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Keller: Some things for which I'd be thankful

November 23, 2011|By MARK KELLER |
  • Mark Keller, Herald-Mail Sports Editor
Mark Keller, Herald-Mail Sports Editor

Thanksgiving Day.

Hard to believe we’ve reached this day on the calendar already, isn’t it?

To say that 2011 has flown by would be an understatement. It’s been a blur. And with the holidays upon us, it certainly won’t slow down between now and the start of 2012.

So, the standard fare for a Thanksgiving column is to hit the pause button and reflect on the things for which we are thankful.

I’d like to go a slightly different direction this year, instead looking ahead to things for which I will be thankful, should they ever come to fruition.

I realize some of these, if not all, will probably get a big, old “fat chance” as a response … but a guy can dream, right?

* I’ll be thankful when the majority of Washington County athletic supporters (I meant to say that) will put aside pettiness and be happy when a county team — any county team — or individual wins a state title.

I understand the need for rivals and the desire for your school or team to be the best. Face it, though: The North-South and Boonsboro-Smithsburg rivalries are not Michigan-Ohio State.

Shouldn’t community matter? When your team is eliminated, it seems logical that you would then want another team from your county to ultimately win the title, even if it is your “bitter” rival.

But that doesn’t seem to be the case. Instead, locals seem to rejoice when county teams are shown the door in tournaments, whether it be youth or high school sports.

Is it jealousy? Probably. Misery loves company, I suppose. So if my team can’t win, I don’t want any of the others to win either.

That’s ridiculous … and sad.

* I’ll be thankful when the MVAL gets rid of its restrictive rule that teams must play a set number of its nonconference games against teams from other MVAL divisions.

This means Washington County teams are forced to play games against Carroll County teams, when neither has any desire to play the other.

Why should Washington County teams be forced to travel to play the likes of North Carroll and Manchester Valley when there are schools 30, 40, even 50 miles closer? And why should the Carroll County schools be forced to travel up here?

If they want to play, that’s great. Have at it. But if Williamsport would rather schedule Hedgesville, which is just 16 miles away, over North Carroll, which is 71 miles away, it should be able to do that.

Transportation costs would be decreased and teams would be able to schedule a more logical regional opponent. It just makes sense.

* I’ll be thankful when high schools in Washington County establish athletic Halls of Fame.

This weekend, St. Maria Goretti will become the first county school to do so, inducting its inaugural class during the Mid-Atlantic Invitational Tournament.

Every school in this county — public or private — has had numerous outstanding athletes. Establishing a Hall of Fame would be an excellent way to keep those athletes connected to the school and help draw back fans and alumni who have drifted as well.

It’s a win for everyone involved.

Mark Keller is sports editor of The Herald-Mail. He can be reached at 301-791-7728 or by email at

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