The North Harford boys lacrosse team nailed down its first Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference championship Monday night in Havre de Grace.
The Hawks, aided by a 12-2 scoring advantage over the final three quarters, beat Rising Sun, 17-5, at James R. Harris Stadium.
The girls championship, however, was not played and C. Milton Wright, the Chesapeake (upper) Division winner, was declared the UCBAC champion after Harford Tech, the Susquehanna (lower) Division winner, elected to not participate in the game.
"It's been a great year, the balls bounced our way," Hawks Head Coach John Grubb said. "It's our 14th overall, that's the way we look at it," Grubb added in reference to this being the Hawks first UCBAC win.
The good bounces started early and led to Max Mullin's first of a game-high five goals just 1:24 into the game. Mullin finished the quarter with three goals, leading North Harford to a 5-3 lead.
"This gives us a lot of confidence, it's a big confidence builder, just move on and advance, that's our motto and just play our best game," Mullin said.
The Hawks, 12-1 overall, and champs of the Chesapeake Division, were able to pull away by outscoring the Susquehanna champion Tigers (10-3), 4-1 and 5-0 over quarters two and three, respectively.
Brett Hurley added three goals, while Brooks Billings and Kyle Six had two each. Single goals were scored by Andrew Siegel, Randy Foster, Evan Siegel, Collin Keating and Cole Knox.
Evan Siegel and Billings each added two assists, while single assists were credited to Andrew Siegel, Nolan Hood, Foster and Michael Green.
Rising Sun's scoring came from five different players as Brad Alexander, J.P. Prodoehl, Joey Hurm, Kohl Ford, and Dale Dixon each scored goals. Dixon, Alexander and Matt Noel each had assists.
North Harford goalie Cameron Brosh had seven saves in three quarters of action, while Rising Sun keeper Taylor Saubier finished with eight saves.
North Harford outshot Rising Sun, 20-11, and held a slight edge in faceoffs won, 13-11.
"For a Monday, we're not a Monday team, but we'll take the win," Grubb said. "This team is pretty special. Any time you win a county championship or an UCBAC championship it's a special group of kids and there's 15 seniors on this team that I'm very fond of that have been with us for three years and working hard. They're going to have a fond spot in my memory."
Tech bows out
It was learned earlier Monday that Harford Tech's girls were not playing in the UCBAC girls lacrosse title game.
In an email sent Monday afternoon, Tech Head Coach Emma Little wrote, "The Harford Tech Girls Lacrosse team has officially ceded the UCBAC championship to C. Milton Wright High School. Our athletes do not agree that the eighth ranked team in the conference should be playing against the first ranked team in the conference to determine an UCBAC champion. Harford Tech would like to congratulate C. Milton Wright in their Chesapeake Divisional Championship." Coach Emma Little, HTHS.
Tech's stance is the first of its kind in any sport where upper and lower division champions have met to determine an overall UCBAC champion.
CMW Head Coach Brent Ritz says he heard rumors over the weekend, but was told Monday by his athletic director at 1:50 p.m. about the situation.
"We're moving on, we'll play in the playoffs," Ritz said.
A year ago the same two teams did play in the UCBAC title game, won easily by CMW, 15-1.
The penalties, at least some, for Tech's decision, were known by the conclusion of the boys game.
"The Board of Control did meet and because Harford Tech chose not to play, we're going to have no Susquehanna Champion this year. In other words, they're going to vacate it," UCBAC commissioner Bob Slagle said. "Any other disciplinary actions against individuals is covered by the privacy act, so they'll be no comment on that at this point."
The Board of Control is Slagle, an athletic director, a principal, a coach, plus the two county supervisors of athletics. They met to make that decision on Monday.
The athletic director, principal and coach are random and are changed on two-year terms, according to Slagle.
"There will be no one on the plaque. There are no forfeitures involved, it's just simply they chose not to play this game, so the Board of Control has decided to not have a Susquehanna champion put on the plaque."
Slagle also commented on how this may affect the league.
"Obviously we're disappointed on this because it's the first time this has ever occurred. We'll see what actions come as a result of whatever other disciplinary actions are taken, whether or not we sent a message strong enough to indicate that this is not something that we want to happen."
Coach Little also responded to the news of the title loss. "I think it is disappointing that instead of opening a dialogue about how we can make things better, the kids have had a title that they've earned taken away from them," Little said. "However, they are standing strong by their decision to try to make a positive impact on the way high school athletics are conducted in Harford and Cecil counties, and we as coaches couldn't be prouder of them."