A year hiatus from high school spring sports competition meant completely new looks for junior varsity programs across the area this season.
The pillars of success, however, remained unchanged for the teams that took to the fields and worked to once again begin laying the foundation for the future. There were lessons learned, standout performances and plenty of growth that can’t always be measured by wins and losses.
In an effort to provide these athletes with some deserved recognition, we contacted each school through their athletic administration to find out about some of the highlights and top performers from the fall season. Here’s what we heard back:
It was a season full of close games for Centennial and the team consistently found ways to come out on top. The Eagles finished with a record of 6-1 and won three of those contests — against Glenelg twice and Mt. Hebron once — by one goal.
“This team played without ego all year,” coach Jim Trexler said. “The players knew their role and did their job playing as a team, not relying on any one individual to carry them.”
Aidan Krawczyk, Riley Senisi and Jack Hockersmith were the offensive leaders for Centennial and accounted for over 85 percent of the team’s goals scored. Goalie Angelo Rosata led the defense with a save percentage of 58% and he had plenty of support from defenders Will Cavey, Eric Bush and Abdulla El-Shafy.
Long-stick midfielder Caden Alkire, Noah Whipkey, Sean May and Ezra Ruiz all anchored the midfield unit with a special focus on providing hard-nosed defensive play.
The season for Glenelg (2-3-1) had a little bit of everything, including a season sweep of Mt. Hebron, a tie against Howard and a pair of one-goal losses against Centennial. The only lopsided loss came against undefeated Marriotts Ridge.
“This was just a fun group to be around,” coach Richard Dubois said. “They responded well to adversity which is something we love to see as coaches.”
Sophomore Jason Klopp led the offense and was an “overall work horse” throughout the season, according to Dubois. Klopp was a goal scorer early in the year and then an excellent distributor later in the year as a defenses began sliding to him.
Sophomore captain Smith Musselman was the Gladiators’ “unquestioned leader defensively” and “essentially a coach on the field.” Kiri Puchella, meanwhile, was the team’s unsung hero by contributing in all three phases of the game — faceoff, offense and defense. Dubois said that Puchella’s “energy was contagious and his positive attitude brought us together as a unit.”
The tie against Howard served as a season highlight because of the way the team battle back from a 6-1 halftime deficit. In the end, Glenelg outscored the Lions 7-2 in the second half to earn an 8-8 draw.
Marriotts Ridge finished as the lone undefeated JV boys lacrosse team with a record of 5-0.
The team scored 69 goals on the season, with 16 different players finishing with at least one goal. Boston Brown (15 goals, 7 assists), Kyle Canfield (6 goals, 12 assists) and Quinn Jenkins (10 goals, 10 assists) were the offensive leaders. Kole Carey (7 goals, 1 assist), Nate Flury (5 goals, 4 assists), Drew Fisher (4 goals, 4 assists), and Christian Luke (5 goals) were right behind them.
Long stick midfielder Andre Duroseau scooped up a team-high 32 groundballs, with Brown (20), Jenkins (17) and Jack VanTine (16) not far behind in that category.
Aidan Ro and Garret Erman were the Mustangs’ top two on faceoffs. Ian Murphy (15 saves) and Rahsaan Thomas (9 saves) each were strong contributors at goalie.
“This is a great group of young athletes that have a bright future ahead of them,” coach David Griffin said. “The real highlight of this season was the attitude of these athletes during practice. They practice at 100%, which carried over into games.”
There was great growth for Mt. Hebron (1-5) between the beginning of the season and the end. Coach Michael Tittsworth said the Vikings’ improvement was on full display in their games against Glenelg.
The first time that the two teams played, Mt. Hebron lost 11-2 against the Gladiators. The second time the two teams met, the Vikings were in the game the entire way before losing by just one goal, 10-9. “Our performance and effort was night and day compared to the first game,” Tittsworth said. “It was a moral victory, but also a positive example of what this group has the potential to accomplish over the next few years.”
Sophomore captains DJ Clark, Logan Craig and Gene Hughes were the leaders for the Vikings, while midfielders Aiden Hauf, Matt Paczkowski and Connor Van Horne were all very physical and dependable in pressure situations.
Attackman Joey DiTomasso showed potential as a scorer and Dan Harrington was a fundamentally sound defenseman with a strong presence.
It was a very condensed season for Oakland Mills, going 1-2 in its three games.
David Millison had the unique distinction of scoring the Scorpions’ first goal of the season at attack and then making the last save of the season at goalie. Freshman captain Berry Powell, meanwhile, displayed “responsibility and maturity throughout the season,” according to coach Wyatt Neely.
After nearly not being able to field a team because of low numbers, the Scorpions pulled together for a memorable campaign.
“Thanks to our underclassmen recruiting their friends on other teams, we managed to get enough guys out and I am grateful for every guy that came out to play,” Neely said. “As far as I’m concerned, every guy that suited up played an important role and was a key player for us. They stepped up and gave us their best and I can’t wait for next season.”
Key players on the Oakland Mills team, in addition to Powell and Millison, were Kaleb Florence, Arvinder Singh, Dezmyn Feaster, Humza Munir, Bradley Thomas, Paul Ware, Sam Santos, Russell Carrington, Emilio Almendarez, Peter Farley and Diego Gambrillo.
Reservoir was another team that made significant strides in spite of a losing record (0-4). Captains Olav Jensen, Donte Battle, Demetrius Battle and Eli Main were great leaders. Moses Lee contributed a lot offensively, scoring four goals in one game, and Miles Reinders was the anchor of the Gators’ defense. Terrance Poole stepped up to play goalie and made some big plays as well.
“This group of kids bonded over learning a new sport together and committed to developing their stick skills and lacrosse knowledge,” coach Robert While said. “With the young talent that was on varsity this year, led by a great group of seniors, I’m excited to see what this team can achieve moving forward.”
In lieu of captains, Howard relied on every one of its players to serve as leaders through playing with “smarts, pride, passion and dedication,” according to coach Jessica McKay. The formula worked extremely well, with the Lions finishing the season with a record of 8-1.
“We pride ourselves in adapting our game to fit the needs of the team that we were playing,” McKay said. “Each of our players was willing and able to play where and how we needed at that time.”
Freshman Nicole Parker led the way at pitcher, while sophomore Claudia Gabriel stepped up to pitch three strong games as well.
Speedy freshman Violet Maccarone anchored the defense from her shortstop position. Juniors Prescilla Choe in center field and Lily Solar at catcher proved to be valuable additions as well under the county’s rule this spring that allowed juniors to play on junior varsity.
“I have had the most joy in watching this team grow and blossom this season,” McKay said. “We had a blast playing and practicing. I had to kick the girls off the field at the end of each practice. This pandemic year gave me the greatest gift as a coach: A team of young ladies that brought light, laughter, joy, tenacity and play back into my daily life.”
Led by sophomore captains Ruby Walsh and a Erika Bafitis, Long Reach had a successful season under coach Kevin Broadus. “The girls worked hard all season and they had fun,” Broadus said.
Walsh was a middle infielder and one of the top hitters for the Lightning from her leadoff position. Freshman Maeve Morrison, meanwhile, was a standout pitcher and a standout hitter for the team as well.
Marriotts Ridge finished undefeated with a record of 8-0 under coach Sammi Cadigan. Among the highlights was a 13-9 victory over Reservoir in the early stages of the season.
“We were ahead for the first three innings and then they started to get some runs. We picked back up the energy and kept the win,” Cadigan said. “This was a great win for us because it gave us the confidence to continue on to beat some of the other tougher teams.”
Against the Gators, Guiliana Marsili pitched 4.2 innings and allowed only four hits while striking out six. Marsili pitched to an ERA of 4.80 on the season to go along with a .550 batting average with 13 RBI.
Saige Spittler was the Mustangs’ other top pitcher (3.00 ERA) and also the team’s top hitter in terms of average (.714) to go along with 12 RBI. Other top hitters for Marriotts Ridge were Julia Kumor (.579 batting average, 12 RBI), Natalie Bennet (.579 average, 9 RBI) and Kerri Lee (.964 slugging percentage, 10 doubles and 17 RBI).
It took a couple late player additions for Mt. Hebron to field a team this spring, but the team ended up putting all its pieces together on the way to a 4-4 record.
Even in the defeats, such as a season-ending loss in extra innings against Reservoir, coach Bobb Gibbons said there were memorable moments and highlights.
The sophomore battery of pitcher Shannon Holderness (42 innings, 63 strikeouts) and catcher Hannah DiDonato led the defense. Juniors Aditi Madabushi (first base), Jaiden Kriner (second), Grace Shanley (shortstop) and Jilli Morgan (third) all held down the infield. Junior Tiffany Vu and the sophomore group of Sydney Scanlon, Lily Rhudy, Josie Arena, Sanika Devare and Alexis Mariner covered the outfield to go along with providing support in the infield as needed.
Shanley also pitched several innings when Holderness needed support.
DiDonato led the offense by accounting for a third of the Vikings’ RBI and runs scored. Madabushi (hits), Shanley (average), Holderness (runs scored) and Kriner were the other offensive leaders throughout the season.
“Our captains — Shanley, Morgan, Holderness and DiDonato — kept the team going on and off the field,” Gibbons said. “We had a great time together dancing, laughing, wearing tutu’s and playing a bit of softball. We were so lucky to have had this wonderful season.”
Reservoir was one of the county’s top teams all season, finishing with a 7-1 record and losing only against undefeated Marriotts Ridge. The Gators scored 113 runs offensively, while pitchers Michele Mason (50 strikeouts) and Andaiye Smith (21) combined for 71 strikeouts in the circle.
Mason finished as the team MVP, not only starring at pitcher but also serving as an offensive leader.
Included among the season highlights was a 12-4 victory over Howard.
“The team worked very well together and dominated on the field,” coach Megan Maloney said.
River Hill played its way to a 5-3 record and showcased great consistency on a daily basis according to coach Lindsey Glascock.
“The team always had a great attitude, good chemistry, high energy though every game and did anything asked of them,” Glascock said. “They were eager to learn, practice, work together and help each other out.”
Sophomores Amelia Rose and Claire Fagan led the pitching staff, while freshman catcher Sarah Le served as the main battery mate for both. Le and Rose each had several extra-base hits offensively. Sophomore Siena Evers provided great base running.
Sophomore Elanor Kim (first, third), freshman Kyleigh Fansler (shortstop, third, catcher) and Alex Gregory (outfield) all served as defensive leaders. Other contributors on the team were freshmen Susan Yoder and Alex Johnson, along with juniors Sage Freed, Nina Mekonen and Bella Seo.
The season may have produced a 1-7 record for Wilde Lake, but that wasn’t indicative of what the team achieved.
“It was awesome to have all the girls outside and get to have a season this year,” coach Kourtney Harrison said. “We were thankful to have the numbers to field a team and all of the girls came into the season with such great attitudes and energy that, even if our record didn’t show it, we had a great season.”
The highlight of the season was the win over Atholton by a score of 20-5.
Sophomore Bailey Hudgens was the pitcher for the Wildecats, throwing every inning of every game. Freshman Laurel Sands was a force behind the plate at catcher and her sister, Lindsey, was a leader on and off the field despite having her season cut short due to injury.
Freshman Macey Nichols was new to the game coming into the year, but was up to the challenge of learning new positions in order to contribute in a number of different ways.
Atholton went undefeated, with its only two losses in crossover games against Division A teams.
Carly Merwitz and Alli Lubitz both led the team with seven goals. Merwitz and Lubitz also helped their teammates with two and four assists apiece.
“We had a great group of athletes who gave 100% every game,” said coach Martie Dyer.
Centennial competed in Division B this spring with seven sophomores and eight freshmen.
“These girls were amazing — every single one of them,” said coach Gina Iannazzi. “Even though our record did not reflect a winning season, this team played their hearts out. Every time they stepped on the field they never ever gave up, and I am so proud of every single one of them.”
As the top JV team in the county, Glenelg went undefeated in Division A with four players tallying 10 or more goals.
Freshman Maggie Metz led the Gladiators with 23 goals and 15 assists, while freshman Chloe Key scored 20 goals and added 10 assists. Ava Hernandez (16 goals and eight assists) and Lara Hoeflick (10 goals, four assists) both controlled the draw for Glenelg. Sophomore Natalia DiPasquale finished out the attack with eight goals and four assists.
The Gladiators’ defense was anchored by MJ Sands, Lindsay Kelley, Kendal Kinner and Emily Giangandi, while Glenelg had three goalies leading the team between the pipes. Emerson Buscher and Ana Suri led the team with 16 and 11 saves, respectively, while Holland Swope stepped in with eight saves.
Coach Chris Beil said his team’s biggest win was a 5-4 triumph over Marriotts Ridge.
“Our attack showed poise and patience we have been preaching all year in the first half, and our defense played lights out,” Beil said.
Howard went 3-4 in Division A and was led by several scorers.
CJ Summa led the Lions with 16 goals, adding one assist and seven draw controls. Hannah Gardner chipped in with 13 goals, while Mallory Merkey had 12 goals, two assists and five draw controls.
Jessica Vela and Mia Mager controlled the draw for the Lions with 24 and 20 draw controls, respectively. Mager also had six goals and two assists, while Vela tallied three scores.
In goal, Howard was led by Romy DelPo, who tallied 25 saves for the Lions.
“We had a very young, inexperienced team this year,” Megan Hart said. “Overall it was a fun, memorable year. We enjoyed watching our team grow as players and individuals.”
Long Reach was led by freshman Jasmin Lee, who paced the Lightning with three goals in their two games. Anna Jarrell also scored a goal for Long Reach (0-2), while goalie Yasmine Khetib tallied 13 saves between the pipes.
“The highlight of the season was the growth of the team, including the coaches,” said coach Jhondis Latta. “This was the first season for both coaches and the team due to the shutdown of last season. The girls came into this season with a will and desire to play. We had a mix of sophomores, freshmen with experience and some freshmen that have never played before. The team always carried a high intensity at practices and games. They played through the heat without subs and did not give up. The team improved greatly in skills, conditioning and basic knowledge of the game.”
Marriotts Ridge outscored its opponents 106-26 to go 6-1 on the season.
The Mustangs’ defense was led by freshman Annelise Vetter (two goals and seven turnovers) and sophomores Sophia Baxter (two goals and 11 turnovers) and Paige Citro (one goal and seven turnovers). Goalies Marin Kriner (nine saves), Whitney Egbe (22 saves) and Kelly Maclean (11 saves) led the Mustangs in goal.
Pacing the attack were freshman Rachel Harper and sophomore Addy Obitz. Harper led the Stangs with 33 goals, while also adding 16 assists. Obitz led the team at the draw with 49 draw controls, adding 27 goals and 20 assists. Sophomores Kyleigh Klingler (14 goals and 12 assists) and Hope Hettinger (11 goals, nine assists, 13 draw controls and 10 turnovers) also chipped in offensively.
Coach Molly Milani said the highlight of the season was the team’s game against Glenelg, despite the Mustangs losing 5-4. The Gladiators led 4-0 at halftime, but the Mustangs roared back in the second half to lose by only one goal.
“Even though we may not have gotten the outcome that we wanted, the team really stepped up, particularly in the second half,” Milani said. “... The girls fought to the end and never once gave up or hung their heads.”
With 10 sophomores and five freshmen, Mt. Hebron finished the season with a 4-3 record.
The Vikings’ attack was led by sophomores Brooke Wildman, Ella Schropp and Kate Carneal, while freshmen Ellie Smith, Ellie Fiedler and Riley Osburn controlled the midfield. Smith was Hebron’s top scorer with 21 goals and 10 assists.
Gwyneth Holzman, Lucy Smith and Katie Noppenberger solidified Hebron’s backline, while Stephanie Luzhansky and Diya Sharma split goaltending duties.
“Overall the team came together and bonded very quickly,” said coach Mark DeBels. “The most exciting game of the season was a come-from-behind 9-8 victory over rival Howard.”
The highlight of Reservoir’s season was a 17-4 win over Long Reach, during which eight different players scored their first high school goals.
The Gators ended the season with a 1-4 record. Another highlight of the season was a 6-5 loss to Atholton — two days after a 9-2 loss to the same Raiders team.
All four of the team’s captains were pulled up to varsity during the season, including sophomores Bella Pereria (six goals and three assists) and Julyana Medina (five goals, one assist and 19 ground balls).
Other offensive leaders were freshman Nicole Neely (five goals and two assists) and Sierra Scott (four goals and one assist). Goalie Gloria Kuate and defender Kimora Turner led the defense.
“I was very happy to see our 17 girls experience a season of lacrosse and to see their excitement for the game,” said coach Wendell Thomas.
Led by MVPs Cailin McKenna and Cade McGeehan, River Hill ended the season with a 3-4 record.
McKenna led the offense with four goals and seven assists, while McGeehan was the team’s top defender.
Chelsea Adamson (eight goals and two assists), Alison Shaw (six goals and two assists) and Kat Mauser (five goals and five assists) all contributed on the offensive side of the ball as well, while Alyssa Cuyun and Allie Billups combined with McGeehan to lead the defense.
The Hawks were led by captains Carly Gruneberg, Aisha Arain and Mauser, and Gruneberg was given the Coach’s Award at the end of the season as the team’s hardest worker.
Coach Philip Vangeli said the highlight of his team’s season was a 10-1 win over Centennial. The Hawks led by two goals at halftime, 3-1, but outscored the Eagles 7-0 in the second half. Adamson led the Hawks in the win with a hat trick.
“[The team] demonstrated great teamwork in beating Centennial,” said Vangeli.
Mirroring the success of its varsity team that made a run to the state championship game, Atholton’s JV squad finished the season with a 7-2 record.
The team’s MVPs were Aaron Lutz and Tyler Geeseman, who coach Matthew Aubin said were “consistent” and were “big in clutch moments.” Other standout players were Shane Amato, Ryan Buecker, Alex Halbert and Chris Rose.
“As a team we grew every game, we were constantly improving, always working on our technique and adjustments to different pitches while hitting,” Aubin said.
Centennial earned blowout wins over Wilde Lake and Oakland Mills in its 2-7 campaign.
The Eagles opened the season with a 12-2 win over Wilde Lake, in which Adam Thompson was strong on the mound with eight strikeouts. After five straight losses, the team then won 17-5 over Oakland Mills, in which Tyler Russell went 2 for 3 with three RBIs.
Ethan Gauthier was the team’s top hitter with a .370 batting average. Jonah Kenney also stood out as the team’s leader in RBIs and stolen bases. Thompson was the team’s top pitcher with a 1.70 ERA and 14 strikeouts. The team’s MVP was Philip Heleba, who played every game in the infield, pitched and led the team in on-base percentage.
“Overall, the players fought hard during the entire season and never quit — something that bodes well for the future as we continue to fortify the Centennial baseball program,” said coach Matt Baldwin.
Hammond battled in every game to end the season with a 5-5-1 record.
“From the moment the team was announced and we had our first practice and game, my players showed a strong will to be the best they could be every day,” said coach Tim Brown. “Due to this work that they put in, all of them had improved tremendously. [I’m] so proud of them and cannot wait for next year.”
Braedon Bzdewka, Chase Endres and Cameron Brewer were the Golden Bears’ top performers this spring. Bzdewka, a sophomore, was a strong left-handed pitcher who threw in a handful of games. Endres, a freshman, played both catcher and shortstop for Hammond and was the team’s leadoff hitter, and Brewer pitched, caught, played infield and led the team in extra-base hits.
The highlight of the season was a 2-2 tie against Mt. Hebron. With the game only a few minutes from being called due to rain, Brewer hit a solo home run to center field to tie the game in the sixth.
Marriotts Ridge won eight of its 10 games this spring.
The Mustangs’ top hitters were Jared Ober, Luca Obitz, Trevor Grams and Andrew Garman, while the team’s top pitchers were Chase Kammerman, Frank Rhodes and Griffin Roussell. Jack Coughlin, a freshman, contributed on the mound and at the plate.
Coach Dave Appleby said the two most exciting games this season were comeback wins over Glenelg and Hammond.
With several standout pitchers and six players pulled up to varsity throughout the season, Mt. Hebron ended the spring with an 8-2-1 mark.
Jacob Berger and Zac Ertzel led the Vikings on the mound. Berger posted a 1.00 ERA and 41 strikeouts in 27 innings, including a no-hit win against Reservoir. He also hit .394 with nine RBIs and seven runs. Ertel, meanwhile, struck out 21 batters and had a 0.69 ERA in 13 innings.
Nick Hutchinson (.444 batting average, six RBIs and 11 runs) and Vincent Falcone (.379 average, 10 RBIs and 11 runs) led the Vikes at the plate.
In addition to Berger’s no-hitter, coach Aaron Wilson said his team’s highlight was its win against Marriotts Ridge. The game was tied 0-0 through five innings and Mt. Hebron scored three in the sixth and held onto the win.
Reservoir finished the spring season with a 6-4 record.
The Gators had 21 players on its roster — 11 sophomores and 10 freshmen.
Zach Gaynor was the team’s top player, starting the first few games at shortstop before being moved up to varsity to start at third base. Gaynor smashed a grand slam in the Gators’ win over Hammond.
Freshman Sebastian Fuentes and sophomore Jonathon Daigle led Reservoir on the mound, keeping the Gators in several ball games.
“Our future in the program is very bright and we are looking forward to next year,” said coach Zachary Nunn.
River Hill started off the season with a six-game winning streak and ended with three straight wins to end the campaign 9-2.
On the mound, Braden Sauritch, Jake Miller and Tyler Owens led the Hawks with a team ERA of 2.18. Sauritch was the staff’s workhorse with a 4-0 record over 26 innings and a 1.61 ERA.
Leading the way at the plate were sophomores Brady Young (.400 batting average), Colin Chan (.370 average), Will Specht (.360 average) and Nico Lancashire (.321 average). Defensively, Andrew Handelman, Ryan Long, Tyler Windsor and Thomas Jayne led River Hill to a .964 field percentage.
Wilde Lake struggled early in the year, but the Wildecats improved steadily as the season progressed.
Although the Wildecats won only one game, they also had two close one-run losses. The victory was the JV program’s first triumph in five years.
First baseman Adam Parker and second baseman Ethan Amoroso both led the team with .350 batting averages, while catcher Jacob Grimes, third baseman Ja Bonner and outfielders David Carroll, Zach Curtin and Kayshon Logan all hit over .300 as well.
Bonner, Curtin, Parker and Mason Marchant were the Wildecats’ workhorses on the mound, while Carroll, Liam Schmidt and Andrew Morrissey added valuable innings in relief.
“The most gratifying development for the coaches was seeing the team come together as one, help each other improve and experience the thrill of being in a position to win late in a ball game,” said coach Brian Feighner.