Milford Mill football coach Reggie White knows that his team's 4-0 start this season can mean only one thing.
The Millers finally have learned how to finish.
A year ago, Milford lost five games by a combined 20 points in limping to a .500 record. Included in those losses were several blown leads, particularly in the third quarter, when the team's usually staunch defense often turned into a sieve.
Heading into tomorrow night's game at Catonsville, however, the Millers have yet to allow a single point in the third quarter.
"This year, we're not allowing that to happen," White said. "We're taking it out of the equation and finishing games. We're putting teams away, so there's no doubt."
White said the team's evolution has been a matter of several younger players coming of age, including three Division I prospects in dual-threat quarterback Kevin Fulton, 290-pound center and tackle Alphonso Wise, and wide receiver Spencer Webb.
They are among 22 seniors on Milford Mill's roster.
That experience has sparked the team to blowout wins over Kenwood, Dulaney and Woodlawn by a combined 88-15. White has tried to build his players' intensity coming out of the break.
"That's been one of our points of emphasis," he said. "I changed my philosophy up a little bit. Now we're all on the same page."
Sailors excel on Shore
After two years of winning the McDonogh tournament, Mount de Sales volleyball coaches Kenny Mills and Mike Cline chose to take the Sailors to perhaps the most competitive tournament on the fall schedule - Saturday's Bulldog Tournament at North Caroline High on the Eastern Shore.
The field included many of the state's best programs, and the No. 4 Sailors dived right in, falling just short of taking the title. They pushed No. 1 Centennial in the final, but the Eagles won, 27-29, 25-13, 15-10.
On their way to the final, the Sailors beat North Caroline, Reservoir and No. 11 Towson and split with Calvert in pool play before topping Huntingtown in the quarterfinals and Northern of Calvert County in the semifinals.
Ullman delivers in clutch
Perry Hall kicker Brett Ullman has earned a reputation for making kicks when his team needs them. And Friday night, in overtime at No. 9 Hereford, Ullman, who was inadvertently misidentified in The Baltimore Sun on Saturday, hit a 19-yarder to deliver a 17-14 victory for the now No. 7-ranked Gators.
"It was the biggest kick of my life," said the senior, who has been kicking footballs since he was 10.
The kick came in a game that Perry Hall was not supposed to win. It was playing rival Hereford, ranked No. 5 at the time, and the team had heard discussions on Baltimore-area talk shows indicating Perry Hall wouldn't stand a chance at the Bulls' home field.
The pressure was intensified when a bad hold led to a missed extra point that could have won the game for the Gators in regulation. When they were held out of the end zone on four consecutive plays inside the 5-yard line with 2:52 left, it came down to Ullman's foot in overtime, and he delivered to send Perry Hall to 4-0.
No more basketball
Randy Dase is retiring from coaching Towson's boys basketball team, although he will remain coach of the Generals' boys soccer team.
Since 1986, Dase had been head basketball coach, taking the Generals to the state semifinals twice. He also went to the final four as a player in 1972, when he was the senior point guard for the Generals.
Dase, who coached the Generals' boys lacrosse team to eight state titles before giving up that position in 1997, has been a teacher and coach at Towson for 33 years.
He cited the long basketball season and his desire to spend more time with his two sons, Austin and Hunter, as reasons for the retirement.
Play for the cure
Bryn Mawr's volleyball match tomorrow against neighborhood rival Roland Park will raise money for Breast Cancer Awareness.
The players will wear pink jerseys, and the match will be played with pink volleyballs. There is no admission charge, but there will be a bake sale, a raffle and other fundraisers. The junior varsity plays at 4 p.m., and the varsity follows at 5.