7 Howard County's high school athletics program is typically strong throughout the school year, but November provided an extraordinary sports spotlight for the county.
Eight county high schools won statechampionships. On one incredible Saturday -- Nov. 16 -- six teams took state titles. The Centennial Eagles earned a slice of history thatday, when they became the first school in state history to win threestate crowns on the same day.
Glenelg got the county rolling on Saturday, Nov. 9, when its boyscross country team won the Class 2A title by beating Oakland Mills, 35-81. Senior Gerard Hogan and his brother, junior Edward Hogan, finished first and second.
The following week, Howard County went crazy, beginning with Centennial.
The Eagles girls soccer team got things started with an easy 4-1 victory over Dulaney, as Mary Ellen Carullo scored the game's third goal with 5:28 left to clinch the 3A title. A few hours later, Eric Tischer scored a goal early in the second half to give Centennial's boys team a 2-1 victory over Thomas Stone (Charles County). And while the boys soccer team was winning, the Eagles volleyball team was pounding Seneca Valley (Montgomery County), 15-13, 15-3, 15-7, to win their second state championship in three seasons.
Wilde Lake, Hammond and Mount Hebron also won titles that day.
Wilde Lake's boys soccer team easily beat Clear Spring (Washington County), 4-1, in the 1A final, as Matt Nesbitt and Hamisi Amani-Dove each scored two goals. Hammond's girls team, behind Kisha Jett's two goals, captured the 2A title with a 3-1 victory over Wilde Lake. And Hebron's volleyball team recovered from a first-game defeat against Liberty to win the 2A title, 14-16, 15-6, 16-14, 15-11. It was Hebron's second straight state crown.
Two weeks later, on Saturday, Nov. 30, Wilde Lake's football team won their second straight state title with a 13-10 victory over Smithsburg (Washington County). Wildecats' running back Damon Hamlin, whose fourth-quarter fumble had given Smithsburg a 10-7 lead, scored the winning touchdown with a minute left in the game.