Praying against rain outs and looking over some sports highlights [Commentary]

Well, readers, I'm looking out my window early Thursday morning and it's raining.

Monday started much like this, and everyone wound up postponing their games, so I'm hoping we don't get another set of rain outs. Postponed games make my job much harder, because I have a slap dash, chaotic method for keeping the standings up to date. When I'm scrambling to make sure a team's record is correct and I look back over the schedule only to see, "game moved to 10/14," my synapses start to melt. I could probably solve all of this by creating a spreadsheet for each sport that I cover and updating it daily, but that would be way too easy.

So, while I'm worrying about rain outs and divisional records, here's a highlight reel from the last week or so.

The shutout train keeps right on rolling: I've written quite a bit about the Harford Christian boys soccer team, but the Eagles deserve it with the season they're having. They stepped up last Tuesday and knocked off an UCBAC Chesapeake Division opponent, beating Havre de Grace, 1-0, for their 10th straight shutout, then beat Granite Baptist, 5-0, three days later. At 12-0 overall (the Eagles did allow two goals in their season-opening victory), Harford Christian has a shot at going undefeated through the end of the MACSAC tournament, but I'm not going to predict they end the season without allowing another goal. That would just be presumptuous (I'd like to see it though).

Second victory: When was the last time Havre de Grace field hockey had a game that was decided by more than one goal? As of Thursday morning, it was back on Sept. 20, when the Warriors were beaten, 4-0, by Joppatowne. Since then, Havre de Grace has had five games decided by a score of 1-0, and two more end with a score of 2-1. The latest of those 1-0 games, a victory over Elkton on Tuesday, marked Havre de Grace's second win this season. If you weren't aware, heading into last week the Warriors hadn't won a game since the 2002 season, but they ended that horrendous streak with a 1-0 win against Aberdeen.

Overtime, all the time: In a recent email exchange with North Harford boys soccer coach Matt Johnstone, I told him about the philosophy espoused by my high school soccer coach, George Reynolds, who is back heading the Perryville team that I played for so long ago. Once, after our second overtime game in a three-day span, while my teammates and I were either flat on our backs gasping for breath or trying to massage and stretch out calves that had cramped up into brick-hard knots, Coach Reynolds said, "overtime games are good for you. They get your legs in shape for the post-season." We were a bit too tired to soak in that wisdom right then, but it was true. Later on that season we could run most of the opposing teams into the dirt (this is strictly conditioning, we needed another season to come together skill-wise). If that maxim still holds true, then the North Harford boys team will be in fine shape come the regional tournaments, because it seems that every game they play goes to overtime. Here's a run down of the Hawks' games that haven't been decided by the end of the second half: Sept. 9, 2-1 overtime win against John Carroll; Sept. 17, 0-0 tie with Aberdeen; Sept. 26, 0-0 tie with Perryville; Oct. 1, 2-2 tie with Patterson Mill; Oct. 3, 1-1 tie with Fallston. That's a whole lot of extra minutes.

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