Wilde Lake's Filipponi bound for Division I

Notebook

High Schools

March 23, 2003|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Wilde Lake striker Marco Filipponi has accepted a combination academic and athletic scholarship to attend Division I Mercer University in Macon, Ga., this fall.

Filipponi, who scored 15 goals including four game-winners and had six assists, was a second-team All-Metro soccer team selection and a tremendous breakaway threat.

His father lives in Macon, and his older brother played for Mercer.

"I wasn't sure I could make it on a big-time team," Filipponi said. "I had my doubts. But the coach, Tom Melville, said he thinks I have the ability. I went down and played some pick-up ball with team members, and it's an amazing team. My dad told me to aim for the best."

"I'm pretty happy about it," said Filipponi, who played for the Columbia United U-19 club team.

Long Reach looking up

Long Reach has never been noted for its boys lacrosse teams.

But that might change if new coach Frank Valenza has his way.

Valenza brings with him one of the more impressive lacrosse resumes in the county.

He played defense for the 1982 UMBC team that won an NCAA title. He also played for the Maryland Lacrosse Club and for the Baltimore Thunder, a pro indoor team that won the Major Indoor Lacrosse League while he was a member.

"I came to build the program," said Valenza, who teaches at Randallstown and coached there last season. "We're young, but we have lots of talent."

His assistant coach will be Rick Kincaid, last season's head coach at Glenelg.

Early obstacles

The softball season hasn't even begun for Atholton, but the Raiders already face an uphill climb in their quest for a fifth straight county championship.

Senior first baseman and team captain Katie MacFarland underwent surgery Tuesday to repair a torn tendon in her right shoulder and is expected to undergo three months of rehabilitation, thus effectively ending her spring.

Throw in the loss of All-County outfielder Chelsey Barrett, who decided to play lacrosse, and even Atholton coach Maureen Shacreaw is wary of commenting on her team's hopes of another county title.

"I think the odds are against us," she said. "We have to put a whole new lineup out on the field. But the kids are capable of winning."

The Raiders will rely on several call-ups from a JV that compiled a 16-2 record en route to the JV county crown last year.

They also can lean on a three-pitcher rotation of senior left-hander Eileen Douglas, junior right-hander Kelly Halstead and freshman right-hander Nicole Massarelli.

Shacreaw said she expects the competition to overlook Atholton - a factor that she will use to motivate the team.

"I think I'm in a good position because I can use our tradition to keep the kids focused," she said. "I can also use the kids who were part of that past to keep our expectations high, and the kids who are coming in want that same success."

Turnaround time?

Howard has struggled in boys lacrosse for several years, but this could be the year the Lions turn it around.

"We have kids who haven't put the stick down since last May," said Lions coach Wendell Thomas, a former college All-American. "We have a lot more team speed."

His son, Phil, is a 6-foot-3, 190-pound senior midfielder who will attend Towson this fall and is one of six returning starters.

The Lions picked up a skilled sophomore midfielder, Dan Masiulis, who transferred from Mount St. Joseph. And another transfer is speedy junior defenseman Mike Randolph from Atholton.

Howard, 6-10 last season, is aiming for at least a .500 mark.

"We're making the climb," said Thomas, the longtime varsity coach at Atholton before switching to Howard. "A few years ago we didn't win a game. Last year we upset South Carroll, got our first playoff win in a long time, won our tournament, and came from down 9-2 at halftime to beat Atholton on my birthday."

Staff writer Edward Lee contributed to this article.

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