The state championships are back.
The Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association Board of Control on Wednesday overwhelmingly voted in favor of a proposal that would return spring state championships to Maryland for the first time since 2019.
“I’m glad for the kids,” St. Michaels High athletic director and head baseball coach Brian Femi said during a phone interview on his way back from Tuesday’s vote at Winters Mill High School. “I talked with some of the fall coaches and they said it’s really hard to get kids to play when there’s nothing to play for. Everybody seems to be happy about the vote.”
According to the MPSSAA’s website, sport tournament directors from each of the MPSSAA Spring state championships presented plans for the spring state championships to be held June 5 through June 19. The vote was 57-1 in favor.
“I’m kind of in awe,” Kent Island High boys’ head lacrosse coach Bobby Woolley said. “I did leak it out to the players; they’re fired up about it. I’m excited for these guys. These guys have been hoping for nothing but this.”
The 2020 boys’ and girls’ state basketball championships were canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite those cancellations, tryouts and practices for the 2020 spring season had begun when the MPSSAA announced on April 28, 2020, the entire spring sports season and championships were canceled, crushing the hopes of several area programs, including Colonel Richardson’s baseball team, the defending Class 1A state champion.
“Very excited. Excited for the boys and hopefully the opportunity to compete for a state title,” Colonel head baseball coach Ryan Blanchfield said. “That’s always our goal. Definitely missing out last year really was upsetting to the boys because that’s what we prepare for all year.”
The regular seasons for most Bayside spring sports were set to finish next week with a conference tournament to follow. What impact yesterday’s decision will have in regard to the playing of the scheduled Bayside tournaments and championships is yet to be determined.
According to the MPSSAA website, the last play date for baseball, softball and lacrosse seeding consideration is June 3, with tournament seeding being held June 4. Regional quarterfinals are slated for June 7, with semifinals on June 9 and region finals June 11-12. The state quarterfinals are scheduled for June 14, with the semifinals on June 16 and the finals June 18.
The lacrosse finals are set to be held June 18-19.
Regional tennis meets can begin on Saturday, June 5, and be completed by June 15. The state tennis tournament is scheduled for June 18-19 at the Wilde Lake Tennis Club in Columbia.
Sectional region track meets are scheduled for June 7-10, with region final meets June 12, 14-15. This year’s state track championships will be held at the Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex in Landover. The Class 1A meet is set for June 18 at 10 a.m., with the 4A meet to follow at 4 p.m. The 3A championships are June 19 at 10 a.m., with the 2A championships to follow at 4 p.m.
“I’m excited,” Bayside Conference president and Kent Island athletic director Dan Harding said. “I think in most cases it gives the spring athletes that missed all last year a sense of normalcy back and something to play for. To be able to play once again for a Maryland state championship, I think that’s kind of the ultimate prize.”