The year in sports, as shown on The Aegis sports pages or website, was an emotional one for many, both of happiness and sadness as the year rolled along.
It was another championship year for Harford County athletes and teams, so without further delay, let’s look back on 2018 with a start in January. Seems like it was just yesterday.
Harford County’s two best wrestling teams met in Fountain Green in January, with C. Milton Wright hosting Bel Air. The Mustangs were trying to end a long winless drought against the Bobcats and the meet also featured the season’s best match to that point.
Bel Air junior Brent Lorin, who came in with an unbeaten high school record and more than 110 career wins, was facing CMW freshman phenom James Riveira, who had not lost heading into the match.
Lorin eventually pinned Riveira to stay unbeaten.
The Maryland State Swimming Championships were twice as good for three boy swimmers from Harford County.
CMW senior Ryan Baldino and Harford Tech brothers, senior Tucker Young and sophomore Mason Young, each won two state titles in the state meet held at the University of Maryland’s Eppley Recreation Center in College Park.
Harford County went a perfect three-for-three in state championship wrestling matches at the Maryland State Wrestling Tournament at the Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro.
CMW senior Wyatt Graham and Patterson Mill senior Hunter Crowley finished with undefeated records, while CMW freshman Riveira finished off a one-loss season. Riveira avenged his January loss to Lorin.
The wins by Graham and Riveira matched the total of state titles won by CMW previously. The last of those by CMW coach John Thornton, a 1999 champ.
A more than 20-year absence came to an end when the CMW Mustangs girls basketball team won the Class 3A North Region championship, the first since the Mustangs went to back-to-back state semifinals in 1995 and 1996.
The win came over the Towson Generals, 34-18.
There was history made at Patterson Mill, where the Huskies hosted and beat Fallston in a boys lacrosse game.
Patterson Mill edged the Cougars, 6-5, in an UCBAC Chesapeake Division game. It was the first win for Patterson Mill over Fallston in the school’s history.
Former John Carroll students Caroline Sdanowich and Charlotte Haggerty, Bel Air residents, celebrated a National Women’s Division I Lacrosse Championship.
The two women are teammates on the James Madison University team that defeated Boston College, 16-15, for the school’s first national title.
In all, Harford athletes won nine individual events and three relays, the most in their many annual trips to the Maryland State Track and Field meet.
The Havre de Grace Little League girls Major softball all-stars won a District 5 championship at Eder Park, home of Elkton Little League.
Havre de Grace scored multiple runs in four of six at bats en route to an 12-6 win over Rising Sun.
Tyler Locklear, a 17-year old Abingdon resident and incoming senior at Archbishop Curley High School, was one of 40 baseball players selected nationwide to participate in the annual Under Armour All-America Baseball Game at Wrigley Field in Chicago.
The Harford County wrestling community lost longtime coach, teacher and friend Mark Jacovitte.
Jacovitte, 68, died of cancer after a long battle.
The season-opening high school football schedule was a big hit for some Harford County teams and a washout for a few others.
Havre de Grace and C. Milton Wright were winners on the road, while Aberdeen, Joppatowne, Edgewood, Patterson Mill and Fallston saw games postponed and eventually played.
The Bel Air at Overlea and the Patterson Mill at Fallston games were never made up.
The Harford County Public School system and the athletics department were saddened with the passing of Paul Perkovich, a teacher, coach and athletic director at C. Milton Wright High School. “Perk” was 53.
Perkovich was the AD at CMW from 2006 to 2017, having stepped down after the spring season. Under his watch, Mustangs teams and individuals won numerous state titles in boys soccer, cross country, field hockey, swimming, boys basketball, wrestling, softball and track and field.
The Aberdeen IronBirds closed out their season with a win , putting an end to a season that ended with a strong push.
The IronBirds closed the year at 38-37, giving Aberdeen back-to-back winning seasons for the first time in team history.
For the second straight year, Fallston’s William Creery had to settle for a runner-up finish at the Maryland State Golf Championships.
Creery, who entered the final day two strokes back, ended his day tied with River Hill’s Kevin Hickey, which resulted in a playoff at the University of Maryland Golf Course in College Park.
In the playoff, both parred the first extra hole, the par-five ninth hole. Both bogeyed the par-four 10th hole, before Hockey claimed victory on the par-three 11th hole.
Richard “Dick” Slutzky, the former teacher, longtime wrestling coach, Harford County Council member and currently its president, was to be honored as one of the university’s LetterWinners of Distinction along with four other distinguished Syracuse graduates. The five will be recognized at Goldstein Auditorium in the Schine Student Center at Syracuse.
The Mustangs knocked off Zadok Magruder High School club, 2-1, for the Class 3A state championship.
Patterson Mill, in its fourth-straight attempt, won the Class 1A boys soccer title, shutting out Loch Raven, 3-0.
Brandon Rabbitt’s 5-yard touchdown run with 1:16 to play lifted Havre de Grace to a hard-earned, 35-28, victory over visiting Perryville for the Class 1A East Region championship.
It was Havre de Grace’s fourth-straight region football title.
It took six tries, but the Bel Air girls volleyball team played for a Class 3A state championship.
University of Maryland field hockey captain Linnea Gonzales was named the 2018 Longstreth/NFHCA Division I National Player of the Year by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association.
Gonzales is a 2015 graduate of Patterson Mill High School.
Reach Randy McRoberts on twitter. @aegissports