Patriot Perspective: Two season Commissioner’s Cup will enable broader competition


Sarah Meyerl Photography

Senior Meghan Sheehan gears up to swing at a pitch in a varsity softball game against Bel Air High School on April 20. A spring Commissioner’s Cup would give spring sports, such as softball, a chance to take part in the “Battle of Bel Air.”

Correction: The earlier version of this headline was “Commissioner’s Cup crowns victor of ‘Battle of Bel Air’.” It was brought to the attention of our staff that the previous headline was misleading. To clarify, we have changed the headline to better reflect the story content.

A great rivalry was reignited this year when the “Battle of Bel Air” took place this September between JC and Bel Air High School, and it should happen again this year. One weekend with a few scheduled games was transformed into a fierce competition. This competition, formally named the Commissioner’s Cup, united both school communities together to take part in an unprecedented event.

The Commissioner’s Cup is a unique event as it is, so why just end the battle after the fall competition? The cup has the potential to develop into a two-season event. A winter or spring cup would give different sports teams a chance to take part in a one-of-a-kind rivalry and it would make for great competition. However, a spring cup would be more competitive as opposed to a winter competition.

In addition, the town of Bel Air would get a chance to see a showdown between many championship winning teams. For example, the Bel Air women’s lacrosse team is the 2017 3A/4A state champions, and the JC men’s lacrosse team is the 2017 IAAM “B” Conference champions.

A spring cup would give teams a chance to create a relationship and experience top level competition, regardless if they win championships or not. During past spring seasons, JC has often scheduled games against Bel Air in baseball, women’s lacrosse, and softball. Men’s lacrosse and track and field normally do not schedule to play each other.

Should a spring cup be introduced, in addition to the fall cup, the scores from each competition should be combined. The school with the most varsity wins from both competitions should be crowned the victor school at the conclusion of the last game in the spring cup. The victor school should also be presented with the trophy and awarded home field advantage for next year’s competition.

A continuation of the cup is only logical. Events like the Commissioner’s Cup earn revenue, draw large crowds, garner local support, and unify school communities.  Signature events, like the Turkey Bowl, which is an annual Thanksgiving football game between Calvert Hall and Loyola Blakefield, and the Commissioner’s Cup, draw fans from a number of school communities to take part in a tradition.

In comparison to other events like the Turkey Bowl, the Commissioner’s Cup is unique as it is the only public versus private school signature event in the area, and it includes multiple sports. JC and Bel Air High School have always been competitive as they are the only two high schools within the official Bel Air town limits, so it is only natural to continue this competition.

A signature event like the Commissioner’s Cup is something that produces significant benefits, as it continues to cultivate a strong bond between both schools. The fall Commissioner’s Cup united both the JC and Bel Air school communities together in support of high-level local competition, and it has the potential to do so again in a spring cup.

While the fall cup only began the “Battle of Bel Air,” a continuation of the Commissioner’s Cup in the spring season would maintain the competitiveness all year long between two schools who will continue to battle for ownership of Bel Air.