The headline of the 2022-23 winter sports season in Howard County was the run by the Howard High girls basketball team to the 3A state championship. The Lions also won the county title, while the Wilde Lake boys captured their first Howard County basketball title in 45 years.

In addition, neighboring Oakland Mills High School swept the boys and girls indoor track titles.

The other major county title celebration took place at Hammond High School, which won the Howard County wrestling tournament.

Howard County Winter Sports Male Athlete of the Year: Calvin Kraisser, Centennial Wrestling

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Calvin Kraisser is part of a family wrestling dynasty at Centennial High School, and he is well on his way to matching the accomplishments of two generations of Kraissers after winning his second straight Class 4A/3A state title. A sophomore, Kraisser came from behind to win the 138-pound state title in March by pinning Clarksville’s Jonathan Chang with 21 seconds remaining in their championship match.

Kraisser went 34-2. His father and Centennial coach, Cliff Kraisser, was a state champion with the Eagles in 1983. Calvin’s older brothers, Nathan, Austin and Jason, won a combined 11 state titles at Centennial.

Howard County Winter Sports Female Athlete of the Year: Gabby Kennerly, Howard Basketball

A four-year starter for Howard High School, Gabby Kennerly was in the center of the Lions’ growth into a state power and the culmination of that growth, the 2022-23 Class 3A state championship. Kennerly scored 15 points in the state final, all in the second half, helping Howard avenge a championship game loss against Poly one year before.

Kennerly, a two-time pick as Howard County Player of the Year, averaged 19 points and 7.7 points last season, while serving as team leader. She will play college basketball in Emmitsburg at Mount St. Mary’s University.

Gary Adornato is the founder and original publisher of Varsity Sports Network, a high school sports news network that became part of The Baltimore Banner in August 2022. 

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