As part of Gilman's 125th anniversary celebration and as we kick off the spring season of athletics, we wanted to share more about the history of Gilman's spring varsity teams.
Baseball is the longest-running interscholastic spring sport at Gilman. The Country School for Boys' first baseball team dates back to 1899 when the oldest students on the team were only about 14 years old. The team matured in a few short years, and in 1904, the School baseball team defeated City College to win the Interscholastic Championship of Maryland.
While there have been many good teams and great players throughout Gilman's history, Gilman would then have to wait 72 years for its next championship team, when the 1976 varsity baseball team won the MSA "B" Conference championship. The 1976 team included two players whose names will be familiar to decades of Gilman alumni: Tim Holley '77 and John Xanders '77. Twenty years after that, in 1996, Gilman won its first MIAA "A" Conference baseball championship with arguably one of the best baseball teams in Gilman's history, which included Gilman's current Athletic Director Russell Wrenn '96. Other championship seasons include 1990 ("B" Conference), 1991 ("B" Conference), 2010 (MIAA "A" Conference), and 2021 ("A" Conference).
As the tennis rackets in this iconic 1898 all-school photograph of students sitting on the steps of Homewood indicate, students have been playing tennis at Gilman since its founding. An interscholastic tennis team began in the spring of 1913. From 1946 until 1963 (with the exception of a hiatus in 1961), tennis coach Roy Barker led the team to a 100-56 record, and Gilman won its first MSA championship in 1958. Following Barker's tenure, Bruce Daniels coached from 1964 to 1981 (161-29 record), and Jim Busick coached from 1982 to 2011 (284-60-3). The modern tennis program has thrived under coach Steve Krulevitz, who took over the program in 2012, and at the end of the 2021 season, had a 100-15-1 record and led the tennis team to seven championships in a row. Varsity tennis has won 27 total league championships, including 14 MSA titles and 13 in the MIAA "A" Conference.
Read more about the generations of Gilman tennis in this 2021 Baltimore Sun article.
As an undersquad team, lacrosse first appeared on Gilman's campus in the spring of 1929. Coached by Edward W. Brown, the sport grew in popularity, and in 1932, Gilman fielded its first interscholastic varsity lacrosse team. George Chandlee '32 served as captain and midfielder on that 1932 team. Chandlee would later return to coach Gilman lacrosse from 1947 to 1970, leading Gilman to six Maryland Scholastic Association (MSA) championships. The team has won a total of 16 MSA/MIAA championships, including its first championship in 1947, starring center middie Redmond C. S. Finney '47.
Track and Field
Since the early days of The Country School for Boys, Gilman students have competed in intramural track and field. Each spring, the School would host an annual Field Day, including traditional events such as the 100-, 220-, and 440-yard dash, broad and high jump, and some less traditional events, such as the three-legged run and a sack race.
After several years as a squad team, track and field became a formal varsity sport in the late 1960s. The team won its first MSA "B" conference championship in 1978 and again in 1985 under Coach J. Thompson. Head Coach Johnnie Foreman helped lead Gilman's track and field program for decades of excellence from 1989 until 2020, with a record of 165-45-3. Since 1995, Gilman's varsity track and field team has won 15 MIAA "A" conference championships.
Varsity golf came to Gilman in the spring of 1974. Coached by Frank "Bill" Andrews, the team had a 9-2-1 record and was MSA co-champions with Loyola. Lettermen that season included Guy Phelan '75, Jimmy Vandenberg '74, Henry Blue '74, and Bill Saltysiak '75.
While these students formed Gilman's first varsity golf team, it was not the first time Gilman School competed in golf. More than 50 years earlier, there was a Gilman golf squad. According to the 1923 Cynosure, Mr. John Ryan served as the coach for the squad, and Brice Goldsborough '23 was the manager. The golf squad, however, only played in 1923 and did not appear again in the following year's Cynosure.
The modern varsity golf team has won a total of 11 MSA/MIAA championships.