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Varsity Letters News and notes on Baltimore area high school sports
McDonogh midfielder Danny O'Connell cleared to play after helmet-to-helmet hit

McDonogh midfielder Danny O'Connell, who was injured during a helmet-to-helmet collision in the No. 1 Eagles' 13-11 win over Gonzaga on Sunday, was cleared to play in Thursday's home game against Culver Academy (Ind.).

Coach Andy Hilgartner said O’Connell needed 11 stitches, but did not suffer a concussion.

O’Connell lay on the ground for several minutes during the second quarter and Gonzaga received a three-minute, nonreleasable penalty for the hit.

McDonogh scored three goals in the next 2:46, sparking a 6-0 run that gave the Eagles an 8-3 lead early in the third quarter. McDonogh's Robert Clark on Sunday said the penalty "pumped us up a lot" because "we didn't want to see him get hit like" that.

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Maryland vs. Pennsylvania boys basketball showcase slated for Saturday in Harrisburg

The Maryland vs. Pennsylvania boys basketball all-star game, which features Maryland seniors from various local leagues, is set for 8:30 p.m. Saturday at the Harrisburg Christian Athletic Center. 

Last year, the Maryland squad came away with a 118-114 double-overtime win for its second straight victory over the Pennsylvania team. 

Here's a look at the Maryland roster:

Reggie Rouse, Calvert Hall
Nick Oates, Glenelg
Seth Henry, Reservoir
Aaren Smith, Mount Hebron
Scott Harrelson, Dulaney
Jair Williams, Dulaney
Jacob McIntosh, Westminster
Gabe Cerebelli, Hereford
Isaiah White, Centennial
Kevin Steadman, Century
Logan Cook, South Carroll

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Westminster football coach Brad Wilson resigns after 11 seasons

When Westminster football coach Brad Wilson walked his team from the locker room up to Ruby Field each Friday night, the one thing he loved to see most was a full stadium.

The sight was so important to him that he kept a photo of it at his desk at the school, and it's probably what he'll remember most now that those days are over.

After 11 seasons, five playoff victories and a Class 3A state championship game berth, Wilson's tenure as Westminster's coach has come to an end. On Monday, he informed his players and the administration that he'd be stepping down from his post and moving to North Carolina with his wife.

“It's a community event on Friday nights,” Wilson said. “I just happened to be fortunate enough to be in charge.”

Wilson said he has tried to make a career at Westminster of putting his players, staff, and parent support first before taking any of the credit for himself. It's the kind of attitude he continues to maintain, even when organizations like the Ravens named him...

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Springfest Lacrosse at St. Paul's to benefit One Love Foundation

Springfest Lacrosse -- a mixer between some of the top IAAM and MIAA teams and Long Island and Pennsylvania teams -- will be held Saturday at the St. Paul's Schools to benefit the One Love Foundation.

The schedule

St. Paul's girls vs. Garden City (N.Y.) at 10 a.m.

St. Paul's boys vs. Garden City (N.Y.) at 10 a.m.

Bryn Mawr vs. Manhasset (N.Y.) at 1 p.m.

Boys' Latin vs. Manhasset (N.Y.) at 1 p.m.

Notre Dame Prep vs. Cold Spring Harbor (N.Y.) at 3 p.m.

John Carroll boys vs. Mercersberg (Pa.) at 3 p.m.

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Ned Sparks, MPSSAA executive director, to retire in August

After overseeing Maryland public school athletics for 34 years, Ned Sparks is ready for a break.

Sparks, who steered the state’s high school sports programs through a rapidly-changing competitive landscape during his tenure, said Thursday he will retire as executive director of the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association on Aug. 1

“I just want to ease back on the accelerator a bit, knowing in this job you’ve got to go full speed; there’s no walk-throughs,” Sparks said. “I have friends who own their own businesses and they’re able to ease away from their jobs as their children sort of take over. I can’t do that in my position. I can’t come in every other Thursday.”

Sparks, 68, coordinated the rapid growth of girls sports, added state championships in five sports, moved state tournament sites to facilities such as M&T Bank Stadium, Xfinity Center and SECU Arena, developed corporate sponsorships and navigated technological advances.

His reach went beyond Maryland’s borders...

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Boys lacrosse top 5 countdown: No. 1 St. Paul's

The time has come to reveal The Baltimore Sun's top ranked boys lacrosse team.

The entire Top 15 poll, along with the top players to watch, will be available online Thursday night and the entire preview package will be in Friday’s print edition.

Here's a look at No. 1 St. Paul's

Coach: Rick Brocato

Last season: 13-7, No. 2

Postseason: MIAA A Conference final

Outlook: With the talent and balance in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Assoication A Conference this season, a handful of teams could be in this spot with no argument. The Crusaders get the nod because of the experience they have returning -- led by four-year starting attackman Carter Flaig and senior goalie AJ Barretto -- and the added motivation of reaching last year's title game and falling short. 

Six starters and 18 letter winners are back from last year's team, and an explosive offense is the team's unquestioned strength. Coming off a 36-goal, 31-assist junior season, Flaig is in line to become the porgram's all-time...

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