Youth serves Liberty boys well on road to tennis title

Lions surprise county

Panthers girls take crown

May 09, 1999|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

The tennis scene in Carroll County this spring has been one of surprises.

As expected, the North Carroll girls clinched the county title by beating Liberty, 4-1, Thursday.

But the Lions boys clinched the county crown Friday when they defeated visiting Westminster, 5-0, in Sykesville.

Liberty, which improved to 12-3 overall and 6-0 in the county, won the championship despite having only two seniors out of 13 players.

The Lions have been led by freshman standout Doug Ferguson, who has played despite an injured right thumb, at No. 1 singles and three doubles teams that assistant coach Tim Brecker can move up and down the ladder.

"The key has been depth at every position," Brecker said, adding that he is not hesitant to insert freshman Jim Damaska into junior Jeremiah Poehlman's No. 2 singles spot and move Poehlman to the top position. "We have had people step in and play. It's been a pleasant surprise."

On the girls side, the 9-2 Panthers are led by the No. 1 doubles pairing of senior Brooke Foster and junior Heather Easter and senior Charis Fulton, who lost to only one county opponent this season.

Foster and Easter, two-time county girls doubles champions, appear to be on the verge of three-peating in next weekend's county tennis tournament.

Speaking of the tournament, Francis Scott Key players will most likely own the top seeding in both the boys and girls singles brackets for the first time in school history.

Junior Derek Manheim, a Peruvian exchange student, has yet to lose a set to a county opponent, and he has developed a solid volley game to match his punishing baseline strokes, said his coach Derrik Hess.

"He mixes it up," Hess said of Manheim. "His strategy, he's got it down to a science."

Eagles junior Charlotte Gowen also has not lost to a county opponent. She handed Fulton her lone county loss, 10-3, on April 6.

Her coach, Donna Baker, said she expected Gowen to do well.

"She's been the No. 1 singles for me since she was a freshman," Baker said.

Cavs' Stansbury eyes return

While the injury bug continues to bite the Liberty boys lacrosse team, South Carroll is also learning to cope with a key loss.

Junior midfielder Danny Stansbury has missed the past two games because he tore the muscles in the right side of his neck at a picnic last Sunday.

Stansbury, who has 14 goals and nine assists this season, said he expects to return as early as this week, but coach Jeff Alisauckas is taking a cautious approach.

For the Lions, sophomore midfielder Brian Evans is out until at least Wednesday after he sprained his left foot playing a game of pickup basketball.

Like Stansbury, Evans (two goals and three assists) vows to be recovered before the playoffs begin.

Pub Date: 5/09/99

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