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Jackals Field Hockey helps students prep for high school and college

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Attendees hone their skills during the 2018 MC Jackals High School Prep Camp. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARKAttendees hone their skills during the 2018 MC Jackals High School Field Hockey Prep Camp. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARK  20 years ago, Jenna Ries, a former University of Maryland field hockey player, had an idea for a pre-high school club for the sport she played. Today, that organization is known as Jackals Field Hockey Club.

“When it started 20 years ago, our county did not have a lot of opportunities for traveling high school sports teams,” Ries said. “Now it goes as young as seven or eight years old.”

The Jackals Club, founded by Ries in 2000, is the preeminent field hockey program in Montgomery County. There are girls that will come from different recreation-level teams and try out for Jackals to make the top level training for college. Jackals also train kids at the college level, during their high school training, and when they’re getting set to be college-ready.

“It’s true development to get athletes prepared for college,” Ries said.

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Chile defeats Sugarland Farm 8-3, wins third place in polo tournament

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Left to right, Greg Grigorian (3), Andres Prado, Lautaro Gracia (obscured), Federico Potel (2), and Eloris Snyder (2) battle for position on the ball during a polo match at the Congressional Polo Club in Poolesville on Sunday.  PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITHLeft to right, Greg Grigorian (3), Andres Prado, Lautaro Gracia (obscured), Federico Potel (2), and Eloris Snyder (2) battle for the ball during the polo tournment between Sugarland Farm (yellow-and-blue) and Chile (blue-and-white) at the Congressional Polo Club on Sunday. PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITH  POOLESVILLE — It was a hot and sunny Sunday afternoon at the Congressional Polo Club, which offers a wide variety of equestrian activities ranging from polo to riding lessons to trail rides. The Sugarland Farm and the Chile polo teams, both composed of three players on horseback, took the outdoor arena in a battle for third place in the Rain and Mud Cup, ending in victory for Chile over Sugarland Farm, 8-3.

Chile, who wore blue-and-white jerseys, jumped out to a 1-0 lead early in the first chukka, or period of play. Sugarland Farm players, who wore yellow-and-blue jerseys, used their mallets to drive the ball into the goal twice to take a 2-1 lead. However, the Chile team soon tied it back up at 2-2.

With the score 2-2 heading into the second chukka, Chile knocked the ball into the goal three times to take a 5-2 lead at the half.

It didn’t get any better for Sugarland Farm, as their opponent scored three more goals of their own. SF scored in the third chukka, but it wasn’t quite enough as the Chile polo team won 8-3.

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Churchill lacrosse team sets record for college recruits

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Churchill Bulldogs logoFor the past decade, Winston Churchill High School in Potomac has had a remarkable boys lacrosse program filled with many college commits and regional titles. This year was no different.

This past year, Churchill’s boys lacrosse program saw five of its seniors commit to playing in college: Brady Altobello, Ryan Leonard, Jack Taylor, Reed Moshyedi, and Jimmy Rubino.

According to head coach Jeff Fritz, they are the most recruits Churchill has had in one season, as no other public Montgomery County school has ever had more than two Division I recruits in a single year.

“These five were great gentlemen both on and off the field and I have no doubt in my mind that they will be successful in life,” Fritz said. “They were great leaders both on and off the field, in the classroom, and in the community!”

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Big Train and Redbirds named 2018 Ripken League co-champions

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Bethesda Big Train vs. Baltimore RedbirdsBETHESDA — After the Bethesda Big Train’s victory of Game One of the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League Championship Series on Saturday, and the Baltimore Redbirds won Game Two on Sunday, Game Three between the two teams was to be played at Shirley Povich Field Monday night to determine the winners of the League Championship Series.

Unfortunately, Mother Nature had other plans, as rain forced Game Three to be canceled, and the Redbirds and Big Train were named 2018 LCS co-champions.

It’s the first time since the league’s inaugural season in 2005 where two teams have been named co-champions, the same two teams who have met in the Championship Series 10 years in a row.

“They played for the championship,” said Bethesda manager Sal Colangelo on his opponents. “They deserve it as much as we deserve it. They’re a quality organization. They play hard.”

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Big Train take Game One of Ripken League Series against Baltimore Redbirds

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All eyes are on Ben Martz's hit (17) which drove in Bethesda Big Train's AJ Lee (4) and Alec Burleson (41) during Game 1 of the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League Championship Series played at Shirley Povich Field on Saturday.  PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITHAll eyes are on Ben Martz's hit (17) that drove in Bethesda Big Train's AJ Lee (4) and Alec Burleson (41) during Game One of the Ripken League Championship Series against the Baltimore Redbirds at Shirley Povich Field on Saturday. PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITH  BETHESDA — For the ninth straight year in the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League, the Championship Series features the same two opponents: the Bethesda Big Train and Baltimore Redbirds. Saturday night’s Game One at Shirley Povich Field showed this to be a true championship rivalry, as the Big Train came from behind in the eighth to beat the Redbirds 9-8.

The first score came from Baltimore in the top of the second when designated hitter Christian Hlinka hit an RBI single to drive in third baseman Tim Elko for a 1-0 lead.

However, in the next frame, Bethesda responded with a two-RBI single from catcher Ben Martz. The Big Train put up two more runs in the third and fourth innings thanks to an RBI double from third baseman Carson Taylor and a sacrifice double play from outfielder Jacob Westerman that sent home first baseman Alec Burleson. At that point, the Big Train led 4-1.

But the Redbirds didn’t back down, because in the top of the fifth, Elko hit an RBI single to left field that drove in outfielder Carl Gindl. Then Hlinka tied it up at 4-4 with a two-RBI double that scored Elko and first baseman Joe Zirolli.

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Richard Montgomery Rockets defeat Good Counsel to win Maryland Elite Hoops championship

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Richard Montgomery Rockets' Austin Cheung takes a charge from Good Counsel's Bez Mbeng (5) in the final critical minutes of the Elite Summer League Championship Game played at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day Center on Wednesday. PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITHGood Counsel's Bez Mbeng (5) charges RM Rockets' Austin Cheung in the final critical minutes of the Maryland Elite Summer League championship game at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day Center on Wednesday night.           PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITH  NORTH BETHESDA — The 2018 Maryland Elite Summer Basketball League season came to a close Wednesday night as the No. 3-seeded Richard Montgomery Rockets came through when Ryan Cornish made a key steal and hit the game-winning layup to help the Rockets beat the No. 5-seeded Good Counsel Falcons 31-29 and win the championship.

“As a team, we did it all together,” Cornish said. “Not one of us took it over. It was all as one team.”

There wasn’t much scoring in this game. After all, the final score was only 31-29. Both teams failed to score within the first minute. Missed shots and turnovers were key in the championship game.

Nonetheless, the game was still close throughout, as RM led 16-14 at halftime behind eight points from Cornish. He added five more points in the second half to finish with 13.

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G-Burg Trojans beat Northwest Jags in triple OT summer hoops playoff thriller

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Gaithersburg Trojans vs. Northwest JaguarsROCKVILLE — The second round of the Maryland Elite Basketball Summer League playoffs began Monday evening at Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School, and the first matchup involved the No. 1-seeded Gaithersburg Trojans facing the No. 8-seeded Northwest Jaguars. The game became a nail-biter as it took triple overtime to settle it; in the end, the Trojans came out with the 67-66 victory.

This matchup was close throughout, as Gaithersburg led at halftime 29-27 with 17 points from rising sophomore Jao Ituka.

14-year-old Ituka had an incredible performance, as he put up 40 total points, which included the game-winning layup in triple OT. He also threw down two dunks in the first half.

“It was good to help my team win,” Ituka said. “It could have been better player-wise, because I took a lot of bad shots and I didn’t see a lot of my teammates when they were open.”

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Bethesda Big Train trounce Gaithersburg in Ripken League game, 7-1

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Bethesda Big Train vs. Gaithersburg GiantsGAITHERSBURG — Early Thursday afternoon, the Baltimore Redbirds lost, which meant the Bethesda Big Train clinched homefield advantage in the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League playoffs. Later that night, the Big Train proved why they’re the best team as they defeated the Gaithersburg Giants 7-1 at Kelley Park.

“We’re here to get better,” Big Train manager Sal Colangelo said. “We’re here to have fun, and our goal was to win the division, we did that, win the Montgomery Cup, we did that, and win the regular season, we did that. But the ultimate prize is to also win the tournament and win all four.”

The first run came from the Giants though. In the bottom of the fourth, with outfielder Ryan Shinn in the batter’s box and two runners on first and third, designated hitter Sam Bertelson tried to advance to second, but was caught in a rundown for the 1-3-6-3 putout. However, no one seemed to notice catcher Saul Garza who was able to make it from third to home plate and give Gaithersburg the 1-0 lead.

For the first five innings, the Giants appeared to have this one in the bag. Starting pitcher Matt Whelan had not allowed a hit in his five frames. Unfortunately, he was still taken out in favor of Brad Sawyer in the top of the sixth.

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Rockville Express beat back G-Burg in extra innings, 9-7

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Rockville Express vs. Gaithersburg GiantsGAITHERSBURG — One night after clinching a playoff spot, the Gaithersburg Giants (20-17) returned home to host division rival Rockville Express (16-20). The Giants held a 3-1 lead for three-and-a-half innings, until that changed in the top of the seventh when the Express tied it up and then won 9-7 in an extra-innings thriller Sunday night.

Rockville got on the board first in the top of the second when third baseman Livian Reinoso doubled to left field and drove in outfielder Matt Kruszka.

However, Gaithersburg answered in the bottom of the third with three runs courtesy of Joey Goodwin’s run on an error, and a two-RBI double by designated hitter Saul Garza.

The game went without a score for the next three innings. But in the top of the seventh, the Express tied it up at 3-3 with back-to-back RBI doubles from shortstop David Harding and outfielder Charles Kozorofsky.

“We’ve been hitting the ball real well all night long,” said Express manager Rick Price.

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Bethesda Big Train demolish T-Bolts 14-3

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Bethesda Big Train's Andrew Shebloski (6) during the Cal Ripken League game against the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts played at Povich Field on Friday, July 13, 2018. PHOTO BY GEORGE P. SMITHBethesda Big Train's Andrew Shebloski (6) at bat during the Cal Ripken League game against the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts played at Povich Field on Friday, July 13, 2018. PHOTO BY GEORGE P. SMITH  BETHESDA — Coming off a dominating 18-0 victory over the Baltimore Dodgers, the Bethesda Big Train (30-5) continued to cruise over their opponents as they steamrolled the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts (14-21) 14-3 on Friday night at Shirley Povich Field for their 30th win of the season.

The Big Train got on the board in the bottom of the second when catcher Ben Martz singled up the middle to drive in outfielder Justin Wylie for the 1-0 lead.

Bethesda went on to score nine more runs in the next five innings to take a 10-0 lead. Among the scores included a home run and an RBI double from first baseman Udie Summerall, RBI singles from Wylie, third baseman Carson Taylor, infielder Fox Semones, and designated hitter Alec Burleson, a sac fly from outfielder Andrew Shebloski, and runs on wild pitches by Burleson and shortstop AJ Lee.

“Tonight we hit the ball really well,” Summerall said. “We do that every night. It’s not a big surprise, but I think everybody had fun tonight, even me. We’re having fun.”

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