Winter wonderland of surprises: Pick your favorite Did Meade's overachievers overreact?

SIDELINES

March 19, 1993|By PAT O'MALLEY

Finally we can put a lid on the high school winter sports season, but I have more than a few unanswered "Q's" to throw your way.

If you have the answers or other remarks, please give me a call on the 24-Hour Sportsline at (410) 647-2499.

Do you agree that these were the three biggest surprises of the winter sports season?

1) Old Mill's young wrestling team winning an unprecedented fifth consecutive state title.

2) Meade's boys basketball team reaching the state 4A final and nearly winning it all.

3) It was not surprising that the Old Mill girls basketball team became the first 4A school to win three straight state titles. But HTC the margin of victory (59-35) by which they disposed of overrated Western of Baltimore was.

* Old Mill wrestling coach Mike Hampe and his staff turned in a marvelous job, as did Al Kohlhafer's staff at Northeast, which won the state 2A-1A wrestling championship.

* After what he accomplished this season in leading a really inexperienced team with just one returning starter in Derek Barrett, why did Meade's Butch Young make such a big deal of the media's referring to his team as overachievers?

First of all, what's so insulting about being an overachiever? Doesn't the word indicate hard work and determination, symbols of success?

And most important, wasn't it Young who kept telling everyone that he didn't have much of a bench, was inexperienced, had lost a lot of people, had no height and had guys cut from JV as freshmen starting for the first time as seniors?

While many of us have become accustomed to Young's annually playing down the ability of his team and then sneaking up on everybody, wasn't this the first time the coach was right on target in his preseason assessment?

Did you know that when asked in preseason who had the most talent in the county this year, that nearly to the man county coaches answered Glen Burnie and Arundel, and no one said Meade.

* If Young put together a high lights film on all-county senior Danny Sancomb, shouldn't he call it "The Way High School Basketball is Supposed to be Played?"

Has this county ever had an athlete who played as hard as Sancomb did every second of every game the entire season?

Wednesday night at Cole Field House in the state championship game he scored a team-high 24 points, had six rebounds, dished out four assists, played defense, stole the ball, dived all over the court and got up to retrieve the ball for the refs a couple times.

* Didn't the Old Mill girls fans and parents have a right to chant "overrated" as the clock was winding down on their spectacular victory over Western?

Western, ranked No. 1 by The Baltimore Sun and No. 13 by USA Today, was annihilated by the Patriots, 59-35, who left no doubt as to who's No. 1 in these parts.

And, yes, I heard from a few Old Mill parents, among them North County principal Bill Wentworth, who called to rub it in.

"Pat, in answer to your November Q without A, are Old Mill people serious when they think that they can beat Western for their third straight state title?

"Old Mill 59, Western 35," Wentworth, whose daughter Allison played for the Pats, said on the 24-Hour Sportsline.

Weren't his other words at an Old Mill parents and players celebration Wednesday night even more enlightening?

"Bill Wentworth said that it was not just a victory for the Old Mill girls team, but it also showed the rest of the girls in our county how good our basketball is," said Dan Chicorelli, parent of All-County Patriot, Anne.

With such an impressive victory, shouldn't the national rankings that did not include Old Mill this week vault them into the top 10?

Isn't it time we gave this extraordinary group of Old Mill girls their place in county history as perhaps the greatest by a nose over Brooklyn Park (five straight titles, 1985-89) and Southern (three straight, 1983-85)?

* Will veteran Old Mill coach Pat Chance (four state titles and more than 300 wins) be back for a 21st season or will she go out on cloud nine?

"It would be a big surprise if I didn't come back because I enjoy it too much," Chance said while savoring the title win Wednesday at UMBC.

* Finally, as proud as this special group of Old Mill seniors (six) should be of three consecutive state titles, shouldn't the school be equally as proud of Anne Chicorelli, Lee Ann Lezzer and Allison Wentworth, each of whom maintained a career 3.5 or better grade-point average?

Now how many girls state champs can boast that? Only Class 1A champion Easton can. The two other state champs, Bladensburg (3A) and Middletown (2A), had none.

Yes, the Old Mill team was a model for the ages.

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