Ending another Centennial streak felt good, too Notebook

April 11, 1997|By Stan Rappaport | Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

Cliff Bernstein had nothing to do with Atholton's tennis team beating Centennial, 6-3, Monday and ending the Eagles' streak of 46 straight wins against county teams over a five-year period.

But he sure knew how the Raiders felt.

"It brought back a lot of memories," said Bernstein, a social studies teacher at Patapsco Middle School.

Bernstein was the Mount Hebron coach in 1993 when, in the third-to-last match of the season, his Vikings beat Centennial, 5-4, stopping a 36-match winning streak.

"I remember the feeling of euphoria," said Bernstein, who still is active in tennis but stopped coaching at Mount Hebron after three seasons in 1995. "It was very exciting for the team. I was on cloud nine. It's really rare that Centennial loses."

Mount Hebron, which lost 6-3 to Centennial earlier that season, won all four singles matches and the mixed doubles.

On Monday, Atholton won four singles matches, the first boys doubles match and the mixed doubles. Probably the most surprising individual win was that of Adam Abramson, who beat Matt Ruppert, Centennial's top boys' player.

"I was really surprised," said Ruppert, who admitted he made too many mistakes. "I just wasn't hitting my shot."

Said Abramson: "I was more surprised at my win than the team's win. I was expecting the team to win. I think everybody views [Ruppert] as one of the two best players in the county. I'm not as highly regarded as he is. But things just went right for me. I played real consistent, and he kept making mistakes."

Katie Dougherty, Centennial's top girls player, said the loss will make the Eagles a better team.

"I think it's going to make us a lot tougher," Dougherty said.

And Ruppert said he is looking forward to meeting Atholton again April 28. "I think its will be a little different at home," Ruppert said.

Atholton's reign as the only unbeaten team in the county didn't last long, however. Wilde Lake, which lost 5-4 to Centennial in a season-opening match, upended the Raiders, 6-3, Wednesday at Atholton.

Atholton coach Greg Dubac offered no excuses.

"We were ready to play," said Dubac, a science teacher at Dunloggin Middle School. "We played hard but got beat, that's all. I give all the credit to Wilde Lake. They played terrific."

Jodi Richmond won the only singles match for Wilde Lake. The Wildecats won the mixed doubles (Nadine Zimmer-Greg Siracusa), boys doubles (Eshon Mosley-David Taylor; Thuan Tran-Ananta Islam) and girls doubles (Mary Valverde-Lauryn Taubman; Lizzie Richmond-Rachael Lax.)

"We were prepared for them," said Wilde Lake coach Ron Shelton. "They really wanted to win."

Shelton said he expects his team to be "competitive enough to finish in the top three."

Is Wilde Lake strong enough to win the county?

"I think we are," said Shelton, who treated the team to bagels and cream cheese at yesterday's practice. "Just a reward for working hard," he said.

Shriver coming to county

Baltimore tennis celebrity Pam Shriver will team with Wilde Lake coach Ron Shelton for an eight game pro-set against the No. 1 boy and girl players in the county during the opening day of the county high school championships May 8 at the Wilde Lake Tennis Club.

Peter Finck, the county's tennis-program coordinator and a Shriver friend, asked her to participate.

Shriver also will spend time telling the athletes about competitive opportunities that exist in the county. One of those, said Finck, is that the Howard County Tennis Association is planning a six-week team-tennis league for middle and high school students. The association also will promote the 17th annual Columbia Junior Open at the Wilde Lake Tennis Club July 21-25.

Shelton, a health instructor at Wilde Lake, is a certified teaching professional and plays in tournaments. He said he looks forward to playing with Shriver.

The high school championships will run May 8-10. The Shriver exhibition match will begin at noon.

Soccer games, clinics

Registration for the first Kicks Against Breast Cancer intercollegiate women's soccer tournament and clinics will take place from 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. tomorrow and Sunday near J.C. Penney's lower entrance at The Mall in Columbia.

The event will run April 19-20 at the University of Maryland, and proceeds will benefit Howard County General Hospital's Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource and Image Center that will open in late spring or early summer this year.

Eight college teams -- Old Dominion, South Carolina, George Mason, Maryland, George Washington, Navy, Rutgers and Kansas -- will participate. Admission to the games, which will be held at 8 a.m., 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. both days, is free.

The clinics will be held 12 p.m.- 2 p.m. both days. There is a $20 charge for each clinic. The team entry fee (15 players or more) is $250. Each participant receives a Kicks Against Breast Cancer T-shirt.

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