Archbishop Curley hasn't won the Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference baseball title since 1983, and the Friars finished last in the conference last season, a rare occurrence during coach Al Frank's 29 years.
This year the Friars are determined to show that last year was a fluke and that neither the program nor Frank has lost the spark.
The Friars are making that clear with a 9-0 start. Curley is also 3-0 in the conference, good for a first-place tie with two-time defending champion Calvert Hall.
Curley has been paced by senior right-handed pitcher/designated hitter Bryan Bowen (5-0). Last week, in victories over conference foes Mount St. Joseph, Cardinal Gibbons and Poly, Bowen was 9-for-10 and drove in five runs. Junior left-hander Jason Eyster is 4-0.
"So far our pitching has held its own, we've hit the ball well and played adequate defense," said Frank. "Our goal is to make the playoffs, something we haven't done since 1989."
One of the keys to reviving glory for the Friars has been a player from the past. Frank says the Curley hitters have been helped tremendously by assistant coach Rich Pfaff, who earned All-Metro honors in 1986 at Curley. He later was in the Milwaukee Brewers minor-league system.
Southwestern has been the surprise team in the MSA C Conference.
The Sabers are 5-0 overall and 3-0 in the conference, which ties them for first with Friends.
"This may be the best team we've ever had," said fourth-year coach Terry Leverett.
Junior left-hander Joe Simms has two victories and two saves, and junior right-hander Robert Myers has two victories.
The Sabers, a potent offensive club, have scored 52 runs.
Myers has three triples, junior catcher Mike Vickers has three triples and a home run, and junior first baseman Irvin Ford and Simms have two doubles each.
"It's a young team," said Leverett, "but we look good and we feel confident."
* Southwestern High senior Walter Reed decisioned Steve Urban Kansas City, the Missouri champion, 15-9, to win the 189-pound title in last weekend's National High School Wrestling Championships at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.
After a first-round bye, Reed, who was the top seed with a 131-1-1 record coming in, scored a 19-3 technical fall victory over the state champion from Utah before decisioning the Kansas state champion, 18-16, in a tough semifinal bout.
Three other area wrestlers made All-America by finishing in the top eight of their weight classes. Chesapeake-AA's Brian Eveleth was fifth at 119, Old Mill's Brent Layman was seventh at 130, and Loyola's Chris Stratemeyer was eighth at 171.
* Records, streaks, milestones: Pitcher Kristy Zulka gave up the first run her team has allowed this season, but Northeast's softball team still won its 63rd straight game by edging No. 6 North County, 2-1, Friday. That moved Northeast (7-0) into sole possession of fourth place on the all-time high school win-streak list. . . . Northeast's baseball team has outscored nine opponents, 122-24, and the softball team has outscored its opponents, 77-1. . . . Severna Park won its 59th straight tennis match since 1986 by defeating host Queen Anne's, 9-0, Friday. . . . Severna Park's top-ranked girls lacrosse team notched its 56th straight victory by winning at Westminster, 14-3, Friday.
Former Milford Mill basketball standout Chuckie Moore signed a national letter of intent with Northeastern yesterday. Moore has spent the last two years at Garrett Community College, where he earned All-JuCo and All Region XX honors both seasons. He was also named a junior college All-American this past season after averaging 29.2 points.
Moore's father, Charlie, is varsity coach at Lake Clifton. Chuckie Moore will join three former Lake Clifton players, Ben Harlee, Joe Carey and Alphonso Barney, at Northeastern.
Overtime: North County lacrosse goalie Tim McGeeney signed a national letter of intent with Loyola College last week. . . . Catonsville's David Clark, a second-team All-Metro basketball selection, is headed for Goucher College.