Forget co-champs and play it off

CARROLL SPORTS

May 18, 1994|By BILL FREE

Play the game.

That should be the rallying cry of everybody who cares about high school sports in Carroll County.

The game?

It's a natural: South Carroll vs. Westminster in a one-game showdown for the county baseball championship at Taneytown Memorial Park.

The game could be played a couple of days after South Carroll ends its run for a state Class 3A baseball title. Admission would be charged and the proceeds could go to both schools for their athletic programs or for academic supplies.

Right now, South Carroll and Westminster (both 5-1) are co-champions of a four-team league. That doesn't seem fair to either the Cavaliers or Owls.

The county baseball championship is watered down by the fact that Francis Scott Key doesn't compete for the title.

Why further erode the importance of winning the championship by having as many champions as runners-up?

Carroll County needs something like this game to pump new enthusiasm into its athletic programs.

It's not as if the county has been doing all that great in the state playoffs in the major sports of football, basketball and baseball. So that makes winning county titles much more significant.

And if the county staged the game, it would improve its image around the Baltimore metro area as a forward-thinking athletic organization.

Instead of looking for reasons not to play the game, the county should be finding ways to give the Cavaliers and Owls a chance to decide the championship on the field.

Permission from the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association would be needed to play the extra game. But hopefully that could be worked out if the MPSSAA was told that it would benefit both schools' athletic or academic programs.

On paper, South Carroll looks to be the better team with its home run hitters, speed, outstanding pitching and overall talent.

But in head-to-head competition, Westminster has outscored South Carroll, 13-10, in the two games they split this season. South Carroll won, 4-3, on its home field, and Westminster took a 10-6 victory at home.

The Owls have iron-man pitcher Jeremy Robinson to throw against the Cavaliers lineup that hits for an average of .336 and includes home run bashers such as Brad Schulze (four), Jeremy Hancock (three) and Brian Herche (three).

Robinson has said he wants the opportunity to face South Carroll again.

It would be a fun thing for players on both sides and the coaches.

That is what high school sports is all about.

At the very least, if the game isn't implemented, there should be provisions made before the next school year in Carroll County to play off first-place ties in all sports instead of declaring co-champions.

A date could be set aside for a championship game in case of a deadlock for first place.

That kind of provision is long overdue in a county where only four schools often compete for a championship, just to be let down at the end of the season when the county declares co-champions.

South Carroll advances

The South Carroll baseball team gained a much-deserved berth as the fourth seed in the tough state Class 3A West Regional Thursday when Seneca Valley lost to Gaithersburg and lost a chance to nail down the fourth seed that went to the Cavaliers.

As the fourth seed, South Carroll must travel to top-seeded Bethesda-Chevy Chase Friday at 3:15 p.m.

Key girls catch Westminster

A young and talented Francis Scott Key girls track and field team achieved a major goal Friday when it ended Westminster's four-year reign as county champion.

The 1A Eagles, coached by Tom Hill, didn't just beat the Owls, they walked away from the 4A school for a 123-33 victory.

That is what can happen when a small school such as Key gets a group of talented athletes such as Ali Jones, Stacey Greene, Laurie Ryer and Carrie Ryer.

Jones, Laurie Ryer and Carrie Ryer each won two events and Greene won one event, and all four helped the Eagles win three of the four relays.

What makes the victory more impressive is that Jones and Greene are sophomores and the Ryers are juniors.

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