The Starting Five

Tag: Amy Schmuck

Giving the Rebels a hand

by on Jan.08, 2009, under Prep Basketball

No team, nor its players, should ever have to endure a 55-game losing streak.

Unfortunately, South Hagerstown’s girls basketball team did. And it’s not the first time a Washington County girls team had to experience such a streak of futility: Clear Spring went 84 straight games without a win from 2001 to 2005. I was at the Blazers’ game against St. Maria Goretti when that streak came to an end: It was a joyous time for everyone involved with the program.

The Rebels deserve to feel good about Wednesday’s win, but they deserve to feel even better about the direction the program is now heading under first-year coach Amy Schmuck, who had success at Class 4A Thomas Johnson, taking the Patriots to the state tournament in 2005.

South’s first two losses this season, to Williamsport and Boonsboro, left both Wildcats coach Chris Malott and Warriors coach Max Shaffer commenting about how vastly improved the Rebels were. Lopsided losses to Smithsburg, North Hagerstown and Frederick were nothing to feel bad about: Those three teams will hand out plenty of whoopings to lots of teams this season. And a 56-52 loss to Fort Hill at the Mountain Ridge Tournament last week was the clearest sign that at some point sooner rather than later, South was going to end the streak.

Believe me, it won’t be another 55 games before the Rebels celebrate their next victory. It probably won’t be five games. For the first time in a while, this is a program taking steps forward. All off South’s top players this season are underclassmen.

And don’t forget, it wasn’t that long ago that North was a struggling team. The Hubs never endured the kind of streak South or Clear Spring had, but they had a handful of five-win seasons before Barry Brown took over and turned that program into the beast of Washington County. There’s no reason to believe Schmuck can’t accomplish the same kind of turnaround, given time, at South.

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