How sweet it would be if . . .


January 04, 1995|By BILL FREE

TC Things I would like to see happen in 1995 in high school sports in Carroll County:

* The outstanding South Carroll and Westminster girls basketball teams win state championships.

* North Carroll finally end its longtime wrestling jinx and capture a state tournament. The Panthers were ever so close so many times under now retired coach Dick Bauerlein and will try again this season under new coach Bryan Wetzel.

* Francis Scott Key's wrestling team continue its recent success in the state tournament and put itself in a position to capture the 1A-2A championship if North Carroll stumbles.

* All Francis Scott Key teams play more games against Carroll County opposition. Sure, the Monocacy Valley Athletic League is a good league for the Eagles, but Key against Boonsboro or Smithsburg just can't compare with Key against North Carroll or against Westminster. Now that the state has gone to open tournaments in all sports except football, the Westminsters (4A) and South Carrolls (3A) have nothing to lose by playing Key (1A).

* A merger of the 10-team MVAL and the seven-team Central Maryland Conference, which includes Westminster, South Carroll, North Carroll and Liberty, and teams placed in divisions based on their performances in each sport. There is simply no fun anymore in seeing North Carroll and Liberty playing Thomas Johnson and Frederick in basketball and football.

* Former South Carroll baseball coach Joe Foltz return to the county somewhere as a head baseball coach. Foltz quietly led the Cavaliers to the 3A regional final last season, continuing his record of baseball excellence at the school, but guess what his reward was? He was told there was no teaching position for him at South Carroll because not enough students had signed up for electronics, forcing him to take a teaching job at Harford Tech that has resulted in a daily three-hour commute for a man who truly loved coaching in Carroll County.

* A reduction in the number of Christmas and holiday basketball tournaments. Many of these tournaments have outlived their usefulness, resulting in some teams barely able to come up with five or six players to field a team, resulting in sloppy basketball, not to mention small crowds. Lifestyles have changed since the inception of these tournaments, and many students take vacations with their families over the holidays or make other plans.

* The Liberty girls lacrosse team take that final step to a 1A-2A state championship after making such a strong run in 1994 before falling to powerful Loch Raven in the title game.

* Any football team in Carroll County make the state playoffs. There is no way this county should have so many lean years in football. However, Westminster coach Tim Ebersole and Liberty

coach Ken Johnson have come to the county in the past two seasons amid high expectations, and both are off to good starts. Also, South Carroll's Gene Brown keeps plugging away in Winfield and could break through in a big way sometime soon.

* Strong baseball programs, such as at South Carroll and Westminster, make that final push to a state championship. Westminster has resurfaced under the leadership of co-coaches Carl Rihard and Guy Stull, and Foltz has left a strong program at South Carroll.

* South Carroll All-American girls soccer player Amber Clutter be rewarded with a scholarship to a Division I school. Clutter is a team player who didn't roll up a lot of impressive stats, but her grasp of the fundamentals of the game and natural ability could help a lot of schools.

* The South Carroll boys soccer team continue to build on last season's magical 14-1-1 drive to the 3A regional final and make the final four.

* Westminster basketball coach Dave Byers find a way once again to turn around a basketball team that isn't loaded with talent. He has pulled off so many miracles for the Owls in past years, but he may be facing his toughest challenge this season.

* The county's always-strong field hockey teams bounce back from last season's one-day misfortune (Westminster, Francis Scott Key and North Carroll all lost in the semifinals) in the state tournament to capture at least one Maryland championship.

* Westminster boys cross country coach Jim Gilford put the Owls back on top in the state 4A cross country standings after two seconds and a fourth in the past three years.

* Francis Scott Key continue its outstanding run in girls cross country and girls track and field under coaches Rich Salkin (cross country) and Tom Hill (track and field). Both of those young squads beat Westminster to win county titles last year. Some of the outstanding track and field talent back are Carrie and Laurie Ryer, Stacey Greene, Ali Jones, Jen Moorman, Lisa Turner and Christine Harner.

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