• In 1916, the Upper Potomac League was created, being composed of teams from Allegany County, Piedmont, and Keyser. Allegany would not win the first year, but they would go on to win the championship the next four consecutive years, spanning from 1917-1920. This success, however, would lead Piedmont and Keyser to withdraw from the league due to Allegany’s continued domination. The coach in the inaugural year was Lewis Randall, who would lead them to another championship. Smith would take over the coaching position in 1922 and lead them to yet another WMIL championship. There was one exception during 1927 when Allegany, who lost to city opponents and WMIL teams, won the Maryland Playground Athletic (PAL) Championship, the first of many state titles. The coach during this season was the legendary Walter “Bill” Bowers, the “Miracle Man” of Campobello. He had remarked that “We just had an ordinary season until we finished with that flurry of five big victories in a row.” Allegany would defeat Hyattsville with a score of 25-17 in the championship game. This would be followed by more success in 1928 when Allegany would retake the WMIL and city titles. But it was the run of victories from 1929-1934 that would build the foundation for Coach Bowers' reputation of being a molder of state championships. The Campers would go on to wreck Cambridge in March of 1930 with a score of 55-14, defeat Crisfield 33-8 in 1931, crush Cambridge 43-12 in 1932, and beat out Cambridge once again 65-14. The record breaking fifth consecutive championship would come when Allegany matched up again against Cambridge in March of 1934 when the “Campobello Cyclone”  would down the Eastern Shoremen 28-14. The Campers would experience a short break in winning state championships before returning in 1936 to capture their 7th title in a decade. Another notable win came for Alco in January 1936 against Cumberland's rival Pennsylvania Avenue school, the predecessor to Fort Hill. The Campers would roll through three other teams to their eighth state championship. As the war years approached, there were no state tournaments from 1940-1946. The win streak would continue until 1948, when their 44 game win streak in the WMIL was snapped by Fort Hill. The Campers would win their tenth title in 1950. The Campers would find limited success in the state, but would continue to win city and WMIL championships. It wouldn’t be until 1954 that Alco would score a victory against Bethesda-Chevy Chase 76-41, capturing their 11th state title. Bowers would decide to make the 1955 season his last, helping the Campers win their 12th state title against LaSalle 66-62. He would continue to teach physical education at Allegany into the early 1960’s. Even after retiring from coaching, his basketball expertise was still highly sought out by many, including the Alhambra Catholic Invitational Tournament organizers, who requested him to identify all-tournament players. Although Coach Bowers has not directed a basketball game at Allegany in more than 70 years, his influence is still present in the many former students who still credit him with success in their lives. Ken Cubbage, who played for Coach Bowers in the late 1940’s, summarized his style: “You played his game, not yours. You shot the way he taught you to shoot it, and you played defense the way he told you to play it. Coach Bowers earned great respect from his players.” Gene Shaw, an Allegany basketball standout, would coach the 1956-1957 seasons, capturing the city and WMIL title. The next state title would come in the 1962-1963 season, with Coach Payne capturing his first of two back-to-back titles. Led by Sophomore Steve Vandenburg, the Campers would only lose four games all season before throttling Springbrook 57-39. The 1963-64 season would also be a success, with another WMIL championship. Then junior Steve Vandenburg would break his own scoring record of 739 points in 26 games for a 28.4 point average with a 34 point average in the state championship game. It was very effective.” The following season would boast one of Alco’s best in over a decade, only losing one game during the regular season and capturing both WMIL and City titles unblemished. Steve Vandenburg recalls that, “We were really good my senior year. That was the year Dave Toey (another Cresaptown great) started playing. I would receive the ball at the high post and turn around looking for Dave coming into the lane. But what hurt us my senior year in is the fact that we never played any zone. When we played Surrattsville, my man and Dave’s man just went to their corners, and then the other three players worked their guys. We should have switched to a zone, but we never really practiced one, so we didn’t.” By the end of his senior year, Steve Vandenburg had solidified himself as an Allegany all-time great. He was an All-American his senior year and easily topped the Allegany all-time scoring list with 1,977 points in 75 games. He was later named to the ACC All-Tournament team in his senior year at Duke University. Coach Payne would retire, with James Thompson coming in for the next 11 years to replace him. Throughout the rest of the decade, Allegany would achieve a great deal of success by most standards, but they did not return to the same level as they were in the early sixties. They would win the City and WMIL Championships for the ‘65-’66 and ‘66-’67 as well as the WMIL in the ‘67-’68 season, but not the City. The ‘68-’69 season they would recapture the City, but not the WMIL. Through ‘66 to ‘69, Allegany had lost in the second round of the State Championship each time. A similar pattern would continue with Alco winning the City and WMIL Championships, but getting bounced early during the States. William Henaghan would replace Coach Thompson. Allegany would experience its worst record during Henagan's last year as coach, going 4-18 in the ‘80 to ‘81 season.. Tim Scalleta would take over, but Alco would not experience a winning record again until the ‘85-’86 season with a record of just 12-11. Allegany would continue to win WMIL and City championships, but never States until 1993 with new head coach Toby Eirich. The team had a record of 24-2 and defeated Hereford 50-45 in overtime, winning Alco its first State Championship since 1964.The team would continue to boast impressive records, but wouldn’t make it back to the State Championship. At the turn of a new century during the ‘00-’01 season, Coach Eirich accepted a position of vice principal at Washington MIddle School and was replaced by his younger brother, Tedd. He would lead them to another State Championship, where they would unfortunately fall to Dunbar. This would happen for a time, with Alco boasting strong records in the regular season, only to fall to powerful opponents in the later rounds of the playoffs. The 2018-2020 seasons would prove a struggle for Alco, with a record of 3-15 for both. However, the Campers would boast a record of 14-8 during their ‘22-’23 season, unfortunately coming down to Fort Hill in the second round 66-51. This year’s team is led by now 23-year-old head coach Tedd Eirich. The Campers look to improve this ‘23-’24 season, and make it back to the State Championship!