The Carroll Cup is changing addresses this year, but it doesn't have to travel very far.
After a two-year stint across town at Liberty High School, the Cup is going to Century for a seventh time. That's because the Knights put together a stellar spring and reclaimed the Cup behind three teams winning county championships.
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.
Century finished the 2016-17 school year with 94 points, holding off runner-up Westminster (86) and third-place Liberty (82.5).
Century won spring county titles in girls lacrosse (shared with Manchester Valley and Westminster), baseball, and boys track and field. The Knights earned four bonus points for the girls lacrosse and boys track squads each notching regional and state crowns as well.
The Knights' baseball team celebrated its first county title in program history, while boys track claimed its fifth in a row and girls lacrosse won its ninth since 2003.
"It's an effort by all," said Century athletic director Randy Pentz. "The time and dedication and effort the coaches put into the success of the teams, to the success of the kids. And it's also the commitment, the dedication, the parents that go the extra mile, that's where things start. You even see it at the rec level."
Pentz praised his perennial powerhouse teams, such as girls lacrosse and track, and used the track team as an example of how programs can enjoy success even without a long list of individual winners. Century's boys had one champion last weekend at the state track meet, the 4x100 relay, but compiled enough points to outlast the Class 2A field and take the crown.
Same goes around here, Pentz said.
"It doesn't always take county championships to win the Cup," he said.
Westminster, which was tied with Century after the winter sports season, had spring county titles in boys and girls lacrosse. And the Owls added bonus point with their regional championships. Liberty's county titles came in boys tennis and girls tennis, but the boys and girls lacrosse teams also won regional crown so the Lions secured two bonus points there.
South Carroll, which finished fourth in the overall standings with 61 points, earned county titles in softball and girls track. The Cavaliers' softball team — county champions for the first time in 35 years — also collected a bonus point for winning a regional title. The Cavs' boys lacrosse team added another bonus point for its regional crown, which helped SC hold off Man Valley (59.5 points) in the Cup standings.
The Mavericks' piece of the girls lacrosse county crown gave them their fourth title in as many seasons, while Westminster enjoyed its first since 2011.
Winters Mill (49 points) and Francis Scott Key (19) rounded out the overall Cup standings.
Century won the first Cup in 2007, followed by back-to-back victories from North Carroll. The Knights reclaimed their chalice in 2010 and reeled off five straight wins until Liberty ended their run in 2015. The Lions repeated as Cup champs last year.