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Frederick County Reemerges

Four Teams Remain in Hunt for a Maryland State Championship

Urbana's Paul Grawbowski said his teammates are keenly aware of the Hawks' run of four state championships from 1998 to 2001. They play Seneca Valley next.
Urbana's Paul Grawbowski said his teammates are keenly aware of the Hawks' run of four state championships from 1998 to 2001. They play Seneca Valley next. (By John Mcdonnell -- The Washington Post)
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By Jeff Nelson
Special to The Washington Post
Tuesday, November 18, 2008

First, for context, go back to Dec. 4, 2003.

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Eric Yeroshefsky and Matt Castor have just rushed for more than 100 yards apiece, leading Linganore to a 28-0 win over Lackey in the Maryland 3A championship game.

It is a good day to be a Lancer, having just captured the school's fourth state football title, and it also is a good time to be a fan of Frederick County football. With the victory, county teams have won 10 state championships, including five in the previous six seasons.

Now flash forward nearly five years, to last Friday.

As the 2008 postseason begins, it has been harder to be a Lancer lately, considering the team hasn't won a single playoff game since 2003. And times are tough for county football fans, who are still waiting for an 11th state championship.

But then the weekend unfolds, and new hope emerges. The undefeated Lancers roll past Westminster, 48-20, to reach the 4A North region final. And they are not alone.

In the 1A North, Catoctin crushes Chesapeake (Balt.), 34-0, to reach its region final for the second straight season.

In the 2A West, Middletown handles Clarksburg, 21-7, for its fourth straight trip past the first round.

In the 3A West, Urbana guts out a 3-0 overtime win over another strong Frederick County team, Tuscarora, to bring the Hawks back to a region final they last won in 2006.

Four classifications, four county teams, four remaining chances for No. 11. Could this be the year?

"I would hope so," Urbana Coach Joe Polce said. "I think Linganore has the best shot. They've shown to be the top team at 11-0 and No. 1 in their region."

Linganore has been the most dominant county team, beating all but two of its opponents by double-digit margins.

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