Tennis finality produces wavering

For 17-0 Centennial boys, 1 match determines season

Notebook

High Schools

May 09, 2004|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

A new winner-take-all playoff format will decide the county team tennis champions tomorrow, and some coaches have 11th-hour questions about whether the playoff is a good idea.

The Centennial boys are 17-0 and have defeated River Hill (14-3) twice, but the Eagles must beat the Hawks again or lose the title.

"Should one match determine the championship?" said Centennial coach Jean Vanderpool. "I'd feel more comfortable with it if baseball and softball had the same format."

The format, in which the Nos. 1 and 2 teams meet in a playoff at the end of the regular season, was instituted by new tennis chairman Don Disney after Glenelg and River Hill, the top two teams last season, failed to play each other because of an unbalanced schedule and a rainout.

Disney, who is the coordinator of athletics in the county, thought the playoff format would ensure such a situation would not occur again. Volleyball is the only other sport with a playoff format.

The Eagles are led by freshman No. 1 singles player Ryan Lissner, who is 17-0 and ranked No. 15 in the country for players 14 and under by the U.S. Tennis Association.

Centennial's No. 2 singles player, Chris Hilchey, twice has lost to River Hill's No. 2, Trevor Anderson.

Reservoir finished with the best girls record (14-2), but it may have a tough time defeating Glenelg (13-3) for the title.

The two split during the regular season. Reservoir won on a tiebreaker the day before spring break when the Gladiators were using four alternates. At full strength, Glenelg defeated Reservoir last week, 4-1.

Glenelg's No. 1 singles player, Julia Facchina, finished third in the state last year and has not lost a county match in four years. She played No. 2 until this year.

New Hammond coach

Rick Bantz has been named to replace Trevin London as the boys varsity soccer coach at Hammond.

Bantz, a science teacher at Hammond, assisted Don Shea at Oakland Mills for 16 years and coached the Reservoir JV for one year.

London stepped down to take a job in administration.

"My two big things will be team discipline and defense," said Bantz, who was also recently named to a committee to review academic eligibility policies for the county.

Glenelg nears title

The Glenelg boys lacrosse team is excited after breaking a school record with its ninth straight victory Thursday at River Hill.

But it is even more excited about the possibility of winning the school's third county lacrosse championship and the first since 1994.

Last season, Glenelg went 8-1 in league play to finish second behind Centennial (9-0).

Glenelg is 9-1 overall and 8-0 in the league with two games remaining. The Gladiators must defeat Reservoir tomorrow and Wilde Lake on Tuesday to win the title.

Glenelg is the only county school to defeat two-time defending county champion Centennial (8-1 county) this season.

Lights fund at 80 percent

Howard High hosted a celebration for major corporate donors Friday night, and not even lightning storms could put a damper on the festivities.

Eight of the 12 major donors were represented and entertained by a variety of talented groups from the Centennial jazz ensemble and Glenelg madrigal singers to the Kangeroo Kids precision jump roping team and Howard High JROTC drill competition champions inside the gymnasium. All of the major donors are Howard County businesses.

Doug Hostetler, the finance committee chairman, said the goal of raising $850,000 to light 11 stadium fields is about 80 percent realized (around $680,000). Booster groups are busy raising money in the last phase of fund raising.

Hostetler did caution that a few more corporate donors are needed, and that the cost of the metals used in the light poles has jumped in recent weeks so that the $850,000 figure could rise.

The goal is to have the lights built by the fall.

Moran signs with UMBC

What are the odds of a tiny Christian school sending two baseball players to the same Division I program within two years?

A year ago it was Chapelgate pitcher Steve Evans, who signed with UMBC, and Friday it was pitcher Brian Moran, whose talents were also recognized by the Retrievers. Moran pitched a no-hitter earlier this season.

Big week for Long Reach

It's rare for a school to announce three baseball signings in one week, but that's what Long Reach did last week.

Scott Peddicord (UMBC), Jereme Scott (St. Joseph's, Pa.) and Robbie O'Brien (Catholic) all signed letters of intent during a ceremony Thursday at the school.

The school was also thrilled to have former player Jason O'Hare, who recently returned from an Army rotation in Afghanistan, throw out the first ball before Thursday's game against Reservoir.

Long Reach (11-7 overall, 10-5 league) also won both its games last week over Mount Hebron and Reservoir. Its Friday game with Wilde Lake was tied when suspended for darkness.

Two share softball lead

Glenelg and Mount Hebron are one win away from sharing the county softball championship.

Both teams boast identical 15-1 county records and split their regular-season series.

If Glenelg (15-4 overall) defeats Howard (8-9, 8-8) at 3:45 p.m. tomorrow, the Gladiators would win their second straight county title.

A victory over Atholton (12-5, 12-5) would give Mount Hebron (16-1 overall) its 17th consecutive win and its first crown since 1994, said Vikings coach Sal Milio.

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