Currently viewing the tag: "Football"

BLAIR GARRETT

Nine Catoctin High School (CHS) seniors officially signed on to further their education while playing sports at the next level. All nine athletes excelled in their sports, helping to propel each of their teams and teammates to be better every day. CHS held a signing day ceremony to let the head coaches share with the athletes’ friends and families what kind of competitor and person they’ve seen each player blossom into.

Few people in a high school athlete’s life see the growth and development that a coach does. The students who go on to compete in college are among the most driven and dedicated to keep improving each day, and a good coach takes notice of that. Each one of these athletes has put an exceptional amount of time into their craft. Putting in the hours on the fields, courts, tracks, and in the gym, coupled with a good attitude, can take you a long way, and each one of these student-athletes has demonstrated that day after day.

Football: Wyatt Davis has committed to play at Shippensburg University in the fall, and the Raiders will be lucky to have him. Davis played defensive end and tackle for Catoctin and was a driving force on the defensive line.

Track and Field: Jenna Zentz is taking her talents to Towson University, where she will look to continue her successes on the track. Zentz ran a variety of events for the Cougars, including relays and 100- through 800-meter races.

Baseball: A pair of star athletes, Noland Kinna and Dalton Williams, have signed their letters of intent to play ball in college, and both have meant a tremendous deal to CHS during their time playing there. Kinna, a commit to the College of Southern Maryland, was involved in a myriad of school programs, and he became a key piece to Catoctin’s back-to-back great seasons. Williams will go on to play at High Point University. Both players were part of the state championship winning season in 2021, helping CHS grab its second championship title.

Softball: Catoctin softball’s Kara Watkins and Avery Sickeri have been integral in the team’s phenomenal season. From start to finish, the Cougars have been dominant, with Watkins and Sickeri helping the team capture the Central Maryland Conference Championship en route to a 17-2 season. Watkins is set to join Shenandoah University’s softball team, while Sickeri looks to make waves at West Chester University.

Girls Basketball: With a talent-packed lineup and a lot of hard work, seniors Emma Wivell and Emily Williams helped push Catoctin to the state finals in the team’s 23-3 season. The seniors had great individual accomplishments as well, with Wivell making the Maryland Basketball Coaches Association (MBCA) 1st team, and Williams making the MBCA 2nd team. Wivell has committed to Salisbury University while Williams has committed to Shenandoah University.

Boys Basketball: Though the team had a rocky season, Catoctin’s Ryan Burke played a key role in the successes the boys had over the course of the season. Burke, a shooting guard, plans to play next season with Hagerstown Community College, and will look to make an impact just as he did with the Cougars.

Congratulations to all graduating seniors and to the student athletes who put in years of effort to take their careers to the next step. 

(above) Avery Sickeri and Coach Jessica Valentine.

(above) Kara Watkins, family, and coaching staff.

(above) CHS Principal Jennifer Clements addresses the student athletes.

(avove) Noland Kinna (seated left) and Dalton Williams (seated right) with CHS baseball team.

(above seated) Wyatt Davis and Jenna Zentz are shown.

(above) Emma Wivell and Emily WIlliams.

Dominance from Start to Finish

Blair Garrett

Catoctin High Football clinched its second state championship Saturday, December 7, defeating the Poets of Dunbar High School (Baltimore) 31-8 in a Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA) 1A matchup.

The Cougars stormed through the playoffs, yielding opponents just 41 points over the team’s five playoff victories while posting a monstrous 213 points on offense.

It was a clash of the best of the best, with both teams flattening semifinal opponents by more than 40 points. An unstoppable force versus an immovable object scenario set a collision course for the 1A State Championship game, with only one possible victor.

The teams’ last matchup against each other came back in Catoctin’s historic 2009 run, where they edged Dunbar 13-12 en route to the team’s first-ever state championship. The parallels to this season were apparent, and the Cougars had the confidence to replicate that result once again.

“The coolest thing about it is there were only three of us [coaches] when we won our first championship,” head coach Doug Williams said. “Getting to be there with my assistant coaches and players who haven’t done that is special.”

With everything on the line, the only thing left to do was execute, and Catoctin did that in a near-flawless manner from start to finish.

As the Cougars took the turf at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, the boys came ready to play, exposing Dunbar mistakes to shock the Poets over the first quarter.

On the first play of the game, Dunbar fumbled to the benefit of Catoctin, laying the groundwork for a theme that would plague the Poets all night long. Turnovers repeatedly cut possessions short for the perennial 1A playoff powerhouse, and the Catoctin defense was ready at every turn to send its offense back onto the field.

“Our defensive coaches had Dunbar very well scouted,” Williams said. “The staff and players all bought into the program, and it made us successful.”

The Cougars had too much firepower to put the ball in their hands with excellent field position, and quarterback Ryan Orr made quick work of the defense in the first half, connecting passes across the middle to put the boys in blue within striking distance. As it has all season, the running game continued to chew up yardage with each play.

Dunbar had successful drives down the field, but a mental mistake led to a red-zone interception for Catoctin, effectively thwarting any momentum for the Poets and preserving the shutout.

A series of mistakes kept the Catoctin offense on the field, but the Cougar defense managed to punish the Poets with a pick-six to continue frustrating the opposing quarterback.

Despite the lopsided turnover ratio, the Dunbar offense had its moments where possessions were threatening. After 24 unanswered points by Catoctin, Dunbar made its first significant impact of the game with a beautiful ball over the middle to Deairus Carr, who slipped between the defense, shook off a tackle, and cruised into the end zone to get his team on the board.

Dunbar’s message was loud and clear, the team needed to stop the bleeding, and shutting down Catoctin’s run game was necessary if the Poets were going to turn the game around. The Cougars’ bread and butter all season was its slashing runs with running back Carson Sickeri, but Dunbar had keyed in and cut his drives repeatedly short throughout the second quarter.

Fortunately for Catoctin, Sickeri did what he does best and found a running lane to break through the Poets’ defense for a huge chunk of yardage. Sickeri’s run eventually set up another ball over the top to Travis Fields, for his second touchdown of the game.

With a 31-8 lead at halftime, the Cougars just needed to play solid defense and maintain long possessions to close out the game and capture the team’s second championship of the decade.

Coach Williams and company continued to pour on the pressure, bottling up Dunbar’s offense and preventing the Poets from stringing together a successful drive.

As Catoctin continued burning the clock, the Gatorade bath watch was on, and the Cougars successfully doused several coaches in the only ice bath a person would ever be excited about.

The final buzzer sounded, the crowd went wild, and players stormed the field in what was undoubtedly the most exciting game of their lives.

Through the biting cold temperatures, the fans stood in unison as their hometown friends and family celebrated a near once-in-a-lifetime achievement.

“The community we live in is amazing,” Williams said. “We were the smallest school of the championship winners, and we were the loudest. That’s awesome.” The 2019 Catoctin football team’s legacy of dominance has been solidified, with the team’s 13-1 season ending with the MPSSAA 1A Championship trophy in hand. A big congrats to the players, coaches, and families that made this season so great. Go Cougars! 

Blair Garrett

Fall sports for high schools across the country kick off each September, and Catoctin High’s student-athletes are finishing up training camp and entering their respective seasons, eager for the competition to begin.

After a long off-season for summer break, Catoctin High athletics is just getting back into the swing of things. Preseason and the weeks leading up to the start of the regular season offer coaches and players a chance to build the chemistry and team cohesiveness that makes a good team great. So, let’s take a look at what you can expect for the Cougars this coming season.

Football: Following up a stellar 2018 campaign for the Cougars is no easy feat. Catoctin High football rocketed off to a 10-1 start before falling in the playoffs, but this 2019 squad is up for the challenge to match or exceed last year’s success. The team, led by head coach Doug Williams, kicks off its season in what is sure to be a close-fought rivalry game against Boonsboro High School.

The Cougars won both matchups against the Warriors last season, and they’ll look to replicate their winning ways in both games against Boonsboro this season. Catoctin’s season opener begins September 6, at Boonsboro High School.

Golf: The earliest start to Catoctin sports comes from the Cougars’ golf team, opening the season with a quad-school morning matchup in late August, followed in the afternoon by another bout against Governor Thomas Johnson High School. The co-ed golf program features athletes typically competing against one or multiple schools at a time, vying for the lowest scores per hole to earn a victory for their school. The Catoctin golf program in 2018 found success, sending an athlete to compete at the collegiate level, which is promising for student-athletes competing for the Cougars in 2019 and seasons to come.

Cross Country: Catoctin cross country has been historically successful in the past, winning multiple championships back-to-back just a few years ago. The girls and boys season starts August 29, in a tri-school meet against Frederick High School and Brunswick High School. With various talented runners leading the team, the Cougars should be in form for another exciting season.

Field Hockey: The Catoctin field hockey team is the only sport to begin its 2019 fall season on its home turf, taking on the Eagles of Francis Scott Key High School. Catoctin field hockey is looking to get off to a hot start this season to continue improving and competing against the toughest competition. The Cougars face off in the season opener on September 10 at 4:00 p.m.

Soccer: The boys and girls soccer teams struggled to gain traction last season, but a fresh new season and fresh new faces leading the charge could be just what the Cougars need to get the squads back on track to find success on the field once again. Both crews ignite a new season on the road September 10 against familiar foe, Francis Scott Key High School. 

Volleyball: Catoctin High volleyball is the final of the fall sports to get underway, and the Cougars have ample time to prepare for a grueling schedule ahead. Catoctin volleyball found success on the road last season, going 5-2 in the opponent’s home court, which is great news looking forward to this season, as the team hits the road for its season opener against Walkersville High School on September 12.   

You can catch all the action this upcoming season and support your local high school by checking out schedules online and staying tuned for further coverage of local athletics throughout the school year.

Theresa Dardanell

Catoctin High School (CHS) athletes who signed up to attend  colleges and universities in the fall.

 

Football: Will Bingman, Clarion University; Joey Fogle, Gettysburg College.

 

Soccer: Noah Olson, Frederick Community College.

 

Baseball: Ryan Fisher, Mount St. Mary’s University; Dylan Reid, Hagerstown Community College; Nick Ford, Frederick Community College; Brett Weatherly, Fairmont State University; Connor Cramer, Fairmont State University.

 

Lacrosse: Colin Webb, Messiah College; Brenden Bozick, Frederick Community College; Sam Staley, Frederick Community College.

 

Softball: Lizzie Dougherty, Frederick Community College; Taylor Beckley, Frederick Community College; Maddie Krantz, Penn State.

 

A ceremony was held at CHS on May 23, 2018, to recognize the athletes. Assistant Athletic Director Keith Bruck introduced the coaches, Paul Dumars, Rob Phelan, Mike Franklin, and Neil Metzgar, who praised and congratulated the students. An enthusiastic crowd of parents, families, friends, and fellow students attended the event.

Pictured are ten of the student athletes recognized during the signing ceremony at Catoctin High School. Pictured left to right are Brett Weatherly, Dylan Reid, Nick Ford, Ryan Fisher, Connor Cramer, Joey Fogle, Will Bingman, Colin Webb, Brendan Bozick, and Noah Olson. Unavailable for photo: Sam Staley, Lizzie Dougherty, Taylor Beckley, and Maddie Krantz.

Photo by Theresa Dardanell

For kids and parents alike

by Anita DiGregory
It’s that time of the year again…fuzzy sweaters, cozy blankets, crisp air, stunning colors, football, and pumpkin spice and everything nice. We are so blessed in this area by the beauty that autumn brings. With the spectacular sunrises, inspiring landscapes, and gorgeous sunsets, Thurmont becomes almost magical in the fall. It is the perfect time for family fun and festivities with the little ones. Looking for some family-friendly ways to turn autumn days into memory makers? Try some of these ideas. And, for added fun, cuddle up and share some of these literary favorites with your kids. It’ll make those fall days fun and educational—a win/win!

Become a Leaf Detective. Dust off grandpa’s trusty old magnifying glass and go for a walk through your neighborhood or the closest park and set out on a mysterious leaf hunt. Collect as many different kinds of leaves as your mini explorer can find and bring them home. Once back at home, work together to look up and identify the different leaves and what types of trees they fell from. Make an official Leaf Detective Book by attaching the leaves to the pages and identifying them. When you are done, your little one can use your extra leaves to make etchings with paper and crayons. Or add them to your yard’s leaf pile and take turns raking them all up and jumping in. Cuddling up and reading some of these classics together will make this the perfect ending to the perfect day for your little leaf detective.
Books: Why Do Leaves Change Colors by Betsy Maestro; Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert; We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt by Steve Metzger; Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert; A Tree for all Seasons by Robin Bernard; Autumn Leaves by Ken Robbins.

Go on an Apple Adventure. Visit a local orchard. In Thurmont, we are blessed to have both the Catoctin Mountain Orchard and Pryor’s Orchard to choose from, both offering a variety of apples and other delicious treats. According to their website, Catoctin Mountain Orchard offers select days to pick your own apples. There is a $1.00 fee to enter the apple orchard, but this includes the wagon ride to the orchard. After selecting your favorite apples, you and your little one can work together at home to make some candy apples or even an apple pie. And, when your treats are ready to share, you can share some of the following classic stories with your child as well: Apples and Pumpkins by Anne Rockwell; Apples by Gail Gibbons; How Do Apples Grow by Betsy Maestro; Johnny Appleseed by Jodie Shepherd; The Apple Pie Tree by Zoe Hall; The Seasons of Arnold’s Apple Tree by Gail Gibbons.

Have a ‘Great Pumpkin’ Day. With so many wonderful choices in our area, picking the perfect pumpkin patch for your family is quite easy. Many offer entertaining and educational family-friendly activities, in addition to wagon rides to “pick-your-own” patches. Some choices in Thurmont include Brookfield Pumpkins (brookfieldpumpkins.com) and Lawyer’s Winterbrook Farm (winterbrookfarmsmd.com). After your day at the patch, enjoy some of these favorite stories while sharing some pumpkin pie or roasted pumpkin seeds: Seed, Sprout, Pumpkin, Pie by Jill Esbaum; From Seed to Pumpkin by Wendy Pfeffer; The Pumpkin Book by Gail Gibbons; Pumpkin Pumpkin by Jeanne Titherington; It’s Pumpkin Time by Zoe Hall; Pumpkin Circle: The Story of a Garden by George Levenson.

Become a Scavenger. Work with your child to create and carry out the perfect fall scavenger hunt. Start by reading some of the entertaining stories listed below. Then, using some of the ideas from the books, brainstorm with your child and come up with several things you might see on a fall walk. List these on a sheet of paper and make this your official scavenger hunt checklist. Then, go scavenge! Instead of actually collecting the items, you can take pictures of you and your child with them. After, you can print the photos and have a keepsake of your wonderful day together. Books: Migration by Robin Nelson; Four Seasons Make A Year by Anne Rockwell; The Reason for Seasons by Gail Gibbons; The Oak Inside the Acorn by Max Lucado; Little Acorn Grows Up by Edward Gibbs; Fall Walk by Virginia Brimhall Snow; Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn by Kenard Pak; Autumn is Here by Heidi Pross Gray; My Autumn Book by Wong Herbert Yee.

Share some football fever. Are you ready for some football? Share your love of the game with your little ones with some of the fun books listed below. Attend a Catoctin High School or Catoctin Youth Association game together. Have a friendly family pick-up game in the backyard. And before the big televised game, make some fun snacks and cuddle up and watch together, cheering on your favorite team! Books: My Football Book by Gail Gibbons; Fall Ball by Peter McCarty; Football With Dad (A Little Golden Book) by Frank Berrios; Little Football (Little Sports) by Brad Herzog.

kids-corner-column-picCreate a Cozy Campout. Pitch the tent. Gather the flashlights, s’mores supplies, pillows, sleeping bags, and some of the great books listed below, and transform your backyard into the perfect camping spot. Have dinner under the stars, roast marshmallows, make s’mores, point out your favorite constellations, and cuddle up with some stories read together by flashlight. Kids of all ages will love this fun camping adventure! Books: Bats and Owls and other titles by Gail Gibbons; Time to Sleep by Denise Fleming; Our Stars by Anne Rockwell; Papa, Please Get Me the Moon and other titles by Eric Carle; Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown; Sleep Tight, Sleepy Bears by Margaret Wise Brown.