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Bryant Defends Title, Repeats as Champion • Schildt Replaces Green as Head Coach

The 2017-18 wrestling season was a unique one for Cougar wrestlers and for fans of Frederick County wrestling. Unique because it marked the first time in a decade without long-time Catoctin Coach Ryan Green, sitting matside and barking commands at his wrestlers. Green, who debuted in 2006 as Catoctin’s head wrestling coach, ended his ten year tenure last season with a 144 and 99 record,  making him the most-successful wrestling coach in the school’s history. Green and his dedicated staff, Coaches Rich Gialanella, Garrett Baer, George O’Brien, Brad Maze, Tyler White, and Tracy Eureka, turned out numerous county and regional champions, including one four-time county champ. Green’s athletes, always known for their aggressive, straightforward, and punishing styles, were recognized and honored with the prestigious Fred Burgee Outstanding Wrestler Award at the Frederick County championships three times in ten years, and his squad won the county title in 2014. During his term, he has coached twenty-four individual state medal winners and seven of the nine state champions representing Catoctin High School (CHS).

Although Green is no longer at the helm, his coaching style will be easily recognized through the new head coach, Colin Schildt. Coach Schildt was a stand-out wrestler at Catoctin, one of the most successful that the school has ever produced, a three-time county champion, two-time regional champion, four-time state qualifier, two-time medalist, and finalist during his senior year, boasting a career record of 143 wins and 23 losses. Always a leader in the wrestling room, it’s only fitting that the former Green-trained, Kutztown University wrestler lead Catoctin’s lineup. Schildt and his assistant, Bill Orr, also a decorated high school wrestler and possessing collegiate experience at Clemson University, would lead a thin, but scrappy team in their inaugural season. Much like the previous season, the coaches struggled to fill weight classes, and as a result forfeited 18 points in each team contest. As a unit, the Cougars posted a 249-103 record, winning over 70 percent of their individual matches and winning half of their fourteen regular season dual meets. They went 14 and 15 overall, and were named to the “others to watch” category as a tournament team by the Maryland State Wrestling Association, while remaining unranked overall or as a dual meet team. Seven of the team’s eleven participants would qualify for the regional tournament, four would earn state qualification honors, three would become state place-winners, and one would successfully defend his state title, becoming only the second Catoctin wrestler to win multiple state tournament crowns.

Although there would be no team placement in each of the two dual meet tournaments, individual accomplishments were plentiful. At the Bauerlein Duals, two wrestlers, including the 145-pounder Wyatt Payne and senior-heavyweight Dennis Pittinger, would dominate the competition and remain undefeated in five bouts. Seniors Zachary Bryant (113 pounds), Ethan Fuss (126 pounds), and RJ Monoghan (182 pounds), would each suffer only a single loss in the tournament. At Catoctin’s debut appearance at the Westminster Duals, three senior athletes, Zachary Bryant, 160-pound Joshua Small, and RJ Monoghan would prevail in each of their nine bouts to remain unbeaten. Fuss would lose only one match in the tournament. At the 2018 Hub Cup, still regarded as one of the toughest tournaments in Western Maryland, five Catoctin wrestlers advanced to the medal rounds and the squad placed fifth in a field of fourteen teams. RJ Monoghan and senior Nolan Brightshue (138 pounds) each placed fifth. Travis Fields, the 145-pound sophomore, placed fourth; Ethan Fuss wrestled back to third after a second-round loss; Joshua Small and Dennis Pittinger would place second after losing in finals; and Zachary Bryant would become Catoctin’s lone Hub Cup champion.

Frederick County continues to be the authority on wrestling in the state of Maryland. Year after year, Frederick County wrestlers continue to raise the bar and achieve an unparallelled success that simply overshadows other programs statewide. With only ten public high schools representing the county, the number of state champions and place-winners that are consistently produced by these ten schools every winter is astounding. Last year alone, Frederick County claimed eight of the twenty-eight state champions, and placed twenty-two of the thirty-four wrestlers that qualified. This year, Frederick County wrestlers accounted for five of the fourteen state champions and seventeen place-winners. Even more impressive, over the past ten years, Frederick County has produced forty state champions and one hundred seventy-one medalists, a testament to the widely-held notion that the Frederick County tournament is often regarded as more competitive than the regional or state contests. Catoctin placed fifth as a team at the 2018 Frederick County wrestling championships, advanced seven wrestlers to the medal rounds, and celebrated three county champs. Zachary Bryant pinned his way through the tourney, becoming a two-time county champ. RJ Monoghan and Dennis Pittinger captured their first county titles, winning by decision in finals. Travis Fields, Wyatt Payne, and Joshua Small each wrestled back to collect third-place medals after losing in semi-finals. Ethan Fuss, the 2016 County champ, saw no action due to a concussion. Although Matthew Linker, the 220-pound sophomore, earned fourth-place honors, he did not qualify to advance to the regional meet. He ends the season with 6 wins and 7 losses and has a career total of 14-25. Nick Veronie, the 132-pound freshman, was eliminated from the contest after two losses, but saw significant varsity action during the year. He won several dual meet matches, as well as bouts at Bauerlien and Westminster, finishing his first season with 8 wins and 20 losses. Nolan Brightshue, the 138-pound senior, failed to advance to regionals after two losses. He was 5-3 in regular season duals, won three matches at Bauerlien Duals, was 6-3 at Westminster, and 4-2 at the Hub Cup, placing fifth. He finishes the year with 18 wins and 12 losses and his career with a 43-35 record. Ryan Orr had his work cut out for him as a 170-pound freshman. He won 50 percent of his matches, including a victory at the Frederick County tournament, and concluded his first year of high school wrestling with a 5-5 tally.

The Cougars captured a fifth-place team finish at the 1A-2A West Regional tournament by advancing four of seven qualifiers to the medal rounds, including a third-place finisher, three finalists, and one regional champion. The field expanded to twenty-three teams, up from seventeen teams last year after a state-wide restructuring. The addition of six teams, including the robust squads of Oakdale and Poolesville and the all-powerful Damascus line-up, made the mighty West, statistically Maryland’s best region for wrestling, an even stronger and more dominant force. For the past three years, nearly half, 41 percent, of all place-winners at the state championships represented the Western region, 103 of 252. This year, the trend continues. Over 40 percent, 35 of the 84 place-winners hailed from the West, including almost half of the finalists, 13 of 28, and just under half of the state champions with 6 of 14. In two weight classes, both finalists represented the West, and in one bracket the West was home to the top three medalists. Zachary Bryant remained unbeaten in the contest by winning two consecutive bouts by fall after a first-round bye. He successfully defended his regional crown, becoming a two-time 1A-2A West champ, and secured the number one seed at states with a 9-1 decision in finals. Ethan Fuss dropped a close decision out of the gate, but fought back to third place with back-to-back pins and a tight victory in a rematch of his earlier loss. Joshua Small fought his way to finals with a first-round bye and two victories by decision only to be uncharacteristically caught and put on his back in the second period of his finals match by the eventual state runner-up. Dennis Pittinger suffered a similar fate. He pinned his initial opponent after a bye in the first round, won by decision in semi’s, and was pinned in the second period of his finals match, again, by the future state runner-up.

Travis Fields came up short at the regional tournament for the second time in as many years. After a victory by fall in his first bout, Fields was eliminated with back-to-back losses. However, the 145-pound sophomore won over 70 percent of his matches, an improvement of over 10 percent from his freshman year,  including eight regular season dual meet victories, two wins at the Bauerlein Duals, and six triumphant bouts at the Westminster Duals. He went 3-2 at the Hub Cup for a fourth-place finish and 3-1 at the Frederick County tournament, earning a third-place medal. Fields ends his season with a 23-11 record and a career mark of 45-27.

Wyatt Payne, the 152-pound junior, was eliminated after a close loss by decision in the pigtail rounds in his second showing at regionals. His progress was interrupted mid-season by an injury that kept him from participating in the Westminster Duals and the Hub Cup, but he claimed a 4-4  tab in regular season dual meets matches, posted a perfect, 5-0 record at the Bauerlien Duals, and went 3-1 at the Frederick  County championships, collecting a third-place medal. The Frederick News Post Honorable Mention rounded out his junior season with a 11-6 record and bumps his career record to 54-34.

RJ Monoghan qualified for his first appearance at the state tournament last season as a junior. This year, the 182-pound senior would not be so fortunate. After a first-round bye, he advanced by way of a very close decision in quarter’s only to suffer a one-point loss in semi’s, the match that would have propelled him to states had he won. Monoghan was ousted from the competition after being pinned during wrestle-backs. Although his hopes of making the bracket in the state tournament would not materialize, his senior year was far from uneventful. He lost only two regular season dual meets with a record of 12-2, had an exceptional showing at the Bauerlien Duals with a 4-1 total, and swept the opposition with a perfect 9-0 run at the Westminster Duals. He finished fifth at the Hub Cup and claimed a Frederick County title en route to a 31-7 season record. He was honored with a second team All-area  nomination by the Frederick News Post and sports a career record of 91 wins and 50 losses, just shy of the 100 win mark.

Catoctin was able to nab another top-ten team placement, finishing 9th,  among one hundred seven 1A-2A public high school wrestling programs, up from ninety-nine schools last year after redistricting. The Cougars propelled three of its four qualifiers to the medal rounds during the Maryland state wrestling championships, held for the third year at the Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. And for the seventh time in as many years, the team celebrated yet another individual state wrestling title, boosting the total to nine (Shane Tiffany 1995, Seth Chilson 2010, Tim Nordan and Charlie Perella 2013, Wayne Wivel and Charlie Perella 2014, Charlie Perella 2015,  Zachary Bryant 2017, and Bryant again in 2018).

Dennis Pittinger, the 285-pound senior, would make monumental gains during his high school career. As a 182-pounr freshman, Pittinger faced the obstacle of being in a weight class often dominated by seniors. He won 22 of 45 matches, a winning percentage of 48 percent. After a brief absence during his junior year, Pitinger returned to CHS and posted some spectacular stats, including a state tournament bid where he pinned his first opponent in just under four minutes. A loss in quarter’s pushed him to the wrestle-backs where he, again, won by pin. He was poised to celebrate a spot on the podium and secure a state medal with one more victory. Unfortunately, he lost by a single point to the eventual third-place winner and was bumped from the contest. His impressive season included a perfect 14-0 regular season dual meet record, a flawless 5-0 Bauerlien Duals total, and a 6-3 showing at the Westminster Duals. He fought his way to the final round of the Hub Cup, placing second, and blanked the competition at the Frederick County championships en route to his first county title. He placed second in the regional tournament and qualified for his second appearance at states. The Frederick News Post All-area 1st team nominee is ranked number eighteen in the state by the MSWA  and racked up a winning percentage of 88 percent with a season record of 33-7. He wraps up his high school career with a commendable 81-32 total.

Ethan Fuss, the 126-pound senior, made his third appearance at the state tournament. No stranger to the big stage and the advanced competition, he placed fourth as a sophomore. Fuss looked promising with a 10-2 victory in prelim’s, but dropped a tough, low-scoring, 5-2 match in quarter-finals. After winning two consecutive matches in the lower bracket, including one by pin, which guaranteed advancement to the medal rounds, something strange happened. During the match that would have thrust him to wrestle for third place had he won, Fuss was unexpectedly and unjustifiably disqualified from the tournament, leaving the fans confused and in disbelief. The referee had clearly lost control of the match, evident by his failed attempts to slow the wild pace of the match and gain control of the contestants. Fuss has always been a physical wrestler, bluntly unintimidated, and one to counter aggression with his own offensive charge. He displayed his eye-for-an-eye style during the bout, and his actions were well within the legal bounds of sportsmanship. It appeared, however, that the actions of his opponent were not only bordering on illegality, but were outright malicious, and that the wrong athlete may have been punished with ejection. The impending decision to disqualify Fuss resulted in the forfeit of his final two high school matches, and he would be forced to accept a 6th place finish. With a season winning percentage of over 80 percent, Fuss still had plenty to celebrate, including an 11-3 regular season dual meet record, a 4-1 performance at the Bauerlien Duals, and a near-perfect record of 8-1 at the Westminster Duals. He fought back from an early loss at the Hub Cup to earn third-place honors and qualified for states by placing third in the region. He was nominated to the Frederick News Post’s All-area 1st team and is ranked at number fifteen by the MSWA. He finishes his senior year with a season record of 32-10 and increases his career totals to 121-41.

Joshua Small, the uniquely calm 160-pound senior and already the owner of a pair of state championship medals, has had plenty of post-season wrestling experience. The four-time state qualifier came away empty handed as a freshman, but finished in fifth place his sophomore year and earned a third-place medal last year as a junior.  Employing a no-frills, practical, and deliberate wrestling methodology, he would add yet another piece of hardware to his collection. This year, Small came out efficient and strong, pinning his first opponent in under two minutes. He was forced into the consolation bracket after a close, 3-1 loss by decision in quarter’s, but then cranked out three consecutive victories, one by pin, another by major decision, and a third by injury default, that would advance him to the third-place round. Unfortunately, he would settle for fourth after a hard-fought 9-4 defeat, but was able to stand on the podium at states, unrattled, for the third time in his high school career. Small’s senior year was nothing short of extraordinary. He posted a perfect, 14-0 regular season dual meet record that included a seven-second pin, the fastest of the season, against Walkersville. He went 3-2 at the Bauerlien Duals and swept the competition with an undefeated showing at the Westminster Duals. He was a finalist at the Hub Cup and wrestled back to place third at the Frederick County tournament after a loss in semi’s. Also a finalist in the regional tournament and placing fourth at states, Small would put together a superb 37-7 season record, winning almost 90 percent of his matches. The Frederick News Post All-area 1st team selection is ranked number twelve in the state by the Maryland State Wrestling Association, and he tops off a exceptional high school career record of 130 wins and 46 losses.

Zachary Bryant, the defending state champion, held the number one seed for the second year coming into the state championships. The exciting and daring four-time qualifier came away with a pair of fourth-place medals, representing his freshman and sophomore year, and celebrated his first state title as a junior. The persistent 113-pounder made quick work of his first opponent by pinning him in just twenty-two seconds. Another pin in quarter’s and a hard-fought, 4-2 decision in semi’s afforded Bryant the opportunity to repeat his previous success in finals. He did just that. Winning a 6-3 decision against an opponent that he had been victorious against twice before in the season, the unrelenting Bryant was crowned Maryland’s 1A-2A, 113-pound state champion for the second time in as many years, and Catoctin High School’s 9th individual state champ. His distinguished season included an unbeaten 14-0 record during regular season dual meets, a 9-0 tally at the Westminster Duals, 1st place honors at the Hub Cup, the county championship, the regional championship, and, of course, the state tournament. His only loss of the year came at the Bauerlien Duals, early in the stretch, where he posted a 4-1 record. He had a winning percentage of 97 percent, and was honored with a first team bid to the Frederick News Post’s All-area team. Bryant is ranked third in the state by the Maryland State Wrestling Association. He finished the season with a near-immaculate 38-1 record and a career total of 143 wins and 18 losses, tying Coach Schildt’s 143 career wins and firmly in third place for all-time wins at Catoctin High School.

Zachary Bryant (center), 113 pound state champion.

 

The Brent Stitely Memorial Golf Tournament was held on April 28, 2018, at Maple Run Golf Course in Thurmont to benefit The American Cancer Society of Frederick County.  One hundred golfers participated, raising over $6,000 to help fund education and patient-support programs, such as The Hope Lodge, Roads to Recovery, and a free “Cancer Hotline,” staffed by medical professionals for cancer patients and caregivers.

The tournament concluded with an awards ceremony and lunch, catered by Mountaingate Restaurant, at The American Legion Post 168 in Thurmont. Relay For Life team “FunRaisers” hosted the tournament as part of their annual fundraising effort, and participated in the Frederick County Relay held at Banner School in Frederick for the twenty-first year to honor the memory of their son, brother, and friend, Brent Stitely, who lost his battle with Ewings Sarcoma in 1997 at the age of thirteen.  This year’s Relay Event, held at Banner School on Friday and Saturday May 11-12, raised nearly $250,000, with team “FunRaisers” providing over $19,000 of that total.  Tournament organizers wish to thank all of our sponsors and players for their generous support.

On Tuesday, April 23, 2018, the Cougars placed first in the Monocacy Division of the Ninth Annual Frederick County Unified Track and Field Championship.

Athletes represented ten area high schools for the event. Catoctin was in the Monocacy division with Frederick, Governor Thomas Johnson, Oakdale, and a combined team of Brunswick and Linganore. CHS had seventeen team members of the eighty athletes that competed. In the Monocacy Division, Cougars gave all of their heart and hustled to bring home the gold.

The Emmitsburg Heritage Day event will be welcoming the addition of a 6K Race in 2018. Lace up your sneakers and hit the road on Saturday, June 30, 2018, for the Inaugural Emmitsburg Community Heritage Day 6K Race. Beat the heat with an early start at 7:30 a.m. on this 6K (3.7 mile) course.  The race begins at the Emmitsburg Community Center on South Seton Avenue and meanders through the rolling outskirts of town, finishing at the Community Park, where the Community Heritage Day festivities will take place. Don’t forget those furry, four-legged friends who have faithfully run by your side. Register your dog to run with you and receive a special bandana for it to wear proudly. The race is open to young and old alike, and promotes good, healthy competition for walkers and runners. Awards will be given to the top overall male and female runner, as well as medals to the top three finishers in each age group category.

For more information about the Inaugural Emmitsburg Community Heritage Day 6K or to download a Race Registration Form, visit www.emmitsburgevents.com.

Deb Abraham Spalding

A path that included soccer, teaching, and coaching led Kevin “Mac” McMullen to become Catoctin High School’s athletic director. His tenure will conclude on June 30, 2018, when he will formally retire from Frederick County Public Schools. Mac’s now-Assistant Athletic Director, Keith Bruck, will become Athletic Director at that time. Obviously friends, as well as co-workers and director and assistant director in ranks, the two joked that Keith will enjoy replacing the Orioles and Ravens fan gear on Mac’s office walls for his Steelers and Nationals fan gear. They also kidded about Keith’s obvious incentive for becoming Athletic Director: the dedicated bathroom adjoining Mac’s office.

All kidding aside, Mac is looking forward to retirement and professes to having plenty to do, like playing golf and being more involved with his family, as they are expecting their fourth grandchild. The McMullens have three grown children, Sarah (a kindergarten teacher) and Tony live in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania; Esther (a Lifetouch professional photographer and regional director) and Andres live outside Rochester, New York; and Patrick (plays for the Pittsburgh Thunderbirds Ultimate Frisbee team and professionally serves as a mental health counselor) lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Mac’s wife, Linda, is a kindergarten teacher in Fairfield.

Mac was raised in Brooklyn Park, Maryland, in Anne Arundel County, where he graduated from Brooklyn Park High School and played soccer and basketball. He graduated from Towson State University with a degree in Physical Education and Health, and he was immediately hired by his high school basketball coach as Brooklyn Park’s boy’s soccer coach while teaching at the elementary level. He later earned his Master’s of Education Degree from Bowie State University. After four years teaching and coaching at Brooklyn Park, a brand new school, called Broadneck High, opened. Mac became one of first on the coaching staff there and ended up teaching there. He was boy’s head soccer coach and the assistant basketball coach. Mac and Linda were raising their family while living in Severna Park, Maryland.

While at Broadneck, Mac struck up a relationship with Catoctin’s boy’s soccer coach, George Kuhn. The two started the Catoctin Select Soccer Camp, with local kids and kids from Mac’s draw area in Annapolis. This camp was held at Thurmont Middle School, and participants stayed in cabins in Catoctin National Park. They ran that camp for about six years. During that time, Mac grew to like the Catoctin area and learned more about it.

He and Linda decided to move to the area when a job opening came up at Governor Thomas Johnson High School. Soon after taking that job and moving to Fairfield, Pennsylvania, there was talk about a new high school opening in Urbana. Mac went to the new Urbana High School to serve as the athletic director and be head boy’s soccer coach, beginning in 1995.

He also helped coach men’s soccer at Mount St. Mary’s University for six years, and when word spread that Tom Sherald, Catoctin’s then athletic director, was up for retirement, the timing was right to apply to, and accept, the athletic director position at Catoctin High.

Mac said, “I could not have scripted a better last chapter of my career.” He added, “Working with Bernie [Quesada, principal at CHS], we have an awesome staff here. Catoctin is very similar to Brooklyn Park. It’s like being home. I’ve been very happy with my time here and very pleased with some of the things that we’ve accomplished.”

He’s worked with his successor, Keith Bruck as his assistant for the past six years. About Keith, Mac said, “I’m very happy and proud. He’s going to do a great job.”

Ketih Bruck has been at Catoctin High for sixteen years, serving as Assistant Athletic Director for eleven years. He said, “Moving forward, we will continue to emphasize the importance of sportsmanship and the value of an education-based athletic program. We have wonderful coaches and great kids at Catoctin. No huge changes are planned now, but I am always looking to improve upon what we have going.” The first change is a Catoctin Athletics season ticket pass purchase option, via a cell phone app, that can be verified at the ticket booth. That will be available starting in July.

Keith shared that while working with Mac he developed an appreciation for handling situations in a tactful and respectful manner. Having worked with Tom Sherald as well, Keith noted that he appreciated Tom’s passion about Catoctin. He indicated that he’s learned a lot from working with both of them.

Mac shared his insight, “In athletics, you forget about specific years and seasons and final records. The most important thing is the relationships with people. I’ve made some very close friends, both on the staff and in the community.” He added, “Once a Cougar always a Cougar. I’m very vested in the athletic program at Catoctin. I’m a fan!”

Kevin “Mac” McMullen (right) will retire from Catoctin High School as Athletic Director at the end of June. Assistant Athletic Director Keith Bruck (left) will become Athletic Director at that time.

The Catoctin-Ettes, Inc. Graduates Beginner Twirlers

The Catoctin-Ettes, a local non-profit marching organization, has graduated several beginner twirlers from its free course that was held in March. Ages of the graduated twirlers range from four to fourteen years old.

Those who wish to join the organization will have the opportunity to march with the group, as full-fledged majorettes, in the upcoming marching season, which begins the last week of May.

The group also sponsors a street parade color guard unit and competitive percussion line and color guard units. Membership is still open for those interested in percussion and/or color guard.

The group will be marching in the Ocean City Ravens Roost Parade the first weekend of June. This is always an exciting event for the corps. Catoctin-Aires members have the option of performing with the corps in this exciting event, which features Ravens football players, staffers, and cheeerleaders!

Following the performance in the Ocean City Ravens Roost Parade, the group will march in local parades sponsored by volunteer fire departments, as well as competitions catering to the marching corps experience.

For more information about the group, please contact Donna Landsperger at 240-405-2604 or by email at donito@aol.com.

This is the fortieth year for Catoctin High School (CHS) softball. The first team was fielded in 1979, and went on to compete in the State Championship game. This was the beginning of a successful program for Catoctin High School. Because of the time constraints, the spring sports teams have not been included in the yearbook for many years. In an effort to have a picture of every CHS Softball Team, we are seeking your help. If you have a team picture for any of the years of 1979 through 1998, please contact Coach Mike at 301-447-6816 or 301-606-7874. We will be glad to copy your photo and return it to you. Thank you in advance for your assistance with this project.

 

James Rada, Jr.

Emmitsburg will still have baseball in town this season, but it won’t be provided by the Emmitsburg Baseball and Softball League (EBSL). Because of dwindling support and participation, the Emmitsburg Baseball and Softball League is taking a break to either re-energize or disband.

According to an e-mail from the EBSL to the Town of Emmitsburg, “Through the devoted efforts of a few, Emmitsburg Baseball and Softball managed to somehow survive the dwindling number of players and volunteers, but the time has now come to merge the two.”

Some residents expressed a bit of shock when the EBSL’s Facebook page showed a post directing players to register with the Thurmont Little League or Catoctin Recreation Council. One member wrote, “There were meetings scheduled to decide what to do. No one attended. More parent volunteers would have eliminated the need to merge with Thurmont. There were only a few board members doing all the work without a president or vice president or player agent or fund raiser, plus many more board vacancies. Some people said they would help next year, but no guarantee, and where were they for the past few years when help was needed. Too little, too late. This will at least provide the opportunity for more kids to play.”

Sandy Umbel with the Emmitsburg Baseball and Softball League said it has been years since the league has had a full board. This means that more and more duties fell on a smaller number of volunteers, and this led to fewer people willing to volunteer because they didn’t have the time to do everything. The league also had fewer than 90 participants last year. The softball program was dropped entirely because the team that did play, aged out. “To run a good program, you need probably 180 to 200 kids,” Umbel said. “Kids have been dwindling each year.”

With so few participants, all of the games could not be played against other town teams. The teams needed to travel to nearby communities to play against other teams. All of the travel proved to be a reason that many parents cited for enrolling their team in another league.

All of the Emmitsburg baseball players under thirteen years of age are being referred to Thurmont Little League so that they can register to play. Softball players are being sent to the Catoctin Rec Council.

“Little League is for every kid, and if we can get kids playing together, it’s a fabulous thing,” Thurmont Little League President Jeremy Johnson told the Emmitsburg Mayor and Commissioners.

He said that the area’s kids played basketball, soccer, and football together already, and once they reach middle school, they participate on the same teams. That was his vision for including the Emmitsburg children in Thurmont Little League. Coaches will hold a draft, where players are picked for a team, regardless of where they live. Emmitsburg players already make up roughly a third of the 250 Thurmont Little League players.

Thurmont Little League, which was established in 1952, has a strong record. Its teams were the 2015 9/10 Maryland State Champions, 2016  9/10 Maryland State Champions, 2016 Little League District 2 Champions, 2017 9-11 District 2 Champions, 2017 Little League District 2, and 2017 Maryland State Champions.

Some discussion has taken place about whether the name of Thurmont Little League could be changed, perhaps to Catoctin Little League, to reflect Emmitsburg’s participation in the league. Thurmont Little League President Jeremy Johnson told the Emmitsburg Commissioners that his board would not agree to that at this time. He pointed out that if the name was changed, and then in a year or two the Emmitsburg Baseball and Softball League decided to re-organize, all of the efforts to make the changes would have been for naught.

Thurmont Little League asked the commissioners to use three of the Emmitsburg town’s ballfields for practices and games during the season. This would ensure that baseball was still played in Emmitsburg. He said that Thurmont Little League would prepare, clean, and maintain the fields for the town.

The Emmitsburg Mayor and Commissioners seemed uncertain as to whether or not to embrace the merger. They were happy that children in town would still have a baseball league, but they were disappointed that it wouldn’t be Emmitsburg Baseball.

“We’ve got to beef it (our baseball league) up and bring it back,” expressed Mayor Don Briggs.

Commissioner Cliff Sweeney asked why there couldn’t be teams that were just made up of Emmitsburg players.

“The segregation of Thurmont and Emmitsburg is defeating the purpose of why Sandy (Umbel) came to me,” Johnson said.

Sweeney then mentioned that Emmitsburg Baseball and Softball League had been affiliated with Thurmont Little League at one point, but it had become part of the Cal Ripken program. He said if the town started a Little League program again, the district lines for league teams would require any Little League players from Emmitsburg to play for the Emmitsburg team, even if they were currently part of Thurmont Little League.

“We’re trying to get our league established here again, and we’re not going to get that through Thurmont, I don’t think,” Sweeney said.

Commissioner Elizabeth Buckman pointed out that besides making sure there were enough players, Emmitsburg Baseball and Softball hadn’t been able to get enough parent involvement to run the program.

While the commissioners held off approving Thurmont Little League’s field use request until the league could decide on which specific fields it did want to use, they did approve a request for Mid Maryland United Baseball League to use three of the town’s six fields.

This relatively new league has traveling teams and, unlike Little League, not everyone makes the cut to play on one of the teams. It is also much more expensive to participate in this league. The league will be sponsoring several youth clinics in town, with the goal of eventually rebuilding a new Emmitsburg Baseball League that would be affiliated with either Little League, Babe Ruth, or Cal Ripken Baseball sometime in the future.

“A lot of people want to see it restarted, and once the mechanism is moving forward, I think people will be attracted to it,” said Commission President Tim O’Donnell. “Success attracts interest.”

So, the town now finds itself in the position of having its baseball players recruited for two leagues, and neither one is organized by volunteers in Emmitsburg, at least for this year.

The Catoctin-Ettes, Inc. will again be hosting its free introductory baton twirling course, set to begin on Tuesday, March 6, 2018. Classes will be held at the Emmitsburg Elementary School gym from 6:30-7:15 p.m.

The course is taught in a series of five classes, which are geared for the beginner twirler (ages five and up), by experienced teachers.

This is a great way to determine your child’s interest and talent for baton twirling with no costs whatsoever, no obligations, and no commitments.

Batons are loaned free of charge for classtime. Graduation certificates are presented at the last class of the set.

Baton twirling is an exciting and ever-growing sport for both girls and boys.  This course is a refreshing way to learn about marching and twirling in a fun atmosphere.

For more information or to register for the free baton twirling course, please email DONITO@aol.com or call 240-405-2604.

The Catoctin-Ettes are now accepting registration for color guard members for the competition guard. This guard will compete in August through September, using a variety of equipment, including rifles, flags, and sabres.

This is a great opportunity for those who once performed with high school, indoor guard, or winter guard groups to gain experience in dance and color guard arts on the competition floor. They are also accepting those who are interested in marching with the honor guard in this exciting and thrilling activity.

There are also open positions for the parade color guard as well. This consists of marching corps and color guard drill routines.

For more information or to register, please call 240-405-2604 or email DONITO@aol.com.

Friday, February 9, 2018, was a big night at Catoctin High School, when the community gathered at the Lady Cougars’ final home basketball game of the season for a night of celebration and recognition, as graduating senior players were honored and tenured volunteers were recognized.

Prior to the start of the varsity game, during which the Lady Cougars played the Walkersville Lady Lions, the first senior recognized was Britney Murray. Britney managed the lady cougars varsity basketball team and was a part of the Just Dance Club her junior and senior year. After graduation, Britney plans to attend Frederick Community College.

The second senior recognized was Elizabeth “Lizzy” Anne Dougherty. Lizzy has been a member of the Catoctin High School basketball organization for all four years. In addition to basketball, Lizzy has also been a member of the softball organization for all four years. She participated in the “Catoctin Crazies” in the freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior class. After graduation, Lizzy plans to attend Frederick Community College, where she intends to play softball. She then anticipates on transferring to Frostburg State University to major in physical education and minor in coaching.

Following the Senior Recognition Program, Catoctin Athletic Director Kevin “Mac” MacMillan introduced the 2018 Wall of Honor inductees.

Gary Miller and Don Santos were also acknowledged for their long-time volunteer work with the Catoctin High athletic program. Both Santos and Miller were inducted onto Catoctin’s “Wall of Honor.”

Gary Miller has been an active volunteer with the football program for thirty-four years. During that time, he handmade helmet plaques for graduating seniors and has been the primary in-game statistician. Gary has also spent twenty-five years coaching both football and baseball for the Catoctin Youth Association program.

Don Santos has been the stadium announcer for Catoctin’s home football games for eighteen years. He not only announces the Friday night varsity home games, but also the junior varsity and ninth grade teams.

Two long-time coaches were also recognized that evening. John and Brenda Woelfel, who are relocating to North Carolina. They received a plaque from the athletic department that read “John and Brenda Woelfel: In appreciation to the both of you for your dedicated service to Catoctin High School. Once a Cougar, Always a Cougar. CHS ATHLETICS 2018.”

As the Wall of Honor is in its third year, previous inductees were William “Buzz” Barker and Bernard “Bun” Wivell (2016), and Mike Valentine and Denise Valentine (2017).

Congratulations to all of these dedicated Catoctin Cougars! The next time you visit Catoctin’s main gym, take a look on the wall where banners are hung to honor Catoctin’s state champion athletes, naming them, their sport, and the year they became champions.

Pictured are CHS Principal Bernard Quesada, CHS Football Coach Doug Williams, Don Santos, Gary Miller, and CHS Athletic Director, Kevin “Mac” McMullen.

The Catoctin Youth Association (CYA) Basketball had its first annual Shoot-A-Thon event on Sunday, January 21, 2018, at Catoctin High School. It was an action-packed, fun-filled day for all the participants, ranging from  kindergarten-aged to seniors in high school. Participants competed in seven different age divisions.

There were plenty of smiles, great shots, entertaining games, and community bonding that showed the spirit of their Cougar family. Concessions, music, face painting by Elizabeth McBride, and a bunch of high fives and hugs throughout the day allowed for continuous fun. In addition, over three hundred non-perishable canned foods were collected during the event to be donated to the Thurmont and Emmitsburg Food Banks.

CYA Basketball has forty teams this season, with close to four hundred players. The intent of the Shoot-A-Thon was to help raise funds to offset CYA’s operating costs, help keep team fees as low as possible, provide future developmental resources for the program, and showcase players’ shooting skills.

Prizes were awarded to the highest percentage foul shooter, overall; highest percentage foul shooter in each age group; highest fundraiser overall (1st, 2nd, 3rd place); highest fundraiser at each division level; and the team that raised the most money at each level.

Highest fundraisers overall—1st Place: Drew Nicholson, 2nd Place: Jacob Kiltsch, 3rd Place: Anthony Kreitz and Kelly Glass; Divisional winners: Kellan McGuire, Landis Johnson, Josh Deyton, Abby Shives, Makena Sickeri, Katie Glass, and Courtney Eyler. Highest percentage foul shooter overall—Josh Skowronski; Divisional winners: Layne Ferrell and Kamryn Goodin, Josey Shaffer, Ethan Williams and Colton Gray, Abbey Shaffer, Dalton Reed, Kaden Fossett, and Rachel Fox.

Jason Smith, CYA Basketball president stated, “The leadership team has a vision to truly develop a ‘program.’ This means uniting our youth organization with our high school programs. Our motto is: ONE TEAM, ONE PROGRAM, ONE FAMILY! We used this event to bring all the programs together, and we have much to gain in the future from the success of this event.  We plan to make this an annual event and build on this year’s experience. We do not participate in any other fundraising activities outside of asking local businesses for sponsorships, so this will be our sole fundraiser each year.”

Pictured are Tommy Fitzpatrick (dunking) and Dylan Nicholson.

Photo by Hillary Palmer

Amy Entwistle, Jim Weddle, Chris Barnhart, and Jason Smith are shown during the Shoot-A-Thon. The coaches are coordinating efforts between programs to strenghten basketball participation in the area.

Photo by Deb Abraham Spalding

The Thurmont Top Shots are the youth shooting sports athletes that participate in the youth trapshooting program at the Thurmont Conservation and Sportsman’s Club.

With the support of the Thurmont American Legion Post 168, eight members of the Top Shots participated in the 2017 AIM Grand National Championships, held at the World Shooting and Recreational Complex in Sparta, Illinois, from July 28-August 1, 2017, the largest shooting event of its kind. The Top Shots were awarded the American Legion Champion Squad in the trapshooting singles competition for the second year in a row.

Individual awards were presented to Stephanie Kennedy, who was the Junior, Class C Doubles Champion; and PJ Hinch, who placed tenth in the Junior Handicap competition.

For more information on how to join the Thurmont Top Shot shooting program or if you have any questions, you can contact Coach Dan Neuland at danneuland@verizon.net.

Congratulations to the Thurmont Top Shots!

Pictured from left are Josh Runion, Kyle Snowden, Stephanie Kennedy, Nathaniel Neuland, Blake Seonarain, Jack Stohlman, Shane Biser, and PJ Hinch.

The 2016-17 wrestling season was a difficult one for the Cougars.  Coach Green, now 144 wins and 99 losses in his ten-year career at Catoctin High School, compiled a 4 and 10 regular dual meet record and an overall season total of 6 and 23, not exactly the stellar returns that Catoctin wrestling fans have grown accustomed to.  For a team that has shared so much success in recent years, these uncharacteristic numbers are both disheartening and deceiving, but do nothing to take away the heart and steadfastness that Catoctin wrestlers possess. Disheartening, because Green and his long-time assistants, Coach Gialanella and Garrett Baer, were permanently hobbled by fielding an ultra-thin line-up, and the shrinking number of participants resulted in forfeiting 36 points per match, making winning as a team next to impossible. Deceiving, because six of eight squad members would win 65 percent or more of their individual bouts, a remarkable statistic considering had Catoctin engaged a complete line up, even with wrestlers losing without giving up pins, the team scores would have been  tighter and, in all probability, more than a few of the losses suffered could have been victories. As a result, the Cougars fell from the Maryland State Wrestling Association’s  overall and dual meet rankings, but did manage to hold onto an honorable mention spot as a tournament team—again, due to the fortitude of the young men representing the team. In head-to-head matches, however, the tough and competent squad fared remarkably well and 14 of the 23 losses suffered this year fell within the 36-point deficit, an attribute to the resolve of the individuals that took to the mat in this year of rebuilding. Of the eight wrestlers on the team, only one failed to advance to the regional tournament, and five qualified for the state championships.

At the Bauerlein duals, the Cougars were victorious in only one match as a team, but individual results were much more positive. Zachary Bryant, the 113-pound junior, swept the competition to remain unbeaten in seven matches. Jacob Baker suffered only a single loss during the tournament, and Wyatt Payne and Josh Small registered only two losses. At the Hub Cup—still regarded as one of the toughest tournaments around—a notable six of eight Cougar wrestlers advanced to the medal rounds, including RJ Monaghan and Jacob Baker, taking 5th place; Ethan Fuss and Wyatt Payne each securing 4th; Joshua Small settling for 3rd place after a loss in semi’s; and Zachary Bryant taking 2nd  place with a loss in finals. Catoctin still placed 8th as a team in a field of twenty-two squads, a testament to the quality and grit of  the Cougar wrestlers. Although the team would win only a single match at the Catoctin duals, the team’s home tournament, the individual wrestlers would continue to perform above expectations. RJ Monaghan would remain undefeated in all eight matches; Ethan Fuss, Zachary Bryant, Jake Baker, and Josh Small would lose only one match apiece.

Frederick County has witnessed  the unprecedented perennial success of its high school wrestling programs in recent years, achievements that are simply unequaled anywhere else in the state. The ten public high schools in Frederick County are continually setting new standards for wrestling excellence throughout the state. This year, eight of the twenty-eight state champions represented Frederick County—that’s almost one quarter of  all the champions. Montgomery County, which has the largest number of public high schools in the state with twenty-five, produced  only three state champions, and all came from the same school. Last season, Frederick County sent thirty-four wrestlers to the state tournament and twenty-two of them placed. The year prior to that, Frederick County boasted ten finalists and five state champions. It is no wonder then, why the Frederick County wrestling tournament is often more competitive than the ensuing regional and state tourneys. Catoctin took 4th place as a team, and all but one of the Cougars made the medal rounds. Zach Bryant and Travis Fields each remained unbeaten en route to their county titles. Fields, a freshman and a fifth-seed underdog, was also honored with the Fred Burgee Award, presented to the tournaments most outstanding wrestler, marking the third time in six years that a Catoctin wrestler was honored with that award (Charlie Perella 2012, 2015). RJ Monaghan, Ethan Fuss, and Wyatt Payne each suffered only one loss early in the competition, to secure 3rd place. Jake Baker and Josh Small both placed 4th. Matt Linker, the 220-pound freshman, failed to advance, but saw plenty of varsity action during his opening year. He finished with a 9-18 record in a very unforgiving weight class for a freshman.

The Cougars secured a 7th place team finish at the 1A-2A West Regional Tournament out of seventeen clubs, not a daunting result considering the teams’ lack of entries. The 1A-2A West is—and statistics back it up—considered to be the best region for wrestling in the entire state. In the past three years, almost half (41 percent) of all place-winners at the state championships represented one of the seventeen schools in this region, 103 of 252. In addition, 62 percent of all state champions (26 of 42) represented the region. Furthermore, there were thirteen 1A-2A West regional final rematches in the state finals, including one particular rematch this year at 113 pounds, a testament to the consistent high level of toughness of the wrestlers that this region continues to produce. Zachary Bryant claimed his first regional crown, along with the number one seed for states, after a first round bye, a first period pin in quarter’s, a 9 to 5 decision in semi’s, and a 10 to 1 major in finals. Ethan Fuss and Josh Small both wrestled back to 3rd place after losing one match a piece. Fuss would drop his quarterfinal match in a close 4 to 2 decision, but win two in a row by decision to advance to states. Small lost his first bout by fall, but qualified for states by winning his next three, two by decision and one by pin. Jake Baker and RJ Monaghan each took 4th place, punching their tickets to be included in the sixteen-man bracket for the state tournament. Baker would lose his first match, win two more by decision, only to face the same opponent he lost to earlier with the same result. Monaghan’s fate would mirror that of Baker. Dropping his first match by fall, Monaghan would win his next two bouts with a pin and a 7 to 1 decision, and  lose a second time to his opening opponent, but this time by a very close 5 to 4 decision.

Wyatt Payne, the 145-pound sophomore, was only a point away from qualifying for states. He lost his opening bout by two points, won by seven in his next match, and lost a close 2 to 1 decision in consolation quarter-finals. Payne continues to improve as he won eight regular season dual matches this season. He went 4 and 2, winning some notable match-ups and taking 4th place at the Hub Cup, finished 5 and 2 at the Bauerlien Duals, and placed 3rd in the county tournament. Selected as an honorable mention to the Frederick News Post All-Area team, he concluded his season with a 21 and 12 total, winning 69 percent of his matches, and bumping his career record to 42 wins and 28 losses.

Like Payne, Travis Fields came up short at the regional tournament, suffering a 9 to 2 loss in the preliminary round. The 132-pound freshman showed promise by winning 56 percent of his matches, including eight regular season duals. He was victorious in three bouts at the Hub Cup, three at the Bauerlien Duals, and five at the Catoctin Duals. He stunned the crowd by sweeping the bracket at the Frederick County tournament, winning not only a county title, but the outstanding wrestler award as well. He posted a  22 and 16 record on the season, and secured an honorable mention bid to the Frederick News Post All-Area team.

Catoctin was able to achieve a 7th place team finish among some ninety-nine public high school wrestling programs, and advanced two of the five state qualifiers to the medal rounds during the state wrestling championships, held for the second year at the Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. One wrestler would lose a single match in semi-finals, but fight back to take 3rd place. The other would pin his way to finals and become Catoctin’s 8th individual state wrestling champion.(Shane Tiffany 1995, Seth Chilson 2010, Tim Nordan and Charlie Perella 2013, Wayne Wivell and Charlie Perella 2014, and Perella again in 2015).

Placing 4th last year as a sophomore, Ethan Fuss, the 126-pound junior, made his second appearance at the state tournament. Fuss lost his preliminary match, but showed composure by pinning his next two opponents, knowing that his next loss would eliminate him from the contest. He slipped from the medal rounds after a 9 to 3 loss in the following session. Fuss, whose wrestling style is both fearless and exciting, won five regular season dual matches this season, placed 4th at the Hub Cup, went 4 and 3 at Bauerlien, and finished 7 and 1 at the Catoctin Duals. He placed 3rd in both the county and regional tournaments, earning him a  bid to the Frederick News Post All-Area 2nd team. He achieved a record of 28 wins and 15 losses on the year and is creeping toward the 100 win mark, with a career total of 89 victories and 31 defeats. He concludes the year with a ranking of #21 in the State by the Maryland State Wrestling Association.

Jacob Baker, the 160-pound freshman, was 1 and 2 in his first appearance at the state tournament. He was defeated in his first match by the eventual state champion, won a 10 to 2 decision in the consolation bracket, but was defeated in his next bout and bumped from the competition. The Frederick News Post All-Area 2nd team nominee  had a stellar debut to his high school wrestling career, winning 11 of 14 regular season dual matches, placing 5th at the Hub Cup, and registering only one loss at both the Bauerlien Duals and the Catoctin Duals. He placed 4th in the Frederick County Championships, 4th in the regional championships, won 68 percent of his matches, and finishes his freshman season with a 32 and 13 record.

RJ Monaghan made his first appearance to the state tournament as a junior, representing the 170-pound weight class. He was defeated in his first bout by a one-point, 3 to 2 decision to the eventual 4th place finisher. He scored 18 points to overwhelm his next opponent with a third period technical fall, but failed to advance to the medal rounds, with another close 3 to 2 loss. The exceptionally strong Monaghan, who is ranked at #25 in the state by the Maryland State Wrestling Association and recognized as a Frederick News Post All-Area 2nd team member,  posted a regular dual meet record of nine victories and five defeats. He placed 5th in the Hub Cup, went 4 and 3 at the Bauerlien Duals, and was a perfect 8 and 0 at the Catoctin Duals. He placed 3rd in the county, qualified for states by placing 4th at regionals, finished the season with a 29 and 16 tally, and now has a career total of 60 wins and 43 losses.

Joshua Small, the 152-pound junior, is no stranger to the state tournament. His name has appeared in the state bracket three times. As a freshman, he came away empty handed, but last season, he was able to earn a hard-fought 5th place medal. This year, he would build on that success with two straight wins out of the gate, both by pin, in prelim’s and in quarter’s, guaranteeing himself a spot on the podium. After a 5 to 1 decision loss to the state runner-up, Small would put together two more consecutive wins, a 13 to 3 decision and a 6 to 4 final, to secure a 3rd place finish in a field where the top three medalists all hailed from the 1A-2A West.  Executing a basic, no-nonsense style of wrestling, Small won 9 of 14 regular season dual matches, suffered only one loss for a 3rd place finish at the Hub Cup, sported a 5 and 2 record at the Bauerlien Duals, and went 7 and 1 at the Catoctin Duals. In championship events, he placed 4th in the county, 3rd in the region, and took 3rd at states, resulting in a 1st team nomination to the Frederick News Post All-Area team. Ranked at #17 in the state by the Maryland State Wrestling Association, Small wraps up his junior year with 33 wins versus 13 losses, bringing his career total ever closer to the 100 win mark, with 93 victories and 36 losses.

Zachary Bryant is the lone member of the current Catoctin squad that sports a state championship medal for each of his high school wrestling seasons. The deceivingly strong and exciting risk-taker would settle for a 4th place finish during both his freshman and sophomore years, but this year he would realize his potential. Wrestling as the number-one seed in the 113-pound weight class, he would simply dominate his first three opponents in true Bryant fashion, with an aggression that could not be matched, claiming victory by fall in each contest. In finals, Bryant would face an opponent that he had derailed just a week earlier. He prevailed with a 6-3 decision, a score that seems much closer than the action actually showed; when his hand was raised, Bryant officially became Catoctin’s 8th Maryland state champion wrestler. Bryant’s remarkable statistics include a perfect 11 and 0 undefeated regular dual meet total, as well as a flawless 7 and 0 showing at the Bauerlien Duals. He would lose a close finals match at the Hub Cup, settling for 2nd place and finish with one loss, going 7 and 1 at the Catoctin Duals, his only loss of the year to a fellow Maryland high school wrestler. Winning 95 percent of his bouts, the Frederick County champion, 1A-2A West regional champion, and Maryland state champion, Bryant would post a 37 and 2 season record, bringing his career totals to 105 wins and 17 losses. He was honored with a 1st team bid to the Frederick News Post All-Area team and is currently ranked #2 in the state by the Maryland State Wrestling Association.

      

 Zachary Bryant, 113-pound Maryland State Wrestling Champion

   Josh Small takes 3rd place at Maryland State Wrestling Championships.

Zachary Bryant, 113-pound Maryland State Wrestling Champion.