Some of the best tennis players in the metro area will converge on Liberty and South Carroll high schools this weekend.
The District Vtournament, featuring players from Anne Arundel, Carroll, Harford and Howard counties, begins at 9 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
On Friday, boys action is tentatively scheduled for the Liberty courts; the girls and mixed-doubles play at South Carroll. All of Saturday's action will be at Liberty High.
District V will be experimenting with a new format this year, said Liberty Coach Bruce Damasio. Each of the four counties may enter its top three finishers in boys and girls singles, boys and girls doubles, and mixed doubles.
Traditionally, counties sent only their top two finishers in each categoryto the districts. District finalists qualify for the state tournament at the University of Maryland the following week.
Of Carroll's 24 representatives, 10 will come from South Carroll (five doubles teams), eight from Westminster, four from Liberty and two from North Carroll. The Carroll qualifiers and their first-round opponents (with seedings in parenthesis) are:
Boys singles: Bryan Bradford, NC (4) has a first-round bye; Mickey Ferraro, West. vs. Bob Hoffman, Howard; Marco Fuggitti, West. vs. Tim Hohman, Wilde Lake
Girls singles: Mandy Koenig, West. (3) has a first-round bye; Becky Deux, West. vs. Stacy Jenkins, Chesapeake-AA; Lisa Kreseki, NC vs. Jen Whitley, Arundel
Boys doubles: Derek Johnson/Paul Weinhardt, SC (4) have a first-round bye; Todd Myers/Greg Phelps, Liberty vs. Josh Smith/Chris Smith, Howard; Brad Medairy/Eric Peterson, SC vs. Jit Sinha/Zach Rothenberg,Oakland Mills
Girls doubles: Valee Baker/Shannon Conaway, SC (1) have a first-round bye; Gretchen Fogle/Nikki Robitaille, SC vs. LibbyTolson/Jill Thompson, Atholton; Andrea Stanton/Staci Schmidt, West. vs. Anne Weston/Karen Williamson, Broadneck
Mixed doubles: KristinMedvetz/Sam Thepvongs, SC (1) have a first-round bye; Randy Pagulayan/Karen Stevenson, West. vs. a Howard County team (TBA); Stephen Speck/Cailin Lawlor, Liberty vs. a Howard County team (TBA)
In other sports this weekend:
* Three softball teams should be playing host to home regional playoff games Thursday afternoon. Final pairings, along with official times for the contests, will be determined tonight.
Francis Scott Key rebounded from last year's 1-16 season to all but clinch the top spot in Class 1A Region I this year. The Eagles ledthe region with two games to go, though Havre de Grace of Harford County was close behind.
The Eagles likely will play host to either Owings Mills or Sparrows Point of Baltimore County, which were battling for third and fourth in the region. Havre de Grace would meet the team that doesn't play Key, and the winner of that game would earn a berth in the state tournament.
Key's first region playoff game should be at 4:30 p.m. Thursday.
North Carroll and Liberty also took the top two spots in Class 3A Region I and will be home for their first-round games against Howard County foes. North Carroll, the defending state Class 3A champion, is slated to play fourth-seeded Howard, and Liberty should entertain third-seeded Centennial. Both games startat 4 p.m.
Region finals will be Saturday, at the higher-seeded team's site.
* The county has its best chance of sending a team to the state baseball tournament since the mid-1980s, as three Carroll teams figure to make the top four in Class 3A Region I.
South Carroll has clinched the top spot in the region and most likely will start its season against surprising North Carroll in Winfield at 4 p.m. Friday. North Carroll was tentatively the No. 4 team in the region, though North Hagerstown could move into a tie for that spot with wins in its final four games of the season.
Liberty is tied with North Carroll in points but is seeded third, based on head-to-head meetings. The Lions travel to Howard County to play second-seeded Centennial Friday afternoon.
Region finals will be Saturday at the site of the higher-seeded team.
* Several county track squads will compete for team honors and work to qualify athletes for the state tournament at this weekend's region tournaments.
Key will participate in the Class 1A Region II meet starting at noon Saturday at Catoctin High, Frederick County. The Eagles probably will battle Milford Mill of Baltimore County for the boys team title in what is expected to be a previewof the state meet the next weekend.
Westminster plays host to theClass 4A Region I meet at 3:30 p.m. Friday. The Owls will be favoredto sweep the region title, though Perry Hall of Baltimore County (boys) and Frederick (girls) could have a say in the finale.
Region team titles may not be a realistic hope for Carroll teams in Saturday's Class 3A Region I meet at Linganore High in Frederick County (10 a.m.), but Liberty, North Carroll and South Carroll will look to advance several athletes to the state meet.