Falcons rebuild in volleyball, but what's new? They keep winning

SIDELINES

October 09, 1997|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Each year, volleyball coaches and players ask, "How good are we compared to Severna Park?"

Severna Park has been on top so long under coach Tim Dunbar (205-18, including 8-1 start this season) that it's a given the Falcons are in a league of their own.

Since Glen Burnie won the Class 4A state title in 1990, the Falcons have won the county title every year and state championships from 1991 to 1993. Northern of Calvert County won the last three Class 4A state titles, but has dropped to Class 3A.

After Tuesday's 3-0 triumph over previously unbeaten, No. 12-ranked Annapolis, No. 2 Severna Park appears to be on its way to another county title and most likely, the state crown.

To date, the Falcons have met all challenges from county wannabes, knocking off the top teams in the north in Glen Burnie (3-0) and No. 15 Chesapeake (3-1). No. 14 South River (6-3) comes up next Tuesday.

"Teams come in a little wary of us, because we have been successful for so long," says Dunbar. When we start clicking, they get down."

Unfortunately for county opponents, they may stay "down" for quite awhile, because no end is in sight. Other than seniors Julie Gosewisch and Carolyn Page, Severna Park is in rebuilding mode this season. They haven't missed a beat, and apparently the Falcons' JV is loaded.

Sideliners

With No. 3 Annapolis (5-0, 2-0), Old Mill (3-2, 1-1) and Chesapeake (3-2, 2-1) all vastly improved, get ready for a wild and crazy finish for the county Class 4A football title, which could be a six-team race.

For several seasons, North County (1-4, 0-3), Meade (2-3, 2-0), Arundel (2-3, 1-1) and Severna Park (3-2, 1-1) have pretty much been the big guns in Class 4A.

One of those four teams has either won outright or shared the county championship since 1993. But North County is down this season while the other three have come alive since jumping into their league schedules.

Ironically enough, tri-championships have occurred in 1991 (North County, Old Mill and Severna Park, all 6-2) and 1994 (Arundel, North County and Severna Park, all 6-1). If tradition holds true during the 1990s, this season should bring another three-way tie.

It's official. Severn's Dennard Melton is the county's all-time leader in touchdowns (56) and career points (355). His 21 points in Severn's 28-21 loss to McDonogh put him past Southern's Bob Stach (348, 1964-66).

What a tough schedule the Archbishop Spalding boys' soccer team is playing. Coach Rick Carlson's No. 6 Cavaliers (8-3-1) can't get enough in the state's top league, the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference. Spalding also has played a couple nationally ranked teams from New Jersey and just Saturday lost 2-0 to Maryland's No. 1 ranked Bullis Prep.

Saints marching out

Loyola (3-1, 1-0) tumbled St. Mary's (3-2, 0-1) from the top of the football rankings with a 35-8 romp Saturday night and took over No. 1. The now-No. 7 Saints might have lost All-Metro senior defensive lineman Rob Hoffman with torn right-knee ligaments.

When Hoffman left the game midway through the first period, the Saints' spirit seemed to leave with him. Hoffman was sorely missed, and Loyola's veteran coach, Joe Brune, gave him a big hug after the game and said, "We prepared all week for you."

Coaches will tell you that the first offensive series in a game can set the tone, despite the fact games last 48 minutes.

St. Mary's drove from its own 27 to the Loyola 12 in 13 plays on the game's initial drive. With a fourth-and-three facing them, the Saints elected to go for it rather than bring in their outstanding kicker, Tim Shanley, for a field goal.

Loyola stuffed St. Mary's tough fullback, Ernie Listman, and took over on downs at their own 11.

"I thought we could put it in -- nothing against Shanley, because he has been kicking the ball well," said Saints coach Brad Best. "Maybe I should have taken the field goal. But I thought we could get the first down, score and get the momentum."

Have a note for Sidelines? Call Pat O'Malley's 24-Hour Sportsline, 410-647-2499.

Pub Date: 10/09/97

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