The celebration began for the Edmondson lacrosse team with 17 seconds left when coach Crawford Dennard was doused with water.
Dennard briefly glared at the culprits before watching the final seconds tick off the clock toward the Maryland Scholastic Association C Conference championship and an unbeaten season.
Then Dennard forgot all about being wet and hugged his players before they danced on to the field at UMBC for a stick-hoisting celebration.
The Redskins (11-0) had defeated Southern, 5-3, to bring Edmondson its first lacrosse title in 10 years.
That alone was enough cause for the happy scene among Dennard and his players. But Dennard became a little misty-eyed when he talked about what he considered to be just as important a victory off the field.
"They used to refer to the C Conference as a jungle league," said Dennard. "But I've tried to teach these kids the importance of courtesy, class, good conduct and getting an education. I've tried to tell them that even though they're black and come from the inner city, they still can be something. I think we've come a long ways on and off the field."
Dennard, in his fourth year as head coach, said the Redskins have improved their passing skills immensely and can now control games with a patient offense.
That's exactly what Edmondson did yesterday, with sophomore Antonio Knox leading the way with two goals and three assists.
Knox handed out assists to Charles Sanders, Andre Overton and Antoine Powell to pace the Redskins to a 3-1 lead at halftime. Then he scored two goals in the second half to prevent a comeback by the Bulldogs (9-3).
Several of the Southern players had tears in their eyes as they watched the Edmondson celebration, but Bulldogs coach Bill Nagle said his young team simply lost to "a better team."
Since reviving the sport after 10 seasons without a team at
Southern, Nagle said the Bulldogs have progressed from an 0-10 record to 8-5 last season and 9-3 this year -- all the losses coming against Edmondson.
David Gurry led Southern with two goals.