Hereford's speedy offense running toward state football semifinals

Notebook

November 28, 2007|By Stefen Lovelace and Katherine Dunn | Stefen Lovelace and Katherine Dunn,SUN REPORTERS

Having a powerful offense is nothing new for Hereford and coach Steve Turnbaugh.

The Bulls (12-0), who will play in the Class 3A state semifinals this weekend, have scored 555 points this season and are averaging 46.25 points per game.

In 1997, Turnbaugh led the Bulls to the state championship and set state records for points scored in a season (602) and average points per game (46.31). Scoring points is the only similarity those two offenses have, however.

"This team is a completely different style than the '97 team," Turnbaugh said. "[The 1997 team] was a traditional wing T, and we were just pounding people. This year, we're tiny, and we adapted it with a stable of athletes that can run the ball and utilize our quicker line."

This year's Bulls mix the wing T offense with a triple-option to use their speed.

"I think it suits the type of kids that we have like a glove," Turnbaugh said. "We sort of hybrided into a wing T and triple option and the combo of the two gives us a lot of variety."

Feature running back Lonnie Liggins leads Hereford, but the Bulls have many different ways of finding the end zone. Running backs Hasani Cromwell, Nick DePaola, Eric Hemmeter, D.J. Wacker and quarterbacks Tyler Brown and Jason Fischer all have at least four touchdowns this season. Hereford's offense paced the Bulls to two lopsided victories in the playoffs - a 63-0 victory against Mervo and a 49-3 defeat of Catonsville - and they'll play 3A South winner Lackey on Friday at 7 p.m. at Hereford in the state semifinals.

Royals take nationals

Redeemer Classical Christian's boys soccer team can claim something few high school teams can ever attain - a national championship.

The Royals finished a 21-0 season by winning the National Christian Schools Athletic Association championship this month in Erie, Pa. They defeated FHE Hawks, a home-schooled team from North Carolina, 2-0, in the final after beating Erie First Christian, 8-0, and Christian Fellowship from Missouri, 5-0.

Coach Dave Feeney said he didn't envision this kind of success at the beginning of the season, but the players were resilient, executed the game plans all season and developed a strong team chemistry.

"The real thing that stuck out was how the guys played together," Feeney said. "We had a game plan for every game, and you could see it in the starting 11, but even when we put in the second string, the guys were still able to approach the game in the same way, the same style of play - move the ball around and move the ball quickly. There was great chemistry there."

Matt Tyrie, who played last season at Calvert Hall, led the team with 42 goals and 14 assists, but he blended right in with striker Jon Feeney and center midfielder Chris Broadwick, who added 18 goals and 11 assists each.

Tyrie was named to the national all-tournament team along with Royals keeper Mike Strappelli and sweeper Eric Chesser. Strappelli allowed only 12 goals - a 0.6 goals against average - with help from Chesser, stopper Jordan Moyer and back Joey Rappazzo. The defense had 12 shutouts.

All-tournament time

Lillie Happel, a sophomore outside hitter/setter for the Covenant Community School volleyball team, recently earned all-tournament team honors at the National Home School Volleyball Tournament.

The Bravehearts finished fifth in their division and 15th overall at the tournament of 40 teams in Omaha, Neb., in early November. Happel was one of 12 girls selected from more than 400 players for the all-tournament team. She had 53 kills, four assists and five blocks and served at 96 percent through 20 games at the tournament.

Becca Johnson had 23 kills during the tournament, and Meredith Runkle and Abby Williams had 21 each. Setter Emily Asman had 95 assists and libero Katelyn Craig had 44 digs for the Bravehearts, whose home court is at Lamb of God School in Halethorpe.

Vanessa Happel, Lillie's sister, coaches the Bravehearts.

stefen.lovelace@baltsun.com katherine.dunn@baltsun.com

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