Centennial serves up a surprise

Tennis win over River Hill helps spark 3-0 first week

Alban makes 1-hit debut


High Schools

March 28, 2004|By Rick Belz and Edward Lee | Rick Belz and Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

The Centennial boys tennis team is off to a fast start with a 3-0 record after the season's first week. That includes a surprise victory over River Hill, which expected to win the county title.

Centennial's No. 1 singles player is freshman Ryan Lissner, who is ranked 24th by the U.S. Tennis Association for Under-14 boys. The Eagles' No. 2 doubles team of first-year junior Tim Aballo, who played lacrosse last season, and freshman Eric Lucas won against River Hill. Centennial's No. 3 doubles team of sophomores Matt Thomas and William Hong was also victorious in the 3-2 win over the Hawks.

Meanwhile, county tennis has a new commissioner and a new format this season. Don Disney, the county's coordinator of athletics, has taken over as commissioner, replacing longtime head Peter Finck. And because not every team plays each other two times, there will now be a playoff between the top two boys teams and top two girls teams at the end of the season to decide the county title.

Nice start for Alban

Lisa Alban's high school debut was better than she imagined.

The Mount Hebron freshman pitcher threw a one-hitter in her first high school game to power the Vikings to a 5-0 win over visiting Wilde Lake Friday.

Alban, who spent the team's first two games on the bench, struck out 11 Wildecats, allowed one walk and surrendered a lone single in the fifth inning.

"It's a big thing, starting in your first high school game," Alban said. "Of course, I wanted to do well and not let my team down."

Alban, who relies on her accuracy to attack opposing batters, provides Mount Hebron coach Sal Milio with a second option to complement senior Karen Kreis, who is more of a power pitcher.

"She will develop more speed as she gets bigger," Milio said of Alban. "But right now, her strong point is spotting the ball. ... She was always around the plate [Friday]."

Kreis, who batted for Alban, went 2-for-3 with a two-run home run and four RBIs.

Good news for Parks

When Chelsea Parks found out two weeks ago that the nagging pain in her right shin stemmed from shinsplints, she cried tears of joy.

That's because the original diagnosis of the Centennial junior midfielder's leg stated that Parks had suffered a stress fracture - an injury that likely would have prevented her from playing for the Eagles' lacrosse team this spring.

Instead, after a second opinion, Parks has been given an opportunity to build on her All-County season as a sophomore when she recorded 43 goals, 22 assists, 32 ground balls and eight interceptions.

"I was so happy [about the second diagnosis that] I cried when I heard it," said Parks, who is the lone returner from last year's All-County first team. "My junior year is so important. I was so relieved."

Parks took a week off from putting any significant weight on her right leg, and she posted a goal and three assists in the Eagles' 7-6 win against Fallston Wednesday.

Although the soreness and swelling has decreased, Parks said she has steeled herself for playing with the pain for the rest of the season.

"It hurts sometimes, but it's something I can play through," she said. "It's not unbearable."

Shrunken field

Lacrosse teams from Mount Hebron and Atholton were a little bit shocked and upset when they saw the way the Atholton lacrosse field was lined for Tuesday's game.

The field had been shortened by 20 yards in length and 8 yards in width, said Atholton coach Josh Bound, shrinking it to the point where the teams lacked enough space behind the goals to run their normal offenses. The goof didn't have a major impact, however, because the Vikings won comfortably, 13-5.

Atholton athletic director Chuck Fales said by Friday that the field had been fixed and relined properly.

Wilde Lake struggles

Wilde Lake baseball coach Don Storr, whose team had hoped to challenge for the county title but struggled through a 1-2 first week, said that his team had only 2 1/2 days of practice on its infield before the first game because it was in disrepair.

The field looks beautiful now with new sod and infield dirt.

"I don't want to use the field as an excuse for why we lost," said Storr after his squad dropped a 5-2 game in extra innings to Hammond Wednesday. "But when I read about how all the other teams are enjoying being on their fields, enjoying the nice weather and were practicing on the outfield grass, it kind of burns you."

Defense doesn't seem to be Wilde Lake's problem. The Wildecats played errorless ball in both the Hammond loss and in Friday's 5-2 loss at Mount Hebron.

Visitors feel at home

The Wildecats have a nice new baseball scoreboard, but it does have one problem that has spectators doing a double take when they try to read it. Wilde Lake is listed first, the place normally reserved for the visiting team.

Numbers game

Baseball fans also were doing a double take at the Mount Hebron game Friday where Vikings manager Matt Forsyth and catcher Mike Michalski were both wearing No. 44 on their uniforms.

"I've always worn No. 44," said Forsyth. "Mike wore No. 12 last year but filled out a lot through weightlifting and looks good in the bigger number now."

No. 44 is also the same number Michalski's older brother Joe wore when he played at Mount Hebron. Joe now plays for George Washington.

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