Carl Greenberg isn't worried about the streak. He knows that his C. Milton Wright girls lacrosse team has won 53 consecutive games against Harford County opponents. He also knows that area opponents will have his Mustangs targeted on their schedules this spring. But Greenberg, last year's All-Metro Coach of the Year, is more concerned with C.M. Wright's chances of repeating as the Class 4A-3A state champion.
The Mustangs lost six starters from last year's 17-1 squad that routed Westminster in the state title game, but Greenberg's team still returns plenty of talent. Greenberg has repeatedly told his team that the in-county streak will end sometime, and that they have to continue to focus on the next game.
"You can't really focus on the [streak] because, sooner or later, it's going to end," Greenberg said. "And it's a good team that's going to beat us, so then we'll move on."
Greenberg is more concerned about the Mustangs' tough schedule. They'll meet teams like South River (which they beat in last year's state semifinals), Century (Class 2A-1A state champion), Broadneck, Annapolis, St. Mary's and others.
The bottom line: Greenberg wants the Mustangs to improve throughout the season.
"The wins and losses don't make a whole lot of difference to us," Greenberg said. "It's about the level we're playing at. If we're playing at a mediocre level, to me as a coach it wouldn't be enjoyable."
Despite losing key players such as All-Metro pick and county Player of the Year Kadie Stamper, the Mustangs return plenty of good players. Seniors Gina Maranto (midfield), Ashley Lancer (defense), Kara Dorr (attack) and Lauren Greenberg (attack) should give C.M. Wright a strong core this season.
"The talent we lost was significant," Greenberg said. "But there's some pretty good talent coming back."
Aberdeen's Alex Wolverton (125 pounds, 39-2) finished an impressive senior season by taking third place in last weekend's Class 2A-1A state wrestling tournament in College Park. Wolverton came to Aberdeen this year after moving from Havre de Grace and worked hard on and off the mat.
He spent about 16 hours a week working at a freezer company to bring in money for his family while trying to train and stay in shape.
"He came in and was the best wrestler on the team, but Alex went out of his way to work with all the wrestlers on our team," Aberdeen coach Jerry Lacey said. "It was never the `Alex Show.'"
He also faced some tough battles on the mat. Wolverton won his weight class at the first Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference tournament, but had to overcome a large cut on his forehead in his final-round match against Harford Tech's Mike Long. Long accidentally kneed Wolverton midway through the match.
The Aberdeen coaches wrapped Wolverton's head, and he pulled out a tough 2-1 victory. Wolverton then came back the next week and defeated Long, 9-0, in the Class 2A-1A North region final.
The Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference gives out sportsmanship awards in each sport. Here's a list of the Harford County schools for the fall and winter seasons. Fall winners: Bel Air (football), Edgewood (girls soccer), C.M. Wright (boys soccer), Aberdeen (golf), Havre de Grace (field hockey) and Bel Air (volleyball). Winter winners: Harford Tech (girls basketball), C.M. Wright (boys basketball) and Havre de Grace (wrestling).
C.M. Wright won its first tennis state titles last year when Jessica Ahn and Anita Sahu captured the doubles crown. Both girls return and will have a shot at defending their title.
Also returning is senior Roger Torres, who is hoping to win his first state championship. Torres, an All-Metro pick last year, finished fourth in the state and is a three-time region champion. He posted a 25-2 mark last year and has been one of the area's dominant players throughout his career. Torres not only won every set against Harford County opponents last year - he didn't lose a game.
Thirty years ago
The Edgewood Rams claimed their first state title in boys basketball, winning the then-Class B title in 1975. Dudley Bradley led the Rams, who lost in 1974 semifinals despite a 33-point effort by Bradley. Edgewood added its second state title in 1997 in Class 1A under coach Bob Slagle as Mike Griffin broke Bradley's single-season school record for points (556), finishing with 577.