Seventeen consecutive victories, a county and region championship, and a second consecutive Maryland 3A/2A title. Those are the accomplishments that Centennial attacker Alex Ashcroft will remember about his senior lacrosse season.
But his favorite part of the 10-7 victory over Towson last week was the postgame bus ride.
"Singing," he said. "That's what I'll take with me the most."
The Eagles belted out "Stand by Me" and "Lean on Me" as they traveled to a fast-food restaurant for a celebration meal and concluded their postgame concert with Tom Petty's "Free Fallin' " as they arrived back at school.
"For a lacrosse team, I guess they're pretty good singers," Coach Mike Siegert said. "They're not professionals, but they are not monotone, either."
The Eagles demonstrated nice harmony on the lacrosse field throughout the season. Centennial didn't have as many Division I-bound players as several of its opponents did, but 18 seniors and plenty of determination brought it the title.
"That's the thing about this season: We knew for a lot of us this was our last shot to play together," said senior attacker Sam Stumpf, who scored a game-high four goals against Towson. "We're a really close team, and we're totally unselfish. We knew this was it. There was no next year."
The Eagles spent the holiday weekend at a series of celebrations. On Saturday, neighbors Stumpf, senior defenseman Mike Condron and senior midfielder John Spaide hosted a team barbecue. On Monday, the team gathered at a local restaurant for an end-of-the-year banquet and watched a slide show of the 17-1 season.
There were plenty of highlights for the show. The Eagles outscored opponents 283-111 this year. Four players scored at least 20 goals, led by Ashcroft (59 goals, 35 assists) and senior midfielder Brennan Dougherty (37 goals, 43 assists). The seniors who played for four years were also the first class to go undefeated against rival Mount Hebron.
"But I still don't know what I'm going to remember more: the games we won or the fun we had together because we have a lot of characters on this team," Condron said this week. "It's great to go out the way we did. But it's still sad because I've been playing on the same team as some of these guys since I was 6 years old. It still hasn't sunk in that it's over."