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Bailey enjoys 'special time' with Wildcats

June 11, 2009|By ANDREW MASON

Most high school coaches would be thrilled to win one state title in their career.

Williamsport's John Bailey won two in one day last month.

He is The Herald-Mail's Track & Field Coach of the Year.

Bailey guided the Williamsport girls to their second straight Maryland Class 1A title and third in four seasons, and led the Williamsport boys to their first title since 1999.

While the boys were co-champions with Smithsburg, they were still champions.

"That state meet was a pretty special time," Bailey said. "The girls knew they had a good shot, and the boys knew they had a shot. I was very happy with both teams, but the boys were a little more exciting because they hadn't had that yet."

Williamsport became the first Washington County school to win both team titles since Smithsburg in 1978. Overall, the Wildcats also won seven individual state titles and one relay.

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"It was a good year, a lot of good performances. We broke a lot of school records," Bailey said. "We keep an all-time top-seven list for each event, and we made a lot of changes to it this year.

"It was a pretty special group of kids, one of the best ever."

As always, Bailey was quick to also attribute his success to his coaching staff -- Mike Taylor, Lily Prazenica, Curtis Graff, Taylor Oliver, Katie Yoder and Teresa Weaver.

The Wildcats also had 24 seniors to help lead the way this year.

"It's going to hurt to lose all those seniors, all those quality kids, but I don't think we're going to be devastated," Bailey said. "The underclassmen are already looking forward to next year."

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