With the Carroll County high school spring season now behind us, let's take a look at some of the special teams and individuals that madeit just that -- special.
Before we start, congratulations are in order to the North Carroll softball team and the Francis Scott Key boys track team, both of which repeated as state champions.
And now a closer look at those who made the season one to remember.
What a difference a year makes:
* Hats off to North Carroll baseball coach Craig Walker and his Panthers. A year ago, the Panthers finished winless at 0-17. This spring, they turned things around with a 10-8 season and won six of their last seven games to qualify forthe regional playoffs.
* A second hats off to Francis Scott Key softball coach Joe Linthicum and his Eagles, who
flew high this season, reaching the state tournament with a 10-7 regular-season record after finishing the 1990 campaign with a 1-16 mark.
Streaks no more:
A pair of boys lacrosse county streaks ended in April when North Carroll edged Liberty and Liberty returned the favor by topping South Carroll.
* On April 19, North Carroll's 9-8 victory over Liberty snapped a 27-game county losing streak dating back to 1986.
* Liberty's 8-2 win over South Carroll less than a week later snapped theCavs five-year, 28-game county winning streak.
Ironically, North Carroll's 1986 victory was the last time South Carroll had lost priorto Liberty's win.
Who stole the show?:
How do you top leading the county in steals in girls basketball? Lead the county in steals in softball.
That's what Liberty senior Cindy Leeds did.
After peskily recording 140 steals in 22 games for a 6.4 average on the court this winter, Leeds turned offensive on the diamond and came up with49 steals in 19 games this spring.
Enough is enough:
After going 0-for-3 in the season opener, Liberty senior Jeff Wagner told Coach Bryan Harman he was "so mad I'm not gonna make another out the restof the season."
He came close -- finishing the regular season batting .596 to lead the county.
And while we're discussing Liberty baseball, how about the 21-17 loss to Mount Hebron of Howard County onApril 30?
Harman wasn't kidding when he said earlier in the season he wasn't concerned with scoring runs but was about giving them up.
Move over Roger Clemens:
North Carroll senior softball pitcherMichelle Ament finished her high school career with a stellar 41-4 record and two state title wins.
Let us not forget the solid defense that loyally supported her during those years.
Let's play doubles:
There were 25 boys and girls doubles tennis teams in the countywith winning records, while only 12 individuals finished with winning singles records during the regular season.
Fittingly, two of thetop singles players -- South Carroll's Kristen Medvetz and Sam Thepvongs -- teamed up in mixed doubles action and reached the state final.
It's a bird, it's a plane . . .:
No it's Westminster's Jeff LiBerge. He pole vaulted higher than any Maryland high school athlete in a May meet, with a leap of 15-feet-1 1/2. And although he didn't break the state meet record May 25, he did capture the state title with a leap of 14-9 -- more than a foot higher than the second-place finisher.
Something to watch for next spring:
After capturing the 800-, 1,600- and 3,200-meter races in both the regional and state meets as a sophomore a year ago, Westminster's Stephanie Morningstar raninto a sophomore buzz saw by the name of Mandy White from Dulaney this year who swept the three-region titles and took two of the three races in the state meet.
It will be interesting to see what Morningstar comes up with a year from now in her senior season.