June marks the end of another prep year

June 13, 2003|by DAN KAUFFMAN

Now that another prep sports year is in the books, here's what stands out in my mind from the past nine months:

-- One Giant Leap For Mankind - Brett Morrell soaring 23 feet to win the Class 1A boys long jump title for a third straight year. I wish I had been there to see it, as I would vote the events that unfolded that Thursday at University of Maryland-Baltimore County as the moment of the year in area high school sports.

Morrell, who will graduate from Boonsboro this weekend, and Corey Brown (who will graduate from Smithsburg) put on a show. Brown jumped 22 feet, 8 1/2 inches on his final attempt to pass Morrell's previous class-best leap of 22-1. Andy Mason, who covered the event for us, said he thought Morrell was beat.

But then Morrell performed like Michael Jordan on the final leap of both the competition and his prep career.


Morrell plans to attend Duke University in the fall.

Having covered him extensively over the past four years, I have nothing but positive things to say about Morrell - one of the classiest star high school athletes I've met in my five years - and I wish him the best.

-- We Are the Champions - One final congratulations to these state titlists: Smithsburg's girls outdoor track team (which won its Class 1A record eighth straight crown), Williamsport's volleyball and girls cross country teams, Hedgesville's volleyball team, Walkersville's girls basketball team, South Hagerstown's and Walkersville's baseball teams, five wrestlers (Walkersville's Ed Asbill, Frederick's Mark Tsikerdanos, Jefferson's Steve Reynolds and Berkeley Springs' Jamie Moore and Josh Clark), Middletown's boys indoor and outdoor track teams, and too many individual track champions (and relays) to list without taking up half the sports section.

-- A Noteworthy First - South Hagerstown's football team made the state playoffs for the first time in school history. The Rebels defeated Dunbar 42-0 in the Class 1A quarterfinals for South's first playoff victory before falling to Beall 35-13 in the semis.

Also worth mentioning, the Rebels made at least the state semifinals in all three major sports (football, basketball, baseball).

-- If It Were Horseshoes - Middletown's football team came oh, so close to its first state title since 1991, but fell to Hereford 20-9 in the Class 2A final.

-- If It Were Horseshoes, Take 2 - To the Williamsport baseball team, which took part in the best contest I had the honor to witness all year, the Class 1A West quarterfinal playoff game at Allegany. Nick Adenhart threw a no-hitter with 14 strikeouts - including 10 in a row - but lost a hard-luck 1-0 decision when Campers ace Aaron Laffey allowed only two hits while fanning 19. Allegany won the game on an unearned run in the first inning. No one who was at this game will easily forget it, nor would he/she want to.

(Two side notes: Laffey was drafted in the 16th round by the Cleveland Indians last Tuesday, and if you want my opinion, he's a steal that late. Adenhart was named the top-ranked junior in the nation by Baseball America last winter, and is likely to be a high draft pick next June.)

Whew! Thank goodness for the next three months to recover and recharge the batteries for the fall.

-- For the two of you (also known as my grandparents) asking, "What did you shoot at Whitetail Golf Resort on Tuesday?" Why, my foot, of course.

Dan Kauffman is a staff writer for The Herald-Mail. His column appears every other week. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 7520, or by e-mail at

The Herald-Mail Articles