Athletes and coaches across Carroll County’s high school spring sports landscape couldn’t wait to get started when the first day of practice arrived three weeks ago, after missing out on an entire season in 2020 because of the COVID-19 virus.
The preparation time for a new season is nearly complete, however. And the anticipation of resuming spring sports now shifts to playing official games for the first time in two years.
The week leading up to Memorial Day of 2019 saw the last collection of high school sporting events for any Carroll public school team. The 2020 season was postponed March 13, as the pandemic enveloped most of the country, and postponed altogether April 28.
Coming out of that long break, Friday’s slate of games includes 15 matchups of county teams.
Westminster has the last three boys lacrosse county titles, and the Owls have won 37 consecutive games. Century has three consecutive baseball county championships, and the Knights won a girls lacrosse county title in 2019 as well.
Carroll had three lacrosse teams win state championships in 2019 when Westminster’s boys and girls each repeated as Class 3A champs, and South Carroll captured the school’s first girls championship when the Cavaliers won the 2A crown.
Manchester Valley won the softball county title, along with Liberty in boys tennis and girls tennis, Century in boys track, and South Carroll in girls track.
The Knights have won seven boys track county meet crowns in a row, while the Cavaliers have three straight girls team titles.
Century hosts Man Valley on Friday in baseball and softball matchups that feature the reigning county champ fro each sport. Baseball and softball are slated to play 12 regular-season games this spring, two against every other county opponent.
Westminster hosts Liberty in boys lacrosse Friday as the Owls begin their quest for after a seventh county championship in eight seasons. Reigning girls lacrosse county champion Century visits Manchester Valley.
Carroll’s boys and girls lacrosse teams are set for eight-game schedules.
Meanwhile, Liberty welcomes Westminster in tennis Friday. The Lions’ boys team has won 47 consecutive matches and the past four county championships; their girls team has won 75 regular-season contests in a row and hasn’t suffered a loss since April of 2013, with 11 county crowns in as many seasons.
Liberty also crowned a girls doubles state championship team in Emily Brecker and Noelle Htwar in 2019 after the duo went 21-0. Brecker and Htwar missed their senior season in 2020 and graduated last spring.
The boys and girls tennis teams have 12 regular-season matches set, and the annual county tournament is slated for May 28-29.
The outdoor track season is scheduled to begin Saturday with Century hosting Man Valley and South Carroll, and Winters Mill at home for a quad-meet with Francis Scott Key, Liberty, and Westminster. The county track meet is May 26 at Manchester Valley High School.
The status of any postseason play is yet to be decided, and the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association’s Board of Control is expected to meet in two weeks to determine whether a playoff format will be created.