Catonsville's Justin Holmes will never forget playing on what his coach, Jeff Mohler, called "the worst field in the county."
"For so long, it was horrible, playing in a dust bowl," said Holmes, the only senior starter, standing on the Comets' new artificial turf field after yesterday's 15-2 rout of Cardinal Gibbons. "Now, we can say, 'This is our home, and we're proud of it.' "
Juniors Ben Cohee and Brian Sommer each had four goals and three assists, junior Matt Reymann had four goals and one assist, and junior Micah Powell scored twice against the Crusaders (1-1), last year's Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association C Conference runners-up.
Sophomore Skippy Clary (one goal, one assist) teamed with senior Josh Janney to win 17 of the 20 faceoffs, and Catonsville's defense of junior Matt Everhart and sophomores Matt Tabler, Mike Zwingelberg and Alex Bragg (goalie) held the Crusaders to six shots over three periods as the Comets (3-0) took a 15-0 lead into the fourth quarter.
"We're trying to build a lacrosse legacy here," Cohee said. "We're hoping more people try to come here instead of the private schools."
Combined with Tuesday's 16-1 rout of Kenwood, the Comets are 2-0 on their bright green turf, which is marked by a large yellow "C," for Catonsville, at midfield. The Sportexe surface is the same as the one at M&T; Bank Stadium.
"To come out here and win our first two games shows we're a tough team," said Holmes, who has received a full academic scholarship to the University of Virginia, where he will major in engineering.
Catonsville hopes to advance farther than last year, when it fell in the Class 3A-2A North region quarterfinals.
Catonsville faces a much stiffer test tomorrow at Dulaney, last year's 4A-3A state runner-up and a program that, Mohler said, "I don't think we've ever beaten."
"We're a young team, but the kids were fired up and played hard in a huge statement game between neighborhood rivals," said Mohler, 30, a 1994 Catonsville graduate. "It's real important to protect our turf."