Oakland Mills and McDonogh, ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in boys soccer, agreed yesterday to play at 10 a.m. Sept. 20 at Oakland Mills.
The game, pitting the top public school team against the top private school team, was made possible because Oakland Mills' Sept. 11 scheduled game against Baltimore's W.E.B. DuBois was canceled.
The two teams have never met, and Oakland Mills has not played a private-school power for several years.
The Scorpions, led by All-Metro forward Saah Johnson, are shooting for an unprecedented 13th state title. They are a senior-laden squad with lots of speed that gave River Hill, which won last year's Class 3A state title, one of its two losses.
Johnson, a senior, helped defeat McDonogh in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference championship game two years ago, when he played for Mount St. Joseph. He led Oakland Mills to a Class 1A state title last season.
The Scorpions got even stronger last week by the unexpected transfer of Jimmy Foy, a sweeper at DeMatha last year.
McDonogh is a junior-oriented team with great skill and speed but is missing its star center halfback, Mike Marchiano, who has a broken foot and won't play until October.
McDonogh coach Steve Nichols said: "It will be a great game for the entire community of soccer. This is about the kids, and they deserve the opportunity to play against each other."
Gators bite off a lot
Reservoir plays its first varsity football game Saturday at Long Reach and faces the toughest early-season schedule of any team in the county.
The Gators, who do not have a senior class, face two-time defending county champ Glenelg the following week, then No. 11 Oakland Mills, Hammond and No. 1 Wilde Lake.
Gators coach Sam Singleton always calls things the way they are, so Reservoir's team motto is: "Survive the first five."
"They're putting us through the wringer. It's like a death march," Singleton said. "I want this to be a positive learning experience, and we want to keep our heads up, but we lack the speed and size to compete with those teams. We can be more competitive in the second half of the season."
For the Glenelg volleyball team, it truly will be all in the family at times because the 13-player Gladiators roster includes two sets of sisters.
Kelly Hollrah and Julie Hollrah will both be on varsity along with Shkala and Sara Karzai.
Kelly is a senior who started last year on the back row for Glenelg's Class 2A state title team. Julie is a sophomore who played on the JV and should be a middle hitter.
Shkala is a senior who started on the state title team as an outside hitter and could return to that spot. Sara, on JV last year, moves up to the varsity in her junior year as an outside hitter.
"They've worked wonderfully together," said coach Jen Beall. "They've been very supportive of each other and will help us out."
Glenelg opens defense of its state title tomorrow night with a non-county match against Middletown.
Rick Ewart replaces Kim Rosado as Oakland Mills volleyball coach this season.
Rosado guided the Scorpions for 10 years and stepped down after last year. Ewart as been a freshman and/or JV coach the last four years and takes over a team that went 1-15 last year and lost five starters.
But Ewart, a former baseball and track athlete at Oakland Mills who now teaches social studies there, is looking to change things around.
"I've got a fantastic group of kids," Ewart said. "They're good athletes and they learn well. They're willing to work."
Jeff Seidel contributed to this article.