Varsity Letter: Looking back at the 2011-12 high school sports year

June 11, 2012

’Burn, baby, ’Burn: Stone Bridge and Broad Run, schools located 2.6 miles apart, had combined for three state football titles in two Virginia classifications since 2007 but had not met since 2004. They squared off Sept. 23 at Stone Bridge in front of an estimated 7,000 fans in a game billed as “The Battle of the ’Burn,” as in Ashburn. Stone Bridge trailed 24-0 at halftime but rallied for a 31-30 overtime win on an extra point by senior Ben Lambourne. In a community-fueled game, it was a relative outsider, Stephen Trivieri, a transfer from Canada, who made the difference. He ran for three touchdowns after the third quarter, including the one in overtime that tied the game. “I knew if it meant a lot to me just being here,” Trivieri said, “it meant 100 times more to everyone else.”

Stick figures: Glenelg senior midfielder Alyssa Parker, the All-Met field hockey player of the year, finished her career with 114 goals and 108 assists. She is only the second recorded high school player in the history of U.S. field hockey to top 100 in both categories. “I like the 100 assists a lot more,” Parker said. The Maryland signee and No. 1 Glenelg won their second straight 2A title.

Lil incentive: The Severna Park field hockey team sent retiring 37th-year Coach Lillian Shelton out in style by winning the Maryland 4A championship with a 3-1 victory over Bethesda-Chevy Chase in Chestertown, the Falcons’ sixth crown in seven seasons and state-record 20th overall. Shelton’s teams won 31 county and 29 regional titles.

Great Counsel: Good Counsel concluded one of the most dominating seasons in area football history — and its first unbeaten season — by blanking Gonzaga, 42-0, in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championship at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, a game played with a running clock in the second half. The Falcons were The Post’s top-ranked team all season and the final No. 1 for the third straight year. “We talked all week about the consequences if we got beat,” Good Counsel Coach Bob Milloy said. “It would have been the worst loss of my career, which is the history of football. I’ve been out here 50 years.” All-Met Defensive Player of the Year Stefon Diggs was one of five Good Counsel first-team All-Mets off a squad that beat Florida 7A champion Manatee and Baltimore’s top team Gilman.

Run of the Mill: Old Mill senior running back Rob Chesson shattered the state record for touchdowns in a season with 49. Though he was held without a touchdown in the Maryland 4A championship, the All-Met Offensive Player of the Year leaped into the end zone for a two-point conversion in overtime to lift his team to a 36-35 victory over Quince Orchard. His team had trailed 21-7 at the half. “He’s a kid that is determined to score the football,” Old Mill Coach Chad McCormick said of Chesson, who signed with Towson.

Winning four-mat: Centennial’s Nathan Kraisser, the All-Met wrestler of the year (lower weights), became the fifth Maryland wrestler, and first from the Washington suburbs in that state, to win four state titles. He captured the 126-pound crown at Cole Field House for the 152nd win of his career. He punctuated his feat with a backflip. “I knew I had a target on my back because this was the last chance for people to stop me,” Kraisser said.

VIth Sense: Paul VI Catholic made WCAC boys’ basketball history both emphatically and dramatically. The Panthers went 21-0 in league games; they capped the run with one-point wins in the league semifinals and championship over St. John’s and DeMatha, respectively, to grab their first WCAC crown. No team other than DeMatha had gone undefeated in the local Catholic league regular season in 50 years. In the title game at Bender Arena, senior guard Patrick Holloway hit the winning 10-foot jumper with 11 seconds left, his second game-winner against the Stags during the season. “People said if we lost this game, this whole season going undefeated wouldn’t have meant anything,” said Holloway, the All-Met Player of the Year. “We had to finish.” Paul VI went on to win the City Title Game over Coolidge.

Dethroning the Princess: Oakton went 31-0 and became the first Northern Region squad to win a Virginia AAA girls’ basketball title since Kara Lawson’s West Springfield team did so in 1999. In the final at the Siegel Center in Richmond, Oakton beat Princess Anne, the team that had knocked it out in two of the past three postseasons, including in the 2009 championship, when Oakton entered undefeated. The Cougars were led by the Villanova-bound Coyer twins, All-Met Caroline and Katherine, the latter of whom scored 24 points in the championship. “This win is for us, it’s for Coach [Fred] Priester and part of it is for all the players at Oakton who had strived to win a state championship and come so close,” Caroline Coyer said.

Stick shift: Private school girls’ lacrosse powers St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes and Good Counsel saw their enduring conference winning streaks end. Georgetown Visitation became the first ISL team since 1995 to beat SS/SA, topping the Saints in overtime, 12-11, on a goal by sophomore Ana Hagerup with eight seconds left. SS/SA avenged the loss by beating the Cubs in the league tournament final. Holy Cross snapped Good Counsel’s 90-game WCAC winning streak by upending the Falcons, 9-4, in the league tournament final.

High five: With a 10-0 thumping of Linganore in College Park, the Northern softball team won its fifth consecutive Maryland 3A title, the most in a row for any state team at any classification, to cap a 25-0 season and run its winning streak to 53. The five championship wins have been by a combined 35-0 score. “It’s one of those things where it’s kind of surreal,” said senior shortstop Lindsey Schmeiser, the All-Met player of the year. “It’s hard to describe because it doesn’t even feel like it happened.” The George Mason girls’ soccer team won its fifth straight Virginia A title, becoming the first girls’ soccer team in state history to do so.

Seconds on the Turkey: Touting a true city football championship, D.C. officials announced that starting this fall they plan to conduct a four-team football playoff involving public charter schools, independent schools and private schools from the District, with the winner advancing to face the D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association champion from the Turkey Bowl. A power point system will be used to determine the playoff teams. The Washington Catholic Athletic Conference, with three schools in the District, and other schools have not yet confirmed their involvement.

New crusade: Riverdale Baptist girls’ basketball Coach Diane Richardson, whose school has finished atop The Post’s rankings for the past four seasons, three with her on the bench, announced this month that she will leave the program to become a women’s basketball assistant at George Washington University. Other high-profile girls’ basketball coaching moves: Rod Hairston, whose teams a few years back won five consecutive Maryland 4A titles at Eleanor Roosevelt, took over at Bullis after the season. Frank Moore, the All-Met girls’ basketball coach of the year from Calvert, left that job to become boys’ coach at Northern. And new hire Aggie McCormick-Dix, well known in AAU circles in Virginia, is expected to make O’Connell a player again in the WCAC.

Wolverine State: Second-year Loudoun County school Woodgrove has gotten good in a hurry, particularly in girls’ sports. Over the weekend the Wolverines won Virginia AA titles in girls’ soccer and softball. Both the schools’ lacrosse teams reached the state quarterfinals. The girls’ basketball team reached the Division 3 semifinals. The girls’ tennis team reached the Region II semifinals. And the baseball team went 18-6.

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