Season's over, but South Carroll's still hurting


May 16, 2001|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

A loss to Fallston on Saturday officially ended South Carroll's boys lacrosse season with a 5-9 record.

But the Cavs were still grieving the death of a prominent member of their lacrosse community, Russell Welch, the mother of defenseman Mark Welch. She died Thursday, the same day the Cavs defeated Long Reach in the playoffs.

"A lot of people felt like they shouldn't have played that game," coach John O'Meally said. "She knew all the kids since they were little and was a substitute at school. She ran our senior night against Westminster the Friday before and handed out the flowers for the boys to give to their mothers."

O'Meally said that Welch had had cancer for some time. "But she was a rock all season," he said.

He said Mark put "Mom" on his helmet after she died.

"He's a tough kid," O'Meally said. "But it's an especially bad time to happen -- near Mother's Day."

Kestler returns to Liberty

Liberty has hired Lee Kestler to be its new varsity girls soccer coach.

Kestler coached Liberty's boys varsity soccer team from 1984 to 1995. His 1991 team reached the state final four, losing to Rockville in the semifinals.

He founded the Freedom Optimist Soccer Program in 1976, coaching all four girls teams himself that season.

From 1997 to 2000, he was Liberty's JV boys coach.

"One of the things I'd like to do is to upgrade the schedule and play teams like River Hill and Mount Hebron," Kestler said.

Cavs softball's big upset

South Carroll will play host to Paint Branch in today's Class 3A West Regional softball semifinal, and hopefully, the Cavs will have recovered from the excitement of upsetting No. 1-seeded Damascus, 5-4, on Monday.

Damascus was 16-0 and ranked No. 2 in the D.C. area.

The visiting Cavaliers came from behind twice during the game, rallying for three runs in the fifth inning and two more in the sixth inning.

Owls-Mustangs rematch

One of the best boys lacrosse games of the season -- a 9-7 win by C. Milton Wright over Westminster on April 24 -- will have a sequel today when the host Owls play the Mustangs in a Class 4A-3A North Regional final.

The Owls outshot C. Milton Wright significantly and dominated the faceoffs, 16-2, but their shooting accuracy against the zone defense was poor. Jason Holman scored two goals and had two assists in that game.

Crew's numbers growing

Spring sports don't focus much attention on the water around Baltimore, but five local schools are out to change that in perhaps the smallest but fastest growing local high school sport -- crew.

While their numbers are still small compared with sports such as lacrosse and track and field, Bryn Mawr, Roland Park, the Institute of Notre Dame, St. Paul's and St. Paul's School for Girls have doubled or tripled the number boats they have in just two years ago.

"In the next few years, I think you're really going to see this sport take off," said IND coach and athletic director Mike McEwan. "When we added our team [in the fall of 1999], there were three schools and they had three boats they rented."

Now, most teams own two or three boats, fielding teams in varsity, junior varsity and novice categories.

Earlier this month, Bryn Mawr won the varsity girls crown at the Baltimore Independent School Rowing Championships. Roland Park finished second.

However, the Reds came back and beat the Mawrtians in this past weekend's season finale, a regatta won by host St. Andrew's in Delaware.

Sun staff writer Katherine Dunn contributed to this article.

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