Proposal could alter regions for 3 schools

Westminster, N. Carroll would move up to 4A

Notebook

November 19, 2006|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

A proposal before the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association could drastically change the landscape of Carroll County athletics, moving three of the county's seven schools into new state classifications.

Under a plan created this month by the MPSSAA Classification Committee, North Carroll and Westminster would move from Class 3A to Class 4A, where they would compete in playoffs and championships with the state's largest schools, based on enrollment.

Meanwhile, South Carroll would drop from Class 2A to Class 1A, which includes the state's smallest schools.

The other four Carroll schools - Century, Francis Scott Key, Liberty and Winters Mill - would remain in Class 2A. The county would not have a 3A school after having as many as four in recent years.

The moves are based on enrollment changes in grades nine to 11 at each of the schools as of Sept. 30. Thirty-four of the state association's 188 member schools would move up or down under the plan, which could be approved at a meeting next month in Baltimore.

"I kind of have mixed emotions," said Troy Warehime, North Carroll's athletic director. "It just depends on the sport."

For instance, Warehime said that while the school's field hockey team would no longer be in the same region as perennial state power Bethesda-Chevy Chase, the boys and girls basketball teams would likely face much stiffer competition in the playoffs.

Football teams at North Carroll and Westminster also could be hurt, since neither will have more than a couple Class 4A opponents on their schedules, limiting the amount of playoff points they can potentially earn.

South Carroll, set to become the largest school in 1A, seemingly stands to be the biggest winner.

Not only would the Cavaliers drop in classification, but they would be placed in the Class 1A South region, among the state's smallest at 10 schools. They would compete in the playoffs with teams from Harford, Cecil and Prince George's counties, as well as Glenelg in Howard County.

"I don't know. ... In football, you still put 11 kids out on the field. I don't think the classification really improves your chances of winning," South Carroll athletic director Jim Horn said. "But now, we'll have a 1 out of 10 instead of a 1 out of 14 or 15 chance [of winning the region]. It's going to be interesting because some of the schools in our region don't even have teams in some of the sports."

North Carroll and Westminster would become two of the three smallest in 4A. Both would compete in the Class 4A North region with the likes of Perry Hall, Dulaney, Woodlawn, Walbrook and Southwestern.

If plans for a new high school in Manchester come to fruition, North Carroll could find itself back in Class 2A by the end of the decade, with Westminster possibly becoming the county's lone 4A school.

Falcons win honors

A pair of players from the Winters Mill football team earned Players of the Week honors in the Monocacy Valley Athletic League's Piedmont Conference.

In the Falcons' playoff-clinching 44-12 win over Francis Scott Key, quarterback Travis Love and linebacker Paul McDonald had career nights.

Love, who completed 17 of 22 passes for 340 yards and three touchdowns, was named Offensive Player of the Week, while McDonald, who had three interceptions, five tackles and deflected a pass, shared honors as Defensive Player of the Week.

To submit news and story ideas about Carroll County high school athletics, contact Rich Scherr at CarrollSports@comcast.net.

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