John Buchheister, the area's winningest high school football coach in the 1980s, began the 1990s with a new team and a familiar result -- a victory.
Buchheister, who compiled an 87-22 record (.798) at Milford Mill in the 1980s, left after last season to coach at Randallstown, which defeated Lackey of Charles County, 35-19, in the second-ranked Rams' season opener Saturday night.
"To get that first win lets you take a deep breath," Buchheistesaid. "Sooner or later, you're going to lose, but it's good to win the first one.
"I think [the win] helped take the pressure off the kids. I think
they were anxious going into the first game, and last year they were beaten bad [35-14] by Lackey."
Buchheister also said the victory helped ease his team's adjustment to a new coach and a new system.
"During the summer practices, I heard comments like, 'What the heck are we doing?'" he said. "Speedy [former Randallstown coach Ken Johnson] is a good coach, and he did things his way. But I do things my way, and my way is different. It was new to them.
"But I think we got over the hump Saturday. During a timeout, I went on the field and I heard one kid say, 'This is why we do buckeyes [a conditioning drill].' Then it dawned on me that they understood why we were doing what we were doing. I was inwardly pleased about that."
Buchheister's former team dropped an 18-6 decision to Mervo on Friday.
"That was one of the first scores I looked at Saturday," Buchheister said. "I don't want them to lose. It's part of your past, like seeing your old buddy from 20 years ago."
The Randallstown-Lackey game was one of several during the weekend pitting the area's top teams against strong outside competition.
Teams ranked in The Sun's top 20 went 6-4 against outside competition.
In four games of note:
*Top-ranked Poly, winner of five Maryland Scholastic Association Conference titles in the 1980s, including last year, defeated Allegany, the only state team to win 100 games (103-15) in the 1980s, 29-6.
"We'll go anywhere and play anybody," Poly coach Augie Waibesaid. "We wanted to come up here and make a good showing, and prove that we play pretty good hard-nosed football in Baltimore City."
*No. 3 Gilman dropped a 31-12 decision to DeMatha, The Washington Post's preseason No. 1 team.
*Annapolis, ranked fourth by The Sun, lost to Friendly, ranked No. 20 by The Washington Post, 21-0.
*Sixth-ranked Forest Park edged Seaford, Delaware's winningest team in the 1980s, 16-14.
The cardiac kids are at it again.
No. 8 Perry Hall, which earned that nickname last season for winning its first five games in dramatic fashion, opened the season Friday with a 22-20 overtime victory over Frederick.
In last season's opener, the Gators defeated Frederick, 36-34, in double overtime.