River Hill freshman Trisha Snider expected to play when she made the Hawks' varsity softball team in March, but she never expected to have an impact on the team like she has.
Snider has emerged as one of the Hawks' top pitchers and earned a permanent spot alongside junior Stephanie Haas after no-hitting Oakland Mills last week.
"Trish is about as dominant a pitcher as there is in the county right now," Coach Dave Vitagliano said. "She can be very good. She throws as hard as anybody I've seen in a while, and she does have a change-up that she can use. She has learned to hit her spots."
Snider's dominance was most evident in the no-hitter, in which she faced the minimum -- 21 batters in a seven-inning game. She struck out eight and walked one batter, who was promptly erased by a double play.
"That was like the first time ever," said Snider (2-1, 1.20 ERA), who began pitching two years ago. "I was shocked. My coach told me after that I did it, and it was like all my hard work paid off."
Snider's emergence has left Vitagliano in an interesting quandary. Haas, who split time last year with all-county standout Kelly Smith, also has pitched well this season, going 3-1 with a 0.90 ERA and 28 strikeouts, and the pair will split time the rest of the season for the Hawks (5-2 through Saturday).
At River Hill's tournament Saturday, Haas allowed three hits and struck out four in a 7-0 win over St. John's, and Snider struck out 11 and allowed six hits in a 4-1 win over Holy Cross.
Eagles Look to Deliver
The Centennial boys' lacrosse team is big on slogans, and this year's motto couldn't be more fitting.
A year after taking the phrase "Shock 'Em" all the way to the Maryland 2A/1A title, the Eagles have taken the phrase "We Deliver" as their own, and the way Centennial's offense has been operating lately, not much else could be more appropriate.
That Eagles' offense methodically dismantled Mount Hebron's defense in the 32nd meeting between the Ellicott City rivals Friday at Johns Hopkins' Homewood Field, scoring early and often in Centennial's 13-1 win, the most lopsided of the team's 12 wins against Mount Hebron.
Evan Calvert scored two goals and had three assists. Senior Sean Dougherty had five goals, and seniors Mike Down and Pat Davis each had three goals.
As for the team's slogan, it partly makes fun of the team's red and blue colors, which with the right arrangement of clothing make the team look like Domino's Pizza deliverymen.
"We just joked around about "We Deliver,' " Calvert said. "I guess it's like we deliver wins now."
Lewis to Coach Alma Mater
Marcus Lewis remembers his last basketball game 15 years ago as if it were yesterday.
Oakland Mills advanced to the state semifinals and lost to Walkersville, 66-64, at Cole Field House.
"In overtime," said Lewis, who was hired Monday to succeed his former coach, Dave Appleby, on the Scorpions' sidelines. "I will never forget that. That's what drives me as a coach, wanting to get the kids there, to give them that opportunity."
Lewis went on to a successful career as a running back at the University of Delaware and is a member of the Oakland Mills Athletic Hall of Fame. He returned to his alma mater in the mid-'90s and coached the girls' basketball team to a 41-53 record the last four years, but he said his dream was always to coach the boys' team.
Mike Coughlan, Lewis's assistant on the girls' basketball team, is the front-runner to get the girls' basketball head coaching position.
At Centennial, Ed Holshue was hired Friday to replace three-year coach Ed Trout, returning to coaching after a one-year hiatus. Holshue last coached Centennial's football team. In 21 years at Centennial and Mount Hebron, he amassed 102 wins but said he yearned to "be in command" again.
Rozanski to Play Again
It's been eight weeks since Glenelg Country senior Sean Rozanski touched a basketball, but his will to play hasn't waned.
Rozanski, who averaged 32.2 points for the Dragons before his season ended in February with a broken thumb, will represent Howard County on Sunday in the Charm City Challenge along with Mount Hebron senior Shawn Velazquez and Long Reach senior Jared Bradford.
The trio of all-county standouts will play in a preliminary game for the Suburban all-stars against a team of all-stars from Baltimore City at 4 p.m. at Towson University's Towson Center.
Good Spirit at Reservoir
Building a new high school sports program is never easy, but it's even more difficult when freshmen and sophomores must compete against juniors and seniors.
Reservoir, which first opened its doors in August to freshmen and sophomores only, has found that transition challenging on the tennis courts this season.
Reservoir Coach Andree Cates said both the boys' (1-5 overall) and girls' (2-4) teams have battled other majority-upperclassmen teams, sometimes showing their inexperience when the pressure is greatest.
Mentally, she said, players don't have an expansive memory bank to pull from and recognize how to control situations during the match, something she works on in practice but that can be learned best by playing.
Still, what players lack in experience they more than make up in gusto and sportsmanship, Cates said.
"I think they're doing very well. They have such good spirit," she said. "They're doing very well considering the fact that they're playing against older students. They laugh about it. If they got creamed, they're on the bus laughing."
Girls' No.1 singles player Meredith Ely, a sophomore who was redistricted from River Hill, has a 3-3 record this season and has one of the strongest games on the team after playing doubles last season for the Hawks. An all-county selection during the indoor track season and former basketball player, Ely uses her athleticism on the court to frustrate opponents.
Experience Lifts Centennial
While Reservoir has younger players, Centennial boasts 11 seniors, an advantage Coach Jean Vanderpool has determined can keep her squad among the conference's elite as the season unfolds.
The Eagles finished third in the county last season and have started strong once again. The girls' team stands undefeated at 6-0 while the boys are 5-1, with a loss to Mount Hebron.
Vanderpool points to calm players, who exude control and poise on court, to explain the steady start.
"When they walk on the court, they know they can play," Vanderpool said. "It doesn't take them two games to gain confidence. They're not nervous. They settle down right away."
Doubles Spark Hawks
The River Hill girls' team (6-0), which remains undefeated this season, relies on two undefeated doubles teams to pull out close matches. The No. 1 team of senior Elizabeth Kenez and freshman Katie Sheliga are 6-0, as is the No. 2 team of seniors Jennifer Silver and Susan Monheit.
Hawks Coach Matt Graves said doubles points are crucial for his team because, if necessary, they make up for singles losses and allow the Hawks to beat teams with superior singles players. This week the defending county champions face Centennial, Mount Hebron and Glenelg, all teams with strong singles players.