An emotional end to `a good year' for North Harford's football team


December 02, 2007|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,Special to the Sun

Most of the lights had been turned out in the end zone near the parking lot in the minutes after North Harford lost to visiting Wilde Lake in the Class 3A East regional final Nov. 23. But there still were emotional scenes being played out near the goal posts.

North Harford football coach Ken Brinkman stood in the back part of the end zone and made a point of quietly saying farewell to several of the Hawks after they had lost, 26-6.

A number of players came up to Brinkman and gave him a hug and thanked the coach for a memorable season or career. Some players, such as three-year starting quarterback Dan Griffin, gave Brinkman a long hug, and no words were needed.

While the Hawks coach embraced his players on the cold Friday night, the Wilde Lake players celebrated their win several yards away.

Brinkman said he was frustrated by the team's miscues in the loss to the Wildecats.

"We dropped balls and missed plays," he said. "They just were very good."

North Harford finished with 216 yards of offense, but Wilde Lake gained 432 yards and made several big plays.

Despite the defeat, North Harford (10-2) had a memorable season. The Hawks earned a No. 1 seed in the region and captured the first playoff victory in school history - beating Atholton. But Brinkman said later that he knew the Hawks weren't going to match up well against the Wildecats.

Wilde Lake had a lot of experienced players who had been to the state playoffs for three straight years. They had battled through tough playoff losses to Severna Park (2005) and River Hill (2006).

Brinkman said he thought this year would be a great chance for the Hawks to make postseason noise because they were loaded with experienced players.

"It was good for us this year because we had 23 seniors," Brinkman said.

Hit the road

The Joppatowne football team was the only Harford County school still alive in the state playoffs after it rolled to a 35-14 victory over Snow Hill in the Class 1A East regional final on Nov. 23.

That gave the Mariners two playoff wins this season. Joppatowne scored 77 points in the two victories. The Mariners also routed Havre de Grace, 42-6.

The victory over Snow Hill stretched Joppatowne's winning streak to 11, after a season-opening 32-17 loss to North Carroll.

Start with a split

The John Carroll boys basketball team was one of the earliest area teams to start the season, and the Patriots split their first two games.

In the season opener, the Patriots defeated Glenelg Country School, 115-50. Isaiah Philmore led the way with 29 points, nine rebounds, six assists, five steals and three blocks.

Josh Wiegand (13 points), Jakub Kusmieruk (12), Dejan Gaspic (12) and Raphael Jordan (11) each scored in double figures as the Patriots shot 62 percent from the field. John Carroll held a 51-13 edge in rebounding.

But the Patriots slipped in their second game, as Mount Carmel pulled off a 72-61 upset. Philmore led John Carroll with 20 points and 16 rebounds, and Wyatt Smith added 17 points and 11 rebounds.

The Patriots began the season ranked No. 21 nationally in the ESPN high school poll.

This is also their first season in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference after playing in the B Conference last season.

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