At Winters Mill, Vaughn back at square one


High Schools

March 23, 2003|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Courtney Vaughn was one of the state's best girls lacrosse coaches during her 15-year tenure at Liberty. She posted a 184-49 record, as the Lions won 12 county championships, five regional crowns, and made the state final four times.

But Vaughn faces a new challenge this year - coaching JV lacrosse while building another program.

Vaughn has moved over to the new Winters Mill High and is going to try to build a program for the Falcons as she did at Liberty. This is Vaughn's first experience coaching JV, and she's looking forward to creating another strong team.

Vaughn started and built the Liberty program into one of the state's best in public schools and knows what to expect.

"I think I'm a much better coach than I was then," Vaughn said. "It takes you back to fundamentals. It really makes you focus on the basics."

Vaughn said the Falcons will have 18 players on the team, 10 of whom have never touched a lacrosse stick, as the school builds toward having a varsity program next year.

But she's optimistic that Winters Mill will be more than competitive. The Falcons rolled over Maryvale's JV, 14-2, last week in their first scrimmage.

"I think we're going to be OK. ... They've improved so much," Vaughn said. "We have some kids that are going to go Division I, no doubt."

Sophomore midfielders Amber Falcone and Lindsay Love plus freshmen Katie Hertsch (midfield) and Kristy Bosley (attack) will give the Falcons a solid base this season. Hertsch was The Sun's county girls Performer of the Year in indoor track and field this winter and a multi-sport standout.

Wrae Weene is Vaughn's assistant, and Scott Bateman is a volunteer assistant. The Winters Mill JV opens Tuesday with South Carroll before Vaughn sees her old friends from Liberty on Thursday.

De-fense, de-fense

The North Carroll boys lacrosse team hopes its defense doesn't rest in the early days of this season.

Coach John Piper's team lost Jamie Masimore (Goucher) and Nick Thurston, the two leading scorers in school history, to graduation, and the Panthers must rely heavily on defense if they hope to duplicate last year's 14-4 finish.

"I preach that our defense is the start of our offense," Piper said. "I want the defense to set up the offense and counterattack."

The Panthers reached the regional semifinals last year after making the regional final the previous year. But the team's experienced group on defense will play a big role in determining if North Carroll can do that again.

Seniors David Cockey, Dan Graf and junior Brett Walzl are among the team's top defenders with senior goalie Jeremy Raynor.

"We'll need help from them," Piper said. "Defense will be the key. On offense, we'll probably score by committee until the experience comes up."

Busy, busy

In baseball, defending Class 3A state champion South Carroll faces a crazy early schedule that includes four games this week.

The weather has thrown everyone's schedule up in the air. Coach George Richardson's team was supposed open with Severna Park on Friday and Dulaney yesterday, but both were washed out.

South Carroll now is to open with Century and Frederick at home tomorrow and Wednesday. The Cavaliers then play host to Severna Park on Thursday before heading to Linganore on Friday. Yesterday's game with Dulaney was rescheduled for April 12.

"Hey, you've got to love it," Richardson said with a laugh. "The kids are dying to play. We still haven't gotten on the field for practice."

All in the family

Liberty softball coach Lee Kestler can talk with assistant Nora Murray in a different way than most coaches who work together. That's what happens when you're someone's father.

Murray is the former coach at Liberty but stepped down three years ago because of asthma-related health problems. But long-time soccer coach Kestler applied for and got the coaching job and brought his daughter in to help - after he served as her assistant coach for four years.

"I'm the boss, per se," Kestler said with a laugh. "We very seldom see each other during the day even though we both work in the building, so it's nice."

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