Just four days after securing a place at the state tournament with a win at districts, the Liberty golf team put itself in strong contention for a county title with a surprise win at the county tournament last weekend.
Led by a 1-over 73 by senior captain John Rosecrans, the Lions' four-man team shot 318 at the Links at Challedon in Mount Airy, outdistancing Century (322) and Westminster (329). North Carroll, which had entered the day unbeaten in the county and could have virtually cemented an outright county title with a win, finished fourth, 15 strokes off the lead.
Liberty coach Paul Bangle said that his team came into the match with a little extra confidence, particularly since Rosecrans is a member of the course and two other Lions play there frequently over the summer. The team also had played well at the course earlier in the season, shooting a four-man total of 158 over nine holes.
"We knew we had the potential, and I knew some of my guys could put up some good numbers," Bangle said. "It was just a matter of would the chips fall into place, and they did."
Other top scorers for the Lions included Frank Cinquegrani (80), Mike Moon (82) and Tyler Bush (83).
The county uses a points system to determine its champion, with each county match worth one point and the county tournament worth up to six points for the winner. Now, Liberty is in position to secure both county and Monocacy Valley Athletic League Blue Ridge Conference titles with a win over Century in the teams' final match, scheduled for Oct. 16 in Finksburg.
Digging for dollars
The South Carroll volleyball team will be aiming for more than just a win in its Oct. 23 match against Tuscarora.
The team will be holding a fundraiser called "Dig for the Cure," collecting pledges for each dig registered in the match by a Cavaliers player and donating the proceeds to the American Cancer Society. The school will add to the pot by donating half of the night's gate receipts.
In addition, players have been selling ribbons to students, raising about $150.
Cavaliers coach Marcia Kunkel, a leukemia survivor, got the idea after hearing about a similar program at the collegiate level, which donates its proceeds toward breast cancer awareness.
"I proposed that to my girls, and they said, 'Well, we'd like to do that for all cancers, so that's why we picked the American Cancer Society,' " Kunkel said. "From what I understand, it started at a school in Charlotte and it's sort of become an East Coast thing. They thought it was such an awesome idea that they wanted to do it, too."
Kunkel, who hopes to make the event an annual tradition, believes it will bring in "a couple thousand dollars."
Knights come of age
In terms of talent, Century girls cross country coach Kristin Hadden knew coming into this season that her trio of freshman was brimming with potential.
At last weekend's Bull Run Invitational at Hereford, the young runners gave the rest of the local cross country community a glimpse into Century's future, leading their team to a title in the small schools division.
Sophomore Kirsten McGovern led the Knights with an eighth-place finish and was followed by freshmen Maura Linde (ninth), Allie Dearie (15th) and Catherine Casem (22nd). Another sophomore, Erin Beane, rounded out the team's top five, finishing 39th.
"We've been really excited about how well our freshmen have been doing this year," Hadden said. "They looked good coming in [this season], but they've really learned how to race. It's been amazing to see them really come into their own as runners."
South Carroll took runner-up in the division, with Francis Scott Key and Winters Mill taking second and third, respectively, in the boys small schools division.
Another local squad for which the learning curve has been particularly quick this season has been the Carroll Christian boys soccer team.
Despite regularly starting six freshmen and sophomores, the Patriots played through from some early season growing pains to go 5-0-1 entering play on Thursday.
"I'd have to say we're a little bit ahead of schedule," coach Matthew Reisberg said. "I only have five guys on the team who have played more than one year, so we're younger than we've ever been. I knew if they were willing to work, we'd have a good, solid finish, but I didn't expect to be doing this well this early."
Carroll Christian (7-2-1 before Thursday's game at Cumberland Valley), has been paced by its two returning seniors. Center-forward Colton McLaughlin had notched seven goals and an assist through Wednesday, while Morgan Gies added a goal and five assists.
Reisberg said he spent the early part of the season shuffling around players in an effort to find the optimal lineup. Now, with the team's postseason scheduled to kick off in nine days, the Patriots seem to have found their rhythm.
What's more, they may be set for years to come.
"As long as everybody stays and returns, it should be a very promising future," Resiberg said.
Players of the week
Winters Mill quarterback Ben Love and Liberty defensive end Ryan Miller were named offensive and defensive players of the week, respectively, in the MVAL's Blue Ridge Conference.
Love led the Falcons to their first-ever victory against crosstown rival Westminster, playing roles in all four of his team's touchdowns in a 25-7 win. He completed 12 of 24 passes for 256 yards, throwing for three touchdowns and rushing for another.
Miller racked up seven tackles and two sacks in the Lions' 39-15 win over North Hagerstown, also recovering a fumble and recording a safety.
To submit news and story ideas about Carroll County high school athletics, contact Rich Scherr at CarrollSports@comcast.net.