Programs of Decade

Oakdale High School opened its doors and quickly started stocking its gym with state championship banners.

Frederick County Public School teams won state titles in volleyball and boys lacrosse for the first time.

And in the fall of 2015, FCPS teams joined a new league with an old name, the Central Maryland Conference (the old version folded in 2003), following the demise of their previous league, the Monocacy Valley Athletic League.

The Frederick News-Post reported these stories and countless others involving Frederick County high school sports teams during the decade of the 2010s. Now, with the decade nearing its end, it’s time to reveal my picks for the best Frederick County high school program in each sport during the 2010s.

To be clear, I’m not selecting a team that had the best single season of the decade in its respective sport. I’m picking programs in each sport that I felt achieved the most success throughout the entire decade, meaning they managed significant accomplishments in numerous seasons.

By significant accomplishments, I mean state titles, state tournament appearances, an ability to consistently achieve high win totals and dominance in county tournaments.

Some of my picks might’ve excelled in all of the above. Some might’ve done well enough in one of those categories to compensate for relative weaknesses in others.

Ten years ago, I picked Programs of the Decade for the 2000s, and just three of the programs I picked then were picked again as the best of the 2010s.

So, here are my selections for the best Frederick County programs in each sport this decade. And if there were other programs I seriously considered, they are mentioned.

FOOTBALL

PROGRAM OF THE DECADE

Middletown

Heading into this decade, the Knights were a perennial power.

Only thing is, they had never won a state title. But by decade’s end, they had won four of them, three more than any other county team during those 10 years.

Middletown’s state title drought continued early on as they fell 21-14 to McDonough in the 2010 2A state championship game.

But the Knights bounced back by winning three straight state crowns from 2011 to 2013, compiling a 36-game winning streak during that stellar stretch.

By itself, that run would’ve clinched Program of the Decade for the Knights. But they added another state crown in 2019.

The Knights’ Collin Delauter had the distinction of winning state titles as both a player (in 2011 under head coach Kevin Lynott) and a head coach (2019) during the same decade with the same program.

Others Considered

Linganore: Won a state title in 2017 and reached the state championship game in 2013, 2018 and 2019. Enjoyed nine winning seasons in the decade, getting at least 10 victories six times.

BOYS SOCCER

PROGRAM OF THE DECADE

Urbana

Frederick County was a boys soccer hotbed this decade, with its teams winning nine state crowns, but no county program reached the state final as many times as the Hawks, who accomplished the feat six times.

Urbana won state titles in 2013 and 2016. It also reached the state final in 2010, 2012 and 2018 and the state semifinals in 2014.

The Hawks often fared well against all those other powers that lurked in Frederick County, too. For instance, in 2015, 2016 and 2018, Urbana won CMC championship matches by beating teams that went on to win state titles — Oakdale in 2015 and 2018 and Middletown in 2016.

Others Considered

Oakdale: Won state titles in 2014, 2015 and 2018 and made the state semis in 2019. Middletown: Won state titles in 2015 and 2016.

GIRLS SOCCER

PROGRAM OF THE DECADE

Middletown

The Knights became the first program in Frederick County girls soccer history to win three straight MPSSAA state titles, doing so from 2010-2012.

No other county team won more than one state title in the 2010s, so Middletown’s rare triple-crown run was the deciding factor when trying to pick among a slew of Frederick County programs with impressive bodies of work this decade.

When the decade began, the Knights played in the treacherous MVAL Piedmont Division, which included powers Urbana, Tuscarora, Thomas Johnson, Linganore and, eventually, Oakdale. That makes their 18-0 final record in 2010 all-the-more impressive.

The Knights ended the decade on a high note, too. In 2019, they reached the state final and won the CMC championship by beating four-time conference champ Urbana.

Middletown enjoyed eight winning seasons in the 2010s, including five in which it had double-digit win totals.

Still, this sport proved to be one of my toughest choices.

Others Considered

Urbana: Won a state title in 2016, reached the state final in 2011 and 2017 and the state semis in 2012. Won four straight CMC championship matches, from 2015 to 2018. Had nine winning seasons, notching double-digit win totals all nine times. Linganore: Won its first state crown in 2017, reached the state final in 2014 and 2015 and made the state semis in 2019. Enjoyed a winning season every single year this decade, reaching double digits in wins seven times.

VOLLEYBALL

PROGRAM OF THE DECADE

Oakdale

Four years after starting their program from scratch in 2010, the Bears made history by becoming the first Frederick County volleyball team to win a state crown.

The Bears achieved that breakthrough in 2014, when they won the Class 2A state title. They captured the 2A state title again in 2017, returned to the state final in 2019 and head into the 2020s as the only county volleyball team that has won a state championship.

Jim Dorsch helmed the Bears during their title runs. He’s one of the coaches who came close to state titles in the past during his tenure at Thomas Johnson.

Also, the Bears benefited from the Twilley sisters, Liz and Jess. The former starred for the 2014 state championship team, and the latter did the same thing for the 2017 state champ and 2019 state runner-up.

FIELD HOCKEY

PROGRAM OF THE DECADE

Urbana

The Hawks made the state tournament three times this decade, more than any other county team.

After falling in the state semifinals in 2013 and 2017, Urbana reached the state championship game for the first time in program history in 2019. The Hawks came close to becoming the first Frederick County team in 26 years to win a state field hockey crown, falling in overtime to Westminster 2-1 in the 3A final.

The Hawks also won three of the five CMC championship games that have been held.

Others Considered

Linganore: Became the first Frederick County team since 1993 to reach the state finals, accomplishing the feat in 2014, and was a state semifinalist in 2012. Middletown: Made the state semis in 2015 and won two CMC championship games.

GOLF

PROGRAM OF THE DECADE

Urbana

After the Hawks captured their first state crown in 2009, an achievement that helped make them my pick as the Program of the Decade for the 2000s, they added three more state titles this decade.

Urbana won state crowns in 2010, 2011 and 2018 and was a state runner up in 2012 and 2019.

The Hawks also dominated in Frederick County, claiming nine county tournament titles during the decade.

BOYS CROSS-COUNTRY

PROGRAM OF THE DECADE

Catoctin

The Cougars were a state power early in the decade, winning state titles in 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Twin brothers David and Kevin Dorsey helped the Cougars win the first three crowns during that stretch, one in 1A and two in 2A. But after the standouts graduated, the Cougars defended their 2A crown, with Zach Gascho leading the way.

The Cougars also won the Frederick County meet title in 2014 during a decade that saw six different teams win county team crowns.

Others Considered

Linganore: Won a state title in 2017, was a state finalist in 2011, 2016 and 2018 and won two county titles. Oakdale: Won a state title in 2019 and won three county meet crowns. Thomas Johnson: Won a state title in 2013, was a state finalist in 2012 and won two county titles.

GIRLS CROSS-COUNTRY

PROGRAM OF THE DECADE

Urbana

Here’s another one of my Programs of the Decade from the 2000s that got the nod again 10 years later.

The Hawks won six county meet crowns during the 2010s, and their winning ways spanned most of the decade. Their county titles came in 2011, 2012, 2014, 2017, 2018 and 2019.

BOYS BASKETBALL

PROGRAM OF THE DECADE

Oakdale

The Bears quickly went from upstart to power, reaching the state semifinals four times and becoming the first Frederick County boys basketball team in 12 years to play in an MPSSAA state championship game.

In just the program’s third season of existence, it reached the 2013 state semifinals. The next season, it made the state final, becoming the first county boys basketball team to do so since Thomas Johnson in 2002.

The Bears also reached the state semifinals in 2015, 2018 and 2019.

The Bears’ rapid rise benefited from an established head coach in Terry Connolly, the former Urbana coach who started the program and stepped down in 2018, and a rising star in Zach Thomas, who scored more than 2,000 career points before graduating in 2014.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

PROGRAM OF THE DECADE

Frederick

In 2011, the Cadets won their first state title under coach Keivette Hammond, setting the tone for a decade of dominance.

Frederick became the first Frederick County high school basketball team — girls or boys — to win three straight MPSSAA state crowns, accomplishing the feat from 2017 to 2019. That stretch came with former Cadets player Ashley Bush as head coach and Makayla Daniels as point guard.

Frederick also reached the state semifinals in 2012 and 2016, giving it six appearances in the MPSSAA final four during the 2010s.

WRESTLING

PROGRAM OF THE DECADE

Urbana

The Hawks emerged as a state power this decade.

They reached the MPSSAA dual meet final four times, winning titles in 2012 and 2018 and advancing to the finals in 2011 and 2013.

And while the MPSSAA no longer crowns team champions at the individual wrestling championships, it did so most of this decade, and the Hawks won a state team title in 2013, placed second in 2017, third in 2012 and fourth in 2010.

Urbana also won three county tournament team titles.

Others Considered

Middletown: At the dual meet state championships, Middletown won titles in 2016 and 2017 and was a finalist in 2015. At the MPSSAA wrestling championships for individuals, the Knights were second twice and third twice in the 2010s. They also won three county tournament team titles.

BOYS SWIMMING

PROGRAM OF THE DECADE

Oakdale

The Bears weren’t just the most successful program this decade — they enjoyed a run of success unmatched by any county boys team since the Frederick County Public Schools championships started in 1983.

Oakdale won its sixth straight FCPS meet team title in 2019, and no team had ever captured so many consecutive county team crowns.

The Bears ended up with seven county titles in the 2010s, winning their first in 2012 and beginning their unprecedented streak two years later.

During their dominant stretch, the Bears also routinely went unbeaten against county competition during the regular season.

GIRLS SWIMMING

PROGRAM OF THE DECADE

Urbana

After closing out last decade with back-to-back county meet team titles, the Hawks won county team titles in 2010, 2011 and 2012. No other county girls team won that many consecutive team crowns at the FCPS meet during the 2010s.

Urbana also captured a state title in 2011 and was a state finalist in 2010.

Others Considered

Frederick: Won state titles in 2010 and 2011 and the county meet team title in 2014.

BOYS INDOOR TRACK AND FIELD

PROGRAM OF THE DECADE

Oakdale

The Bears finished in the top two at state meets a county-best four times.

They won state titles in 2015 and 2019 and were state runners-up in 2016 and 2017.

Oakdale also won county meet titles in 2016, 2017 and 2019.

Others Considered

Thomas Johnson: Won state crowns in 2010 and 2012 and was a state runner-up in 2011. Captured county team crowns in 2010, 2011 and 2012. Linganore: Won state titles in 2018 and 2019 and was a state runner-up in 2011. Won a county team crown in 2013.

GIRLS INDOOR TRACK AND FIELD

PROGRAM OF THE DECADE

Urbana

The Hawks dominated during the final five years of this decade.

They won five straight county meet team titles from 2015 to 2019, and no other team this decade won more than two county meet team titles.

After being a state finalist in 2016 and 2017, they ran the risk of exiting the decade without a state title. But they remedied that situation by winning their program’s first state crown in 2019.

BASEBALL

PROGRAM OF THE DECADE

Brunswick

Two state titles. Back-to-back, no less. Brunswick did both of those things this decade, winning MPSSAA crowns in 2015 and 2016.

No other county baseball team won more than one state title in the 2010s. Also, no county baseball team had won back-to-back state crowns since the Railroaders won three straight from 1990 to 1992.

Brunswick’s 2015 team was truly dominant, posting a 23-2 record in a sport where frequent stumbles are commonplace. And the Railroaders’ ability to return to the Class 1A state championship game and defend their crown gave them the edge.

Granted, there were a few years when the Railroaders’ final record hovered near .500, although they won at least 13 games five times.

This was another tough decision.

Others Considered

Middletown—The Knights won a state title in 2017, reached the state championship game in 2019 and made the state semifinals in 2011. Middletown won at least 16 games seven times this decade.

SOFTBALL

PROGRAM OF THE DECADE

Catoctin

The Cougars were my pick for Program of the Decade for the 2000s, and they hardly slacked off in the 2010s.

No county team this decade played in as many state championship games as the Cougars, who reached the final four times.

After winning a state title in 2011, the Cougars returned to the state final in 2013, 2016 and 2018.

Trotting out a hard-hitting lineup year after year, Catoctin also loomed large in the county, winning all three CMC championship games that have been played.

Others Considered

Linganore: The Lancers were stellar throughout the decade, reaching the state tournament five times, more than any other Frederick County team. They were a state finalist in 2012 and 2014 and a state semifinalist in 2015, 2017 and 2019.

BOYS LACROSSE

PROGRAM OF THE DECADE

Linganore

The Lancers made history in 2011 by becoming the first Frederick County lacrosse team, boys or girls, to win a state crown.

And in 2016, Linganore captured another state title, leaving it as the only county lacrosse program with any state titles on its résumé heading into the 2020s.

The Lancers also reached the state semifinals in 2017. And in the final two seasons of the decade, they nearly returned to the final four, falling to eventual state champ Westminster in a pair of thrilling, down-to-the-wire regional championship games.

GIRLS LACROSSE

PROGRAM OF THE DECADE

Oakdale

The Bears were the only Frederick County team to play in a girls lacrosse state championship game this decade, doing so in 2014 and 2016.

They also made the state semis in 2017, giving them a county-best three trips to the state final four.

Oakdale was downright dominant from 2013 to 2018, posting double-digit win totals each season and typically going unbeaten against county competition.

BOYS TENNIS

PROGRAM OF THE DECADE

Urbana

Undefeated seasons and winning county tournament titles almost became routine for the Hawks during the 2010s.

When the Hawks lost to North Hagerstown in 2019, it was their first regular-season loss since 2014.

The Hawks made up for that rare misstep by winning the Frederick County Public Schools tournament title for the fifth time this decade. The other county crowns came in 2012, 2013, 2016 and 2018.

GIRLS TENNIS

PROGRAM OF THE DECADE

Urbana

The Hawks won 84 regular-season matches in a row, a streak that began in April 2014 and ended on May 2, 2019.

They were also dominant at the Frederick County Public Schools tournament, capturing five straight team titles from 2015 to 2019.

The Hawks are coached by A.J. Stuart, who also coaches the Urbana field hockey team picked as that sport’s Program of the Decade.

BOYS TRACK AND FIELD

PROGRAM OF THE DECADE

Oakdale

The Bears came on strong during the second half of the decade, when they dominated in the county and ranked as a state power.

Oakdale won state titles in 2018 and 2019 and was a state runner-up in 2016 and 2017.

The Bears also thrived in the county, winning four straight Frederick County Public Schools team titles from 2016 to 2019.

Others Considered

Thomas Johnson: The Patriots won state titles in 2010 and 2011, were a state runner-up in 2012 and captured FCPS meet team crowns in 2010, 2011 and 2014.

GIRLS TRACK AND FIELD

PROGRAM OF THE DECADE

Urbana

There were a few worthy contenders here, but the Hawks get the nod for winning more FCPS meet team titles — five — than any other team this decade.

All of their county crowns came in the decade’s final years, from 2015 to 2019.

The Hawks were also a state power, winning state titles in 2016 and 2019 and being a state runner-up in 2015 and 2017.

Others Considered

Oakdale: Won state titles in 2013, 2014 and 2015 and county meet team crowns in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Frederick: Won state titles in 2017 and 2018 and was a state runner-up in 2019.

Tags

(3) comments

DickD

Among 2A teams in Maryland, Middletown is ranked 1st, Walkersville 4th and Oakdale 6th.

Middletown is ranked 14th in the State and 457 nationally.

DickD

This is really great, John. It must have taken a long time to compile all of this information.

In regards to football, both Middletown and Linganore have great sports programs beginning at a very young age. In the early 2010 Middletown was blessed with a great coach, Kevin Lynott and some great players: Ricky Leonard, Fallcinelli, Mike Pritts, Ben Lewis and many others. This year Middletown had the best passing quarterback that they ever had, Reese Poffenbarger. And a good cast of supporting players: Brian Walker, Janel Huskey, Brady on the line and many others. To be brutally frank, I was just hoping that they would make the playoffs, although at the start of the season I saw them as the second best team in the County. Selecting Oakdale as the best, based on the previews season just did not work out. My number one pick, at the time was Linganore and they did beat Middletown in a close game.

I was disappointed that you didn't mention Middletown's girls basketball team as a possible choice, although Frederick was obviously the best. Amy Poffenbarger has done a great job as coach. Her daughter has been one of the best since her freshman year.

I noticed Rachel Levinson still attending their games. She played with the 1993 Middletown State Championship team, when Miller was the coach.

DickD

Rachel Levine, not Levinson, Spell check got me.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it clean. No vulgar, racist, sexist or sexually-oriented language.
Engage ideas. This forum is for the exchange of ideas, not personal attacks or ad hominem criticisms.
TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
Be civil. Don't threaten. Don't lie. Don't bait. Don't degrade others.
No trolling. Stay on topic.
No spamming. This is not the place to sell miracle cures.
No deceptive names. Apparently misleading usernames are not allowed.
Say it once. No repetitive posts, please.
Help us. Use the 'Report' link for abusive posts.

Thank you for reading!

Already a member?

Login Now
Click Here!

Currently a News-Post subscriber?

Activate your membership at no additional charge.
Click Here!

Need more information?

Learn about the benefits of membership.
Click Here!

Ready to join?

Choose the membership plan that fits your needs.
Click Here!