Howard County boys soccer returned to prominence on a state level this fall, with three teams making the state semifinals in their respective classifications and one — River Hill — going on to win a championship.
Finishing off an unbeaten campaign, River Hill defeated Huntingtown in the 3A state title game for the program's first state crown since 2007. The Hawks also earned sole possession of this year's county championship.
It was also a banner year for Howard, which made it the 4A state semifinals — marking the first time since 1989 that the Lions' boys soccer program won a region championship. Oakland Mills also made the state semifinals in the 2A classification for the second straight year.
In terms of the county standings, River Hill (10-0-1) ended up on top but Mt. Hebron (8-1-2) and Reservoir (9-2) made sure that the Hawks had to earn everything they got. Both the Vikigns and Gators ended up losing in penalty kicks against River Hill in the playoffs.
Boys soccer reporter Brent Kennedy discusses those overall storylines and highlights some of the county's top players from this fall in his season recap video.