The word “dynasty” is usually reserved for the Golden State Warriors and bygone eras of Eastern royalty, but there’s no reason it can’t be used for Severna Park boys lacrosse.
If six consecutive titles weren’t enough to prove the Falcons’ lasting power in the realm of Maryland lacrosse history, a very young Severna Park team put down a Mt. Hebron team juiced with vengeance in the Class 3A state championship game Thursday.
Seven straight titles is a Maryland record and a somewhat inconceivable achievement in what is considered the most competitive lacrosse state in the country, to have knocked any able contenders in both Class 3A and 4A since 2016. The streak passes Hereford’s six-crown run from 2008 to 2013.
“I think it’s an impressive feat,” Broadneck coach Jeff McGuire said, “to win that many back to back.”
It also extends Severna Park’s overall title record to 12. But considering more than half of those came in one run speaks to more than just tradition. There are lots of programs that have decorated decades with interspersed championship seasons. There are none besides Severna Park that have done it so relentlessly.
And there’s one word that encapsulates an unending stretch of rule: dynasty.
“It didn’t start with us,” said senior goalkeeper Ashby Shepherd, who blocked the Vikings’ potential tying goal in the last moments of the title game. “It started with guys, and Coach, many years before this. They instilled a culture. The second we get there, we’re acclimated and we just started rolling.”
That’s a task Shepherd felt he was tasked with teaching to the many younger players on this year’s team. Because that’s what the older Falcons did for him.
“Especially in a game like this. They fold over into the next year, and it continues,” Shepherd said.
It’s not as if the Falcons have been able to reload with senior talent every year, or have its pick of the best fruits in the county like a private school would. Severna Park truly faced a possibility of a disappointing season when it started in March. After the 2022 Falcons garnered their title, the roster took a heavy hit.
Coach Dave Earl, who helmed six of these seven rings, knew there’d be no shortage of leadership from his senior-heavy defense. But his attack had completely turned over, as had his first midfield. Seven freshmen made varsity, an unheard-of necessity for a consistently well-fed program.
“Going into this season, we had to decide who we were going to be,” Earl said. “Throughout, the course of the year, we started to define things.”
Severna Park tinkered. For instance, it moved Jack Fish to attack. The sophomore netted three goals on Thursday and six in the state semifinal. The Falcons’ junior varsity team went undefeated, so when playoffs came, Earl pulled up a few and deployed them in games.
With that reinvention absolutely came its hiccups. After splitting with rival Broadneck and winning the county championship last spring, Severna Park dropped both games to the Bruins (who went on to finish the season as unbeaten 4A champions). The Falcons suffered two other defeats, to Landon and to neighbor and MIAA A Conference squad Severn. But the Falcons shook it off. The team adopted a short approach of improving daily, blocking a potential championship game from its periphery.
Until the day came it was time to win it. And Severna Park became Severna Park.
“This group fits with all of mine. But I think this group is extra special,” Earl said.”