A major snowstorm wiped out scheduled high school opening games after the first day of spring, and another bout of the fluffy stuff postponed the first practice for winter sports teams on Nov. 15, but despite the uncooperative conditions, there were several memorable athletic moments that were made at public schools during 2018.
Here’s a look at some of those highlights from athletes representing Catonsville and Western Tech high schools during the year.
CHS basketball milestones
In Catonsville High’s 56-54 victory over Howard in the regional semifinals, Comet senior Jasmine Dickey scored her 2,000th career point and Catonsville head coach Mike Mohler gained his 500th career victory.
Dickey, now at the University of Delaware, scored 16 of her 25 points in the final 13 minutes against Howard.
The Comets went on to win over Paint Branch in the regional championship gamer for theri second straight regional title.
They followed that with a victory in the state semifinals before bowing to Eleanor Roosevelt in the state finals, a year after winning the state title in 2017.
New AD Hambor leaves coaching mark
Popular Catonsville football and baseball coach Rich Hambor took over as the new athletic director at Catonsville on July 1, leaving behind a coaching career that included an 85-62 mark on the gridiron, including six playoff appearances.
“The biggest downside for Rich being the athletic director is he is not going to have Rich as a coach,” said former athletic director James “Fitz” Fitzpatrick, who retired after four years at the helm.
Hambor began coaching varsity baseball in 2005 and compiled a 164-90 career mark, including a loss to South River in the state finals in 2013 and loss in the state semifinals in 2007 to Centennial.
Adam Kolarek settles in with Rays
Catonsville High graduate Adam Kolarek was on the mound when the Comets lost in that state semifinal game to Centennial in 2007.
After a brief stint pitching for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2017, Kolarek was promoted by the Rays during the 2018 season and established himself as one of team’s top relief pitchers.
During a stretch of relief appearances, from July 22 through Sept. 4, Kolarek allowed only one run, with 15 scoreless outings in 19 innings.
During that span, he allowed 14 hits and four walks, while striking out 11. He also notched two wins and two saves during the stretch.
He finished 2018 with a 3.93 earned run average and 1.25 WHIP.
Catonsville boys soccer brings the defense
After starting the season with a 1-5-1 record, the Catonsville boys soccer team won six straight shutouts, including a dramatic shootout victory over Dulaney in the Class 4A North Region Section I semifinals.
After 100 minutes of scoreless soccer, that included two fine saves from Catonsville goalie Eli Miller in crunch time, the Comets got shootout goals from Van Hmung, Justin Brittingham, Ansoumane Traore and Ethan Clark.
The shootout was tied 4-4 when Miller stopped a Dulaney kick and Emmett Aler gave the Comets a 5-4 lead, before the final Lion kicker sailed one high.
“The first couple, I was trying to guess where they were going and I just couldn’t get it,” Miller said. “The fifth guy I just knew he was going that side.”
Catonsville softball nips Lansdowne
Catonsville junior Erin Kreis went 3-for-4 to lead the Comets to an 8-7 victory over host Landowne in softball.
A two-run single by Christina Dayhoff and three-run homer by Don’ya Truesdale staked the Comets to a 7-1 lead after two innings.
Lansdowne pitcher Jordyn Goodman retired the next 14 batters and the Vikings rallied twice to pull within one, but they couldn’t get over the hump.
Ike Kalu reaches finals
Western Tech sent four wrestlers to the Maryland state tournament, but junior Ike Kalu (31-2) was the one that advanced the farthest in the Class 1A-2A competition.
Wrestling at 195 pounds, state runner-up Kalu opened with an 8-0 decision over Winters Mill’s Hunter Lowe.
He knocked off Snow Hill’s Jordan Bishop in the second round, 5-1, and scored a 10-1 major decision over North Caroline’s Alex Grable in the semifinals.
In the finals, Kalu, who captured Baltimore County and regional titles, lost in the ultimate tiebreaker to Middletown’s Cam Farrow.
The score was tied, 2-2, at the end of regulation, one-minute overtime and two 30-second overtimes.
Farrow had the top position in the ultimate overtime and rode out Kalu for 30 seconds.
“His only two losses this year were just like that, triple overtime, top-bottom rideouts,” Western Tech coach Juan Solera said.
Joining Kalu at this year’s state tournament were seniors Mohammed Sow (145 pounds, 31-15), Jonathan Jacobs (170, 30-14) and Edmond Harrison (220, 30-7).
Sow lost his first match, but won his next two in the consolation round.
His quest to wrestle for fifth place ended in a 3-2 loss to Perryville’s Jarrett Hunter.
Allied softball tournament at Catonsville High
The first Allied Softball tournament was held on the turf field at Catonsville High in early May and 170 Allied Softball athletes from 14 Baltimore County schools made history on the four makeshift softball diamonds.
The regular season consisted of seven regular-season games played indoors, but this was the first postseason tournament held outside and Catonsville High’s Brandon Amorosi appreciated the event.
“It gives us exercise and it’s great,” Amorosi said.
The tournament was co-sponsored by League of Dreams.
Catonsville resident Frank Kolarek, president and executive director, and Mike Bordick, League of Dreams chairman of the board and former Major League player and analyst for the Baltimore Orioles, were there offering inspiring words.
Kolarek worked closely with Catonsville allied softball coach Alicia Brady and Brad Kressman, Baltimore County Public Schools Allied Sports Resource Teacher, to make the tournament a reality for the first time.
“It was really hosted by Catonsville, but we helped to co-sponsor it, so it was great, great people, it was the right combination, between us, as a separate non-profit organization, and the school of Catonsville.”
Western Tech volleyball makes history
Western Tech’s volleyball team won its third regional title in school history, but this year’s team went a step further.
Western Tech junior Beatrice Daudelin (seven aces) reeled off nine straight service points to give Western Tech a 9-0 lead in the first set and the Wolverines carried the momentum to a four-set victory over Lackey, 25-16, 25-17, 20-25, 25-15 in the Class 1A state volleyball semifinals at College Park.
It was the first volleyball team in school history to make the state finals.
Rachael Durham led the Wolverines (17-3) with 12 kills in the match and Kieran Ray (six), Carley Boarman (five), Sheri Aduwemi (four) and Daudelin (three) contributed to the hitting attack.
Western Tech’s bid for a state title ended in a 25-14, 25-15, 25-13 loss to Clear Spring in the finals.
Catonsville girls lacrosse sweep
A cold early April morning, featuring snow flurries, turned into a day where the Catonsville girls lacrosse team shone brightly after they defeated Century, 15-14, and Garrison Forest, 19-10, at the Comet Invitational girls lacrosse tournament.
It was the first time in the three years of the tournament the Comets won both games.
Against Century, Zoe Waddell scored the game-winning goal with 4:19 left.
The Comets played the final 19 minutes one player down and the final minute two players down.
Leah Marshall had five goals and Sophi Wrisk and Molly Buettner had two each against the Knights.
Marshall (5 goals), Weedon and Wrisk (3 goals each) led the Comets against Garrison.
Baker nearly goes unbeaten
After going 19-10 for the Catonsville wrestling team, Carl Baker won six straight games as a southpaw pitcher for the Comets baseball team before he suffered his only loss to Howard, 4-1, in the Class 4A North Region finals.
After Howard scored two runs in the first inning, Baker retired 14 of the next 15 batters, with the only one reaching on a walk.
“He did a really nice job. He kept us off-balanced, we popped up a lot of balls, but we were able to get some key hits when we needed them,” Howard coach Nick Hoffner said.
In the fifth inning, Catonsville’s Will Jones broke up Gabe Delgado’s perfect game and he scored two batters later on Baker’s suicide squeeze, making it 2-1.
The Comets never scored another run and that was the last run of Rich Hambor’s baseball coaching career.
Not surprisingly, it came on a play he called on numerous occasions — the suicide squeeze.