Andy Hilgartner, McDonogh
(Jerry Jackson / Baltimore Sun)

After a number of close calls in recent years, McDonogh finally got over the hump and captured the program's first Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association AConference championship since 2005.

Behind Andy Hilgartner, in his eighth season as head coach and 10th with the program, the Eagles did so in grand fashion.


With a No. 1 area ranking from the beginning, McDonogh (18-1) finished 11-0 in the country's top league, capped by an 8-5 win over No. 2 Boys' Latin in the championship game.

The Eagles had plenty of quality pieces to start with, including what was regarded as the country's top defense, and had players step into bigger roles this season. Hilgartner quickly identified each player's role, and the Eagles played with confidence and as one.

After an 8-7 loss to Washington D.C. power Bullis on March 24, the Eagles won 13 straight games.

"It was an incredibly selfless team," Hilgartner said. "The kids really didn't care about stats, and we weren't reliant on any one or two guys. So I think we were the kind of team that if one guy wasn't having a good day or was getting shut down it didn't necessarily matter because we had plenty of other guys that were ready to step into any void and help out."

Hilgartner has a 112-40 record at McDonogh and is 236-87 in 16 years as a head coach, previously coaching at Sewickley (Pa.) Academy, Virginia's Woodberry Forest and Severn.

Glenn Graham

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