Arbutus Times top sports stories of 2011

Lansdowne softball squad wins regional chamionship

After losing twice to Eastern Tech, including once in the Baltimore County championship game, the Vikings got revenge when they pounded out 14 hits in a 5-1 victory over the Mavericks in the Class 2A North Region championship game.

That was more than enough for standout pitcher Maude McCourry, who allowed only four hits and added an RBI triple.

Catcher Sera Stull went 3-for-4 and Jesse Dore had a run-scoring double to aid the attack.

"We beat them when it counted and that was good for us. That was an extremely satisfying game," said Lansdowne senior Kelli Pease, who belted two triples in the Baltimore County championship game 5-3 loss to Eastern Tech.

The regional title game defeat was the first loss of the season for the Mavericks and the Vikings carried the momentum into the state semifinals, where they upended McDonough, of Calvert County, 10-7, to send them to the state finals for the second time in three years.

"That semifinal game against McDonough was really big for us because all the seniors had been playing together for so long and we were so close and we really wanted it," Pease said.

The dream for a state championship ended in an 8-5 loss to Easton in the state finals, but the Vikings finished 20-4 overall.

Lansdowne baseball reached state finals with semifinal power

Mike Morris blasted a two-run home run and Alex Kurth slugged a solo shot to help the Vikings to a 5-3 victory over Calvert in the Class 2A state semifinals.

Brad Childress added two hits to aid the complete-game pitching effort of Lansdowne's Sam Warfield.

The win propelled the Vikings to the state finals at Cal Ripken Stadium and Warfield was on the mound in a gutsy route-going effort despite a 4-0 loss to North Caroline.

North Caroline's Richie Blosser allowed only one hit, to Childress, and prevented the Vikings (14-6) from capturing its second state title in 18 years.

Boxers a hit at outdoor event

Lansdowne's Sam Warfield enjoyed success on the mound in the spring with the Vikings baseball team, but during the summer he and schoolmate Brian Yakel shared the boxing ring at Mighty Moe's Fights at the Fishhead event, held Aug. 20 at the Fishhead Cantina on Benson Ave.

Warfield earned a decision over Chris Cho and improved his amateur record to 2-0.

Yakel, who lost his first amateur bout in June, won his first by knocking out Reid Ruark in the first round.

Moe Rites, a fixture in the Arbutus boxing community, organized the outside event that was witnessed by nearly 500 fans.

Less is more for Viking Baltimore County wrestling champion

Lansdowne senior Greg McCoy, the sixth seed, dropped from 125 pounds to 119 and defeated three opponents with pins on his way to winning the Baltimore County wrestling championship.

He pinned Evan Layrea in the first period of the title bout and couldn't stop smiling.

"He finally got down to 119 (pounds) two weeks ago," said coach Lansdowne coach Earl Eppard, who suggested at the seeding meeting that he was better than a sixth seed.

McCoy, who was the Arbutus Times Male Athlete of the Year, improved his record at 119 to 6-0.

"I wanted to win so bad I just had to get down to 119," said McCoy, who was trying to gain weight during football season so he could try to play after high school.

Senior Nick Payne (27-6) also reached the finals for the Vikings in the 130-pound class, but he fell to Demetrius Johnson, of Owings Mills.

The Vikings also were represented in the top six by Cristian Vasquez (5th, 125) and Kyle Beard (6th, 140).

Former Arbutus stars help Catonsville to historic season

Catonsville High's football team won a school-record 12 games this season before losing in the Class 4A state semifinals to Old Mill. But the Comets closest victory, while piling up 12 straight wins, was a 30-28 triumph in front of nearly 2,000 fans over Paint Branch in the regional finals.

"It was the most exciting game I've ever been involved in," said Catonsville coach Rich Hambor, who earlier in the season captured his 50th career coaching victory in a 50-14 thrashing of traditional county juggernaut Hereford.

Catonsville trailed Paint Branch 9-0 before rallying behind 187 yards rushing on 43 carries by DeAndre Lane.

Lane is one of six Comet starters, including linemen Brandon Dixon, Josh Schmidt, defensive end Sean Lipscomb, running back Jerome Williams and quarterback Aaron Jones, who are among nine that played recreation football in the Arbutus Athletic Association.

Joe Tebo started the comeback with a 40-yard interception return. Eric Meninger kicked a field goal and a short touchdown run from Lane gave the Comets a 17-9 lead.

The Panthers went ahead 21-17 before Lane's touchdown run gave the Comets a 23-21 lead with 3:54 left in the third quarter.

They extended it to 30-21 on Lane's third touchdown run and answered Paint Branch's score to make it 30-28 by chewing up the last 7:37 of the game going 70 yards.

"That's the drive of the year," Hambor said.

The Comets' historic win at Poly the following week, that ended the 40-year coaching career of Roger Wrenn, earned the school's first-ever regional title.

Short-handed Vikings refuse to lose in final home game

Lansdowne High's never-give-up attitude paid off in the Vikings final regular-season soccer game against visiting Pikesville on Oct. 20.

Lansdowne trailed 2-1 after Pikesville's Tete Obot scored a goal with under 16 minutes left in the second half, but the Vikings responded with two goals in two minutes in the final 10 minutes of regulation and pulled off a 3-2 victory.

Vince Anikas scored the first goal on a direct kick from 29 yards out.

Two minutes later, Anikas drilled a corner kick that caromed off Pikesville's Josh Barris for an own goal.

"I knew the wind was going to make it hard to judge for that play so I just hit it right at him and hoped for the best," Anikas said.

Lansdowne had a lot of hope and faith early in the game despite playing with only nine players.

"We had nine guys at practice on Tuesday and my rule is you don't come to practice, you can't start the next game," Kohel said. "They know that and they took it. I think they could have taken it the wrong way, but they took it well."

They played with nine players for the first 10 minutes and it was scoreless.

Lansdowne's defense of goalie Abednego Anyoha and defenders John Armstrong, Peter Flores, Masserigne N'Daiye and Thomas Mang bent, but didn't break in the effort.

No track, no problem for state champion Western Tech

Even without a track on campus, the Western Tech girls have something every better-endowed program cherishes — a championship, or in this case, two of them.

The Wolverines earned that by winning their second straight Class 1A state title.

Western Tech collected 81 points and easily outdistanced runner-up Boonsboro (49).

Junior Ashley Linton and freshman Sharon Dorsey were the lone Wolverines to win individual titles.

Linton captured the 800 meters and finished second to Dorsey in the 500.

"The whole race (500) I was in front, and she (Dorsey) came out of nowhere," Linton said. "I was like, 'where did that girl come from?'"

"If we had a track, I couldn't even tell you how good they could be," coach Shedrick Elliott said. "But I don't even let them think about it too much. That's why I make them focus more on the clock."

Vikings pull off pulsating win on gridiron in final minute

Lansdowne center Tyler Wilford told quarterback Dominic Mullin to "follow me, baby," right before his shotgun snap from the Patapsco 17-yard line.

That's exactly what the senior signal-caller did with 35 seconds left in the fourth quarter to give the Vikings a 20-14 victory.

Mullin darted up the middle, faster than a kayak zipping down the Patapsco River during a tropical storm, and dove into the end zone, giving the host Vikings their first win in the third game of the season.

Wilford and fullback David Wright made key blocks on the quarterback draw that worked to perfection.

"We worked on it in practice and we saved it until the last minute because at halftime we were working on the shotgun snap," Mullin said.

What was he thinking when he saw the gaping hole?

"Happiness man, daylight, daylight," he said.

The play rewarded an outstanding defensive effort by the Vikings, who forced six turnovers and held the Patriots to three first downs and only 18 yards of total offense.

Mullin, Wolford and Darrick Purnell had interceptions, Nick Farmer had two fumble recoveries and Kyle Beard had one.

Farmer's second fumble recovery came on the Patriot 3-yard line and led to a short touchdown run by Deon Hill.

Mullin's extra-point conversion pass from the 7-yard line to sophomore Edrick Mallard gave the Vikings a 14-6 lead with 7:43 left in the fourth quarter.

Patapsco rallied to tie with a tick under five minutes left in regulation, giving Lansdowne coach Ken Schuckle some nervous moments.

"My heart shouldn't (have been) jumping through my chest so much," Schuckle said.

Eventually, Mullin and his blockers took care of that.

Wolverines reach volleyball state semifinals for first time

Western Tech may have lost to Smithsburg in three games in the Class 1A state semifinals, but they will always be remembered as the first Wolverine team to win a regional volleyball title and earn a trip to College Park for the state tournament.

"I am really proud of the way we played," coach Eric Jett said. "We probably played one of our best games of the year."

The best Western Tech could do against the four-time state champions was to draw even early in the first game, after the Leopards jumped out to 7-2 lead.

Senior outside hitter Bria McCaskill (5 digs) and senior setter Aigner Chavis-Turner (6 assists, 3 digs) paced Western Tech.

Minal Sufian, Kara Broadus, Chikiera Cephas, Laura Tulley, Morgan Rhoe and Cara Boarman also saw action for the Wolverines.

Despite the outcome, the Wolverines (12-5) celebrated their historic season and arrived four hours before the match to take pictures.

"We beat a couple of teams this year that we usually struggle against," said Jett, whose team swept Pikesville in the regional final, 25-15, 25-10, 25-17. "We had a really nice group of girls and they really like being around each other. It's the most wins we ever had. The season was just fantastic."

Tulley said Jett, who has been the team's head coach for a decade, knew in the preseason this year would be like none before it.

"Since the first day of practice, he was like, 'By the end of the year, we are going to be at states,'" she said.

Arbutus Big Red title shot ends in heartbreaker

On a cold and blustery night in Virginia, Arbutus Big Red owner George Kendrick and his team had a bitter ending to its semipro season when they lost the Mason Dixon League championship game, 21-16, to the Northern Neck Rivermen on a Hail Mary pass with 1:02 left.

Kendrick, who said he would continue to own the team, but not watch or coach from the sidelines, missed most of the game because he got knocked over on the sidelines.

"I got blindsided and spent the rest of the second and third quarters on the bus," he said.

Tim Fobbs intercepted a pass and returned it 35 yards for a touchdown and Ray Gambril rushed for a touchdown for the Big Red.

Ryan McGowan added a 35-yard field goal for the 11-4 Big Red squad.

The defense was led by linebacker Brendon Twilley.

The Rivermen scored the game-winning touchdown on a 45-yard pass.

"Sometimes the prevent defense prevents you from winning," Kendrick said.

Kendrick, whose squad knocked off top-seeded and previously undefeated Virginia Crusaders a week earlier, praised the Big Red fans who supported the squad all season.

"Fans were with us all the way," said Kendrick, who noted over 30 fans made the trek to Colonial Beach.

He also praised his squad that was gunning for its fifth overall championship and second in three years.

"Only two teams got there and we were one of them," Kendrick said.

Arbutus coaches Ulander Giles and Jimmy Lewis and former Big Red standout linebacker Kevin Moore were inducted into the Mason Dixon Football League Hall of Fame.

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