The girls lacrosse season will start up in about a month and, as always, Mount Hebron will be the favorite to capture another state title, its 12th in a row.
In the interim, some of those players are part of the school's fifth-ranked and unbeaten girls basketball team, and until this run is completed, perhaps with their own state title, the hoopsters want the girls who carry sticks to wait a little while before dusting them off.
"[Earlier this week in practice], one of the girls had a lacrosse stick that one of the lacrosse coaches gave them. We were like, `Put that away,' " said senior forward Deanna Dydynski, laughing. "We're trying to keep our minds focused on basketball totally."
In an era when specialization is the name of the game in high school and youth athletics, the Vikings are an interesting anomaly, at least among the area's top girls basketball teams.
As opposed to many high school teams, which are composed of kids who play the game all year, Mount Hebron (19-0 after last night's victory over Centennial) has three girls who only play basketball, with the other 11 split between field hockey and lacrosse, according to basketball coach Scott Robinson.
"We're a really, really athletic team," said Dydynski, who played field hockey in the fall. "I think we do the little things right in basketball. None of us are extremely good ballhandlers or extremely good shooters. We just do the little things and we play as a team."
While there are some area coaches in similar situations who bemoan not having players who make a full-time basketball commitment, Robinson shrugs it off as no big deal.
"I know in the big picture, for a lot of these girls, lacrosse is their ticket to college, and we've tried to work with it," said Robinson, who was an assistant with the girls lacrosse team for 14 years. "You can't fight it. You have to work with it. We're successful at so many other girls sports that it brings notoriety to the school, and that's a good thing."
One would actually be hard-pressed to come up with reasons the Vikings - one of two unbeaten area girls basketball teams along with Winters Mill - are so good just by glancing at them and at their statistics.
Only two players, Dydynski and junior guard Brittany Bowen, are scoring in double figures, and the Vikings' leading rebounder, Dydynski, is averaging just five a game. The Vikings aren't physically imposing, either, as no player on the roster is 6 feet.
"I actually don't know," Dydynski said when asked why the Vikings are so good. "I try to think about it like, `Why are we doing so well?' "
The answers, though, make sense once you get past the surface. For one thing, the Vikings play exceptional team defense. They held then-No. 5 Atholton to 19 percent shooting from the field for the game and forced 14 first-half turnovers in their 48-28 win over the defending 2A state champion last month.
Their low individual scoring totals provide the proof to Robinson's belief that the Vikings share and pass the ball well. And with six seniors, the Mount Hebron players don't rattle easily, relying on their focus and preparation.
"We've had games where we've played really well, but we'll tell you, and our coaches will tell you when we go into practice, we're still working on getting better," Bowen said. "If we beat a good team, we're not like, `We're a good team now.' We don't settle for that."
That approach springs from Robinson, who is in his 13th year as girls basketball coach at Mount Hebron. The All-Metro Coach of the Year in 2000-01, Robinson's approach is professorial, as he and his staff pore over tapes to prepare detailed scouting reports.
"Everyone loves him," Bowen said. "He loves basketball. He loves coaching us, and it shows. He works at it just as hard as we do in terms of filming and scouting. He doesn't just show up to a practice or a game. He's into it just as much as we are."
The Mount Hebron lacrosse dynasty has been built on a group of kids who are better together than they are separately. And that "all for one" spirit just might get the basketball team its first state title since 1991.
"It's not like we're one person standing out on a team," Dydynski said. "Everybody brings something to the table. If we need to make a shot, our team knows we'll make a shot. People just step up when they need to."