By Philip Johnson & Liam Day
When someone hears Glenelg sports, what is the first thing they think of? To a lot of people, it’s lacrosse. The school has historically been great at the sport with seven state championships between the boys and girls. This season marks one uniquely special for the Gladiators because both teams have a shot at winning the Maryland Class 2A State Championship.
Both have taken vastly different journeys to get to this point, and with the regular season just days away they will kick it into high gear as they chase the greatest prize in their sport.
The Glenelg girls lacrosse team led by Coach Trunzo and Coach Pagnotta are heading into the season coming off two straight 3A state championships and riding a twenty eight game win streak. The success they have had the last few years has been amazing, and hasn’t gone unnoticed. USLacrosse has them ranked #12 in the country to start the season.They ended last season with a 12-3 beating of C. Milton Wright in the state championship to cap off a 20-0 season. After experiencing this level of success, some teams may get complacent, but not this group of girls.
Based off preseason rankings, this season includes the hardest schedule in the country. To go along with their game at Marriotts Ridge who USLacrosse ranked #17, they will travel to USLacrosse ranked #5 Notre Dame Prep on March 27th, host USLacrosse ranked #9 St. Stephens on April 3rd as well as USLacrosse ranked #3 Bishop Ireton on April 23rd. Trunzo and Pagnotta have put emphasis on if you're going to be the best, you have to play the best. Senior and midfielder, Anna Callahan, said “our goal every year is states or bust and I think that is something we’ve really been working towards.” Even with the stiffer competition, they still practice, prepare and expect the same results. This team consists of a lot of upperclassmen including Senior midfielders Anna Callahan, Georgia Esmond, and Maddy O’Brien., as well as Senior goalie Maddy McSally. A few other starters that are returning from last year include Junior draw specialist and midfielder Jenny Giampalmo, and Junior attackmen Emily Nalls. The mindset that the coaches have been able to instill in the girls is to never settle for good enough, they should strive for greatness. By the sound of it, the girls are up for the challenge.
So close to the top, that’s how last season ended for the Glenelg Boys Varsity. A 5-4 loss in the waning seconds of the state championship left the boys disappointed, and their coach, Joshua Hatmaker, close to his fourth state title. However, the boys are using that loss as fuel to their fire this year in hopes of achieving what they were seconds away from this past year. This season offers a clean slate.
In order to get back to the top, Coach Hatmaker is trying to instill in the players that this team has accomplished nothing. At the preseason meeting, Hatmaker told the boys, “Resting on your laurels from the success we had last season will only lead to failure.” Even with lost talent and leadership from last year's seniors, this team knows they are something special. They return nine of thirteen starters and have loads of talent coming up from JV.
The season schedule brings a tough slate with out of county games against Century, Broadneck, and the headliner against last years class 4A state champion Severna Park. Add that on top of games against Howard County powerhouses, Mount Hebron, Centennial, and Howard, and they’ve got tough sledding ahead. They know all of the expectations, they’ve heard all the rumors. They just have to go out and prove to everyone else what they already know, that they are the best in the state.
This season has great opportunities for both teams. For the girls its to establish themselves as a national powerhouse, and being one of the only public schools to do so. For the boys it’s redemption and getting back to the top of the mountain. If both teams win states it will help reinforce that Glenelg is the face of Maryland high school lacrosse. Both teams believe they can get the job done. If they accomplish all their goals, and they believe they can. What will you think of when you hear Glenelg sports?