As we honor the Best of 2021 in this issue, we also look ahead to 2022. And unlike 12 months ago, we can have real confidence that we will have a full year of these events happening as scheduled.
(Immediately knocks on wood.)
Here are The 15 2022 Sports Highlights.
1. High School Boys’ Basketball
Jan. 3: Archbishop Spalding at St. Frances
Jan. 21: St. Frances at Archbishop Spalding
Jan. 26: Calvert Hall at Archbishop Spalding
Basketball fans often like the opportunity to get out and see players before they become college or pro stars, and this season provides more of those opportunities. Spalding is led by 6-foot-6 small forward Cam Whitmore, who is following former area prep stars like Phil Booth and Daniel Ochefu in heading to Villanova next fall. The St. Frances roster includes Jahnathan Lamothe, a top-50 junior nationally for whom Maryland is in the mix. And Calvert Hall (led by first-year head coach/former NBA sharpshooter Gary Neal) has a roster that includes point guard Mike Williams III, another player Maryland has shown interest in, according to VerbalCommits.
2. Local Men’s College Basketball
Jan. 15: Coppin State at Morgan State
Jan. 15: Vermont at UMBC
Jan. 22: Army at Navy
Jan. 27: Delaware at Towson
Feb. 5: Navy at Loyola
Feb. 23: Loyola at Navy
March 3: Morgan State at Coppin State
If you’re looking to get out to a local college hoops game in the winter, these rivalry games would be my top recommendations. Coppin and Morgan were each picked in the top half of the MEAC preseason poll, as were UMBC and Vermont (as usual) in the America East. Navy and Army were picked in the top half of the Patriot League poll, while Loyola is coming off a trip to the Patriot League title game. Delaware was picked to be the team for Towson and the rest of the CAA to beat.
3. Big Ten Basketball
Jan. 21: Illinois at Maryland Men
Feb. 25: Indiana at Maryland Women
These appear to be the two biggest hoops games in College Park in 2022. The Terps men don’t get a home game against Michigan or Purdue this season, but Kofi Cockburn and the Illini come calling in January. Indiana is expected to be the biggest threat to the Maryland women in the Big Ten. Michigan could also be a threat. The Wolverines visit Jan. 16.
4. Feb. 4-20: Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics
Yes, despite the last Olympics having happened just months ago, we’re already on to the next. And while local athletes have been synonymous with recent Summer Games, there have been a few who have made noise in winter months as well. Baltimore native Summer Britcher won a bronze medal at the 2020 World Luge Championships (in a team relay) and could be a factor as she looks for her first Olympic medal in what would be her third try.
5. Men’s College Lacrosse
Feb. 12: Loyola at Maryland
TBA: Maryland vs. Johns Hopkins
After playing a Big Ten-only schedule last year, Maryland makes an emphatic return to nonconference play with a likely top-10 matchup against the Greyhounds in College Park. The Terps may have lost Tewaaraton winner Jared Bernhardt, but they return stars like Logan Wisnauskas and goalie Logan McNaney. The Hounds return the bulk of their roster as well after a run to the national quarterfinals.
6. Feb. 21-26: CIAA Men’s And Women’s Basketball Tournament at Royal Farms Arena
While the CIAA Tournament IS a basketball tournament, it is far more a cultural event. How significant is the Division II tournament week expected to be as it finally moves to its new home in Baltimore? For context, the 2019 tournament generated a $43.7 million economic impact for the city of Charlotte, according to the league. That figure was $7.1 million more than the impact of hosting the ACC Tournament the same year.
7. College Baseball
March 22: Maryland at UMBC
April 19: Maryland at Towson
Fresh off a return to the NCAA Tournament last season, the Terps get back to nonconference play in 2022. Their trips to Baltimore County will provide a homecoming of sorts for All-American first baseman Maxwell Costes (Gilman). The Terps will be visiting Towson for the first time since 2013 and UMBC for the first time since 2010.
8. Orioles Baseball
March 31: Opening Day — Blue Jays at Orioles
Aug. 21: Little League Classic — Red Sox-Orioles in Williamsport, Pa.
While expectations for the 2022 Orioles remain low, this will be the first REAL Opening Day in Baltimore in three years, considering the pandemic-impacted 2020 season and the small crowd allowed last year. Additionally, there is at least a chance that Opening Day could also mark the debut of top Orioles prospect Adley Rutschman. And the Williamsport event will easily prove to be the toughest ticket in recent Orioles history, with only a few made available via lottery for the general public.
9. May 21: 147th Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course
Much like Opening Day, this will be the first “real” Preakness in three years. Planned renovations will not take place before this year, and while the Maryland Jockey Club has expressed interest in having a celebration of the current antiquated facility during a “final” Preakness week for the old track, much remains unknown about the timeline for the future facility.
10. May 27-29: NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Championship Weekend at Homewood Field
A year after the event was hosted by Towson, the women’s Final Four returns to Johns Hopkins, where Maryland defeated Boston College for the 2019 national championship. The entire season should be special at Homewood Field, as it will be the 29th and final season for retiring legendary coach Janine Tucker.
11. June 29-July 9: World Lacrosse Women’s World Championship at Towson University
For just the third time ever, the world title will be contested in America (and for just the second time in Maryland after Annapolis hosted in 2005). Former Maryland stars Taylor Cummings and Lizzie Colson are likely candidates to represent the USA. And speaking of USA Lacrosse, it hosts its national convention Jan. 14-16 at the Baltimore Convention Center.
12. Sept. 4: Maryland Cycling Classic
After two years of delays due to the pandemic, the inaugural Maryland Cycling Classic is finally set to happen during Labor Day weekend. The race will travel from Northern Baltimore County to Pratt Street in the Inner Harbor. The major cycling event is projected to generate an economic impact of $25 million to $40 million, according to the state.
13. Date TBA: Ravens at Saints
The Ravens’ 2022 schedule will also include a trip to Tampa, but the return to the site of the Super Bowl XLVII triumph is the clear top destination for fans to travel. Other road trips include a visit to the New York Jets and a return to Foxborough, Mass., to face the Patriots. Home games include an appearance from Josh Allen and the Bills.
14. Oct. 13-16: Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill
More than 20,000 fans witnessed the inaugural eventing competition in 2021, which was won by Boyd Martin. The event returns to Cecil County this fall with the expectation of growth and an even more significant impact for the region.
15. Nov. 12: Navy Football vs. Notre Dame at M&T Bank Stadium
The Midshipmen and Fighting Irish are set to square off in Baltimore for the first time since 2008. Meanwhile, the annual Army-Navy game is slated to return to Philadelphia Dec. 10. Maryland’s nonconference slate isn’t particularly inspiring, with visits from Buffalo and SMU and a trip to Charlotte in September. Towson will host Morgan State Sept. 10 and travel to West Virginia Sept. 17.
Originally published on Dec. 15, 2021.
Photo Credit: Mitch Stringer/PressBox