Three cheers for Wilde Lake HOWARD COUNTY

December 02, 1992

A Dec. 2 editorial stated that the Wilde Lake High school football team won the Class 1A state championship three years in a row. Actually, the team won the title in Class 2A in 1990 and in Class 1A in 1991 and 1992.

The Sun regrets the error.

zTC

You don't have to be John Madden to know that winning a football title three years in a row is a big deal, whether at the pee-wee or professional level. That's why special congratulations are due the football team of Wilde Lake High School, which last week achieved a "three-peat" as champions of the state's Class 1A division. No other Baltimore area school has ever managed that feat.

In handling the Cambridge Vikings by a 23-7 score, the Wildecats stuck to the grind-it-out offense and the say-goodnight defense that won them 12 of 13 games this season. How stingy was the D? It nearly blanked a Cambridge team that had averaged 38 points a game. It also held the Vikings to a total of minus 39 rushing yards.

FOR THE RECORD - CORRECTION

All this from a Wildecat squad that its own coach had labeled "ordinary" and a "long shot" to win a title at the start of the season.

Call it psych job or realistic analysis, but Doug DuVall, with more than 160 wins in his 20-year tenure as Wilde Lake's head football coach, had declared lower expectations for the 1992 squad. After all, what team could match the '90 and '91 Wilde Lake powerhouses that went undefeated while taking the Class 1A title each year?

Yet this year's "ordinary kids" became, in Coach DuVall's words, "extraordinary workers." They suffered a rare letdown Sept. 19, when an overtime loss to an Anne Arundel County school broke Wilde Lake's string of 28 straight wins. However, that defeat, the first for a Wildecat team since 1989, might have been fortuitous ++ in that it freed the players of the pressure to maintain a streak begun three years ago by a different cast of athletes.

The Wilde Lake team's accomplishments are even more noteworthy for the size of the institution: its student body of about 800 is the smallest among Howard County public high schools. Despite this relatively shallow recruitment pool, the team succeeds because its coaches develop well-rounded young men who perform as well in the classroom as on the gridiron, assistant principal Moreno Carrasco says.

A lot of teams have good athletes. Not many teams, though, boast good, smart athletes -- the kind who can bring home the state championship one, two, three years in a row.

Did someone say "four-peat"?

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