Centennial High School has boasted a strong fall sports program for many seasons, but Saturday the Eagles outdid themselves and everyone else.
In one afternoon, the Eagles won three state championships -- in boys soccer, girls soccer and volleyball. According to records kept at the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association, nohigh school in the state had ever before taken three titles on the same day.
"The feeling from the scouting reports was that all three of them(teams) had an excellent chance of winning. Fortunately, it worked out that way," said Centennial athletic director Jim Welsch. "Our fallseasons have been very successful over the years. This one is exceptional."
How exceptional? Not only did the boys soccer, girls soccer and volleyball teams bag the big trophies, but they each did it without losing a game this fall.
Their combined record was 49-0-2, a winning percentage of .961. The only blemishes on an otherwise perfect record were two ties recorded by the boys soccer team (14-0-2).
The student body honored the winning teams yesterday at a pep rally in the school gymnasium.
"It was a little louder around here Mondaythan on a typical Monday. Lots of high-fives in the halls," said Centennial principal Sylvia Patillo, who watched the girls soccer team (16-0) whip Dulaney, 4-1, at Arundel High School for the Class 3A/4A championship.
Patillo then drove to Old Mill High School in Anne Arundel County, where the boys team edged Thomas Stone High, 2-1, for the 3A/4A title.
And while the boys soccer team was winning, the Eagles' volleyball team was completing a 19-0 season at Catonsville Community College with a three-game sweep of Seneca Valley for the 3A crown.
"The drive home was wonderful," Patillo said. "Any principal is going to support the students and the teams, but when the kids accomplish something like this, it makes it that much more fulfilling. The kids are just beaming."
Many students and parents, like Patillo, hustled from the girls soccer game to either the boys soccer or volleyball games. The latter games began at the same time.
"It's a shame we can't get to all three games," said Ben Bradburn, who watched his daughter, goalie Laura Bradburn, help the girls team secure its championship.
"This is a great way to spend a day," said Barbara Davis, a parent who has no children on the teams but came out to cheer anyway on Saturday. "This is a fun thing, and the kids deserve support. And how often are three teams from the same school in the state finals on the same day?"
The closest any school has come to equalingCentennial's feat is Francis Scott Key in Carroll County. Key won state crowns in volleyball, field hockey and boys soccer in 1986, but not on the same day.
Centennial's dominance extended even further this fall. The Eagles' golf team went 21-0, while its top golfer, Ian Hume, placed second in the state. The girls cross country team won the regional crown, before placing fifth in the states. And the junior varsity volleyball lost only once in 15 matches.
Also contributingto this story were Rick Belz, Craig Amoss and Jeff Seidel.