The Hereford boys lacrosse team had its string of six straight Class 3A-2A state titles end on Wednesday night when a talented Kent Island team earned an 8-6 win in the title game. The Bulls had been 9-for-9 in state title games before the loss, and their six straight titles and nine overall are state records.
While last night was the time to report about Hereford's loss and how it came about -- the Buccaneers from Queen Anne's County had the answers and were the better team, albeit slightly -- now is the time to applaud the Bulls for their astonishing run.
Prior to last night, the last time they lost a playoff game was in 2007, when Baltimore County rival Catonsville came away with an 8-7 win in the North regional semifinals.
Every year, the level of play from opponents increases and the Bulls had a bigger and bigger target on their back as the state titles piled up. And every year, the Bulls managed to stay a step ahead of the competition.
The Hereford formula is basic.
At the forefront, the players work hard in practice to make sure to maintain the high standard they've set. The Bulls are tough kids who play with great passion for the game and the program.
In the background is a strong feeder program that has young kids wearing Bulls jerseys and wanting to some day be the ones to win state titles. Each year. a number of seniors coach their own recreation teams -- becoming role models for the kids who aspire to be in their place some day.
For the first time in his six-year tenure, coach Brian King, who has compiled a 112-10 record, left the field on the season's final day without a victory. It was strange to see on Wednesday night, but King didn't seem any less proud of this year's team.
Championship runs are meant to end. And part of what makes sports great is that there's always next year to start another one.