Athletes Produce Year-round Thrills -- And Big Surprises

December 30, 1990

If any theme in county sports could be chosen for 1990 it would be dominant players and teams living up to their reputations. But the biggest story of the year was that of an underdog -- the C. Milton Wright football team.

Coach Steve Harward's Mustangs celebrated the best season in the school's 11-year history, going all the way to the state final game, where McDonough stopped them, 33-20. As you read our highlights of the year, you'll find other underdog stories, too.

Winter highlights

* Aberdeen's wrestling team became the first ever to win three consecutive state titles outright. The Eagles had two individual champions in Chris Franklin and Matt Slutzky, as well as a runner-up in Danny Osorio.

Coach Dick Slutzky's Eagles also won their 12th county title. They were ranked No. 1 in the state by the Maryland State Wrestling Association and were ranked No. 24 in the country by the Amateur Wrestling News. Coach Slutzky was inducted into the Maryland Wrestling Hall of Fame in March.

* Aberdeen senior Chris Franklin (25-1) capped off his stellar prep wrestling career with a state title in the 112-pound class. He beat Overlea's Anthony Sims, 6-0, for the championship. Franklin, who had become the first four-time Harford County champion, became the most successful wrestler in Aberdeen history by compiling a 108-6 record over four years.

He had been state runner-up twice before.

* C. Milton Wright's swimming team stunned Bel Air as the Mustangs won their third consecutive county swimming title, 480-413, mostly on their depth and the strength of their relay teams. It was the Mustangs' fourth county title in five years. The Bobcats had won both meetings between the two squads during the regular season. John Carroll freshman Elizabeth Harris won three gold medals, as did Edgewood's Eric Roland.

* Rookie coach Sheilah Collins took Havre de Grace's girls basketball team to the Class 1A state final four. Although the Warriors finished with an 11-12 record, they beat all of their Class 1A opponents during the regular season and the regional playoffs. They got hammered in the state semifinal by five-time defending champion Brooklyn Park.

* Joppatowne's boys basketball team survived a scare in the state Class 1A semifinals and went on to win the state title. The Mariners (23-1) barely made it past Poolesville, 50-46, in the semifinals but romped over Westmar, 71-47, in the final. Greg Robbins (19 points, nine rebounds, four blocks) and Rob Jelen (14 points, nine rebounds) led the Mariners.

Spring highlights

* C. Milton Wright's boys track and field team won its 50th straight regular-season meet. The Mustangs last lost a regular-season meet in 1986.

* At 42, Marge Rosasco won her first Ladies 10K Classic by beating 25-year-old Maureen Hall of Towson. Rosasco, who founded the event as the Lady Equitable in 1976, had finished in the top 10 every year but one. This year, the Joppa resident crossed the finish line of the 10-kilometer race, which is run along Baltimore's Inner Harbor, in 37:47.

* North Harford won its first ever state boys lacrosse title. The Hawks (14-1) took the Class 1A/2A championship with a 5-1 victory over Andover.

Stellar defensive performances by Randy Staab, Chris Gress and Jason Ketner held Andover to just 17 shots. Five different players scored for the Hawks.

* Joppatowne's girls lacrosse team lost its attempt to win a fifth straight state title, falling to Southern of Anne Arundel County, 11-10, in the semifinal. Southern, the eventual runner-up, jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first five minutes. Michelle Zaldonis scored five of her six goals in the second half for the Mariners.

* John Carroll's boys lacrosse team won its third Maryland Scholastic Association B Conference championship, 6-4, over McDonogh. Chris Driggs scored two of his three goals in the fourth quarter to lift the Patriots over the Eagles, who had jumped out to a 3-0 lead. Driggs was awarded the C. Markland Kelly Award as the best player in the conference.

* Edgewood's baseball team came within one game of winning the state Class 2A title before losing, 9-2, to Allegany. In the semifinals, the Rams beat Northeast of Anne Arundel County, 6-5. Northeast hadn't lost in 22 games and was ranked 30th in the nation by Collegiate Baseball magazine.

* Fallston's Jenny Howard won the 3,200 meters and the 1,600 meters at the Class 2A state track championships. Earlier in the season, she had set county records for both distances. In the Class 1A state meet, Thori Staples of Joppatowne won the 400- and 800-meter runs.

* Edgewood's Steve Lewis won the state championship in the Class 2A high jump with a 6-foot-3 leap. He set a school record, jumping 6-6 , for the regional title. Teammate Derrick Terry won the 300 intermediate hurdles.

* C. Milton Wright's Leigh Biggerman and Joppatowne's Robby Kronenberg were undefeated in county tennis and won the county singles titles.

Summer highlights

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