North Carroll's Eggars will coach girls lacrosse

Carroll notebook

June 06, 1999|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

For the first spring in nine years, Denean Koontz won't have her head buried in a playbook.

Koontz, coach of the North Carroll girls lacrosse team for the past four seasons, has decided not to coach a fifth year.

Assistant coach Amy Eggars will assume the coaching duties next spring. JV coach Laura Morrisroe also declined to return.

Koontz, a physical education teacher who joined the team's coaching staff as an assistant in 1990, finished with 39-13 career record, which includes a 12-1 campaign in 1997 highlighted by a county championship.

Koontz, who will remain as coach of the Panthers field hockey squad, said juggling both responsibilities proved too difficult.

"I want to cut back to one sport," she said. "Lacrosse is becoming so popular that it takes more time than I have to give, and it deserves someone who can give that much to the girls."

Koontz also noted that the time off would give her an opportunity to spend more time with her 10-month-old daughter Jensyn and her husband Bernie, who is North Carroll's basketball coach and an assistant football coach.

"It'll be nice to have a spring together," she said.

Koontz, who told the squad of her decision after the school's sports awards banquet May 27, said Eggars would continue the team's winning tradition.

"She's got a mastery of the game, a feel," Koontz said. "She'll be great for the kids, and I would certainly be willing to help where I can."

Tennis rivalry blossoming

Francis Scott Key junior Derek Manheim dominated the boys tennis landscape, but three freshmen could contribute to a full-blown rivalry.

Liberty's Doug Ferguson, South Carroll's Ben Hamlington, and Westminster's Jesse Myers completed decent rookie seasons as the top singles players at their respective schools.

Myers and Hamlington both went 4-3, and Ferguson finished 3-2. Injuries kept Ferguson out of a couple matches.

What makes their situation more compelling is how even they are against one another.

Each player split his season series against his opponent, and each win came at home.

Even their strategies were similar. All three were content to hit the ball back and forth until their opponents became tired or frustrated and made an unforced error.

The tactic suggests to North Carroll coach John Lynam that Ferguson, Hamlington, and Myers aren't typical freshmen.

"Most high school players want to end a point in two strokes," Lynam said. "All three can hit it 20 times before an opportunity comes up. That's unusual on the high school level, let alone among freshmen."

What is different is their hitting styles. Hamlington has a booming forehand and a big first serve. Ferguson hits with considerable pace from both sides. Myers, a left-hander, likes to draw his opponents to the net and finish them off with passing shots.

Liberty coach Bruce Damasio said the next test for all three is the time between this spring and next spring.

"The trick is, who's going to improve the most in their sophomore year?" he said. "We have to see who sticks with it."

Westminster coach Fran McCullin said other interests could draw the athletes away from tennis, but he does look forward to watching the rivalry grow.

"I think that barring anybody else coming in and knocking them off, it's a nice situation for all three teams to know who's leading the parade for the next three years," McCullin said.

Honors for the year

County schools honored several athletes for significant contributions throughout the entire year.

Francis Scott Key named seniors Mike Replogle and Sindi Stem as the Most Valuable Athletes of the Year. The Western Maryland College-bound Stem played soccer, basketball, and softball. Replogle, who is going to Frostburg State, ran cross country and indoor and outdoor track.

Seniors Tony Ebaugh and Melissa Merson were voted as Unsung Athletes of the Year. Ebaugh, who will study at the University of Maryland, College Park, was a three-sport athlete in cross country and indoor and outdoor. Merson, who will attend Western Maryland College, was a member of the soccer, basketball, and track and field teams.

Liberty honored seniors Justin Felmey and Colleen Cox as Outstanding Athletes of the Year. The Towson-bound Felmey played football and lacrosse.

Cox, a three-sport standout in soccer, basketball, and lacrosse who will play basketball for Lenior-Rhyne College in Hickory, N.C., was also named Female Athlete of the Year for Carroll County by radio station WTTR.

Also, lacrosse junior standouts Michelle Allen and Jessica Roguski were selected as South regional honorable-mention All-Americans.

At North Carroll, Wyatt Deiaco and Meredith Gill received the Outstanding Senior Athlete award, which is voted on by the school's varsity club. The Villa Julie-bound Deiaco was involved in soccer, wrestling, and lacrosse. Gill, who played field hockey, basketball, and softball, will play softball at Bucknell.

Pub Date: 6/06/99

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