Stifling defense wins for Panthers

Veteran defenders spark North Carroll to 3-0 start


High Schools

March 30, 2003|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

For North Carroll boys lacrosse coach John Piper, the secret to this season's early success isn't hard to figure.

"Our offense is struggling a little bit," Piper said, "but our defense has been unbelievable."

The Panthers are off to a 3-0 start, allowing a total of just six goals in three games. Included was a 12-2 win over Pikesville, a Class 2A-1A state semifinalist a year ago, in which the Baltimore County foe was held scoreless in the second half.

"Pikesville didn't have much chance to have the ball on offense," Piper said.

Neither has anyone else.

North Carroll has returned its entire defensive unit from a year ago, led by seniors Dan Graf and Dave Cockey, junior Brett Walzl and Jeremy Raynor, one of the stingiest goalies in the area.

Add to that a pair of hard-nosed newcomers in junior Steve Bull, who missed last season after blowing out his knee, and sophomore Cody Miller, a JV call-up, and it's no wonder opposing offenses are struggling.

"We're eight deep on long poles, so we just run them," Piper said. "They're providing a lot for our offense, but when they make a mistake, our defense is giving us a chance to get right back again."


The Carroll County Sports Hall of Fame will add five members next month, swelling its ranks to 44.

The Hall's 10th-anniversary class will include Leroy "Monk" Campbell, a former Western Maryland College football standout and the county's long-time former sheriff; William Ferencz, a former All-Metro tackle and wrestling state champion at North Carroll; Bill Franklin, a former three-sport standout at Mount Airy High and basketball and baseball player at Maryland; Jennifer Achzinger Gosselin, the All-Metro Player of the Year for Francis Scott Key's state championship field hockey team in 1986, as well as a basketball and track standout; and Peter McDowell, a former top wrestling and cross country coach from Key, as well as a former principal at Westminster High.

The new class will be honored at a banquet April 25 at Carroll Community College, where all living members also will receive special honors.

Time shift

Baseball and softball games played in Carroll County are getting a later start this year.

Starting times have been moved back to 4:15 p.m. for games through the end of this week. When daylight-saving time kicks in next Sunday, the games will be pushed back even farther, to 4:30.

The reason is two-fold, according to Bruce Cowan, the county's supervisor of athletics.

It gives umpires more time to get to the fields, and also helps school bus drivers complete their afternoon runs before transporting the teams to games.

The time change won't affect other sports. Lacrosse in the county is usually played at night, and tennis and track must start around 4 because of the length of the matches and meets.


With the county now having seven schools, there will be a slight change in the format of the county tennis tournament this spring.

Tournament officials plan to use an eight-line bracket in singles - meaning there probably will be no more than one first-round bye - and a 16-line bracket in doubles. In past years, with fewer schools, there often were many byes.

Jeff Seidel contributed to this article.

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