure of watching them play golf and speaking to them as well over the past few years. And, everyone knows the name Tyler Norcross.
Knowing them or not, the Bobcats are to be congratulated. Head coach John Swanson has been at the helm for 12 years, having had the Bobcats in the state semifinals in 2005, as well. Great job, gentlemen!
Baseball wasn't the only sport where Harford County was doing well Saturday. Harford's track and field athletes were also shining at Morgan State University at the state meet that began Thursday.
At the conclusion, we saw another special athlete don her high school uniform for the last time. Aberdeen senior Jimmia McCluskey closed out her career with a second straight double state championship performance.
McCluskey won the 100 meters and long jump state titles and nearly won the 200 meters as well in 3A competition. McCluskey, who was also a vital member of the Eagles back-to-back girls basketball state champions, leaves Aberdeen for Temple University with a flourish. What a joy to watch.
Jimmia, thanks for your contributions to Harford sports. Best of luck at the next level.
Edgewood's Lenier Tucker also closed out his career with a state title in the 800, as did C. Milton Wright's Kathy Kammerer in the 3A pole vault.
And to top it off, Harford Tech's Paige Chapman, Marietta Corbin, Cierra Singleton and Charice Corbin combined to win the 2A, 4X100 relay. The state title was the fourth straight for Tech sprinters. Wow.
Congratulations to all our athletes and thanks for another great year of high school sports.