Look out for Northeast and Glen Burnie this football season. The two teams have been down in recent years, but no more.
They may still be celebrating in Pasadena after Northeast ended the state's current longest losing streak at 31 with a 6-3 victory over Howard County's Atholton on Friday night.
It was the debut and homecoming of sorts for 19-year Northeast assistant Mike Cotham as Eagles head coach.
Cotham, who was an assistant at Old Mill last year, was an assistant to Bart Rader in 1996 when the Eagles last won a game, 36-20, over South River.
Northeast won two games last fall, only to have them taken away because of an ineligible player.
Cotham, who is the school's third head coach in three years, took a giant step toward restoring respect to the program with Friday's win that came on a 1-yard touchdown dive by senior Chase Hoffman early in the final period.
Northeast last had a winning season in 1988 at 7-3 and only one other .500 season (5-5, 1991) besides '96 in that time.
One wonders what might have happened if the school had not rejected Cotham on two other occasions after Rader retired at the end of the '96 season.
But that's forgotten now, because Cotham reapplied, got the job, and things are looking up at Northeast.
Beware of Gophers
Glen Burnie's similar plight may have taken a turn for the better Friday, despite another loss. Coaches don't like to hear it, but the Gophers' heart-breaking 28-26 loss at defending 4A East region champion Severna Park was truly a moral victory.
Brad Wilson is in his third year as Glen Burnie coach and has yet to win a game on the field, but victories appear to be in the future. Before this season, Wilson promised his team would be "ready to compete" and that his junior quarterback and three-sport standout Keith Williams, a pro baseball prospect, would be "pretty special."
Williams scored on a 6-yard run at Severna Park to give the Gophers a 20-7 lead at the half. After the Falcons regained the lead at 21-20 on Paul Burnett's second touchdown run in the final period, Williams put his team back on top 26-21 with an 88-yard touchdown pass to B. J. Wells.
Severna Park would score with 18 seconds left on a 7-yard pass from David Horn to Austin Horn to crush the Gophers.
The Gophers take on Arundel on Friday in their home opener.
If you would like to see No. 9 Old Mill's 38-28 win over No. 7 Annapolis, tune in Comcast channel 8 Tuesday evening at 8. The game was taped Friday with former Southern athlete Joe Miller doing the play-by-play and ex-Meade and college football coach Jerry Hartman the analyst.
Hartman by the way, claims a rarity. He has three children who have played Division I college sports. Chad Hartman played baseball at James Madison after an All-County career at Annapolis, and his two sisters are currently playing college lacrosse.
Jenny Hartman, a Severn school grad, is a junior at the University of Pennsylvania while Annapolis grad Katie Hartman is a freshman at Penn State.
After the game, Old Mill coach Mike Marcus asked his players if they knew what the win over Annapolis meant. "It means everybody is going to be after us now, " said Marcus, answering his own question.
The IAABO Board No. 23 is looking for prospective officials for high school boys and girls basketball, particularly from the southern part of Anne Arundel County. If interested, call Board 23 at 410-761-9382.
Have a note or idea for Sidelines? Call Pat O'Malley's 24-hour Sportsline at 410-647-2499.