It started for me late in the afternoon on May 25. The run-out-the-clock situation that is the summer.
Don’t get me wrong, I like summer, too. It typically allows me the chance to do a little traveling and get to some ballparks. My 8-year-old son would be quick to tell you he’s been to exactly half of the big league stadiums now, having attended games in 15 of them with a stop in Detroit in June. My younger son would tell you he doesn’t know how many he’s been to (it’s 11), but he’s sick of getting punished for no reason. One day he’ll appreciate it.
But the natural rhythm of covering games every day gets broken up for a couple months in the summer. When that spring high school season ends, typically the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, my thoughts move towards Friday nights in the fall and the start of fall practice in August.
None of which is to say nothing significant happens in the summer. It’s just flows differently. Sometimes some cool things happen far away, and sometimes in the summer it’s just more difficult to get in touch with people to give everything its proper due. That said...
The high school golf season is still a few weeks off, but a couple of the top girls in Southern Maryland did some big things in July, as rising Northern High School senior Elizabeth Coffren and North Point High School rising junior Bailey Davis figured prominently in a couple of big tournaments.
To start the month on July 1 and 2, Coffren had a 2-over-par 142 to finish second at the Middle Atlantic Junior PGA Championship at Mount Vernon Country Club in Alexandria, Virginia. Davis came in a stroke behind Coffren in third, with both qualifying to play in the girls Junior PGA Championship July 9 to 12 at Keney Park Golf Course in Hartford, Connecticut. Coffren narrowly missed the cut at the tournament, while Davis, who has two high school state championships to her credit, shot 2-under to finish tied for 24th.
Back in the spring, Northern’s boys lacrosse team made a third straight state finals appearance and then longtime head coach Joe Casalino stepped down, as did longtime La Plata head boys lacrosse coach Kris Bayer, ensuring that the 2020 SMAC boys lacrosse season would have a drastically different look with the architects of two of the conference’s top programs departed.
There were some pretty good players who graduated this past spring, too, three of whom were honored as U.S. Lacrosse High School All-Americans. Bradley Holt of The Calverton School, Jacob Purcell of Northern and La Plata’s Josh Bayer were all selected.
Bayer, who was tabbed as the SMAC’s top player this spring, is a long-stick midfielder who will play collegiately at the University of Delaware. Purcell, who was twice honored as an All-American, is playing football at the University of Maryland.
In girls lacrosse, Leonardtown High School graduate Catie Corolla was named as an All-American, while Huntingtown High School graduates Abby Pike and Hanna Ash, Leonardtown graduate Grace Leget and Patuxent High School graduate Sabrina McGuigan were selected as U.S. Lacrosse All-Academic honorees.
Switching gears to the diamond, last summer Northern graduate Ryan Meisinger provided some local excitement when he made his big league debut with the Baltimore Orioles. He ended up making 18 appearances with the Orioles and logged a 2-1 record before St. Louis nabbed him in the offseason. Pitching this year for the Memphis Redbirds, the Cardinals’ Triple-A affiliate, Meisinger has pitched 35 innings with a 3.09 ERA and punched out 42 batters. Currently on the seven-day injured list, he last pitched on June 5.
Drafted in the same 2015 draft as Meisinger, Chopticon High School graduate Ljay Newsome was recently promoted to Double-A Arkansas in the Seattle Mariners’ system.
The former Brave dropped his first two decisions with Arkansas, but earned his first win in the Travelers’ 6-1 win over the Springfield Cardinals last Saturday. Newsome allowed one earned run over five innings of work. He surrendered four hits and walked one.
Newsome evened up his record at 2-2 on Wednesday night, tossing six shutout innings in a 4-1 win against the Northwest Arkansas Naturals. He gave up just two hits and walked one to go along with three strikeouts while lowering his ERA to 2.08 through four starts with Arkansas.
Prior to his promotion, Newsome was 6-6 with a 3.75 ERA with the High-A Modesto Nuts, where he logged an absurd 124-to-9 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 100 2/3 innings on the mound. He also made a spot start at Triple-A Tacoma on June 23 where he struck out 10 in 5 2/3 innings in earning a no-decision in the Rainiers’ 8-7 loss to El Paso.
Newsome also pitched in the California League All-Star Game, two months after being named the league’s Player of the Month in April when he went 4-1.
And barely over two months ago, Marcus Lee Sang wrapped up his career playing at Northern and, after being selected by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 11th round of this year’s Major League Baseball draft, opened his professional career with Phillies East squad in the Gulf Coast League.
After enduring a relatively slow start, Lee Sang enjoyed his most productive day as a pro on Monday in the team’s 8-1 win over the GCL Blue Jays. Lee Sang went 3 for 4 with his first professional home run in the victory.
Through Monday’s action, the Northern graduate had played in 20 games and was hitting .269 with two triples, a home run, nine RBIs and five stolen bases.