The fanfare may not always be the same as it is for their varsity counterparts, but for Howard County's junior varsity athletes the importance of their growth on fields and courts around the area remains the foundation for many program's future successes.
This fall was certainly no different for local high school freshmen and sophomores, as players developed and honed the skills they will need to contribute at the next level in years to come.
We contacted each school through its athletic administration and asked for information on their JV teams. Here's what we heard back.
Improving as the season went on, Atholton finished the year 4-6-1 in county and 4-7-1 overall. The Raiders closed the year with a 1-0 victory over Wilde Lake.
"Seeing the team develop and play better as a unit throughout the season was extremely enjoyable," coach Jeff Bloom said. "They really started playing some wonderful soccer and always worked hard for each other."
Sophomore Anand Shroff (40 saves) and freshman Kyle Hess (42 saves) split the goalie duties and combined for five shutouts. They had help on defense from freshman Noah Alper at center back.
Sophomores Cole Peterson (four goals) and Brian Ross (two goals) were keys in the midfield, while freshman forward Devin Moon (four assists) was a leader up top.
Centennial finished the year 10-1-1, delivering a huge late-season victory over Mt. Hebron to highlight the year.
"They finally understood the meaning of team and trusting and believing in each other. By doing that, we came out on top and won the game, 3-1," coach Mario Moonasingh said. "It was a tough fought game and they never backed down."
The team's leaders on the season were Kristen Garcia and Matt Merkey, along with goalie Rohit Vepa. "These players played each and every game with their heart and they put everything out there," Moonasingh said.
Even though Glenelg finished the year with a 2-10-1 record, there were still plenty of positives for the Gladiators who simply struggled to find the back of the net after defeating Walkersville to open the season — scoring just five more goals the rest of the year.
"We just couldn't find ways to win, but the individual skill and overall level of play was markedly better by the end of the season," coach Andrew Pettis said.
The team was led by sophomore captains Jordan Nalls and Connor Hughes. That duo anchored the defense along with Matt Bowman and freshman Seiba Rizk. The additions of Zach Rizk and Aiden Boyer were also big helps to the defense.
Hunter Haussler stepped up in the midfield to help make up for the loss of sophomore Campbell Shepard (broken collarbone) before the year. Sophomores Griffin Holt and Johnny Chaisson patrolled the wings.
Up top, freshman striker Jacob Kersh and sophomore Andrew Considine got stronger and stronger as the season went on. A wealth of freshmen — Xavier Cha, Cole Iannarino and AJ Banas — all rounded out the team and saw significant playing time.
Hammond might not have won any games, going 0-12, but the team still made some lasting memories.
"Clearly, our highlights did not come out on our win-loss record, but I think the boys made a lot of extraordinary memories and learned a lot of very important lessons over the course of the year," coach Curtis Bullock said. "Sometimes, good, hard work doesn't get rewarded with slaps on the back and fireworks, but if you stop working, slaps on the back and fireworks will never come."
Sophomore returners Zach Lippit and Ethan Fox were standout leaders for the team. "They both see the game extremely well and have strong abilities to read teammates both during the game and in practice," Bullock said.
The Golden Bears coach also had high praise for Evan Nugent and Calvin Prudhomme. Nugent was especially committed to the team and led through his work ethic, according to Bullock. Prudhomme, meanwhile, played through injuries and showcased an uncanny ability to win 50-50 balls.
"Calvin was the shortest player on our team but he played with the heart and tenacity of a 6-foot-2 bruiser."
Howard finished with an undefeated county record of 8-0-3, while also adding a pair of victories in the team's early-season tournament to finish 10-0-3 overall.
"This was an outstanding year for us. We scored more goals this year then we had in over 12 seasons," coach Jamie Alzin said of his group that scored 24 times in-county play and 35 total.
On the other end, the Lions gave up just six goals in-county and seven on the year.
The team's defense was rock solid and was led by sophomores Kam Shryock, Ryan Druffel, Shane Fisher and Kyle Francisco, along with freshmen Brendan Foster and Michael Fields.
In goal, sophomore keeper Kenny Accardi produced nine shutouts.
The midfield was led by Mark Bruner (6 goals and 2 assists) and Sam Weaver (1 goal and 3 assists), with a host of other players helping out throughout the year.
The biggest improvement for Howard, as compared to previous seasons, was goal scoring. Sophomore forward Monssef Marackchi found his way through defenses to score 16 goals. Matt Schon (3 goals), Josiah Cabrera (2), Andrew Sarama (2), Sammy Hwang (2) and Shryock (2) all contributed as well.
The exclamation point on the season was the 1-0 overtime win over Marriotts Ridge in the team's last game. Shryock scored on a head ball off of a long throw-in from Foster.
"Eight of our players were called up to lend their support as our varsity made a late season run to get into the regional finals," Alzin said. "We had an exceptional group of freshmen tryout and play for us this year and we're looking forward to next season".
Putting record aside, coach Sylvanus Alves said Long Reach met its objective for the season of "fueling passion through positive reinforcement."
The team picked up its first victory in its third game and built from there. Captain Justin Hotchkiss led the defense, along with Tyler Trout, Carlos Navarro, Luis Arredondo, Ro Thawng and Elijah Cordero. Kevin Pina and Elias Rivera played goalie. The midfield was marshaled by captain Carlos Collier and his sidekicks Ral Chum, Za Lian, Enrique Mora Dornnell Adu-gyamfi, Joshua Carroll, Nicholas Denbow, Declan Donnelly and Van Zathang.
Finally, the team's offense was led by Leon Dunor, Emmanuel Pope, Yerim Diallo, Daniel Kundrat and David Miller.
A 3-2 victory over Atholton, where Pope scored the game-winning goal was among the season highlights.
With only two returning starters from last year and only seven total sophomores, Marriotts Ridge was a young team and finished the season with a 4-2-6. This did not prevent the team from competing well in the county.
"After some big losses, the team came together and played the last part of the season like a seasoned squad," coach Paul Courtney said.
Captains Tom Groman, Zach Lim, Edward Bartley and Zach Thamer led the team.
Luke Blessing played a vital role for the team in the middle of the field, aided by Kevin Hermstein, Brendan Hood and Pedro Leiser. The defense stayed strong all season with Ben Huntley at sweeper and Luke Wartzak at stopper. Hammad Baqui came off the bench and supported the back line as well. Keepers Mark Antico and Tim Lee were solid in goal.
The wingers rotated through a line up led by Jack Liparini and Chris Mavronicolas, supported by Will Deitemyer, David George, Chris Bennett, Brandon Held, Gavin Ross and Alan Wright. Caleb Yoon, Ji Seok Kim and Yoshi Saito led the strikers, while Tom Williamson was effective on set plays.
Mt. Hebron was one of the top teams in the county all season, finishing 9-1-1 in league play and 10-1-1 overall to grab a share of the JV county title.
Even as few of the team's top players, including top scorer Vincent Broccolino and goalie Sohraab Sidu, were called up to varsity late in the year, the team held strong. "It shows our incredible depth and ability of the next man up to contribute," coach Jared Ettinger said.
Broccolino finished with 15 goals and four assists in 10 games to lead the offense. Colton Wartman (8 assists), Sebastian Tobar and utility-man Ethan Bishop were keys in the middle of the field.
Joshua Griffith (5 assists) and Brandon Quan were leaders defensively. Sidhu in goal made 19 saves and recorded shutouts in every game but one.
The team finished with a +27 goal differential. Highlight games included a 4-0 victory over River Hill, handing the Hawks their only loss, and a 3-1 win over Long Reach to close the season.
Reservoir finished its season with a 3-7-1 record, but the practice field and game sideline always showed a team that was competitive in each game. With leadership modeled by the team's seven returning sophomores, the Gators developed as the year went on.
"Our team's growth was not measured by the score of the game, but by their ability to work together and the quality of the cohesive, possession-based soccer they played," coach David Freeman said.
On the field, sophomore goalie Brandon Evans anchored the defense by making great saves throughout the season. He split time between the posts with freshman Andre Jobst.
Defenders Anthony Payne, Josh Bradford and Will Gunn did a great job warding off the challenges of attacking strikers each game and distributing the ball to midfielders Jesus Giron, Tony Salmans and Alex Flores (2 goals).
Reservoir's forwards included Sagan Banderas, Evnic Dossou (1 goal), Ryan Covington (1 goal), Alex Molina (3 goals) and Aaron Kaplan (lead scorer with 5 goals). Among the season's highlights included an overtime victory, where the winning goal was scored by Kaplan.
River Hill had some adversity to overcome this season, but that didn't stop the team from finishing 7-1-1 in county play and 8-1-1 overall.
"Highlights from this season would be this team's overall effort and resiliency," coach Derrick Jameson said. "Due to weather, we did not get to play two games and we didn't play a game on our home field until mid-October. Despite that this team was able to win eight games."
Cameron Cates finished as the team's leading scorer with nine goals, while Andrew Park was a leader in goal. Both players were pulled up to varsity for the playoffs.
With a 4-1-7 overall record, Wilde Lake coach Bryan Ringgold said this was the "strongest JV season in five years" for the program.
A few of the team's key players were freshmen Elwyn Yount, Kofi Bonsu and Jackson Swain, to go along with sophomore goalie Gerald Van Tassel.
Among the highlights was a turn-the-corner win over Glen Burnie, 5-0, followed by a 1-0 victory over Reservoir. It was the program's first time defeating the Gators and also was special considering assistant coach Vince Zometa graduated from Reservoir in 2012.
"I am extremely proud of all the Wilde Lake soccer players and I'm excited for what we are building for next season," Ringgold said.
Atholton had a very successful 2015 campaign, finishing with an 8-3-3 overall record, and a 7-2-3 county mark. Coach Cliff Walcott's squad was 18-players deep, as he had experience at every position.
"We selected 18 athletic young ladies to our JV soccer squad," he said. "We were able to head into the season with a nicely balanced team. We were also blessed with girls who were completely willing to play multiple roles, which allowed us to adjust to any challenge presented on game day."
The Raiders only gave up 13 goals in 14 games. Their defense was led by Caroline Davidson, Clarissa Struble, Heather Wynee, Julia Perlin and keeper Jade Patkus. Davidson and Struble anchored the middle of the defense, with Davidson at center back and Stuble at stopper. Wynee manned the outside back position, and with her speed on the outside she led Atholton on numerous counter attack opportunities placing several of her crosses dangerously in the box. Struble also helped on the offensive end by supporting the midfield with her quickness and clever ability to maintain possession of the ball.
Camryn Streib, Jamie Armstead and Tina Rogers solidified the midfield for Atholton. Rogers, who scored 12 goals on the season, led the group with her tactically ability on the ball. Haily Brandt was the catalyst on the right wing, with her dangerous crosses and strong shots on net. Lilly Decelles was on the left wing, and used her speed and affective one-v-one skills to defeat the opposition's right backs.
The Raiders attack was led by sophomore forward Sam Clearfield, who notched 12 goals on the year despite missing three games due to injury.
"(Clearfield) is easily one of the very best forwards I have had the privilege to coach in my four years at Atholton," Walcott said.
Clearfield's partner up top was Hannah Tarver, whose speed and excellent one-v-one capabilities helped create scoring opportunities.
Centennial followed Atholton closely in the county standings with a final 5-2-5 league record, and a 7-2-5 overall mark.
The Eagles defense allowed just six goals all season and was led by sophomore keeper Tara Berstein. Centennial's offense was spread around as its leading scorers were freshmen Peyton Wilkerson, Fjordia Akhtar, Marissa Thomas and sophomore Carolina Requejo, who all notched three goals each on the year.
"The team's passing and runs off the ball improved with each game," said coach Meagan Manfrida. "We had 10 different girls contributing to 17 goals this season."
Manfrida said the highlight of the season was defeating Mt. Hebron 2-0.
Glenelg was an even 4-4-4 on the year and was led by Emily Nulls' seven goals and six assists on the year. She was called up to varsity at the end of the year.
Goalkeeper Alyssa Henderson had four shutouts and 22 saves and was also called up with Nulls.
The Gladiators defense held opponents to 19 goals and was anchored by Josie Stubs, Tori Hogan and Corrine Rasch in the back.
"Our highlights were tough games against strong county opponents Wilde Lake, River Hill, Mt. Hebron and Centennial, which all ended in ties," said coach Steve Willingham. "We played our best game of the season against Howard after a tough loss to Atholton and bounced back with a 3-1 win. I was extremely proud of the girls as they continued to play hard together as a team even though they lost three players to varsity."
Howard finished out the year at 6-4-1 in the county and 7-5-1 overall.
On the offensive side, freshman Sam Metzger led the team up top, finishing with eight goals and three assists.
"Sam is a focused and intelligent player who knows the game of soccer inside and out," said coach Sam White. "Her impressive speed and foot skills were a threat to every team we played."
Sophomore Avery Orzechowski led the team on and off the field, as the Lions captain dealt with numerous injuries throughout the year. She earned five goals and three assists in 2015, with three goals coming in a win against Long Reach.
"Avery was a huge inspiration to all of her teammates on and off the field," White said. "She overcame many challenges this season with health and injury and to make huge contributions in every game."
Justine Hurst manned the Lions midfield, as she became the catalyst on many of Howard's scoring plays. The freshman finished with three assists and one goal on the year.
"She is a versatile player with an outstanding attitude, willing and able to play anywhere on the field," White said of Hurst.
The Lions defensive line was tough to beat. It's back four consisted of sophomore Ciara Ledgard and freshmen Shaelin Rennert-Ariev, Meera Potter and Natalie Snow. Freshman Mya McConnell supported them as the last line of defense in net.
"Our starting defensive line … (was) a tough obstacle for any team. Each girl played patient and tough defense and was never intimated by challenging opponents," White said.
With only four returning sophomores, the Lions were in some-what of a rebuilding year, but nonetheless exceeded White's expectations.
"The highlight of the season was seeing the team's resolve to keep fighting to win and grow even after our final game," he said. "Each time they faced a challenging team, they became even more determined to succeed in the next game, resulting in all around improvements to their athleticism and teamwork. … For such a new team, they were successful overall and always exciting to watch."
Despite finishing with an overall 1-13 record and an 1-11 county mark, Long Reach stayed unified throughout the season. With each game the Lightning kept improving individually and as a team.
As the year progressed, coach Kudzai Dzimiri's team kept battling and went into several extra-time games toward the end of the year. Tough losses to Wilde Lake and Reservoir followed with their first win, a 3-0 win over Oakland Mills.
"Our 2015 season showed nothing but positive improvement all throughout," Dzimiri said. "Once we built our momentum, we started giving our opponents real challenges."
Some standouts for Long Reach included midfielder Sarah Justice, forward Cheyly Flores and goalkeeper Meleah Macdonald.
Justice showed her leadership as she commanded the middle of the field for the Lightning, setting up numerous scoring chances for her teammates. Most of the time she was setting up Flores, who also helped advance the ball and create good scoring chances throughout the season.
Heading into the year, Macdonald battled through numerous injuries, but she stepped up for her team in 2015 and helped lower the amount of goals allowed with her skills in net.
Marriotts Ridge finished with an 8-0-2 record. Sabrina Amaral led the Mustangs with eight goals, despite missing two games due to injury. Bella McConnell and Jenna Kohler also notched numerous points as well.
"All across the board we had a strong team, from the people who started most often to those who came off the bench, anyone who went in produced opportunities for us," said coach Khristine Mumby. "Howard was a huge game; it was the last game of the season and we had some players move to varsity and we had some players step up into different roles, and they found a way to get the job done."
Mt. Hebron ended its campaign going 7-1-3 in the county and 8-1-3 overall.
The team began the season registering six straight shutouts, which included wins against Reservoir and Howard — avenging losses from last year. Then, the Vikings won back-to-back, 1-0 contests over River Hill and Oakdale, which was followed with a 0-0 tie against Atholton. However, the following games resulted in 1-1 ties Marriotts Ridge and Glenelg, and 2-0 loss to Centennial.
"Things got tough with some scheduling issues and some injuries. We had to do some roster shuffling and hit a dry spell in scoring goals over the next three games," said coach Bob Gibbons. "This tough patch brought a new sense of urgency and the team refocused and finished the season on a roll with three more shutouts to bring our season total to nine out of 12 games."
The biggest highlight for Mt. Hebron was its team defense. Keepers Kate Hammond, Ellie McKenzie and Jaiden Ritter shared goalkeeping duties and combined to allow just four goals in 12 games.
Sophia Fleetwood, Natalie Goodwin, Grace Palmateer, Mere Williams, Maggie Roman, Aly Coakley and Ava Dennis led the Vikings on defense, while Gibbons named Roman as the team MVP.
The midfield was led by Julia Manning, who also led the team with five assists, and Caroline Siedlecki. Support came from Paige Sine and Olivia Poirer, while Julia Rodriguez and Blaire Ridgly played on the outside midfield position. Maura Devine and Sunny Kang contained the edges and supported the offense on the opponents defensive third of the field.
Offensively, Mt. Hebron netted 29 goals and averaged 2.5 goals per game, as 18 out of the 23 girls on the roster registered at least one point on the year. The Vikings had 14 different players find the back of the net and 15 different girls recorded an assist. Allison Brown was the leading scorer with six goals and one assist, and Jen Luzhansky finished with four goals and an assist.
Cassy Lopez, Caitlin Madden and Maddy Wyscarver worked well together up top, creating numerous scoring opportunities throughout the season. Lopez joined the team later in the year after battling through an injury over the summer, but once she came on the three created havoc for opposing defenses.
"This season was a significantly memorable one for me, not only because of our success, but also because I missed last season due to a major medical issue," said Gibbons. "I am reminded daily of the outstanding group of student athletes and the supportive and caring parents and faculty we have in the Mt. Hebron community. I would like to thank varsity coach Tim Deppen and coaches Eric Duke and Trish Derwart, who without a single hesitation stepped in at the last minute and guided last year's JV team to a great season. I will tell you, the opportunity to work with these coaches and this group of young ladies is truly a privilege."
Reservoir finished fifth in the county, but ended with a successful 5-5-2 mark.
The Gators were made up of predominantly freshmen. Two of them, Kate Hyde and Brianna Bonilla, were called up to varsity for its successful state playoff push.
"I was very pleased with how the season turned out," said coach Melissa Bradbury. "The Lady Gators this year put forth the effort and created many opportunities for achievement and though we finished in the top-five, I am more than grateful that this season ended with a group of girls that always give 120 percent, and nothing less."
On Reservoir's solid defense were Annabelle Salkeld, Emily Sabillion and Tatiana McDonnell, while Kennedy Hawkins manned the defensive midfielder spot. Hawkins had a great season, having a huge impact on the field with her ability to shut down the attack while also being a playmaker on the offensive end. On the outside wing, Grace Lee played well on the weak side, helping in the attack and aiding Reservoir's scoring chances in the offensive third.
With four losses by eight or less points, Atholton finished the season 3-7.
The offense was led by sophomore running backs Will Nelson, who averaged 6.8 yards per carry, and Jordan Marsh (8.1 yards per carry). Freshman quarterback Connor Marshall also had a solid season for the Raiders with 589 passing yards and five touchdowns.
On the defensive side, linebackers Jake Dickerson and David D'Amico averaged six tackles per game, while Jake Peretti had three interceptions. Kwame Yeboah added two interceptions, and Andrew Cade, Dickerson and Jack Johnson each notched two sacks.
Though Hammond failed to win a game this fall, it had some talented players who had big seasons.
Sophomore Tekye Evans played the majority of the season in a cast, but still managed to play quarterback, tight end and outside linebacker. Sophomore Cale McMurdy, who played running back, wide receiver and outside linebacker, played seven games before being called up to the varsity team.
Sophomore Guy Springer was a defensive standout for the Golden Bears, sophomores Amir Johnson and Joe Pena were leaders in the trenches and freshman Tyler Walters was a top middle linebacker.
Howard had to rely on a group of talented but inexperienced players this season, as it returned just four starters from a team that went 9-1 a year ago.
The offense was lead by sophomore running backs Robert Agbai and DJ Howard, while freshman quarterback Jerry O'Neill spread the ball around to wide receivers Aiden O'Connor and Tyri Davis. The Lions scored the second most points in the county.
Daniel Blades, Demetrius Majors, John Abdu and Shawn Lambert anchored the defensive line for Howard, and coach Tyler Wade called freshmen linebackers Ben Stephanos and JR Fitzgerald one of the best duos in the county. The secondary led the county with 11 interceptions, as freshman safety Zack Marshall and sophomore Emmanuel Stokes were the keys to what Wade called the "no fly zone."
The Lions have accumulated a 44-6 record over the last five seasons.
After falling in the season opener, Long Reach ended the year with nine straight wins and the county's best record at 9-1.
Quarterback Tyler Moore threw for 1,560 yards and 12 touchdowns, while running back TJ Caba added 357 yards and four scores on the ground. Running back Nikki Luanglath found the endzone seven times, and Luis Gooden Jr. caught 35 passes for 496 yards and two touchdowns to lead all receivers.
Dane Lynch led a defense that allowed just 76 points with 76 tackles, while Jeremy Huffman added 62. Christian Beier had a team-high three sacks.
Against Atholton, Moore led a 56-yard touchdown drive that included a 25-yard, one-handed catch by Hamza Bhatti. Moore capped the drive with touchdown, and the Lightning won the game, 13-12.
Another highlight was the game versus Reservoir, when Gooden caught a game-winning 57-yard touchdown pass in the final quarter to lead Long Reach to a 7-6 victory.
In their game against Howard, the Lightning forced three turnovers, and sophomore Chad Brown intercepted a pass and caught two balls – both touchdowns – for 74 yards in a 13-12 victory over their rival.
A year after finishing 1-9, Mt. Hebron bounced back this season with an 8-2 record.
"The boys stayed tough and came into the 2015 season bigger, faster and stronger because of their hard work in the offseason," said coach Mike Lettieri.
Offensively, the Vikings were led by Joe Schwartz, Glen Turner and running back Darryl Richmond. Quarterback Mark Lettierti and wide receiver JC McCorn connected for seven touchdowns on the year, including a 50-yard pass and catch in the closing seconds of a 7-6 season-opening win over Long Reach.
On defense, Josh Kinloch and Pete Karmilowicz were the top players as they combined for 20 sacks.
Led by a dominating offense that averaged 30 points per game, Oakland Mills finished the season 7-3.
Quarterback Aaron Gibson started the first six games before becoming the starter on varsity, but the Scorpions didn't miss a beat with Shallon Robinson behind center. He finished with 39 carries for 507 yards and five touchdowns in four games, while sophomore running back Zyon Turner notched 60 carries for 435 yards and six scores. Guards Mulbah Kamara and Anthony Morales opened the running lanes for the halfbacks all season.
Morales, Kamara, Robinson and sophomore John Stafford also anchored a strong defense that forced 26 turnovers on the year, including six that resulted in touchdowns. Special teams also played a big part in Oakland Mills' success, as it tallied more than 500 yards and six touchdowns in the return game, including four by sophomore Cameron Vereen.
Led by a slew of talented sophomores, River Hill ended the 2015 campaign with a 6-4 record.
Daniel Peletski was named the Hawks' MVP, but captains Luke Champion, Garrett Krakat and Tucker Finkelston contributed heavily.
"The offensive line was anchored by Max Carlson, Dasharn Hebron, Garrett Krakat, Alex Florenzo and Mario Arnock, along with tight end Lance Mercy. We had outstanding group of running backs with Chris Tao, freshmen Ryan Henry and super back Connor McCulough," coach Jay Hull said. "Our defensive line had Zack Wasilewski, and freshmen Cecil Robinson, Kenny Crown III and Spencer Brockdorff. The linebackers were the core of our defense this year with Alex Florenzo, Anthony Richards, Lance Mercy, Danny Peletski and freshman Melvin Brown leading the charge. Sophomores Shane Delore, Devin Hendrick and Kunal Patel at corners and Tucker Finkelston, Iyo Stephensbaily and Lucas Balda at safety led our defense. Special teams featured Kai Uecker at both kicking positions."
Atholton entered the 2015 field hockey season with a lot of players new to the sport. But coach Elizabeth Best set them up for success, as the Raiders finished with a winning record of 5-4-1.
"In spite of their inexperience these Atholton sweethearts showed us just how putting forth the extra effort — with help from more experienced teammates — growth and skill sets increased exponentially," Best said. "Their four losses brought about reflection and posed a challenge as to how they would improve next time. Needless to say the Atholton JV field hockey team is less of a team and more of a family."
Some standouts for the Raiders were captains Emily Gelb and Sarah Courtney, who showed their team patience and a love for the game.
Christiana Kelley led the team in points, with 10 goals. But the most improved player was Ally Merwitz, who continued to grow and improve through the season.
"The girls showed stamina and resilience," Best added. "What separates this Atholton team from the rest is not only their communication on the field, but also their involvement within the community as well. Whether it's raising money for cancer research or raising the bar on the field, this team never ceases to amaze any fan."
Centennial finished out the season with a 5-5 county record and 5-6 overall mark. The Eagles were anchored by a solid freshmen class to help out veterans Camden Blevins and Lauren Muma. The two got better with each game and were a big part of Centennial's transition game. Kate Reis came on in the middle of the season to help Blevins and Muma, and with that helped increase the Eagles scoring rate.
In the midfield they were led by freshmen Marissa Lagera, Kelly Peterson, Emily Klomparens and Bethany Firebaugh. That group played a major role in the middle of the field and, according to coach Katie Grimm, "all rose to the challenge."
Abby Doff, Marta Pchop, Josie Brock and Sam Dippel all split time at the forward position, as they complimented each other for their diverse skill sets.
Grace Rout led Centennial in net, while Ally Parisi and Callie Andrew manned the two back positions on defense.
"In goal we had Grace Rout who, in my opinion, kept us in all the close games we found ourselves in," Grimm said. "She was a great communicator on defense to our two backs, Ally Parisi and Callie Andrew, and had incredible saves this year, including two saved strokes. She had a confident and amazing year."
The biggest highlight of the season for the Eagles was their 2-1 win against Atholton. Centennial had lost a few close games earlier in the season and was determined to make a statement win against a very good Raiders squad.
"I had so much fun this season it's hard to point out one or two specific highlights, (but) our game against Atholton was a big game for us," Grimm said. "Despite rainy and slippery conditions, they played inspired hockey and came away with a 2-1 win. That game was proof they had grown to a highly competitive team."
Glenelg ended its 2015 season undefeated, scoring 88 goals on the season without giving up a score all year — thanks to the likes of goalies Alex Anderson and Maria Salandra, who split time throughout the year.
"We had a shut out season," said coach Joanne Reid. "My girls played this season as if they have been playing together for years. They trusted each other fully on the field and were able to surpass any challenge they faced."
Kara Miller led the Gladiators with 22 goals, followed by Emma LeTellier (17), Tess Muneses (15) and Mallory Jubb (13).
The most exciting win came against Marriotts Ridge in an overtime thriller. Glenelg finally put in the game winner with six minutes and 20 seconds remaining in extra time.
Hammond returned five players from last year's squad and added 13 new freshmen this fall. Through a rebuilding year where it failed to capture a win, the team improved with each game.
"Although the team did not win any games, they showed a winning spirit throughout the season and always encouraged each other to do their best," said coach Molly Young. "As a team, they learned many new skills and made lifelong friends."
Young used different players in different spots, allowing each girl to learn different skill sets throughout the year. Young and the rest of the Golden Bears are looking forward to improving next year.
Howard's 2015 campaign ended with a 5-5-1 overall record and 5-4-1 county record.
With only five returning players, the Lions played exceptionally well with a young group, staying in every game they played with four games ending in 1-0 decisions. The lone tie of the season came in a 1-1 game against River Hill.
"We were in every single game," said coach Samantha Earle. "Even against the top teams in the county."
Carolina McLaughlin was the Lions' offensive leader with six goals and two assists. Caroline Whipple had four goal, while Allison Quinn added a goal and three assists.
On defense, goalie Skylar Wishner was the catalyst, as the freshman allowed just 12 goals and recorded 78 saves against 122 shots. Sophomores Sydney Atkinson and Mary Asubonten were the two best defenders, with Asubonten registering five defensive saves.
Marriotts Ridge (10-1-1 overall, 9-1 county) ended a very successful 2015 with just one loss all year.
The Mustangs were led by captains Natalie Dryja, Haley Suh and Erin Topaltzas, who brought the team together by organizing team sprit ribbons, pregame pasta parties and conditioning dances at practice.
Topaltzas ended as the teams leading scorer with 15 goals and four assists, followed by Erin Yu Ko (eight goals, six assists), Maura Hill (eight goals), Audrey Lyu (seven goals, four assists) and Cady Noll (seven goals, three assists).
"The team demonstrated much skill and enthusiasm throughout the season," said coach Allyson Sabia. "The girls worked well together and supported one another on and off the field. Their play is a reflection of their commitment to the game and each other."
The only loss of the season came against Glenelg, a 1-0 defeat, and their most exciting win came over Mt. Hebron, a 3-2 overtime victory.
The Mustangs defense allowed eight goals all year and was led by goalie Leah Cavanaugh, who recorded 51 saves, Dryja, Carolyn Forman and Luren McAuley.
Stephanie Wolfe, Machaela Hartigan and Noll controlled the midfield.
"Many opponents were stopped at the midfield line due to the speed and pressure of our midfield players," Sabia said. "Every player contributed to the success of the team and improved their skills as the season progressed."
Led by captains Julia Leishear and Sam Wypych alongside strong freshmen Ellie Miller, Kieran Davis and Eliza Munns, Mt. Hebron finished with an 8-3 record overall and 8-2 in county play.
Miller (14 goals and three assists) and Anna Nichols (eight goals ans two assists) led the Vikings offensively.
Despite losing 1-0 to Fallston in an exciting matchup, it was Mt. Hebron's best game played in 2015, showing off their skill and team energy.
With a completely revamped team heading into 2015, Reservoir saw a plethera of new players come into their own. Freshman Zara Ameli became a fantastic attacker for the Gators with her stick skills and speed. Sophomore's Abby Wang and Virginia Henderson played major roles on the defensive end and in the midfield.
The highlight of the season came in the second half against Centennial. Along with Ameli's goal, coach Lindsey Miles said her entire team "proved their improvement throughout the season" playing their best half all year.
"The program looks forward to the future of these new players," she added.
River Hill ended the year with a 5-4-2 record, with four games going into overtime. One of those extra time contests was against Centennial, where Miriam Sheetz closed the match with a game-winning goal with less than a minute left.
The Hawks went into overtime against Atholton as well, coming back from a three-goal deficit. Although they dominated the rest of the game, they couldn't find the back of the cage to close out the comeback, resulting in one of two ties on the season.
Their leading scorers on the year were Sheetz (six goals), Jenna Keyon (three goals) and Abby Bae (three goals).
River Hill's midfield was manned by Lexi Thielemann, Natalie Nichols, Emily Masker and Megan Kinner. Defensively, Bae, Emily Rozier and Nicole Wesche, along with goalie Sanam Patel, led the way.
"I was very proud of how the girls played together as a team and we had a lot of fun both on and off the field," said coach Marni Rosenbaum. "I was proud of the girls also giving back to the community during the Iron Girl Half-Marathon."
With a new coach and only four returning players, Atholton put together its best season in more than 20 years and finished with a 12-2 record.
Sophomore captains Nikita Rajarajan and Veronica Adler led the way for the Raiders before getting called up to varsity, and freshman Elise Park was the team-leader with 41 digs. Sarah Fishkind, along with Melanie Kavka and Olivia Henshaw-Black, helped the defense with 22 digs.
Rajarajan led the team with 41 kills and Taylor Bean followed with 29, while Veronica Adler (34 aces) and Else Park (24) were Atholton's best servers. Solid all around play from Anielka Skiebnewska (21 kills, 17 aces, 28 digs), freshman Sabrina Lagomarsino (17 kills, seven aces, 15 digs), Patty Drumheller (13 kills, two blocks, 13 digs) and Bianca Smalls (19 kills, six blocks, nine digs) also played a big part in the Raiders' success.
"The Raiders had to learn a new offensive and defense system and reconnect as a team," said coach Larry Schofield. "After splitting the first two matches, we won 11 of the next 12."
Even with five girls that were new to the sport, Chapelgate finished its season sporting a 7-3 record.
"The progress from the beginning of the season, to the end of the season was absolutely incredible," said coach Jennifer Tringali. "They were fundamentally sound and competed very well against every team that we played. Whether our opponents were in a more competitive league, the girls always came to compete."
Sophomore McKenzie Norrington led the team with 36 kills with captain setter Sophia Hayes managing the offense.
Against Maryvale, the Yellowjackets trailed, 15-5, in the second set before freshman Emily Baldwin served 13 straight points to lead the rally. They went on to win the set and the match, 3-2.
Fielding a team for the first time in program history, Glenelg Country had a successful season and finished with a 3-3 IAAM C Conference record and 5-6 overall. The Dragons finished strong, earning a third-place finish in the C Conference postseason tournament.
Serving was a strength for the team. Sophomore captain Grace McCarthy was successful on more than 82 percent of her service attempts and was second on the team with 37 aces, while sophomore Cindy Meng led the team with 38.
"The team included a couple of promising freshmen in Neda Ghahremani at setter and Joy Hursey at outside hitter," said coach Dennis Seibel. "Neda worked hard on her setting skills and led the team in assists, while improving her serving throughout the season. Joy lead the team in kills with her left-handed hitting, getting stronger as the season progressed."
Similar to its varsity counterpart, Howard had successful campaigns on both the freshman and JV level. The freshman team ended the year 10-1-2, while the JV girls went 11-5 overall.
Kelly Seibert and Chineyne Iloanya were leaders on the freshman team. On the JV level, sophomore outside hitter Madison Eich (61 kills) and sophomore middle blocker Lead Crisco (45 kills) led the offense. Sophomore libero Shirya Desai had 44 aces, a team high, and 167 digs. Sophomore Katie Unkle and freshman Vendela Lundgren, both setters, led the team in assists.
"Our team has grown together to be a tight knit group," said JV coach Allison Ose. "The team not only learned how to play the game and develop chemistry on the court, but developed close friendships off the court."
Led by Angelina Casserly, Janaan Hamilton and Rachel Jacavage, Long Reach battled its way to a 5-9 overall record.
A highlight of the season came against Reservoir, which coach Melissa Boardman called the best game she's seen the JV program ever play.
"We worked so hard and it went to the last point in each set," she added. "We also had more experience on our JV team and it really showed this year against the county teams."
Mt. Hebron was undoubtedly the best team in the county as it ended its season with a perfect 14-0 record and never lost a set.
The Vikings defense was their strong point, as Nicole Tabenske, Kara O'Donnell and Alexa Welchl led the way. Tabenske was the team-leader with 51 digs, while O'Donnell had 31 and Welch tallied 17. Liz Cherry led the offense with precision and ended the year with 105 assists and 46 aces, and a slew of hitters, including Welch (48 kills), O'Donnell (33 kills), Maya Barnes (27 kills), Lexi Karrass (25 kills) and Anna Forelich (23 kills) finished with 20 or more kills.
A season highlight was the Vikings' match against River Hill. With a perfect record in sight, Mt. Hebron played its best volleyball of the year to beat the Hawks in straight sets, 25-14, 25-12.
"This Vikings team was multi-talented, and I felt very fortunate to be a part of their success," said coach Susan Wiggs.
Reservoir finished its season at 7-8 with sophomore Maddie Winters leading the team with 31 aces, 28 kills and 30 assists.
Sophomore Nia Powell notched 15 blocks for the Gators, while freshman Jamie Kaylie added 42 digs.
With nine sophomores and a ton of experience, River Hill finished the year with an 8-5 record.
A season highlight for the Hawks was their match against Reservoir. The team served 11 aces, had a team passing average of 1.96, had 26 digs and was able to achieve 13 out-of-system kills. Amanda Lee led the team with nine digs, Sam Yang served nine aces, Devin Hill lead the team with four kills and Ogenna Umeozulu added two solo blocks.
"This type of game shows how well the girls were able to play as a team and how every girl contributed through either their offensive attacks or through their defensive abilities," said coach Michael Colonna.
River Hill was crowned as county champs this fall, building on a second-place showing at the Francis Scott Key Invitational and finishing fourth at the Viking Invitational. Team captains for the Hawks were Alyza Berson and Alvina Pan.
Other team members were Kate Baum, Heather Capino, Campbell Carlson, Leah Frydenberg, Sydney Hedgeland, Hafeeza Mughal, Olivia McElyea, Sydney Ostroff, Katie Rine, Priya Soodan and Althea Taylor.
"At the county championships, the team was so sharp, tight, loud and everyone fought for each and every stunt to hit," coach Katie Carpenter said. "It was a great, great, great job by everyone."
Rounding out the top four in the county standings were Howard, Long Reach and Marriotts Ridge in second, third and fourth, respectively.
Howard County Championship B races (Oct. 29 at Centennial High School)
Boys team results: 1. Howard, 31; 2. River Hill, 44; 3. Mt. Hebron, 55; 4. Atholton, 112; 5. Centennial, 157; 6. Oakland Mills, 184; 7. Marriotts Ridge, 223; 8. Reservoir, 223; 9. Glenelg, 243; 10. Hammond, 291; 11. Long Reach, 365.
Top boys individuals: 1. Rupam Mondal, Ho, 17:59; 2. Donald Zimmerman, RH, 18:03.36; 3. Stewy Slocum, Ho, 18:03.87; 4. Ryan Skochinski, RH, 18:04.07; 5. Vivek Nadimpalli, RH, 18:04.93; 6. Trevor Hodge, MH, 18:06; 7. Zach Olivier, Ho, 18:09; 8. Eric Accardi, Ho, 18:13; 9. Jack Fletcher, MH, 18:14; 10. Kevin Johnson, MH, 18:16.
11. Jake Perret, A, 18:17; 12. Ethan Williamson, Ho, 18:24; 13. Kyle Baisel, MH, 18:26; 14. Matthew Campbell, RH, 18:31; 15. Andrew Harris, Ho, 18:31; 16. Rory Costello, Ho, 18:34; 17. Travis Harrington, Ho, 18:36.14; 18. Kevin Ling, Ho, 18:36.57; 19. Manny Garcia, Ho, 18:39; 20. Tyler Denicola, Ho, 18:43.
21. James Williams, MH, 18:46; 22. Michael Schlining, MH, 18:49.22; 23. Seine Yoo, RH, 18:49.58; 24. Benjamin Hall, A, 18:54; 25. Javon Daniel, A, 18:56; 26. Rohan Sinha, RH, 18:58; 27. Ryder Neal, A, 19:00; 28. Thomas Maloney, RH, 19:01.13; 29. Josh Krutz, Re, 19:01.30; 30. Evan Ying, RH, 19:01.46.
Girls team results: 1. River Hill, 36; 2. Howard, 52; 3. Marriotts Ridge, 61; 4. Mt. Hebron, 77; 5. Reservoir, 146; 6. Centennial, 160; 7. Wilde Lake, 228; 8. Atholton, 245; 9. Glenelg, 252.
Top girls individuals: 1. Colleen Krein, RH, 21:14; 2. Raaya Khlief, RH, 21:31; 3. Anna Selbrede, RH, 21:49. 4. Amanda Levey, MR, 22:12; 5. Kealy Faughnan, MR, 22:20; 6. Rebecca Hayes, Ho, 22:36; 7. Olivia Dibble, MH, 22:39; 8. Rachel Filar, Ho, 22:49; 9. Katelyn Wolf, Ho, 22:52; 10. Courtney O'Neill, Ho, 23:02.
11. Krista Schumm, MH, 23:14; 12. Janie Cai, RH, 23:17; 13. Melody Raynaud, MH, 23:19; 14. Rebecca Dockendorf, Re, 23:20; 15. Jaclyn Peffall, MR, 23:23; 16. Caylee Bergreen, MH, 23:25; 17. Claire Martin, MR, 23:30; 18. Pranavi Sayyaparaju, RH, 23:38; 19. Briana Murray, Ho, 23:41; 20. Alexis Dorsey, MR, 23:44.
21. Erica Fenton, RH, 23:48; 22. Alice Choe, RH, 23:51; 23. Ayaka Ohara, RH, 23:55; 24. Jaime Burnett, MR, 23:58; 25. Lilly Lafemina, Re, 23:59.52; 26. Dona Ann Thomas, Re, 23:57.70; 27. Carolyn Frommer, C, 24:00; 28. Dorian Barnes, MR, 24:01; 29. Mindra Okonski, C, 24:04; 30. Caroline Shimeall, C, 24:07.