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Liberty High School edges Century to claim Carroll Cup for 2020-21 athletic year

Century High School eked out a Carroll Cup championship in 2020, without the benefit of playing spring sports because of the COVID-19 pandemic, by holding off rival Liberty by 1.5 points.

This year, with three modified athletic seasons, the Lions returned the favor. They jumped out to a lead after the fall sports season and held off a sizzling Knights spring performance to total 88.5 points, beating Century by one-half point.

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Century's Caroline Little, left, tries to maneuver around defensive pressure from Liberty's Caitlynn Szarko during a girls lacrosse game at Century High School on Tuesday, May 11, 2021.
Century's Caroline Little, left, tries to maneuver around defensive pressure from Liberty's Caitlynn Szarko during a girls lacrosse game at Century High School on Tuesday, May 11, 2021. (Brian Krista/Carroll County Times)

Liberty claimed the Cup for the third time in school history, and the first in five years.

The Carroll Cup, in its 15th year, is awarded each year by the Carroll County Times to the school that accumulates the most points based on regular-season standings in each varsity sport. Points are given based on order of finish in the standings, with six for first place, five for second place, and so on in descending order (ties are broken, if possible, based on head-to-head results).

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In seasons past, bonus points were awarded for any regional or state championships won along the way. But since fall and winter sports teams didn’t get a chance to experience a postseason amid the pandemic, the Times decided to use regular-season standings only.

Century was runner-up in the overall standings with 88 points and Westminster finished third with 84.5 points, followed by South Carroll (71), Manchester Valley (62), Winters Mill (29), and Francis Scott Key (18).

Century teammates celebrate on the court after a late 3-point shot by Noah Riley (2) gave the Knights the win during a boys basketball game at South Carroll High School on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021.
Century teammates celebrate on the court after a late 3-point shot by Noah Riley (2) gave the Knights the win during a boys basketball game at South Carroll High School on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. (Brian Krista/Carroll County Times)

Liberty came in third in the spring with 31.5 points behind Century’s 40.5 and Westminster’s 32. But the Lions won Carroll County titles in boys tennis, girls tennis, and boys track and field, and shared baseball with the Knights to get the crucial one-half point.

Century collected spring sports county crowns in baseball, boys lacrosse, girls lacrosse, and girls track and field. South Carroll won the softball title in the spring.

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The Cavaliers led the winter sports portion of the Cup chase with 23 points (Century had 21, Liberty had 20). SC won the wrestling county title, while Century won boys basketball and girls indoor track, and Liberty earned girls basketball and boys indoor track championships.

And the Owls kept pace back in the fall season with 35 points behind three county titles — football, volleyball, and golf — and third-place finishes in four other sports. Century won girls soccer and was second in field hockey and volleyball.

Liberty won county titles in boys soccer, field hockey, boys cross country, and girls cross country.

Century won the inaugural Carroll Cup in 2007, and reeled off five straight from 2010-14. The Knights added another Cup in 2017 and 2019, and won again last year. Liberty won in 2015 and 2016, Westminster won its only Carroll Cup in 2018, and North Carroll claimed titles in 2008 and 2009.

Westminster's Christian Burke, left, and Liberty's Michael Pellicciotti both make lunging efforts to reach the ball first during a boys soccer game at Westminster High School on Tuesday, March 9, 2021.
Westminster's Christian Burke, left, and Liberty's Michael Pellicciotti both make lunging efforts to reach the ball first during a boys soccer game at Westminster High School on Tuesday, March 9, 2021. (Brian Krista)

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