A Look at Local Sports this Week in Years Past

A Look at Local Sports this Week in Years Past
Despite the sting of the late loss to Century in the state championship game this week, the Decatur girls’ varsity lacrosse team was all smiles as they showed off the runner-up trophy. The Seahawks were remarkable all season during their run for perfection. Submitted photo

With spring high school sports seasons on indefinite hiatus, The Dispatch thought it might be interesting and fun to take a look back at what was making local sports headlines this same week in years past. Many of the players went on to do great things in college both athletically and academically and some now even have kids of their own in local youth sports programs. The following is a look back at the last five, 10 and 20 years.

The following is a brief glimpse of what was making headlines on the sports pages of The Dispatch this week five years ago:

• Stephen Decatur’s girls’ varsity lacrosse team’s bid for a state championship and a perfect season ended with a heart-breaking 10-7 loss to Baltimore-area powerhouse Century in the title game, but the loss did little to tarnish what was a remarkable season for the Seahawks.

Decatur entered the state championship game against Century as a decided underdog as the battle-tested Knights had been in the state final 11 times in the last 12 years. The Seahawks, meanwhile, were undefeated, taking on all comers throughout its remarkable season including a win over Queen Anne’s in the Bayside championship and a narrow win over another Baltimore-area power Hereford in the state semifinals.

For much of the first half, the two teams battled like a pair of heavyweights looking to expose each other’s weakness and look for an opportunity. The first half ended in a 5-5 tie, setting the stage for a dramatic finish. The game was tied at 7-7 with 8:30 left in the contest, but that was as close as the Seahawks would get to wrapping up a state championship and a perfect season. The loss was a tough one for the Seahawks, but did little to tarnish their remarkable season.

• Stephen Decatur’s varsity track teams turned in several strong performances in the state 3A South regional meet including a continued dominance in the pole vaulting events and another regional championship in the girls’ high jump. Decatur always produced champions in the pole vault and 2015 was no different. On the girls’ side, Katie Hofman finished first and Hannah Wilson finished second in the 3A-South regional. On the boys’ side, Decatur’s Brett Kim was first, Hyun Chun was second and Evan Hass was fourth.

Last year, Wilson won the 3A-South girls’ pole vault championship, while Haas finished first on the boys’ side and Adam Kristick was second. In 2013, Katie Collins was the regional champion and Sonny Aroh finished second in the boys’ competition. In 2011, Bradley Hollowell won the region championship while Matt Allenbaugh was second. Jessica Ames finished second the regionals in the pole vault in 2011. In 2010, Hollowell won the boys’ state championship in the pole vault, while Jenna Vignale won the girls’ state championship for Decatur.

The following are some of the highlights of The Dispatch sports pages from this week 10 years ago:

• Powered once again by a strong outing on the mound by Maddie Justice, Stephen Decatur’s varsity softball team beat Bennett and was awaiting its opponent in the MPSSA 3A-East Region finals.

After having a first-round bye, the Seahawks got by James Bennett by a 5-2 score and defended their home turf with another win by the same tally.

Justice was masterful, striking out 11 Clippers and allowing two runs on just one hit. Kylie Nottingham led the way, hitting a home run, driving in three runs and scoring a run. Jessica Iacona had two hits and a run in the win. Decatur, the No. 2 seed, was awaiting its opponent in the region

• Worcester Prep’s boys’ varsity lacrosse team punctuated a near-perfect season, topping Salesianum, 10-9, to finish with a 15-1 record. season

wps boys

This week five years ago, Worcester Prep’s boys’ varsity lacrosse team captured the Eastern Shore Independent Athletic Conference championship.
Photo by Shawn Soper

The previous week, the Mallards rolled past Gunston, 16-5, in the Eastern Shore Independent Athletic Conference championship game in what is typically the season finale.

In 2015, however, Worcester had one piece of unfinished business to dispense with in the form of Delaware powerhouse Salesianum. The Mallards took on Salesianum at
Wesley College in Delaware and came away with a tight 10-9 win. Senior
standouts Justin Butler and Brad Harris led Worcester with four goals each. Goalie Austin Gerachis was strong in the net, recording nine saves.

• It was not nearly as suspenseful as the road to get there, but Stephen Decatur’s girls’ varsity lacrosse team easily won the state 3A-2A East Region championship, beating Patuxent, 14-3 in the title game.

Prior to the regional championship game, Decatur endured a brutal rematch with archrival Parkside in the semifinals. The teams split two regular season matchups and the Bayside South championship came down to a coin toss with Decatur and Parkside tied atop the conference standings. Parkside won that coin toss and represented the Bayside South in the conference title game. Another coin toss determined who would get the top seed in the state’s regional bracket and Decatur won that toss and secured home field advantage. The Seahawks met the Rams once again and won the game in overtime, 7-5, to reach the region championship.

• Stephen Decatur’s varsity baseball team’s path to a potential regional championship became clear, but the Seahawks will likely have to get by an old rival to achieve the goal.

The Seahawks were rewarded for a highly successful 15-3 season with a number-two seed in the Class 3A-East region tournament and a first-round bye. Lurking on the other side of the 3A-East bracket, however, is Bennett, which was rewarded with the top seed in the region. Bennett handed Decatur two of its three losses this season, including a 3-2 defeat in the season opener and a 4-2 loss back on April 14. After the second loss to Bennett, the Seahawks reeled off 11 straight wins including a sweep of Crisfield in a double-header, before falling to Colonel Richardson in the regular season finale. With the number-two seed in the 3A-East region, the Seahawks will stay at home through the tournament until the regional final, which could match them up with top-seeded Bennett for the third time in the season.

The following is a little snippet of the top sports stories in The Dispatch this week 20 years ago:

• Worcester Prep’s girls’ varsity lacrosse team beat archrival Saints Peter and Paul, 14-7, in the Chesapeake Women’s Athletic Conference championship. The Mallards beat Gunston, 20-03, earlier in the week to reach the CWAC title game against the Sabres.

For Worcester’s four seniors- Jessica Beckstead, Katherine Johnson, Elizabeth Raskauskas and Ashlee Reed- the conference championship win over Saints Peter and Paul put an exclamation point on remarkable academic and athletic careers at the Berlin prep school. Each of the four seniors had plans to play lacrosse at the next level the following year in college.

Beckstead, who recorded 18 saves in the goal for Worcester in the title game, was headed to Loyola College in Baltimore. Johnson was headed to Lehigh University, Raskauskas, who was named the first-ever MVP following the CWAC championship, was headed to Haverford for both lacrosse and field hockey, while Reed was taking her skills to American University.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.