It has been a long time since the people in the Patterson High community have been excited about soccer.
There was a time when the soccer teams at Patterson were as much a part of the community as Patterson Park, where the team used to play its games.
But the glory days have been few for Patterson in recent years. The school won or tied for six Maryland Scholastic Association titles in the 1960s and seven in the 1970s, but has not won a title since 1981, when it tied with Calvert Hall and Loyola for an A Conference crown.
However, the Clippers are back -- sort of.
Patterson is 7-0 overall and 4-0 in the MSA B Conference Division I, good for first place.
"We've gotten a lot of response from people [in the community] reading the paper and seeing we are winning," said Patterson sixth-year coach Derek Maki. "They're not really looking at the teams we are playing. They just see that we are doing well."
The MSA restructured its soccer league this year and did away with the C Conference. Several B Conference teams moved to the stronger A Conference, and the C Conference teams moved to the B Conference. Maki said Patterson, which remained in the B Conference, is benefiting from playing lesser competition, but he says it does not take away from what the Clippers are accomplishing.
"Winning at any level breeds confidence in a team," he said. "This team doesn't have the horses to compete in the A Conference, but I think we are a little better than some of the teams in the B Conference."
Last week, Patterson notched its biggest win of the season, a 3-2 triumph over Poly, which leads Division II. It was a tough game emotionally for Maki, whose son Craig is a sophomore goalie for Poly.
Patterson has two of the area's scoring leaders in senior striker Scott Zakroski (13 goals, 11 assists) and junior midfielder Mike Chalmers (14 goals, three assists), both playing on the varsity for the third year.
"Both are unselfish players who really work hard," said Maki.
The key, however, has been goalie Mike Valcourt, a defender a year ago, who has registered three shutouts and given up just six goals.
"He has really improved and come a long way," said Maki. "I really thought goal would be a problem after last year's goalie transferred."
Pallotti has applied for membership to the Maryland Scholastic Association again.
Three years ago, the Laurel school was turned down by the MSA because of the travel distance and the lack of on-campus athletic facilities.
Nothing has changed since then, but Pallotti athletic director Sister M. Karen says the school has been encouraged by MSA members to apply again.
"I think we've made a few good friends," she said. "They have kind of put the word out for us."
If accepted, Pallotti plans to compete in the MSA in soccer, football, basketball, baseball and lacrosse.
In December, athletic directors from the 35 MSA schools will vote on allowing Pallotti to join the association. At least two-thirds of the schools must approve for Pallotti to be accepted.*
The state football championships Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 will not be at the University of Maryland this year because of renovations at Byrd Stadium scheduled to begin at end of the Terps' season.
The four state championship games will be at four different sites. Six sites are being considered, and the list will be narrowed to four when it is known what teams will be in the championships. Sites being considered are Montgomery College, Westminster, South Carroll, Friendly, High Point and Largo.
The coaches have been chosen for the Greater Baltimore Football Classic featuring senior all-star teams from the Maryland Scholastic Association and Baltimore County at Poly on Dec. 2 at 1 p.m.
Patterson's Roger Wrenn will be the head coach of the MSA team, and Randallstown's John Buchheister will coach the Baltimore County squad. Both coaches' teams are 5-0 at the halfway point this season. The MSA leads the series, 5-3.
Overtime: The Lake Clifton varsity basketball team is looking for sponsors, donations and help with its fund raisers to help the team attend the Sacramento Exchange Basketball Tournament in Sacramento, Calif., Dec. 18-22. For information, call coach Charlie Moore at 396-6635. . . . Former McDonogh boys basketball coach Paul Smith will coach at Sidewell Friends in Washington this season. . . . The Maryland State Association of Baseball Coaches will hold its second annual baseball clinic Jan. 18-19 at the BWI Marriott. Texas Rangers pitching coach Tom House and Maryland first-year coach Tom Bradley will be two of the guest speakers. The cost for members is $35 and $45 for non-members. For more information, call clinic director Don Van Duesen at 313-7080 or Wrenn at 396-9274. . . . Pikesville needs a boys basketball scrimmage between Nov. 25 and Nov. 30. Call Sam Norman at 887-1217. . . . The International Association of Approved Basketball Officials, Board No. 261 is looking for applicants for the 1990-91 season. Call Terry Jessup at 838-7924 or Bud Coakley at 676-4348.