Big Train’s undefeated streak ends in Game Two of T-Bolts doubleheader

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Bethesda Big Train’s Andrew Shebloski (6) makes contact during the baseball game between Big Train and the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts at Blair Stadium on Saturday. PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITH  CUT (CN9A1385a.JPG): T-Bolts’ Josh Simon (17) pulled down a high throw and made the play on Bethesda Big Train’s Alec Burleson (41) - out at home at Blair Stadium on Saturday. PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITHBethesda Big Train’s Andrew Shebloski (6) makes contact during the baseball game between Big Train and the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts at Blair Stadium on Saturday.        PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITH  SILVER SPRING — Out of four Cal Ripken League doubleheaders on Saturday, one involved the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts and the visiting Bethesda Big Train at Blair High School. While the Big Train shut out the T-Bolts in the first game 6-0, Bethesda saw the end of their undefeated streak when the T-Bolts took the second one 8-4.

In Game One, the first run came in the top of the fifth inning when Bethesda outfielder Udie Summerall pinch hit for Tyler Villaroman and singled to left field to drive in Tyler Reis.

Big Train infielders Carson Taylor and John Glenn each had three hits. Taylor went 3-for-5 at the plate with two RBIs, while Glenn also went 3-for-5 with one RBI and two runs.

“They’re great players,” said Bethesda manager Sal Colangelo. “They swing the bat very well. They went up there with an idea and went playing what they had, what they wanted to do.”


Still undefeated, Churchill’s Tranquill pins Damascus’ Lokos

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Churchill's Fio Tranquill gets the fall against Damascus’ Ben Lokos to remain unbeaten this season in the 182-pound weight class. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARKChurchill's Fio Tranquill gets the fall against Damascus’ Ben Lokos to remain unbeaten this season in the 182-pound weight class.   PHOTO BY MIKE CLARK  POTOMAC — As a freshman three years ago, Fio Tranquill’s football season at Churchill was cut short and a wrestling tryout negated by a severe bout with Lyme disease.

Now a senior third-year wrestler for the Churchill Bulldogs, Tranquill’s having the time of his life, improving to a mark of 28-0 with a pair of pins during Saturday’s 47-15 tri-meet loss to the visiting 15-time county champion Damascus Swarmin’ Hornets and a 56-22 victory over Quince Orchard, loser by 72-9 to Damascus.

Tranquill scored an upset fall in 5:24 over 182-pound Swarmin’ Hornets’ senior Ben Lokos, who missed all of last year due to an injury but as a sophomore was county champ before finishing third at regions and states.

Lokos led 2-0 early in a wild match that featured five lead changes before Tranquill reversed the Damascus grappler to his back for the pin, overcoming a 7-6 deficit. Tranquill led only 7-5 before pinning the Cougars’ Ryan Jones in 4:24.

“I wasn’t sure I would win, but in the end, I heard my coaches screaming to head-hunt. I saw his head, grabbed it, pulled him over and that was it,” said Tranquill, who was third at counties and regions last year.


Damascus state champ Purkey back to pinning ways, continues Hornets’ win streak

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20180128 Churchill vs Damascus Wrestle 19Paul Purkey of Damascus takes on Churchill's Andrew Welch. Purkey would take the win in the 195-pound weight class.  PHOTO BY MIKE CLARK   POTOMAC — State champion Paul Purkey of Damascus embraced last month’s challenge against three-time state champion Aaron Brooks of North Hagerstown, even though he was pinned in their 195-pound bout.

“I was excited to wrestle Brooks,” said Purkey, a University of Maryland-bound county and regional champion last year at 182 pounds who earned a private schools state title as a Good Counsel sophomore.

“I was telling the coaches that if he didn’t bump up, I’d have wanted an exhibition. I wanted the competition. It can only help me to get better. It keeps me humble and motivated to know that there can also be someone better.”

Purkey returned to his pinning ways during Saturday’s tri-meet victories over host Churchill, 47-15, and Quince Orchard, 72-9, helping the 15-time county champion Swarmin’ Hornets (19-0) to run their dual meet winning streak to 146 consecutive matches.


Poolesville girls remain undefeated after victory over Damascus basketball team

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20180105 Poolesville Damascus Girls 3Poolesville's 6'2" Julia Hobbs beats Damascus players to a loose ball. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARK  POOLESVILLE — The undefeated Poolesville Falcons on Friday continued to shoot their way into the history books by claiming the visiting Damascus Swarmin’ Hornets as their latest victims, with the final score 52-34, increasing the number in their win column to 10.

On paper, the Swarmin’ Hornets – a middle-of-the-table team with a 3-3-1 record – shouldn’t have been too much of a problem for the Falcons, who came into the game with nine straight wins.

“They’re arguably the best team in the county, and they’re tough," said Swarmin’ Hornets head coach Mike Warfield. "We had a hard time scoring against them because of their length, and we’re not tall."

Despite being outmatched, the Hornets managed to hold their own and keep the first half of the game close. In the first quarter, Damascus struck first and managed to go into the break ahead by one point, at 16-15.


Sherwood Warriors remember epic five-season winning streak

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The Sherwood Warriors girls’ softball team (9-1) led by fourth-year head coach Ashley Barber-Strunk lost to the Northwest Jaguars, 9-5, ending an epic five-season-plus 105-game win streak. 

A streak like this warrants review. It was just a high school streak even though historically it’s the third longest streak ever nationwide for high school girls’ softball. It was broken at the beginning of a new season, with the Warriors fielding a new squad and starting five freshmen.

That said, how does a Montgomery County Public Schools program go undefeated for most of the decade? How does an MCPS program field such a consistent and commanding winner?

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