The seasons, they get shorter and shorter, I tell ya. I swear it was last week that I sent out my requests for fall sports preview information, and now everyone is done, save for the two UCBAC football teams left alive (I'll get to them in a bit). So, with not much to write about, I'm going to wrap up my autumn athletic coverage with a best-of list. Here goes:
Havre de Grace boys volleyball goes undefeated: The 2011 Warriors were simply dominant, winning all 14 of their regular-season contests, nine by shutout, and, more impressively, not dropping a single game in their final five matches, when they were facing opponents whom they had played once already. Leading the way from start to finish was David Beck, who put forth one of the most impressive seasons I can recall, regularly posting over 20 kills in Havre de Grace's victories. To cap everything off, the Warriors stormed back from the loser's bracket to top rival C. Milton Wright in the finals at the Harford County Boys Volleyball Championship Tournament. I really wish boys volleyball was an MPSSAA sanctioned sport, so the season would not have to end with the county tournament, and we could see how well Harford County's best would fare against the rest of Maryland's squads. I bet they would do quite well.
Fallston takes 13th field hockey crown: I have probably used more ink singing the Cougars' praises than I have on any other team, but they deserve it, and, as I say to the Fallston haters that moan and groan about how terribly biased we are at The Aegis, check back in when your team wins four state championships in five years. After an "off" season last year, in which they lost a tight Chesapeake Division race to Patterson Mill, and were knocked out of the 2A state semifinal by eventual champ Glenelg, the Cougars muscled back to the top in 2011, winning the UCBAC crown and capturing their 13th Maryland crown.
Aberdeen football's amazing turnaround: Following an abysmal 1-9 campaign in 2010, Aberdeen took on Johnny Brooks as head coach in the off-season. Under their new skipper, the Eagles not only improved, they flourished, finishing with an 8-2 regular-season mark, and advancing to the state semifinals after defeating North Harford 38-20 in the 3A North regional title game last Friday. I've seen plenty of teams defy expectations, but to go from one victory to a state semifinal appearance is, quite simply, the best, quickest turnaround I've witnessed during my time with The Aegis. The Eagles are up against it in the semifinals, as they have to beat River Hill, a top-10 team, but even if that's where their season ends, we're all still mightily impressed. An upset victory, however, would secure Aberdeen a spot in my pantheon of "best seasons."
Perryville football 12-0: No, they aren't a Harford County team, but it is my alma mater, and I'm going to show the Panthers some love. Before securing a spot in 2004's 1A North regional tournament, the last time Perryville had made it to the playoffs was 1996, my junior year. Fast forward 15 years, and the Panthers storm to a 10-0 regular-season record, defeat Havre de Grace in the regional semifinals, top Cambridge-South Dorchester in the 1A East title game, and, as I write this, are headed to their first ever state semifinal, where they will play Fort Hill in Cumberland on Saturday.
Tune back in next week, as I have several more of these things left. Happy holidays everyone.