Westminster has had its share of success as part of the annual Carroll Cup competition over the last 11 school years, but the Owls settled for runner-up and middle-of-the-pack finishes.
Until this year.
Bolstered by a big spring season, and with a few crucial bonus points along the way, Westminster surpassed Liberty and edged Century to capture its first Cup championship.
The Cup is awarded each year by the Carroll County Times to the school that accumulates the most points based on regular-season standings in each sport. Points are given based on order of finish in the standings, with six for first place, five for second, in descending order (ties are broken, if possible, based on head-to-head results).
Bonus points are awarded for any regional or state championships won.
Westminster finished the school year with 93 points after tallying 38.5 in the spring. Century, last year’s Cup champion, took second with 91.5 points (the Knights topped the spring standings with 41).
Westminster’s only spring county title came from boys lacrosse, but the Owls added two bonus points by winning Class 3A West Region and 3A state championships. They notched two bonus points from the regional and state champion girls lacrosse team, as well one another point from the 3A state finalist softball team.
Westminster’s boys lacrosse team won 18 games in a row after losing its season opener and won the program’s second crown, while the girls captured their first — both teams won on the same evening last week at Stevenson University.
The Owls boys beat Northern of Calvert County 12-8, a few hours after the girls knocked off Mount Hebron 9-5.
The Owls added second-place finishes in girls lacrosse, baseball, softball, and boys track, and placed third in boys tennis.
Westminster athletic director Terry Molloy pointed to his spring teams’ consistency as the key to the Owls’ success. Teams that made big improvements from a year ago gave the program vital points toward the Carroll Cup standings, and Molloy said it made a huge difference.
“My kids make me proud every day,” Molloy said.
Century won county crowns in baseball, softball, and boys track. The baseball team picked up two bonus points for claiming 2A West and 2A state titles — the Knights topped La Plata 4-1 in the state final Saturday afternoon at Ripken Stadium.
Century added county runner-up finishes in boys lacrosse, boys tennis, and girls tennis. Its girls lacrosse team earned a bonus point for winning the 2A West Region title.
Liberty finished third overall with 89.5 points. The Lions won county titles in boys and girls tennis, and earned a bonus point for claiming the Region VII team championship. They placed second in girls track.
South Carroll, with spring county titles in girls lacrosse and girls track, took fourth with 76 points. Winters Mill was next with 48, followed by Manchester Valley (43) and Francis Scott Key (22).
Westminster and South Carroll tied for the lead during the winter season, and Liberty started strong back in the fall to take over first place after one leg of the Cup. The Lions led the overall standings after the winter with 61 points, with Westminster (54.5) and Century (49.5) trailing.
The Owls pulled ahead thanks for their successful spring, however. But Westminster is just the fourth different county school to claim the Carroll Cup.
Century won the inaugural chalice in 2007 before North Carroll won back-to-back Cup crowns. The Knights regained their status in 2010 and won five Cups in a row.
Liberty earned its first Cup title in 2015 and added a second the following year, but Century snatched it back in 2017.