One of the ultimate goals for the seniors on the Hereford boys lacrosse team is making their final year the best of all.
It's a challenge, considering the lofty standard the No. 5 Bulls have established in recent years, but it's also a task on which they thrive.
In Wednesday's Class 3A-2A state championship against No. 10 Glenelg, the Bulls once again displayed their long-standing dominance, coming away with a comfortable 13-3 win over the overmatched Gladiators to add to the state record book.
In completing its season with a 19-2 record, Hereford set another Maryland record with nine state championships and added to its record of consecutive crowns, which now stands at six. The 2013 seniors became the third straight class to win state titles in each of their four years with the Bulls.
Midfielder Jack Adams — one of 12 Hereford seniors — had five goals and one assist, and junior attackman Jason Ashwood added four goals as the Bulls ended another season in a familiar formation — a collective mass celebrating on the UMBC Stadium turf.
"I know, for me at least, these were the best guys I've ever played with in any sport," said senior captain Joe Seider, a four-year varsity contributor who scored two goals in the title game. "We all play for each other, and it doesn't really matter how many goals we have or assists we get. It's all about how well we play for each other and how hard we work for each other, and that's why this is so special."
In a rematch of last year's final, things started out much the same way on Wednesday as a year ago.
The Bulls, who had a 7-0 lead in last year's 13-8 win over the Gladiators, came out fast and aggressive to build a 5-0 lead after the first quarter. Adams and Ashwood each scored twice in the opening quarter.
Glenelg's Tommy Chaisson scored with 9:54 to play in the second quarter, and Tyler Wasson added a late goal for the Gladiators (16-3) to cut Hereford's lead to 7-2 at halftime.
But unlike last season, when the Gladiators' second-half push pulled them within two goals, there was no suspense this year.
Ashwood and Adams scored two fast goals to start the third quarter, and Glenelg never scored consecutive goals in the game.
"We always try to come out fast," said Adams, another captain and four-year varsity player. "Last year, unfortunately, we died off at the end of the state game. So this year, we preached about staying with things, keep pushing forward and scoring goals. It all starts with our defense."
For the Gladiators, who won 14 straight games going into the final, a second straight season ends with a frustrating loss to Hereford.
Senior midfielder Anthony Pagnotta said the team spent one recent practice looking over last year's title game and writing down all the errors the team made, "and then we came out and did the same things."
5 Hereford 13, 10 Glenelg 3
Goals: H – Adams 5, Ashwood 4, Seider 2, Ceribelli, Jones;
G – Chaisson, Wasson, Forrest.
Assists: H – Adams, Bauer, Ceribelli, Patti;
G -- Forrest.
Saves: H – Cunningham 4, Turnbaugh 3; G – Landry 4.
Half: H, 7-2Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun