When Taylor Whitmer was 7 years old, she asked her father, a University of Maryland employee, if the school had a soccer team.
Yes, they did, her father said. Whitmer said she wanted to play soccer for the Terrapins one day. Next fall, Whitmer gets a chance to fulfill that childhood dream.
The Westminster junior made a verbal commitment last week to play Division I soccer at Maryland, a decision she said wasn't difficult to make.
"It feels like home there and I've been in love with Maryland since I was a kid," Whitmer said. "Walking on campus, watching other people, they always have a good time. The soccer team is really competitive and really hard-working and I love how big the campus is. It's very diverse and there's not just one community of the same people, everyone is different."
The signing period for soccer starts Feb.1.
Whitmer said when she sets a goal, she's determined to accomplish it. Her admiration for Maryland was enough motivation for her to pursue the goal of becoming a Terp in the future. There were other schools on her radar that included Lehigh, Towson, Virginia Commonwealth and UMBC.
"It's a relief, but it's also really stressful at the same time," Whitmer said. "I have to keep on my game and work even harder because I might be going to the school, but who knows if I will play or not. My grades are so important now that I'm committed because I have to get in, so it's a little more pressure."
Whitmer led the Owls this fall with nine goals and eight assists for 26 points to earn Times all-county first-team honors for a second consecutive season. Westminster finished the season 9-5-3 (3-2-1 in county play) and won three playoff matches before coming up short in the Class 3A South Region final.
Whitmer has been playing with the same group of girls on the Oni Premier Soccer Academy, and is the Baltimore-based club's first college commit. Century's Kaylee Titus and Winters Mill's Anna Diffendal also play on Whitmer's Magic U-18 club team.
Whitmer said her OPSA coaches, Albert Oni and Cynthia Gamboa Walsh, played a large factor in her recruitment process, and she's thankful for that.
"They're the reason why I made it this far and got here," Whitmer said. "I seriously couldn't have done it without them, and my family and friends of course."
County football players have All-Star impact
Carroll had solid representation Saturday at annual Baltimore Touchdown Club All-Star Classic football game, which was held at Archbishop Spalding on Saturday.
The county had 18 players in action for the North team, which edged the South squad 19-18 in overtime. Westminster junior kicker Ian Gould kicked an extra point in overtime, which stood as the game-winning tally in the North's 19-18 victory.
Gould was joined by Westminster teammates Dylan Lane (OL), Jaime Rodriguez (DL), Kenton VanderWoude (WR) and Wayne Williams (LB).
Century had Jack Akers (DL), Anthony Perrone (WR) and Sam Rothstein (OL); Liberty had Ben Agostino (QB), Spencer Kirin (DB), Corey Luthe (LB) and Michael Phillips (OL); Manchester Valley had Chandler Breeden (TE) and Michael Dickens (DB); South Carroll had Henry Cook (LB), AJ Linn (ATH) and Jamar Williams (DB); and Winters Mill had Nate Forte (RB).
In the other BTC all-star game, the West team held off the East 24-17. Carroll's contingent on the West squad included Francis Scott Key's Aiden Mosher (WR) and Silver Oak Academy's Evan Dunn (OL), Keith Goods (OL), Tedrin Montique (DL) and Daron Savoy (ATH).
Quartet of players on field hockey all-state team
Four all-county field hockey players recently earned all-state honors from the Field Hockey Coaches Association of Maryland. Manchester Valley senior goalie Jacie Wood and senior midfielder Meghan Harmon joined Westminster senior forward Emily Dudley and senior midfielder Emily Pulkowski on the second team.
Wood led the county with 162 saves while Harmon had 13 goals and 11 assists for the 2A West champ Mavericks. Meanwhile, Dudley tied for Carroll's scoring lead with 28 points (13 goals, 12 assists) and Pulkowski added 13 goals for the county and 3A West champion Owls.