Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Fritz breaks county’s all-time boys lacrosse wins record

E-mail this article \ Print this article

Churchill boys lacrosse head coach Jeff Fritz has won for as long as the sport has been played on a high school level in Montgomery County.

But his team’s victory in its regular-season finale last week made him Montgomery County Public School’s biggest winner. The 15th-year Bulldogs coach became MCPS’s all-time wins leader after Churchill’s 9-3 victory over Quince Orchard on May 6. With his 132nd win, he broke the record previously held by former Seneca Valley helmsman Ed Kostalansky.

Coincidentally, Fritz was Kostalansky’s assistant before coming to Churchill in 1994, while he was still playing lacrosse and a student at Frostburg State University.

‘‘It took him 12 years, it took me 15,” said Fritz, who also played for Seneca in 1988, the county’s first-ever varsity lacrosse team. ‘‘It means I’ve been doing it a long time. But it also speaks very well for our program, that we’ve been pretty good year in and year out.”

Indeed, the Bulldogs are good every single year, always a top contender to come out of the 4A-3A West Region tournament. With the team’s 15-11 victory over Sherwood last Saturday in the regional quarterfinals, it cemented the school’s fifth straight winning season. They have also never finished a season with a winning percentage below .500. Churchill played B-CC in the semifinals Tuesday in a game completed too late for this edition of The Gazette.

Aside from their consistency, what Fritz enjoys most about the Bulldogs is the family atmosphere. He noticed eight Churchill lacrosse alums at the record-breaking game, even though it was on the road. He also said he received text messages from at least 10 other former players congratulating him for his achievement.

‘‘The kids dumped an ice bucket on me, the parents had cake there saying something like ‘Congratulations on 132,’ — it was totally unexpected,” Fritz said. ‘‘Really, it’s not my record, it’s the program’s. The success we’ve had speaks for itself and all the players we’ve had.”