Two of the largest county high schools in their leagues took home the top awards Thursday evening at the County Coaches Association meeting.
Old Mill, after a three-year run by Severna Park, captured theAll-Sports competition among the 4A schools, while South River garnered top honors among the smaller 3A-2A division for the second consecutive year.
The All-Sports Trophy, an award given to the county school turning in the best athletic performance for the entire school year, has been dominated by Old Mill and Severna Park in the 4A league. For the Patriots, this was the 16-year-old school's eighth trophy.
"Our coaching staff is happy, and so were the kids. They were very excited when they heard the news," said Old Mill athletic director Jim Dillon. "They felt a sense of accomplishment, and they should. After all, they were the ones responsible for it."
Dillon, a 30-year veteran whospent his first 14 years at the helm of now-defunct Andover, has been the only athletic director in Old Mill's history.
"Time has really flown by. I guess that means I'm having fun," said Dillon. "I still enjoy my job. There's never a dull moment. Why would you put yourself through all of this if you didn't like what you were doing?"
Old Mill nudged second-place Severna Park in this year's race, 149.5 to140, while Broadneck placed third with 123.5.
"In the beginning of the spring, we were kind of worried there for a while. It looked like Severna Park would overtake us, but we pulled it out in the end," said Dillon.
In the 3A-2A race, South River downed second-place Northeast, 39-31.5. Southern finished with 24.5 points.
This past year, Old Mill saw its wrestling and girls basketball teams win state titles, while the football, girls soccer, field hockey, boys basketball, softball and baseball squads made regional playoff appearances. The boys soccer team finished the year at 6-5-1, while the boys and girls cross country teams finished fifth and seventh, respectively, in the state meet.
Two Patriot golfers qualified for state tourney play, while the boys and girls indoor track teams placed second in regional action. The Old Mill tennis team finished 1991 in second place inthe county tournament behind Severna Park, and two members of the girls gymnastics team were crowned county champs.
The Seahawks, which won its fourth trophy overall, benefited from league championships in boys and girls lacrosse and soccer, wrestling, football and tennis.
"The fact that we won it without a single state championship team proved that we run an effective athletic program here," said South River athletic director Jim Haluck. "Overall, we won a lot of games in a lot of sports. I think the win has more to do with the coaching staff and the kids than the leadership."
The boys soccer team's trip to the state 3A state semifinals (a 4-0 shutout at the hands of eventual champion Oakland Mills of Howard County), plus regional playoffappearances by the boys and girls basketball teams, highlighted the year for the Seahawks.
"We try to instill in our student-athletes to always strive for a little more. And the way a lot of the championship races went during the year, it showed that we were just a littlehungrier," Haluck said.
"In general, we had a very good year, andwe're looking forward to next year. They'll be a lot of good people coming back into the program."