By JT Shatzer and Zach Kersh
As the regular season for Glenelg fall sports teams comes to a conclusion, the mentality of players, coaches, and fans alike must shift into “playoff mode.” At this stage of the season, results in the regular season no longer matter, being that the fate of each team’s season lies on the outcome of their playoff games. How will the results of last year’s end of season results compare to this year?
Current Record: 5-3 Revised Prediction: Regional Champions
Although Glenelg’s football team hasn’t lived up to the extremely high expectations set on their shoulders, they still have been able to obtain a positive record up to this point, and have defeated tough opponents such as Marriotts Ridge and Smyrna High School (defending Delaware state champions). At the moment, the Gladiators sit in the position of third in the county; however, one tremendous problem the team has run into up to this point is the fact that they are missing participation from certain key players. Junior center Kevin Pak, and Junior running back Adrian Russell have both accumulated season-ending injuries. Russell, who was leading the league in rushing yards and was a contender for the league’s rushing title, unfortunately, went down with a torn ACL in the third game of the season. Pak broke his hand in the third quarter in the fifth game of the season against Howard, but pushed through the pain he was facing and finished the game. The production from Russell was so strong in fact that despite only playing in the first three games, he remained as one of the top ten players in the league for rushing yards through week seven of the season. Liam Hayden, Glenelg Junior football player explains, “We really are missing everything [the injured players] bring to the team. Trust me, we are still a dangerous team, but we really could be even better.” Despite the loss of vital pieces to their team, the atmosphere in the locker room remains positive, and players believe they can still make a deep playoff run.
Current Record: 9-5 Revised Prediction: County Finalists
Although their record was expected to be better, Glenelg’s Varsity Volleyball team has had a great season. The Gladiators finished fourth in the county, only behind Mt. Hebron (10-1), Marriotts Ridge (10-1), and Howard (8-2). The record did not reflect the Gladiators’ season; however, since their energy remained expressive. Fans still show up in large numbers and cheer loudly throughout the game. In addition, the team remained focused on winning in the playoffs. “We are going to take it one game at a time. Execution, communication, and fighting for every point are all key,” Glenelg Senior Maddie Myers says. “We are hoping to go to finals.” Unfortunately, the Gladiators lost in the first round to Oakland Mills. “When we lose, it is done together,” Myers says. After sweeping Mills 3-0 during the regular season, the girls ironically got swept 0-3 by the same team they previously destroyed. The team, obviously upset with their early exit, remained positive and focussed on the good times they had on and off the court.
Final Record: 2-10-2 Result: 1-0 1st Round Playoff Loss to South Carroll
Unfortunately, after the loss to South Carroll in the opening round of playoffs, the Gladiator’s Boys Soccer season came to an end. The season wasn’t exactly successful in terms of results; however, the program seemed to be more enthusiastic than it has been in years passed, and more fans began to come out and support than ever before. Glenelg Senior Mikey Small, leader of Glenelg’s “12th Man” student section, explains, “It was crazy to see how much we were able to impact the game with our energy. We knew going into the season that the players haven’t had the experience of a huge crowd behind them, so we wanted to make sure they were able to feel that motivation this year.” Although the team didn’t win as many games as they would have liked to, they played their hearts out each game, and the roaring student section cheered them on while doing so. After struggling to even put a goal in the back of the net for the past couple of seasons, the team was able to earn their first victory in two seasons with a 2-0 midseason win over Long Reach. To go along with that victory, Glenelg tied 1-1 against Wilde Lake in dramatic fashion with a last-minute game-tying goal. For the past two years, the atmosphere within the Glenelg soccer program has been poor, to say the least. However, the chemistry which the team possessed this year shined a completely new light on them, which resulted in close, hard-fought battles game in and game out.
Final Record: 7-8-1 Result: Second Round Playoff Loss to Liberty
The girl’s soccer season ended after two intense playoff games. In the first game against South Carroll, the girls squeezed out a won through a close penalty shootout after an intense double overtime. However, the girls did not get as lucky in the second round. After an extremely close game, and many chances to put the game away in regular time, the girls fell short after another extremely close penalty shootout. Throughout the season, the girls had the talent and drive to perform well. Their only issue was consistency, mainly on the offensive end. There were some games where the girls would run hot, such as the 7-0 win against Oakland Mills. However, there were other times when the girls would run cold, such as 3-0 loss against Marriotts Ridge. Though important Seniors, such as captain Hallie Koele, will be departing, she emphasizes the bright future the team possesses as she states, “Our core is super young, and it is going to be amazing to come back and see the team thrive next year. Our leading scorer Bri Werner (a Sophomore) along with everyone else on the team has such a bright future.” Made up of mostly Juniors and Sophomores, girls varsity soccer has the pieces in place to make a comeback during the next season.
Record: 6-8-1 Result: 1-0 1st Round Playoff Loss to Marriotts Ridge
Going into the season, the field hockey team was faced with what seemed to be a tremendous uphill battle, being that they graduated ten Seniors, and players went down with season-ending injuries. Although the chaos surrounding the team seemed to be insurmountable at the beginning of the season, the team was able to make the most out of their season, almost reaching a 50% winning percentage. It was evident that the Gladiators still possessed great talent on their roster, shown in wins such as an 11-0 annihilation of Oakland Mills. However, the team struggled to win close games throughout the season, such as both the 2-1 and 1-0 losses versus Marriotts Ridge, where they lacked a spark at the end the match to put a goal in the back of the net. Three time all-county Senior Kathryn Hoffman, who went down with a torn ACL at the beginning of the season, explains her future expectations of the team stating, “I think this year was a growing year since a lot of our starters came up from JV or were on Varsity last year but didn’t get much playing time. This year was a good way to train everyone for next season. I think next year there will be an improvement in our record and play since people have more experience playing with each other.” Although the Gladiators will be losing the production of Hoffman as she heads to play field hockey at the University of Delaware next year, the future seems bright.
Result: Caleb Taylor - 4th in States, Ally Abruscato - 9th in districts
Glenelg Golf has tremendously improved over the last few years. With the introduction of key juniors such as Caleb Taylor and Ally Abruscato, the Gladiators were able to make a deep run in the playoffs. Taylor won counties, and finished fourth in states. Taylor credits his success to “focus in practice and during matches,” he says. Girls golf also saw great success. Abruscato finished fourth in counties, and ninth in districts. She explains, “concentration and effort are the main things that have helped me throughout the season.” As these golfers look towards their senior year, you can be sure to see them do even better next year.
As the season for fall sports comes to an end, Glenelg’s teams either prepare for intense playoff battles, or regroup for success next year. Winter sports begin soon, so make sure to stay tuned for more updates on your Gladiators, and for all the Glenelg sports news you could need!