The bocce team took to the courts once again on Feb. 22, this time looking to earn themselves a second state championship in a span of three years. They played hard and in the end came out on top.
The state championship tournament was split up into four separate divisions with Wootton being in the second division. What made this tournament different from both the divisional tournament and county tournaments was that the 45-minute matches were shortened to 30 minutes, making it a much bigger obstacle if a team started out slow and fell behind. Another big difference in this tournament was that the team was going to be seeing seven new teams since they were the only Montgomery County team in the second division.
Their first match was against Laurel High School, who the team beat soundly by an eight point margin with the final score being 11-3. “I thought we played well all season and our game against Laurel was no exception. The entire team really brought their A game,” junior Sara Hodes said.
Following this victory the team went on to face the winner of the Frederick Douglass vs. McDonough game, with Douglass winning their game by a four-goal margin. The team once again won their match by an eight-point margin, 9-1. “I actually didn’t play my best in the first two games but thankfully the rest of the team excelled and we cruised to the final,” senior co-captain Derrick Daoust said.
In the state championship match, they played Tuscarora High School, who had won their first match against Boonsboro High School, 8-5 and then their second match against Northern Garrett High School, 12-2. This final match was much closer than the previous ones for either team with the lead changing hands multiple times. Tuscarora rolled the pallina and then had their first shot, which was close but the team rolled their closer. Tuscarora then rolled another shot that got close, this went back and forth with each team alternating getting closer and closer each time with players like sophomore Brian Myers and junior Hannah Vinner getting close to the panilla but not close enough to put the match out of reach. Finally, it came down to Daoust, who had the last shot. “I knew I had to perfectly bounce it off Brian’s shot and have it roll between Tuscarora’s ball and ours so that it would land closer,” Daoust said.
Daoust then executed this plan to perfection sealing the win and the team’s second state title for the team all in his final shot as a Patriot.;Winning them the match with the final score of 4-3. “I was so happy knowing my final roll ever for Wootton bocce was the one that gave us another state championship,” Daoust said