Path to county crown not rough for Liberty golfers


October 21, 2007|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,[SPECIAL TO THE SUN]

Two years ago, Paul Bangle believed this would be the year for his Liberty golf team.

On Tuesday, the Lions proved their coach right.

Less than three weeks after edging Century to win the county tournament, the senior-laden team torched the Knights by 17 strokes Tuesday in a head-to-head matchup at Francis Scott Key Golf Club in Finksburg to claim the outright county title. It was the Lions' first county crown since 2002.

To Bangle, the preparation for this season's success began in earnest , when his five seniors were sophomores.

"When they were sophomores two years ago, I had the chance to start four of the five ... because I wanted them to get some experience," Bangle said. "I knew we would be a force in their senior year. I just had a feeling."

After taking second in the county in each of the past two years, the Lions were hard to beat this year. Senior captain John Rosecrans fired a 1-under-par 35 over nine holes against Century, and was followed closely behind by Tyler Bush (39), Austin Bush (42) and Frank Cinquegrani (43).

Now the challenge moves to a new level. Beginning Tuesday, the Lions will take part in the Class 2A-1A state golf tournament at the University of Maryland, College Park. A year ago, they succumbed to the cold temperatures and high winds at state and bowed out of the tournament after just one day.

This time around, Bangle thinks his team is better prepared.

"I feel like we're playing more consistent golf than we did last year," he said. "We kind of stumbled a little bit in the state tournament [last year], and I really feel ... that gives us a little motivation."

More golf

It was also a good week for Winters Mill's Katie Pass winning the Maryland state association's nine-hole stroke play tournament at Forest Park Golf Course in Baltimore.

Pass, a freshman, shot a 49, edging Urbana's Erin Gibbons (51) and Quince Orchard's Dani Gold (54). Nine golfers competed in the event.

She was the county's lone representative at the event, which also included an 18-hole tournament for more experienced golfers.

Field hockey draw

The state association held its annual draw Thursday to determine seedings for the coming state field hockey tournament.

In Class 4A, No. 5 North Carroll will start as the top seed in the North region, with No. 9 Westminster as the No. 2 seed. The county rivals, which met in Thursday's regular-season finale, could play in the region final.

The Panthers will receive byes in each of the first two rounds and will face the winner of Parkville and C. Milton Wright for the right to advance to the regional semifinals Oct. 30. The Owls get a first-round bye before facing Perry Hall in the quarterfinals.

Four other county teams are in Class 2A, West, where No. 2-seed Winters Mill, No. 3-seed Century, No. 5-seed Francis Scott Key and No. 6-seed Liberty all receive first-round byes. No. 15 Century will meet Liberty in Thursday's quarterfinals.

The county's other team, South Carroll, is the No. 3 seed in Class 1A, West, and will begin its tournament play against Poolesville in the regional semifinals Oct. 30.

Football honors

Carroll County was well represented on the list of last week's Monocacy Valley Athletic League football players of the week, with three players receiving honors.

For the second time this season, North Carroll quarterback Stefan Mitchell was named Offensive Player of the Week in the Chesapeake Conference. In a 33-14 win over Winters Mill, Mitchell completed 10 of 16 passes for 236 yards and four touchdowns. He also rushed for 96 yards and another touchdown.

All told, the senior accounted for 332 yards of offense, helping his team improve to 6-0 for the first time since 1978.

In the Blue Ridge Conference, a pair of other county players were honored.

Liberty quarterback Colton Weaver won Offensive Player honors +for the second straight week after his performance in his team's 34-28 win over Francis Scott Key. Weaver completed 17 of 27 passes for 146 yards and a touchdown, and carried the ball 22 times for 92 yards and two touchdowns.

Defensively, the award went to South Carroll's Jesse Meetre after the outside linebacker recorded nine tackles and a sack in the Cavaliers' 20-16 win over Century.

Pointing toward playoffs

Despite its perfect start heading into this weekend, the North Carroll football team still has plenty of work ahead of it to secure a berth in the Class 4A state playoffs.

After last week's games, the Panthers stood second to Linganore in Class 4A North. The top four teams in each region will advance to the playoffs. On Friday, North Carroll began a three-week stretch in which it plays the season's toughest opponents: Thomas Johnson, Linganore and Urbana.

A year ago, the Panthers lost to the three by a combined score of 127-50.

Coach Jeff Oeming thinks this season will be different, considering what he has seen from his players over the first six weeks of the season.

"It's a matter of if we can match up with that kind of speed and strength," he said.

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