The Severna Park boys soccer team put a history lesson to good use in successfully defending its county championship last week.
Despite playing a man down for nearly 60 minutes, the Falcons defeated Chesapeake, 1-0.
First-year coach Roy Dunshee, a self-proclaimed history buff whose father taught the subject, recently talked to his team about the Seige of Bastogne during World War II. A smaller battle in and around the Belgian town during the larger Battle of the Bulge, a group of American forces fended off countless German attacks to protect the town.
"We've been talking about the courage and bravery the men of Bastogne showed. They had their backs against the wall and were outnumbered, but came through," Dunshee said. "The boys reminded me about it at halftime and they really seemed up for the challenge. 'The fewer the men, the greater the glory' is what they were saying. There they were, with their backs against the wall down a man and they seemed to really enjoy the challenge."
The Falcons were forced to play a man down after senior forward Geoffrey Saunders was issued a red card after making contact with the referee.
Broadneck volleyball coach Scott Graf is in a tough spot. In his first season as the head coach of the fourth-ranked Bruins, Graf has led the team to an 11-1 record and a spot in today's county championship game. Therein lies the problem.
The Bruins are the defending Class 4A state champions, and Graf knows there's pressure to repeat.
"I tell the girls that I still get butterflies before each big game, just like they do," Graf said. "I'm not gonna say we've conquered every hurdle, but I feel like we morphed into a pretty solid squad."
Graf says he always knew the Bruins had talent, but it's the intangibles that have surprised him.
"I was surprised by their will to win," he said. "They always seem to find a way. It's pretty incredible stuff."
When asked whether he thought the Bruins have a shot at another state title, Graf didn't hesitate: "I think we're capable. ... I think we've got as legitimate a shot as everybody else."
Softball clinic offered
Annapolis Area Christian School is hosting a fast-pitch softball clinic in the Kilby Center from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 29. The clinic, which will cover the basic fundamentals at an intermediate and advanced level, is for ages 10 to 17. North County High School coach Tom Thompson and his staff are the instructors, with longtime pitching coach Jack Crandell also present for a limited time. Cost is $40. For more information, call Lindsay Denford at 410-980-2730 or Thompson at 410-294-1091.