Tuesday is the date of the county's girls soccer showdown as No. 4 Arundel (8-0-2) visits No. 5 Severna Park (8-0-1) at 7 p.m.
Both teams are well coached by Paul Yannuzzi at Arundel and Joyce Stefancik, the dean of county girls soccer coaches at Severna Park.
Arundel's strength is the one-two scoring punch of Kristen Smeby and Jill Jones who will be countered by what Stefancik called in preseason "one of our better defensive teams."
Severna Park's Shannon Chaney is considered to be the county's premier goalkeeper. It will be more than interesting to see if Smeby, Jones or anyone from the seasoned Wildcats team can get a ball past Chaney.
Chaney notched her seventh shutout of the season this past week with five saves in a 2-0 triumph over South River (5-4) and has 33 in her three-year career with the Falcons. She has given up only two goals thus far.
Smeby paces the county in scoring with 14 goals and eight assists for 22 total points, including a hat trick in 6-0 victory over Annapolis (2-7) earlier this week.
Jones had two goals in the Annapolis game and has eight goals with one assist.
Severna Park's scoring is spread out with the likes of Beth Anne Houck, Dana Capello, Lindsey Poland, Susan Stanke, Carol Prickett and Megan Young all very capable of hitting the net. Stanke and Young with Capello and Prickett assisting scored the goals in the win over South River.
A couple weeks ago, Severna Park battled nationally ranked Bishop O'Connell of Springfield, Va., to a 0-0 double-overtime tie for its only non-win.
Arundel has two scoreless double-overtime deadlocks with No. 12 Oakland Mills (5-2-1) and unranked Old Mill (6-2-1).
Former Old Mill All-County pitcher Kenny Pumphrey, a fourth-round draft pick of the New York Mets the year he graduated (1994), was named as one of the top 10 pro prospects in the Appalachian rookie league in the most recent publication of Baseball America.
Pumphrey, a right-hander, was 7-3 with an ERA of 3.86 in 65 innings, striking out 76 and yielding 50 hits and 42 walks for the Kingsport (Tenn.) Mets.
The 6-foot-5, 195-pounder was one of four pitchers among the Appalachian League top 10 prospects. Baltimore Orioles' No. 9 draft pick (1994), Chris Russell, who was 9-1 with a 2.19 ERA at Bluefield (Va.), was named the top prospect, and Burlington (N.C.) Indians right-hander, Willie Martinez (0-7) was ranked No. 7 and Pumphrey, No. 8.
Baseball America said the 19-year-old Pumphrey "has excellent size for a pitcher and can be overpowering at times."
Pumphrey throws hard, has an improving curveball and is working at mastering a change-up.
The Mets' No. 1 draft pick in 1994 when Pumphrey was chosen was right-hander Paul Wilson, who was No. 1 this season in the AAA International League. His graduation to the majors in the near future will only enhance Pumphrey's opportunities.
Defensive back Ryan Moore and center Matt Hart, both Baltimore Sun All-County selections as seniors at Severna Park last fall, have been red-shirted this year at their colleges.
Moore, second-team All-Metro pick with four interceptions and 30 first hits last season, has been redshirted at NCAA Division I-AA power, Marshall University, and Hart will prep an extra year at Towson State.
While North County has established itself as the school that produces All-County quarterbacks -- four All-County Knights have thrown for 2,000 yards or more in the last five years -- Arundel is turning out its share of gems.
Current Wildcat junior quarterback Erik Lipton is among the county's best while two more outstanding signal callers transferred and one is on the way up.
Pat Cilento, who starts for Montgomery County power Sherwood, transferred after starting his first two years at Arundel and 1994 All-Metro defensive back, DaLawn Parrish, who tossed 16 touchdown passes for Howard High last year, left Arundel after a brilliant freshman season on the Wildcats junior varsity.
Parrish is playing at Wake Forest.
Jason Carter, the nephew of former University of Maryland quarterback John Kaleo, is "a good-looking young quarterback" on the Arundel JV according to varsity coach Bill Zucco.
Strike up the band
The Severna Park marching band did not participate in the Falcons' Homecoming Parade two weeks ago because the parade time was changed from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and the band had to depart for a field trip to York, Pa. at 11:30 a.m.