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Girls lacrosse celebrates a quarter century in Carroll this spring, and the county continues to make a name for itself by churning out successful seasons and college-bound players.

It came to Carroll in 1988 as a varsity sport. The county has produced dozens of NCAA athletes and a handful of state championships in the last 25 years. County teams have played in the state tournament 30 times - seven of Carroll's eight teams have at least one final four trip - and come away with eight championships, five from Century and three from Winters Mill.

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Liberty has won a county-high 14 county titles. The Lions won seven in a row from 1990-96 and five straight from 1998-2002.

Century has seven county crowns (2003-07, 2009, 2012) and the Knights have made it to the state final in every year but one since they started playing varsity lacrosse. Westminster has five county titles and won the first two in 1998-89. Winters Mill has two county championships and North Carroll's lone county title came in 1997.

Century coach Becky Groves, who played her high school lacrosse at Liberty and then collegiately at Towson, said she thinks more girls playing the sport at a young age is the reason why so many are thriving in Carroll.

"When I was in high school, if you never played lacrosse before you were lucky to play JV," Groves said. "I think people are starting to play lacrosse at a younger age."

Groves said when she played at Liberty, where she earned a pair of Times Player of the Year awards and guided Liberty to state finals in 1999 and 2000 as Becky Trumbo, Anne Arundel and Baltimore were the dominant counties.

That's not always the case anymore thanks to Century and Winters Mill's haul of state trophies and plenty of other teams putting together successful playoff runs.

"Now," Groves said, "Carroll County is a name."

HERB RUBY TIME:

The Times is currently taking nominations for the annual Herb Ruby Award, which goes to the top male and female senior scholar-athlete.

To be up for the award, the nominee must have been academically eligible throughout his or her entire varsity career. They must also have played at least two varsity sports. Send nominations to

. The deadline is May 21

MIAA TIME:

Gerstell Academy's boys lacrosse team (14-3) has a first-round bye in the Maryland Interscholastic Atheltic Association C Conference tournament, which begins Friday. The top-seeded Falcons await the winner of Chapelgate vs. Baltimore Lutheran in the semifinals Tuesday at home. The MIAA championships are set for May 18 at Towson University, with the C final scheduled for 3 p.m.

FALCON COMMITS:

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Winters Mill senior

Marcus Jenkins

recently committed to play football at Shenandoah University in Winchester, Va. Jenkins was a two-year starter at offensive line for the Falcons.

HEY, COACH:

South Carroll High School is looking to fill coaching positions for varsity boys cross country and junior varsity volleyball. Interested applicants should contact SC athletic director Jim Horn at 410-751-3575 or

.

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