When Harford County athletic directors came up with their fall schedules back in June, they were thinking ahead to Sept. 11 and the possibility that local events likely would be planned for Wednesday evening to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks.
"We didn't make a blanket statement that you can't play at night," said Forest Wiest, supervisor of athletics for Harford County. "Our superintendent asked that we be cognizant of what communities in the county might be planning and any countywide events that might be planned.
"Most of our ADs tried to steer away from night events, but there are a few night events because of other teams and where they are coming from. We'll try, at those events, to have a moment of silence."
No schools in Baltimore City, Baltimore County or the private leagues have changed any athletic events for the day. Many teams, however, will have commemorations the day before games begin.
Mickey Deegan, athletic director at McDonogh, which is a member of the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association and the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland, said her teams likely will open their games with a moment of silence, a prayer or the national anthem.
In Baltimore County, about 50 games are scheduled for Wednesday. However, no student or coach will be penalized for missing practice or a game.
"If a student wants to spend the time at home with family, coaches are being asked to be very sensitive to that and to use discretion," said Charles Herndon, spokesman for the Baltimore County Public Schools.
"This is something none of us have ever been through, and there's no telling how it will impact individuals. The impact could be a lot different from person to person."
Moving on up
For Perry Hall's girls soccer team, just the chance to play a perennial private school power such as John Carroll was exciting enough. To beat such a team?
"Oh, wow," said Gators junior Brittany McKew.
Playing their typical defense-driven game, the No. 6 Gators shut out No. 5 John Carroll, 2-0, in their season opener Thursday night behind a terrific performance from sweeper Ashley Carroll. Goalies Catherine Vecchioni and Brittany Gelwicks combined for seven saves.
"They're the only private school we play, and it's our chance to get ahead in the rankings," said McKew, who scored on a penalty kick in the first half. "It's nice to play different teams and better-skilled teams, because it gives you the chance to prove how good you are."
The Gators made a pretty strong statement about how good they were last season, winning their first Baltimore County championship and going on to the Class 4A state final. Their 3-1 loss to Thomas Johnson was the only time they allowed more than one goal.
Thursday, that defense held off a determined Patriots team that attacked almost the entire second half. However, McKew started a counterattack with a clear out of the defensive end that Amanda Deaver took down the left side and drove into the far corner of the net with about six minutes to go.
"It's only September," said Gators coach Brad Kressman, last year's All-Metro Coach of the Year, "but it's a good confidence-builder when you can be competitive with the John Carrolls of the world because they have such a great program up there."
Army bowl nominees
All-Metro football players Victor Abiamiri and Ambrose Wooden, from Gilman, and Keon Lattimore, from Mount St. Joseph, are among 400 high school athletes nationwide nominated to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Jan. 5.
All three seniors rolled up impressive statistics as juniors: Abiamiri, a defensive end, had 14 sacks; Wooden, a quarterback, threw for 1,149 yards and 11 touchdowns; and Lattimore, a running back and the younger brother of Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, caught nine touchdown passes and ran for nine more.
The field of 400 will be narrowed to 78 for the third annual event, which pits players from the East against the West, at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
Franklin goes home
When Henry Franklin takes over the Gilman wrestling program this winter, he will be in familiar territory. A 1987 Gilman graduate, Franklin wrestled for the Greyhounds for four years.
Franklin replaces another Gilman wrestling alum, John Xanders, a 1977 graduate who retired after coaching three seasons.
Team Maryland trip
Five players from Hereford's Class 2A co-state championship team lead a strong Team Maryland headed for the U.S. Field Hockey Association's National Hockey Festival on Thanksgiving weekend in Indio, Calif.
Sarah Tracey, Sarah Heaton and Katherine Giauque will play for the Riptide, one of two Team Maryland squads, while sisters Becky and Samantha Sebastian play for the Breakers.
Caitlin Caldwell, Perry Hall; Kristin Connelly and Claire Edelen, St. Paul's; and Allie Norley, McDonogh, will also play for the Riptide. Kristen Elutrio and Laura Schnell, C. Milton Wright; Caroline Grumbine, Roland Park; Meghan Guinee, Bryn Mawr; and Hayley Mershon and Jocelyn Paul, Towson, are on the Breakers.
Jenny Sharp, St. Paul's, and Jenny Shockley, Bryn Mawr, were among the alternates.