Carroll County Times

High School Notebook: Winters Mill, Gerstell honor college commits

From left, Winters Mill's Anna Diffendal, Caroline Heffner, Sarah Rhoads, Carlee Cook, Madeline Soper, and Hailey Bennett.

Winters Mill held a signing day ceremony Monday to recognize six girls athletes who made their college commitments.

The Falcons honored girls soccer standout Anna Diffendal (Delaware) and girls lacrosse stars Caroline Heffner (Wingate), Sarah Rhoads (Towson), Carlee Cook (Kent State), Madeline Soper (Shepherd), and Hailey Bennett (Shepherd).


Diffendal finished the fall with 18 goals and 40 points and helped Winters Mill win county and regional championships. Her 69 career goals are third most in Carroll history.

Rhoads led the lacrosse team last spring with 36 goals (Diffendal had 35 goals in her secondary sport), and Bennett totaled 99 saves as the Falcons’ goalie. Rhoads and Diffendal played midfield in 2017, while Cook and Soper were defenders.


Meanwhile, Gerstell recently recognized two of its lacrosse standouts who confirmed their college choices with a signing day event. Michael Ippolito is headed to High Point, and Jillian Wilson is bound for Loyola.

Ippolito dealt with an injury last spring and saw action in only nine games for the Falcons boys lacrosse team, but the attackman collected 29 goals and nine assists for 38 points (seventh highest on the team). Ippolito helped Gerstell reach the semifinals of the MIAA B Conference tournament.

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Wilson led Gerstell in scoring a season ago with 111 points on 78 goals and 33 assists. She also totaled 111 draw controls and 97 groundballs.

Gerstell's Michael Ippolito (High Point) and Jillian Wilson (Loyola) were recognized at a recent signing day ceremony. Both play lacrosse at Gerstell.

Eldersburg resident Sophia Stewart (Mount de Sales) recently signed a letter of intent to play women’s lacrosse at Mount St. Mary’s next year. Stewart is a defender on the Sailors’ varsity squad.

Wendy’s winners abound

Since 1994, Wendy’s and the Heisman Trophy Trust have honored more than 600,000 of the nation’s most esteemed students. This year, Wendy’s will celebrate the accomplishments of thousands of the best high school seniors, awarding winners in five phases — School Winners, State Finalists, State Winners, National Finalists, and National Winners.

School Winners from Carroll were: Ryan Burrows (Liberty), Carter Cigrang (Manchester Valley), Mackenzie DeWees (Manchester Valley), Ethan Ferguson (South Carroll), Nicholas Haines (Francis Scott Key), Sarah Kleb (Liberty), Ryan Novotny (Westminster), Elaina Perry (Francis Scott Key), Kasey Schuchardt (Westminster), and Allison Zolkiewicz (South Carroll).

DeWees, Kleb and Zolkiewicz made the State Finalists list, and DeWees was one of two Maryland winners.

State winners receive $1,000 toward an athletic scholarship. Nominees must carry a grade-point average of 3.0 or higher, and must exhibit leadership qualities in athletics and academics.


Winter sports heating up

Wednesday marks the first day of practice for winter high school sports — boys basketball, girls basketball, wrestling, boys indoor track, and girls indoor track. The first play date for winter sports is Dec. 5.