The 1-1 tie Glenelg and River Hill came away with in the Howard County field hockey championship game this week was so unsatisfying, officials are said to be considering doing away with the game altogether and staging a District 5 championship game in its place.
Glenelg (11-2-1 overall, 11-0-1 county) was dreaming of its second county championship and of becoming the first county team to go undefeated in county competition and win the county title. A goal achieved, but with an asterisk.
"I had to call my kids back three times to remind them we are county champs," said Glenelg coach Ginger Kincaid. "I told them, in five years no one is going to remember the 'co.' "
River Hill (10-3-1, 9-2-1) was dreaming of winning its first county title. Another goal achieved, but the Hawks do not find themselves alone at the top.
You might think Glenelg had the better feeling, given that Mary Kate Olson scored with 7 seconds left in regulation to prevent the loss. But Kincaid said it is far from true.
"We've lost one county game in three years," the coach explained. "The first year, we stole the county title from Centennial and, last year, they stole it from us. This year is just weird. It's kind of a no-win situation."
Kincaid said there is a discussion under way with Mike Williams, the county's coordinator of athletics, about discontinuing the county championship game and having a District 5 title game with Anne Arundel County.
"That way, the team with the best record is rewarded as the county champion," Kincaid said.
"The team that builds itself up over the course of a season should be rewarded, too, but that comes for them by making the playoffs."
As disappointed as Glenelg was by the outcome of a tie game, River Hill might have felt just a little worse.
For the Hawks, the win was all but in the record books. Nanci Collins had broken the 0-0 tie with six minutes to play, and River Hill was confident in its defense, which held Glenelg to just 11 shots.
"I just think we were so hyped up," said Collins, who has been playing only a few minutes a game as she gradually returns while recuperating from a broken foot. "We scored and then it was heartbreaking to watch their goal go in. Our defense had been playing so well. And then that one little lapse. We're co-champions, so we achieved our goal, but we have to share it."
River Hill coach Shelly Chamness said she is nothing but proud of her team for the way it regrouped after giving up the tying goal.
"To be able to re-energize and play two overtimes without giving up another goal was a huge achievement," Chamness said. "That's the way I'm looking at it."
Playing strong in goal were Glenelg's Courtney Knill ( 13 saves), and River Hill's Megan Essman (seven) and Jordan Levy (four).
Both teams advance to regional competition, with River Hill, the No. 2 seed in the 2A South region, beginning play at home today, while Glenelg, the No. 1 seed in the 1A West region, opens with a home game Tuesday.
Though Centennial's volleyball team saw its dream of not dropping a set this season end Friday in a match against River Hill when it lost 25-27, the Eagles won the match, 3-1, and are still undefeated at 11-0 ... Wilde Lake got a major performance on both sides of the football in its 49-7 victory over Oakland Mills on Friday. The defense, led by senior linebackers JoJo Ma and Jackson Drury and sophomore backer EJ Gilman, held Oakland Mills to 31 total yards and three first downs. On offense, the Wildecats scored six touchdowns, two by junior Renard Roberson, and one each by Gilman, junior David Young, sophomore Christian Hough and senior Mike Fields. Young, Gilman and Roberson are all backups at running back ... Mount Hebron's Becky Yep, who won the recent Bull Run, and River Hill's Katie Harman, who in two weeks will try to repeat as state champion, are among the top girls running in today's Howard County championships. The boys and girls teams will compete at Centennial at 4 p.m. ... Howard's A.J. Bonavitacola rolled up 205 yards and scored twice in the Lions' 26-8 football victory over Reservoir ... At Mount Hebron, Vikings junior quarterback Clint Huber had a hand or foot in 16 of the Vikings' 25 points. He threw for two touchdowns, kicked an extra point and booted a 30-yard field goal in the victory.