At top of mountain, Hebron sets sights on climbing higher

20-0 last season, Vikings also wary of falling

several earn college scholarships

Preseason notebook

Girls Lacrosse

March 20, 2000|By Stan Rappaport | Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

So what does Mount Hebron do for an encore?

Last year's team went 20-0 and was ranked No. 1 in the nation.

"There's not a team on our schedule that we can't beat. So potentially, we could undefeated," said Mount Hebron coach Scott Robinson. "But on the other hand, we could end up with four or five losses."

Mount Hebron consistently plays the toughest schedule of any area public school. The Vikings will play out-of-county opponents Notre Dame Prep (No. 4), Roland Park (No. 6), St. Mary's (No. 7) and probably Bryn Mawr (No. 2) in their spring break tournament.

FOR THE RECORD - Brothers Scott Robinson and Chris Robinson are teachers and coaches at Mount Hebron High School. Scott is the varsity girls basketball coach and assistant varsity girls lacrosse coach; Chris is the varsity girls lacrosse coach. In one part of The Sun's spring preview section last Monday, Scott was identified as the girls lacrosse coach when Chris' name should have been used. Also, a picture of Chris ran with the story, but he was incorrectly identified as Scott. The Sun regrets the errors.

"Last year was extraordinary," Robinson said, "and I think there is a tendency to become overconfident. We really need to focus on this year because what we did last year isn't going to help us. It put a big target on us for everybody to look at."

Still, Robinson likes where the Vikings are.

"I'd rather be No. 1 then looking up," said Robinson. "I don't think there is any better place to be. It's something we've striven to get to, and now that we're here we just have to maintain our focus and stay with what we have."

Here are some noteworthy Viking statistics:

They have won 11 of 12 county titles (Centennial won in 1990), and have had 11 unbeaten county seasons. They are 89-1 against county teams, their only loss coming April 25, 1990, when Centennial won, 4-2. They have won 73 straight county games.

They have captured seven state titles in the past eight years (Annapolis beat them in 1996), and are the only team -- girls or boys -- to reach the state semifinals every year in the 1990s. They have won their past 31 overall games.

New rules

There are two changes this season -- a restraining line, 30-yards out from the goal, that limits each team to seven field players in that area, and that substitutions can be made on the fly.

The restraining line will open up the game offensively, and reward teams that have quick, better-skilled players that can go one-on-one.

Signed up

These players have earned college scholarships: River Hill's Jessie Goertler (Virginia Tech) and Hope Zelinger (Massachusetts); Oakland Mill's Megan Greene (Hofstra), Centennial's Caitlin Marshall (Towson), Bethany Bunce (Towson) and Kim Emrich (LaSalle); Mount Hebron's Lauren Kickham (Duke), Katelyn Hoffman (North Carolina), Annie Collins (Maryland), Liz Eberhart (Boston University), Kate Frande (Loyola), Courtney Lombard (James Madison) and Polly Purcell (Boston University).

Hammond's Amy Hafets will play at Bucknell and Mount Hebron's Katie Zabel will compete at Brown.

New coaches

There are four new public school coaches this season -- Denise Furtaw (Long Reach), Mike Harrison (Wilde Lake), Katie Marks (Centennial) and Emily Walker (Hammond). Paige Nettelbladt Walton is new at Glenelg Country School.

Furtaw, who coached the Lightning JV team last season, is a math teacher at Long Reach and previously coached JV lacrosse and soccer at Meade High School.

Harrison has been on Wilde Lake's football staff since 1985 and served as defensive coordinator since 1991. He was an assistant girls lacrosse coach the past two years, and for seven seasons before that served as the head boys lacrosse coach.

Marks, who turns 23 next month, is a 1995 Mount Hebron graduate and teaches physical education at Centennial. Walker, a 1992 Howard High graduate, has been an assistant coach under her mother, Gay Petrlik, for three seasons at Hammond before they switched positions.

Walton played soccer and lacrosse at Centennial before graduating in 1993. She played lacrosse at Randolph-Macon.

All in the family

Hammond coach Walker certainly has the support of family members. Her mother and younger brother, Todd Petrlik, are assistant coaches. Emily, a 1992 Howard High graduate, and Gay teach at Hammond. Todd, a 23-year-old 1995 Mount Hebron graduate, will graduate with a teaching degree this spring from Salisbury State. He currently is student teaching at Gorman Crossing Elementary and will move to Howard High later this month.

New region, new chance

There is a new classification this season, and along with it some teams have switched regions. The state kept the Class 4A-3A classification, but because it had to drop some 3A teams to even out the two brackets, a new Class 3A-2A-1A classification was formed.

Long Reach and River Hill are in the 4A-3A North region. Centennial, Hammond, Howard, Mount Hebron, Oakland Mills and Wilde Lake are in the 3A-2A-1A South region. Glenelg and Atholton, which were in the South region last year, have moved to the West this season.

Glenelg coach Ginger Kincaid was very happy to move out of Mount Hebron's region.

"Our goal this season is to win our first region championship and get to the state tournament," Kincaid said. "I think we have a very realistic chance."

Should Glenelg and Mount Hebron advance, they would meet in the state final.

Baby talk

River Hill coach Becky Stefano has had an addition since last season. She and husband, Jack, are the proud parents of son Nicholas, who was born Aug. 25 at `Harbor Hospital in Baltimore.

Stefano is on long-term leave from her teaching job at River Hill.

"I'm a stay at home mom," Stefano said. "I love it."

And what is Mount Hebron coach Chris Robinson going to do March 31?

That's the due date he and wife Tina are expecting their first child. The Vikings play at St. Mary's in Annapolis that day. Decisions, decisions.

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