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Varsity Letters News and notes on Baltimore area high school sports
Soccer standout Donovan Pines, a River Hill junior who plays academy ball, has committed to Maryland

Soccer standout defender Donovan Pines, a River Hill junior who plays in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy for the D.C. United club, has made a verbal commitment to the University of Maryland.

Pines, a Clarksville resident who maintains a 4.0 grade point average, played varsity soccer and basketball as a freshman at River Hill before joining the academy during his sophomore year.

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Severn girls lacrosse coach Renie Sotiropoulos stepping down after 20 years

Severn girls lacrosse coach Renie Sotiropoulos has decided to step down after 20 years with the Admirals.

She will continue to teach history at Severn and will be dean of next year's senior class, but with four sons aged 8 to 13, Sotiropoulos said she wanted more time for her family and her other responsibilities at Severn.

"I kind of feel like 20 is a good number," she said. "I have four boys and they're getting into their sports and sometimes you're just ready. It was a hard, hard, hard decision. It's great to be a teacher-coach at a school where you see [the players] all the time in all sorts of different ways, so it's been terrific here at Severn. I'm staying here in all capacities except coaching."

As a dean, she remains with the same class through the years until graduation and with seniors, Sotiropoulos there's a lot going on in the spring on top of lacrosse season. In addition, her older two sons are now playing lacrosse.

"Sometimes, I was just like, a Saturday in April where I...

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South River seeking new boys lacrosse coach

South River is accepting applications in search of finding its new varsity boys lacrosse coach.

Former coach Paul Noone, who went 128-22 with three state championships in eight seasons, stepped down to pursue other interests. He guided the Seahawks to their sixth region championship and the Class 4A-3A state semifinals this spring.

All interested applicants should send a resume to the school's athletic director, David Klingel, via email at



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Roland Park lacrosse coaches, Kristin Nicolini, Reagan Koffel to resign

Roland Park lacrosse coaches Kristin Nicolini and Reagan Koffel, sisters who played for the Reds, have retired after seven seasons, including three in which they reached the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference final.

Both have small children and said family was foremost in their decision to step away from coaching. Nicolini has three children under the age of 5, including a 6-month old son, and Koffel has a 9-month old son.

"It's just something we had been talking about for about two years," Nicolini, 35, said. "As that goes, we just kept putting it off. With me, this is planning to be my last baby and I just realized that there's a lot of time that's taken away from my life at home and it's needed there.

"We'll still be the biggest Roland Park fans there are. It was funny, my 5-year old, when I told her, she was sad and she said, 'Can we still go to the games, Mommy?' I said, 'Yeah, we will, just in a different way.' It's getting to be a 12-month job almost and...

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Four local football players nominated for the US Army All-American Bowl

Gilman's Ellison Jordan and Devery Hamilton, Franklin's Steven Smothers and McDonogh's Eric Burrell were among 400 players from across the country nominated to play in the US Army All-American Bowl in January.

The list, which includes 14 players from Maryland, will be trimmed to 90 for the annual East-West showdown Jan. 9 at the Alamodome in San Antoinio. The selection tour will begin in September and run through December as the finalists are presented their jerseys at school pep rallies.

Jordan, a defensive lineman; Smothers, an athlete who played wide receiver, cornerback and returnman; and Burrell a safety who also played wide receiver, were first-team All-Metro players last fall. Like his three peers, Hamilton, an offensive lineman, is also one of the most highly recruited players in the Class of 2016.

Jordan, Hamilton and Burrell led their teams to a share of the MIAA A Conference championships last fall. Smothers led the Indians to their second straight Class 3A state championship...

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State lacrosse championships set for Tuesday, Wednesday at Stevenson University

The schedule for the state lacrosse championships has been set for Tuesday night and Wednesday night at Stevenson University in Owings Mills.

The field for the six title games includes three defending champions -- Severna Park girls in Class 4A-3A, Manchester Valley girls in Class 2A-1A and Kent Island boys in Class 3A-2A.


2A-1A girls: Manchester Valley vs. Queen Anne's, 4 p.m.

3A-2A boys: Kent Island vs. River Hill, 6 p.m.

4A-3A girls: Severna Park vs. Bel Air, 8 p.m.


2A-1A boys: Easton vs. Southern-AA, 4 p.m.

3A-2A girls: Century vs. Stephen Decatur, 6 p.m.

4A-3A boys: Howard vs. Winston Churchill, 8 p.m.

Admission is $10 for everyone 7 and older. Tickets can be purchased in advance. For more information, go to the MPSSAA website's Fan Focus.

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