The just-concluded 2018-19 school year marks the 15th year of the Peninsula Cup; the athletic competition between Dundalk, Patapsco and Sparrows Point n which a trophy — that aforementioned cup — is awarded to whichever school has the best overall record against the other two schools.
The Cup, originally donated by The Last Call Athletic Club of Edgemere, has not left Sparrows Point’s trophy case (other than to have a new year engraved to mark the current champ) for 13 straight years.
Sparrows Point strolled to yet another Peninsula Cup by going 11-3 in spring sports. The Pointers were 12-6 entering the spring for a final record of 23-9.
Dundalk was second with an 18-15 overall record after going 8-9 in the spring, while Patapsco was 4-111 in the spring to finish 9-25.
Sparrows Point’s three spring losses were all in boys track; losing twice to Dundalk and once to Patapsco.
(For Peninsula Cup purposes, I counted the tri-meet between the three schools, and the Eastside Last Chance meet.)
Sparrows Point was 10-0 in all other spring sports, led by a 4-0 mark in girls track and field.
The Pointers were also 2-0 in baseball and 1-0 in softball, boys lacrosse, girls lacrosse and tennis.
Sparrows Point did not play Dundalk in softball, and did not play Patapsco in lacrosse or tennis (a scheduled tennis match was rained out and not made up).
After 15 years, it may be time to wonder: should the Peninsula Cup be retired?
Sparrows Point had won the Cup 14 out of 15 years (Patapsco won in the 2005-06 school year). And, for the immediate to short-term future, its hard to envision Sparrows Point not winning the Cup.
For starters, the Pointers absolutely dominate girls athletics.
In the era of the Peninsular Cup, the Pointers have lost twice in girls soccer; both times to Patapsco (once when their best player was injured) and not since 2013.
Dundalk does not schedule Sparrows Point in girls soccer, and Patapsco-Sparrows Point games in recent years have not been close.
Field hockey once was competitive between Sparrows Point and Patapsco (Dundalk has not had a field hockey team for many years). But in the 2010’s the gap has widened and games between the Patriots and Pointers have become lopsided.
Volleyball was once competitive; Dundalk and Patapsco beat Sparrows Point at the beginning of the decade. The Pointers have dominated since then.
In basketball — yup, Dundalk and Patapsco could beat Sparrows Point when the Peninsula Cup started. Patapsco beat Sparrows Point during the 2017-18 season.
Mark basketball as a girls sport where Sparrows Point can be vulnerable. To Patapsco.
Sparrows Point ha lost once in girls lacrosse during the cup era, to Dundalk, over 10 years ago. It has not lost in softball during this century.
Track is close. Patapsco was very close to Sparrows Point this season, and has been for several years. The Pointers graduate Mya King, but the Patriots graduate Erin Palmer.
With such an advantage in girls sports, the Pointer boys just need to not have a losing record. Pretty easy to do when you dominate in wrestling (unbeaten during the Cup era) and boys lacrosse (two losses, both the Patapsco, last one in the 2000’s).
Sparrows Point has fallen behind Patapsco in football (and doesn’t even bother playing Dundalk) and is also the least of the three in boys basketball.
But the Pointers tend to win more than they lose against Dundalk and Patapsco in boys soccer and baseball, although they are never really a sure thing like, say, softball and girls soccer and lacrosse.
Patapsco and Dundalk have stopped scheduling Sparrows Point in wrestling. Patapsco has dropped Sparrows Point in girls and boys lacrosse, while Dundalk was shut out by Sparrows Point in both boys and girls lacrosse this past spring.
(To be fair, I remember when Sparrows Point and Dundalk used to play twice a season in boys and girls basketball. That ended after the Peninsula Cup started and the Owls were pummeling the Pointers in both sports.)
I supported the creation of the Peninsula Cup and consider it a great idea. But it may be a relic of a bygone era, when sports weren’t so ... specialized ... and it wasn’t so easy for athletes to play at schools outside their zone, so that certain Peninsula Cup teams would dominate while using several players that live outside of Dundalk-Edgemere entirely.
Ultimately, it’s not my call. I will be content to see the Cup competition continue, while cheerfully keeping my role as Ye Official Keeper of the Standings.
Amidst all of Mya King’s accomplishments I’ve been describing the past few weeks, I left out another one that is darn impressive.
Mya’s winning time in the Class 1A 100 hurdles (14.3) and 300 hurdles (43.13) would also have won the Class 2A, 3A and 4A state titles this year.
Ah, the Women’s Soccer World Cup. Where you can root for the united States team, and they not only have a chance to win, they’re the favorite to win.
(Seriously? Venezuela? From what I see in the news, Venezuela is falling apart, people are leaving the country in droves, those that remain are running short on food, and there are two groups claiming to be the legitimate government.
Yet the Venezuelan men’s soccer team just beat the U.S. team 3-0.)
The women’s World Cup is also more enjoyable to watch than the men’s World Cup.The men drop to the ground and writhe in agony at the slightest hint of contact or angry look or light breeze from a passing opposing player.
The women knock the crap out of each other and just keep playing.
But, to again bring up my usual women’s World Cup complaint (it applies every year, but I only snark about it during the World Cup): why do the members of the Brazilian women’s team go by just one name?
Yes, the Brazilian men go by just one name, but they’ve, you know, earned it. The Brazilian women’s team hasn’t won anything.
And its the 20th anniversary of the U.S. Women’s team winning the 1999 World Cup, when I seemed to be one of the few people who didn’t look twice when Brandi Chastain celebrated her Cup-winning penalty kick by taking off her jersey and celebrating while only wearing a sports bra.
I ran road races at that time. It was pretty common to see women running road races wearing sports bras as tops in warm weather (including my running partner). It never occurred to me to think of it as risque.