From individual accomplishments, to team victories that would last a lifetime, 2017 was a success for athletes in area sports. Here are some of those memorable moments.
Dons on the diamond
Loyola Blakefield won its first championship in 71 years when the Dons (13-14) rallied from a two-run deficit in the middle innings to score seven runs in the top of the sixth inning and defeated Calvert Hall, 8-3, to win the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference baseball championship.
The victory was the first title for the Dons since winning the Maryland Scholastic Association in 1946.
“We believed in ourselves,” senior Jack Glock said. “We got stronger in the playoffs, and we knew we could do this, and we went out and did it. The 71-year drought couldn't have ended any better than this, beating Calvert Hall to win the title. There's no better feeling than this.”
Lions on track
The Dulaney boys scored 123 points at the Baltimore County indoor championship meet and easily surpassed second-place Hereford and New Town (tied with 36), while winning their second straight title and third in the past four years.
“Our guys are just super well-rounded,” Dulaney coach Chad Boyle said.
The Lions went on to finish second in the Class 4A indoor state championship meet with 28 points.
Field hockey heroics
Dulaney senior Reece Spann had two goals and an assist to lead the host Lions to a 4-0 victory over Old Mill (8-6) in the Class 4A North Region field hockey championship game.
In the state semifinals, Dulaney scored a goal in each half and the defense held Clarksburg scoreless as the Lions advanced to the Class 4A state field hockey finals with a 2-0 victory. The win sent the Lions to the state finals for the third time in school history and they lost to South River, 2-1.
The Lions (18-2) also defeated Hereford three times , including the final time in the Baltimore County championship game.
Cross country dominance
After winning back-to-back Class 4A titles, the Dulaney boys finished second for the third time in the past five years in the state cross country championship meet.
The Lions finished with 77 points and only trailed Severna Park (40).
It was the fifth straight year one or the other team finished in first or second place and the two teams gathered for a group picture together after the awards ceremony.
“There is great sportsmanship in this sport,” said Dulaney senior Brian McCullough, the Lions top finisher (13th) in a time of 16:42.97.
For the second straight year, the Towson High volleyball team rallied from a deficit against Hereford and captured the Baltimore County championship.
The visiting Generals defeated the Bulls 24-26, 25-19, 25-22, 24-26, 15-7 after trailing by a set after the first three sets.
The two-time county champions rallied to win last year after losing the first two sets.
Senior Sara Mandeja led the Generals with 23 kills and she added eight digs.
“She wants to have the team on her back,” Towson coach Emily Berman said.
Senior Logan Marsh had 39 assists for the Generals, who also won the Class 3A North Region crown and lost in the 3A state semifinals.
Berman, who played on Towson’s 2001 volleyball state championship team and coached the Generals’ 2010 state champs, resigned after the season.
Dulaney senior Kaitlyn Dabkowski scored the game-winning goal with 4.9 seconds left in regulation to lift the host Lions to a 14-13 victory over Hereford (10-4) in the Baltimore County girls lacrosse championship game.
Dabkowski scored on a free-position bounce shot and dethroned the defending Baltimore County champions.
Dabkowski led the Lions in scoring with five goals, but it was the last one, that will last a lifetime.
“It was just insane,” Dabkowski said. “We had a huddle before and the team all had my back, so I knew I had it and it was just a great hard-fought game.”
Damp conditions didn’t stop the Dulaney boys from winning a second straight Baltimore County outdoor track and field championship. Dulaney (123 points) finished ahead of second-place Towson (72).
Individually, Dulaney high jumper Nico Yarbough set a meet and county record when he cleared the bar officially at 6-feet, 8 ¾ inches.
Yarbough left the event thinking he cleared 6-10 and he did, but that was revised.
“It was [6-10] when he cleared it, but since it was a meet and county record we had to go back and measure it in the center of the bar and it was officially 6-8 ¾,” Dulaney coach Chad Boyle said.
“I was definitely feeling it,” Yarbough said.
Ellis runs for glory
Towson High’s Jon Ellis was a leader of the pack on the cross country courses and in distance races on indoor and outdoor tracks.
After winning the Baltimore County cross country title in 2016 and being a first-team selection in the beginning of his senior year, Ellis went on to capture indoor regional titles in the 1,600 and 3,200 meters in 2017.
At the outdoor Baltimore County championship meet, Ellis won the 1,600 in a personal-best 4:26.71 and the 3,200 in 9:57.20.
He went on to win regional crowns in both events and placed eighth in the 3,200 at the outdoor state championships.
Thriller on the court
The atmosphere at Dulaney High was electric when the Lions hosted Catonsville in the Section I boys basketball semifinals of the Class 4A Region playoffs and the game had even more high voltage energy.
Dulaney prevailed, 79-66, but the game was much closer until the Lions made 13 free throws in a row after the 4:24 mark and 15 of 18 overall in the final quarter.
Che Evans led the Lions in scoring with 25 points against Catonsville and the victory advanced them to the sectional finals which they lost to Perry Hall.