Looking back on what was the final weekend of high school sports here in the county, a few interesting thoughts swirled around in my noggin.
Most of those ideas actually centered on two main questions: Why do our girls sports teams fare so much better in the fall state playoffs than our boys teams?
And why does Montgomery County continue to dominate our county football teams?
Regarding the first question, the bottom line is that one boys team played for a state championship Saturday and lost, while two more football teams went down over the weekend in the state quarter-finals. That left no county boys teams with a state championship to speak of this fall.
In contrast, the girls copped two state championships over the weekend and finished runner-up in another earlier in the week.
The Severna Park girls powerhouse soccer team (16-0) made it three consecutive state 4A/3A titles with a 2-1 win over Howard County's Oakland Mills at Arundel High School in Gambrills. And the Glen Burnie volleyball team (18-0) took its first-ever state championship with a 3-0 sweep of Prince George's County's Oxon Hill (17-1) at Catonsville Community College in Baltimore County.
Meanwhile, the boys' haunting futility continued as the Broadneck soccer team (10-3-4) played the part usually taken by Severna Park and lost the state 4A title game to Bowie (16-0) by 2-1. Severna Park was downed 2-0 in the finale last year by Montgomery County's Walt Whitman and has never won the thing outright. Anne Arundel's nemesis, Bowie, usually knocks Severna Park off.
In defeating the Falcons' clone -- Broadneck -- Bowie won its sixth state championship.
Adding insult to injury, Broadneck still couldn't upend Bowie, even with all the cards stacked in its favor. First of all, the game was right in Broadneck's backyard at Old Mill High. Equally important, the Bulldogs played without Mark Jonas, their premier midfielder and leading scorer with 17 goals.
Jonas, who belongs to the United States 17-and-under national team that will play in Costa Rica in December, could not skip a practice in Houston and had to leave Friday.
Isn't it beautiful that the U.S. coach was so inconsiderate and the kid put himself above his own team as well?
Still, the Bulldogs outshot the Bruins 33-4.
In football, the Montgomery County frustration continued for our 4A teams as Thomas S. Wootton (11-0) defeated Old Mill (9-2) 17-7 on Friday night, and Springbrook (11-0) dominated Severna Park (7-3), 34-3 on Saturday.
It must be noted that Old Mill did play one gun short. Their main man, running back William Beverly, who tied the county record for TDs in a season with 20 this fall, was hobbled by an injured ankle.
But really, would it have made any difference with the way our county teams are dominated nearly every year by Montgomery squads?
Montgomery County has taken the last eight in a row over AA County teams, with Springbrook winning three of them, since 1984. Under the late, great Big Al Laramore, Annapolis was the only county team to defeat a Montgomery team and that was by 32-15 over Winston Churchill at home in 1984. That was the year of J Johnson, the Anne Arundel County Sun Player of the Year.
Johnson returned an interception 39 yards to hit pay dirt. He ran back two punts for touchdowns from 84 and 40 yards out that night to wreck Churchill in the semi-finals.
Also that year, J.F. Kennedy of Montgomery defeated South River in the state 3A final, while Annapolis lost to Randallstown.
If you count Kennedy in Class 3A, that's nine of the last 10 by Montgomery in the playoffs, and eight in Class 4A.
The yearly breakdown looks like this: Wootton and Springbrook this year; Gaithersburg over Annapolis 20-6 in 1989; Churchill 31, Annapolis 14, 1988 ( Severna Park lost to Friendly of PG County, 26-23); Springbrook 10, Severna Park 6 in 1987 (Severna Park had eliminated Annapolis 16-7 in the quarter-finals); Springbrook 19, Meade 0 in 1986 (Meade had eliminated Annapolis 35-20 in the quarter-final); Seneca Valley 15, Arundel 14 in 1985; and Churchill 3, Annapolis 0 that same year.
Check closely and you will see that in the last 10 playoff games involving one of our county 4A schools, Anne Arundel has won only two -- both over county schools.
The truth hurts, but Anne Arundel can't compete outside its own league.
And don't give me that typical excuse that our teams are so tough on each other that they run out of steam; or that Montgomery doesn't play a tough schedule.
That's a cop-out because two of the final four are from Montgomery -- Springbrook and Wootton -- and both got there by beating Anne Arundel teams.
Last week, Severna Park coach Andy Borland said there are only four teams in Montgomery. I count at least eight: Springbrook and Wootton, both 11-0; Seneca Valley (9-2), Winston Churchill (7-3); Gaithersburg (6-4); Quince Orchard (8-2); Bethesda-Chevy Chase (6-4); and Kennedy (6-4).