Atholton, Centennial football fall short

After good seasons, both miss playoffs


November 15, 2006|By Glenn Graham and Pat O'Malley | Glenn Graham and Pat O'Malley,sun reporters

While River Hill and Glenelg qualified for the coming football playoffs, Centennial and Atholton each came up just short in their bids despite fine seasons.

With its season-ending 26-22 win over Howard last Friday, Centennial (8-2) finished with the program's best record since 1980. However, Edgewood staked claim to the fourth seed in Class 3A East when it defeated North Harford the same night.

The Eagles' defense set school single-season marks for most shutouts (three) and fewest points allowed (162). This season also brought the team's first win ever against county rival Wilde Lake and produced its all-time career rushing leader in senior Alex Bechta, who closed out his career with four touchdown runs against Howard.

"We're very proud of the fact the kids bought into what we were doing," Centennial coach Jamie Wagner said. "We asked them to trust and to believe in our system. They did, and now they're seeing the success."

Centennial has gone from 1-8 in 2004 to 4-6 last season to the 8-2 mark this fall in Wagner's three seasons as head coach.

The Raiders had the same 7-3 record that last year put them in as the top seed in the Class 2A South region, but ended up in fifth place this fall.

They closed out the season on a strong note, with a 33-20 win at Long Reach last Friday, rallying from an early 20-6 deficit to score the game's last 17 points and shut out the Lightning in the second half. Senior wide receiver Torrey Fasset returned the second-half kickoff 88 yards to close out the scoring.

"I thought we did well this season. We just didn't beat the right teams to get the points we needed this season," said Atholton coach Chuck Fales, who noted an early-season loss at Glenelg, which qualified in the same region, as a key setback.

Reservoir in semis

The No. 2 Reservoir volleyball team faces No. 1 Liberty in the Class 2A state semifinals at 8:30 tonight at the University of Maryland's Comcast Center.

Reservoir, in its fifth year in existence, lost to the eventual champion Lions in the 2004 semifinals in its only other appearance in the states.

Reservoir (17-1) pulled off an unlikely 3-2 victory over defending 2A state champion Glenelg (12-5) on Friday to win the South region for the second time in three years.

After losing to Reservoir for the second time this season in the Howard County championship match, Glenelg coach Don Beall said, "It will be awful hard to beat us three times" in reference to a possible meeting in the playoffs.

Beall appeared to be right, as the Gladiators won the first two games of the regional final by identical scores of 25-22.

However, the Gators, led by Jamie Thomas and Rachel Burke, rallied to win the next three games, 26-24, 25-22, 15-7, to advance to the states.

Centennial was the only other Howard County volleyball team to advance to the states. The No. 3 Eagles (15-1) set out to defend their Class 3A state crown against No. 13 Catonsville (17-2) in the late game last night at Maryland's Ritchie Coliseum.

Ager to Wingate

Softball infielder Gina Ager of River Hill signed a letter of intent last week with Wingate University.

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