Tag: Kevin Wilson

Same Family, Same Team

Words: Michael Moore

Playing on the same team with a sibling is something special that doesn’t happen often. Siblings have a special connection on the field that is not often replicated, and it can lead to great things on the field. Sophomore Caroline Strott has spent the past two seasons playing varsity softball with her older sister, Abbey. It has been a great help for Strott, who said it helped her adjust to not just softball, but to high school as a whole.

“By having an older sister I felt more accepted and welcomed on the team, simply because I already knew some of the other players because of [Abbey]. It made it an easier transition to varsity and high school in general,” Strott said.

Strott explained how her sister helped her build confidence on the field, and as an underclassman on varsity, confidence is very important. But, Strott also looks to her sister as a role model off the field too. Abbey’s support and encouragement has helped Caroline through a lot.

“Regardless of what’s going on [Abbey] always had my back. She’s been a great role model for me and helped me with a lot, especially in my freshman year,” Strott said.

Freshman Jeremy Wilson played varsity lacrosse with his brother, senior Kevin Wilson. According to J. Wilson, this past season was something special.

“It’s something everyone who has a brother looks forward to but not everyone gets to do. Coming in as a freshman it makes you so much more comfortable to know that [Kevin is] there to pick you up when you make a bad play,” Wilson said.

Having a brother with you can be very beneficial, especially for a freshman. It helps J. Wilson gain confidence and learn not to be afraid of anything. J. Wilson said his brother taught him that “being a freshman doesn’t matter, it’s all about heart and who wants it more.”

Wilson’s brother played an important role on the lacrosse team during his time at Centennial, and his impact is not lost on his younger brother.

“I think I’ll miss the passion he played with most…he just loves the game and leads by example and is a great leader to follow,” J. Wilson said.

With the graduation of seniors, their younger siblings will look to take the lessons that they have learned throughout the years, and use them on their own. With the summer fast approaching, these athletes will begin to find their own path, and with the tools that have been passed down from their siblings, the future looks nothing but bright for them.

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan

Photos from the 3A Championship Game

Game Photos: Izzie Chausse

Post-Game Photos: Giana Han

For coverage of the game, see Mike Moore’s article https://chswingspan.wordpress.com/2015/03/14/the-boys-basketball-team-brings-home-the-state-title/ .

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

Photos From the Regional Championship

Photos: Izzie Chausse

For coverage of the game, see the article by Giana Han at https://chswingspan.wordpress.com/2015/03/09/the-eagles-win-a-double-victory-a-state-title-and-a-regional-championship/

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

Eagles Fly Past Their First Boys’ Basketball Play-off Game

Words: Michael Moore

Contributions from Giana Han

The gym at Centennial High School Wednesday night was as crowded as ever. Along with the anticipation of a snow day, the student section was loud and rowdy for the Eagle’s first playoff game of the season against Baltimore Polytechnic Institute (Poly). The Eagles pulled out a dominating 50-34 win to advance in the tournament.

The first half didn’t start ideally for the Eagles when they got into some early foul trouble. Seniors Chad Strothers and Isaiah White registered two fouls in the first half.

“Went a little offense-defense substitution in the first half just to try and steal a couple minutes with Isaiah because he’s so critical for us on the floor. But, with that said, I thought we weathered the storm with Chad and Connor and Isaiah each with two fouls,” Centennial head coach Chad Hollwedel said.

The Eagles could not get shots to drop in the first half, sometimes settling for poor shot opportunities and struggling on the glass. The Eagles also had some calls that didn’t quite go their way, and, after two quarters of play, Centennial was down 22-15.

Centennial came out quick in the second half after Hollwedel “reminded us that we’re the better team, and we’ve got to play together if we want to win,” according to Strothers.

White scored four points in 30 seconds to cut the lead to three. Later in the quarter, sophomore Elijah White (4 points) gave Centennial a one point lead and they never looked back from there.

On the defensive end, seniors Kevin Wilson and Eli Geist (3 points) were containing the Poly Engineers.  Wilson played some lockdown defense while Geist flew through the air blocking shots and grabbing rebounds.  Their efforts limited the number of second-chance shots Poly got and helped keep them from grabbing their lead back.

Junior Tom Brown (12 points) was a key factor in the comeback effort. He explained the team’s process during the comeback, saying that once they stopped taking a lot of three point shots and started driving to the basket more, the game turned in their favor.

By midway through the final quarter, the Eagles had built a double-digit lead on Poly. Centennial was hitting their shots and the defense was playing stout, forcing Poly to settle for unwanted shots.  The fans and players could sense it. The feeling of victory began to sweep through the gym. The players were excited and the atmosphere was as electric as ever.

When Strothers (10 points) broke free on a fast break, he looked to the side to see I. White (16 points) keeping up with him.  So he gave up the free lay-up to give I. White the chance, and he threw a dunk down with a little over a minute to go which was the final nail in the coffin.

Anticipation had been building for days.  This game was originally scheduled for Mar. 3, but inclement weather kept pushing it back.  However, the Eagles did not let that stop them.  According to Strothers, they kept in touch and met at the Y to keep from getting cold.

This was just the first step in the journey to College Park. The next game is on Friday against City High School at Centennial, and Strothers is excited for the opportunity. He said, “We just need to keep each night and not look ahead and focus on the task ahead of us.  I think if we keep playing like we did in the second half, who knows how far we’ll go?”

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

Eagles Celebrate County Basketball Title

Words: Giana Han

Photos: Izzie Chausse

Contributions from Sandy Eichhorn and Sabrina Han

After three years, Centennial can once again claim to be home of the boys’ basketball county champions.

On Feb. 20, the Eagles beat Marriotts Ridge 60-29 which cinched the 2015 county title for the first time since the 2011-2012 season.  The game was away, so the accomplishment was not celebrated in the same way it would have been if it had occurred at home.  To remedy this, the varsity team was called down during second period for a special ceremony.

The team, coaches, and managers gathered in the cafeteria along with the administrators where Centennial’s athletic director, Jean Vanderpool, presented them with the flag and trophy.

Before handing over the trophy, Vanderpool said, “You will be able to come back here forever and look up at the red banner in the gym and see it says 2015 boys’ county champions.”

“You are, and have been, extremely successful,” added principal Claire Hafets.  “The school has taken so much pride in your success.  The community has taken pride in your success, and the coaches have taken pride in your success.  Remember this feeling of success.  You will always be successful because you know this feeling.”

Following the speeches and pictures, the team went outside to watch the captains raise the county championship flag before they celebrated with a breakfast.

The last time the basketball team earned this title, the seniors on the basketball team were just freshman on J.V.

“Freshmen year, I never thought we’d get here, looking at all of us,” said senior captain Chad Strothers. “But, as we developed each year, I could see us getting closer.” According to Strothers, seeing the varsity team named champions his freshman year was a motivation.

“It looked like such a great feeling,” he said.  “I wanted to get there.”

Senior Isaiah White had been working towards this goal as well.  Each year, he was given the chance to play for other teams at other schools, but each year, he decided to stick with the Centennial program.

“I believed in what we did here,” said White.  “We do it the right way.”

Gaining the county title was part of the goal that the team set at the beginning of the year, but the process in getting it was a long one.

“We grinded each day in practice, we always worked hard,” said senior Connor Clemens.  “In the offseason, we’d shoot baskets in the gym, and we played fall, spring, and summer leagues.”

Coach Chad Hollwedel agreed that the players had worked hard through off-seasons, and he also said, “A lot of different things have to go right.  We were fortunate to stay healthy this season, but a lot of different people stepped up during different parts of the season.  It’s not just one or two or three or four people; it’s 12 people on the floor that made the difference.”

He added that the loss to Oakland Mills turned out to be an advantage.

“It helped tremendously during the season to help prepare us to deal with tight games and adversity.  It prepared us to compete in the next part of the season,” said Hollwedel.  The game was the closest game of the year for the Eagles, and Hollwedel hopes it will prepare them for the atmosphere of the play-offs.  However, even though it resulted in a loss, he and the other coaches are still proud of their record of 18-1.

“I believe it’s the second best record in the history of the school.  I think the last was in 1996 when they went 22-0,” he said.

As senior Eli Geist said, “It’s a good reward for all the hard work everyone does, not just us.”

White added, “It’s not just the players who get all the playing time.  Players who don’t get playing time much, push the players who do in practice.”

“It doesn’t matter what role people play on the team, whether it’s being out on the court and playing or being on the bench and picking each other up, everyone is there for each other,” said Strothers.

“To be able to have this experience as a group after all the years of work, they get to see a reward” said Hollwedel.  “Chad and Isaiah were huge this year.  For the three who didn’t play much last year, it’s a great reward for me to see them play a different role with the success they’re having.”

Senior Kevin Wilson is one of those three seniors.  He said, “It’s really important to me because last year, as a junior, I didn’t see the court much.  This year, I’m contributing [tremendously, added White]. We’re the backbone of the team.”

The seniors have played an integral role on the team this year.  Wilson has been mentioned repeatedly for his solid defense, especially at the Oakland Mills game when he had to guard Mamadou Ndiaye.  Geist was hurt at the start of the season, but since his return, he has been all over the boards.  Clemens has been known to sink clutch shots, and of course, Strothers and White are some of the leading scorers in the county.

However, the race does not stop with the county championship title.  The Eagles are scheduled to play the winner of the Poly-Long Reach match up on March 3.

“We’re fortunate in that for every game we win, we are guaranteed a game here [at Centennial].  We put ourselves in a good spot,” said Hollwedel.  “Of course, our goal is to play the last game of the season.”

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

Centennial Basketball Faces Oakland Mills

Words: Michael Moore

Photos: Caroline Oppenheimer

On Wednesday January 29, the Centennial boys’ basketball team took on Oakland Mills in showdown of the top two teams in the county. The gym was packed and there was a playoff-like atmosphere.

Centennial got off to a 7-0 start in the first quarter, which was highlighted by a dunk from senior guard Isaiah White to extend Centennial’s lead to 9-1. The Eagles dominated the first quarter on the offensive end, defensive end, and on the boards, and it ended with a 15-9 Centennial lead.

The second quarter was the same. Senior Chad Strothers and junior Tom Brown continued their impressive games in the second, notching points when they needed to be scored. Senior Kevin Wilson was a force on the boards in the second quarter, helping to facilitate the Eagles offense. White made another exciting play, igniting the crowd with a dunk that gave the Eagles an 11 point lead. The Eagles defense stood tall in the second, helping to preserve a 30-22 lead at the half.

The third was another strong quarter for the Eagles’ offense. Brown had a very good quarter, leading the Eagles out to an 8-3 run to begin the quarter. The Eagles and Scorpions went back and forth in the third quarter, which ended with Centennial on top 43-35.

The stage was set for an exciting final quarter. Oakland Mills got big rebounds early in the quarter to pull within 3. The Eagles held off the push from the visitors, but the Scorpions’ momentum carried them to take the 1 point lead a little over three minutes into the fourth. With the visitors controlling the boards and the Eagles struggling to get calls in the paint, Centennial was in an uphill battle in the home stretch of the game. The teams traded baskets, one team never holding the lead for very long.

With the visitors holding the momentum and time running short, the Eagles found themselves down by three points. This did not seem to bother White, as he drained a long three pointer that not only tied the game, but got the home crowd back in it but energized the team. With just under 10 seconds to play, Strothers hit a free throw that put the Eagles ahead. However, with five seconds left, Oakland Mills hit two free throws that tied the game and sent it to overtime.

The overtime period was back and forth in the beginning, with the two teams once again trading leads. Brown, White, and Strothers helped score points but Oakland Mills would eventually escape with a 66-61 win.

Strothers, Brown, and White would finish with 18, 17, and 15 points respectively, with Wilson adding three more. Senior Connor Clemens and Junior Min An both finished with four points. The Eagles also got strong defensive play from Senior Eli Giest, who made some key blocks down the stretch.

 

Eagles’ Winning Streak in Basketball Continues

Words: Giana Han

On Jan. 14, Centennial boys’ basketball not only improved their undefeated record to 10-0, but they also broke River Hill’s six game winning streak.

The game started out slow, and it was several minutes until senior Kevin Wilson sunk a three to put the first points on the board. The first quarter ended with Centennial up 11-8.

In the second quarter, the game seemed even slower than the first half for Centennial’s offense. Senior Isaiah White’s allyoop dunk was the brightest spot of the first half, and by the end of the half River Hill had caught up and then grabbed a one point lead.

“We came out slow in the first half,” said junior Tom Brown. “We weren’t shooting well.”

However, the game picked up in the second half as Centennial, led by Brown and senior Chad Strothers, went on several scoring runs. Additionally, Centennial managed to shut down River Hill’s leading scorer for the season, Charles Thomas IV, who had previously been averaging 22.6 points a game, according to The Baltimore Sun.

“We knew we had to get him in the post and cover him well there. Kevin did well fronting him, and we got him off the boards,” said Brown. The Eagles held Thomas to just nine points, a season low for him.

By the end of the third quarter, the Eagles had pulled ahead by five with a score of 32-27. They continued to control the game with strong defense and a steady offense. Since boys’ basketball does not have a shot clock, Centennial took its time passing the ball around the perimeter as they worked the zone, looking for openings.

The Eagles then capitalized on those openings, with five players sinking threes throughout the game, and multiple two point field goals made by different players.

Centennial maintained its lead until the end of the game and won 49-39 thanks to its strong defense and several key players. Brown dominated the boards with 10 defensive rebounds and 1 offensive one in addition to his 3 steals and 12 points. He was helped by teammate Strothers who had an astounding 17 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds and 4 steals, as well as White (10 points, 2 blocks) and Connor Clemens (5 points, 4 rebounds).

This win will carry the Eagles on to their next game at Hammond on Jan. 16.

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.