Three teams in football playoffs face tough, Montgomery foes

Sidelines

November 11, 1999|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

With Old Mill squeezing in by a point, Anne Arundel County is sending three football teams to the state playoffs for the first time since 1994, the last year a county school won a state championship in the sport.

Making their first appearance since 1991, the Patriots (7-3) joined 11th-ranked Severna Park (9-1) in the Class 4A playoffs despite their 14-7 loss to the Falcons Friday night. No. 10 Annapolis (9-1) qualified in Class 3A.

In 1994, the county pulled a rarity by placing three teams out of the 4A East region -- Arundel, Severna Park and North County. The first two lost in the first round, but region-winning North County went 3-0 and claimed the county's first state title since Annapolis won in 1978.

Arundel won the county's first and only other state football championship in 1975. With former Arundel coach Jerry Mears and Al Laramore of Annapolis having passed away, North County's Chuck Markiewicz is the only living county coach with a state crown.

This year's trio would love to join Markiewicz, but for all three, the road looks tough.

By one playoff point over Broadneck, Old Mill is the eighth and final seed and has the unenviable task of having to win at top-seed Gaithersburg (9-1) in Montgomery County tomorrow night.

Coach Mike Marcus' Patriots lost standout receiver/defensive back/kick returner Jason Galloway to a knee injury a couple weeks ago and learned this week that senior quarterback Brian Williams suffered a broken left thumb -- on his throwing hand -- in the Severna Park loss.

Fourth-seed Severna Park earned a home game by winning the East region over Old Mill and will host another Montgomery County power, Watkins Mill, which lost only to Gaithersburg. The Falcons are making their first postseason appearance since 1994.

Annapolis will make its county-record 11th appearance, third in a row, but first in Class 3A. The Panthers' other 10 appearances were in the state's largest enrollment classification, 4A, and before that, AA.

The Panthers will host still another Montgomery county power, Damascus (9-1). The Swarmin' Hornets are four-time state champions, the last time in 1996, and their only loss this season was to Seneca Valley (10-0), the state's top-ranked team.

Seneca Valley has won 36 straight and is 110-12 during the 1990s with five state titles. The Screamin' Eagles are favored to win No. 6 this fall in Class 3A.

Quite obviously, a state championship for Anne Arundel County in football this fall will take some doing. It also can be said that a state title for any Baltimore-area Class 3A or 4A team is unlikely because of Seneca Valley and Gaithersburg.

But that's why they play the games.

Sideliners

Broadneck went 10-3 in volleyball with all three losses to Severna Park, which took a 13-3 record into last night's Class 4A East semifinal at North County (10-4). The Falcons' three losses came outside the county -- to third-ranked Dulaney (16-0) and state powers Calvert and Northern-Calvert.

The Bruins did not play any outside games, something coach Romanzo Beans might change next season.

"We scrimmaged Calvert and Centennial [No. 1] and got in some good work, but hopefully, we can get some more games next season," said Beans.

Severna Park athletic director Wayne Mook said he did not get an official resignation from wrestling coach Ralph Toomey until recently and, as a result, the Falcons will be entertaining applicants until after the Nov. 15 starting date for winter sports.

Assistant coach Paul Joyce, a physical education teacher at the school, ranks as the top applicant and will serve as interim coach until the official word is given.

Have a note or idea for Sidelines? Call Pat O'Malley's 24-hour Sportsline at 410-647-2499.

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