Andrew Bulls emerged as a soccer star in his first season at Old Mill High School. It's a role he will now try to assume elsewhere.
The Patriots' leading scorer as a freshman last season, Bulls has decided to transfer to McDonogh, a private school in Owings Mills that he hopes will offer him an excellent education and intense soccer training. At McDonogh, Bulls will play on a team with four other Olympic Development Program players. The school plays in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association.
"I know like a couple of guys that are also going to the school, and I'm really excited about it," Bulls said. "I loved Old Mill, and it's nothing against them. This was just one of those chances that you really can't pass up."
Old Mill will sorely miss Bulls, who helped lead the Patriots to the 4A state championship game in 2004. He's a speedy midfielder with a nose for the goal, and he had as many assists (eight) as goals in leading Old Mill to an 18-1-1 record.
Bulls said he briefly considered going abroad to a soccer training school before he was accepted at McDonogh.
"I just want to play soccer, man. That's what I do," Bulls said. "I love it. I don't want to stop. I want to keep getting better and take this thing as far as I can, so that's my line of thinking."
Since last season's South River girls' basketball team graduated its two stars, Coach Dave Klingel expected the Seahawks to play short-handed in the Anne Arundel County summer league. He never imagined, though, that it would be so challenging.
The Seahawks' top returning scorer, Ali Moreland, is out for the summer with an injured ankle. Taylor Martin, a promising forward, is out with a dislocated knee. A few other players are away on summer vacations, so the Seahawks have had trouble scraping together a team.
"Luckily, the summer ball doesn't mean too much," Klingel said. "Some girls are getting a chance to get the ball in their hands, and that's nice, but I definitely can't say that our best team is out there. We're just trying to put five players out there."
South River began the summer league season 2-1. Klingel asked his players to work harder than usual this summer, because they have so much to live up to next season. In 2005, the Seahawks raced into the state championship game behind seniors Rachel Fry and Stacy Hunt after twice upsetting county front-runner Arundel. They lost in the Maryland 4A final to Eleanor Roosevelt, 54-37.
"You don't go out there and replace people like Stacy and Rachel right away," Klingel said. "I'm not sure you can replace them at all, but it is definitely a rebuilding process. It's starting slowly right now, with just getting back on the court in the summer."
The Annapolis boys' basketball team, the likely preseason favorite for next season, started its summer season well. The Panthers won three early season games behind Justin Brown and Kevin Coates, a duo that averaged a combined 30 points and 16 rebounds while leading the Panthers to the 3A state final last year.
"Those two guys are going to make for a good summer," Annapolis Coach John Brady said. "They're going to put a lot of time into getting ready for next year."