Player of the Year: Ben Eaton, Gilman
The No. 1 worn by Eaton was in many ways symbolic, including that he entered his final high school season as the area's lone returning All-Metro first-team selection.
And the 5-foot-11, 225-pound senior lived up to his reputation, coming off a junior season on a Gilman squad that outscored its last six opponents, 158-7, and finished as the area's No. 1-ranked team and No. 12 nationally by USA Today.
From his position as a middle linebacker, Eaton helped the Greyhounds this season to a share of their eighth Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference title in 10 years under coach Biff Poggi. Eaton led Gilman in tackles with 123 -- 23 for lost yardage. Eaton also made seven sacks and had three interceptions for the Greyhounds, who finished in a three-way tie for the league title with McDonogh and Loyola.
Eaton scored 11 touchdowns as a fullback, one on a 15-yard reception that sparked a come-from-behind, 36-35 overtime victory over Cumberland Valley, Pa. Eaton also was a strong blocker for running back John Pagliaro, who averaged nearly 200 yards and two touchdowns during a stretch of four straight wins.
When Pagliaro was injured during a game against Loyola, Eaton responded by rushing for all three touchdowns in the first half of an 18-10 victory. A B-average student who can bench-press 350 pounds, Eaton has drawn interest from North Carolina and Wake Forest for his linebacking skills, and Duke, Temple and Connecticut for his blocking ability.
James Carmon, City
The 6-foot-7, 330-pound transfer from Overlea has excellent speed for his size along with the girth and technique to bull past offensive linemen's double teams. The junior had 14 sacks, disrupted 10 passes and recovered five fumbles for the Baltimore City champions, who went 11-1, shut out eight teams and allowed 31 points.
Maryland, Penn State and Virginia have expressed interest in Carmon, who had 11 tackles and two sacks in a 16-6 win over Class 2A state champion Edmondson.
Alvin Cox, Southside
Cox had 15 sacks, caused seven fumbles, intercepted five passes and recovered five fumbles in leading the Jaguars to a runner-up finish in Baltimore City's Division II, as well as the program's first berth in the Class 1A South regional playoffs. The 6-foot-1, 225-pound senior also blocked two punts and recorded two safeties.
Cox clocked a 4.65-second 40-yard dash and carries a 3.0 grade point average. As a fullback, Cox rushed for 545 yards and six touchdowns.
Eric Foote, Southern
Foote, Anne Arundel County's Defensive Player of the Year, sparked wins over unbeaten Queen Anne's (20-12) and Wicomico (20-19), the latter for the Class 2A East regional crown on a game-winning touchdown. Foote earned his sixth sack and scored his 17th touchdown in a season-ending state semifinal loss to Edmondson.
The 6-foot-3, 250-pound senior clocked a 4.58-second 40-yard dash at Virginia Tech's camp, and has full scholarship offers from James Madison and Towson State. Also a running back, Foote rushed for 1,104 yards.
John Holland, Arundel
Holland, 5 feet 9 and 155 pounds was a stalwart for the Wildcats, helping them to a 9-2 record and a berth in the Class 4A East regional playoffs.
The senior was a solid cover defender, and his 12 interceptions - three of which he returned for touchdowns - tied an Anne Arundel County record established by South River's Tommy Bresnahan in 1982. Two players, Edmondson's Dwayne Harvey (1984) and Forestville's Larry McClain (1995), hold the state record with 15.
Daniel Hostetler, River Hill
Punting for accuracy, Hostetler averaged 36.0 yards per punt and often pinned opponents deep in their own territory. Athletic and versatile, Hostetler intercepted nine passes, caused a fumble and recovered a fumble.
As a quarterback, Hostetler, 6 feet 2 and 195 pounds, directed a high-scoring offense, passing for 18 touchdowns and 1,191 yards and rushing for 11 touchdowns to lead the Hawks to a Class 3A state runner-up finish during their best season in school history. The senior is considering Duke, West Virginia, Richmond and William & Mary.
Kyle Jackson, Edmondson
The leading tackler for the Class 2A state finalist Red Storm, Jackson had 22 tackles for lost yardage, 11 deflected passes and 10 sacks. The senior also had four interceptions - one of which he returned 87 yards for a touchdown - and caused two fumbles.
A B-average student with a 295-pound bench press, the 6-foot-3, 230-pound Jackson clocked a 4.6-second 40 yard dash and had 13 receptions for 234 yards and two touchdowns as a tight end.
Sterling Jones, Edmondson
Jones ranked as the Red Storm's second-leading tackler and perhaps its most devastating hitter. The 5-foot-11, 190-pound senior made 19 tackles for lost yardage, deflected 16 passes, had six interceptions and caused four fumbles - recovering three.
Jones helped the third-ranked Red Storm to an 11-game winning streak and the Class 2A state title, 37-9 over McDonough of Charles County. As a running back, Jones rushed for eight touchdowns and eight two-point conversions.
Zach Martin, River Hill
Howard County's Defensive Player of the Year was the Hawks' top stopper for the second straight season, making 18 tackles for lost yardage, intercepting two passes, recovering two fumbles and causing two fumbles.
Also a running back, Martin, a 5 foot-10, 175-pound junior, rushed for 1,598 yards and scored 25 touchdowns as No. 1 River Hill earned its fourth straight county title, second straight Class 3A East regional crown and first state final.
Jason Mattison, Perry Hall
Mattison was called upon by coach Nick Arminio to cover the opposition's No. 1 receiver. He intercepted five passes and recovered two fumbles to lead the Gators to their third consecutive Baltimore County 4A-3A crown and their second straight runner-up finish in the 4A North region.
Mattison, a 6-foot, 180-pound senior, was also the Gators' quarterback, rushing for 227 yards and 12 touchdowns and passing for 1,359 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Sam Poggi, Gilman
The third-year starting linebacker ranked second on the Greyhounds in tackles, with 16 going for lost yardage. Poggi, 6 feet 2 and 216 pounds, ran a 4.6-second 40-yard dash and had five sacks for the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference champion Greyhounds.
In one of his best games, the Duke-bound Poggi had six tackles and a fumble recovery in an overtime win over Cumberland Valley, Pa.
Chris Rhodes, River Hill
The 6-foot-3, 240-pound two-way lineman excelled on a Hawks defense that limited All-Metro running back Scott Noble of Franklin to a season-low 36 rushing yards during a Class 3A state semifinal rout of the North regional champs.
From his position as a defensive end, the senior made 32 solo tackles, assisted on 23 others, had five tackles for lost yardage and two sacks.
Second TeamName, School, Class, Pos.
Alge Berry Edmondson Senior DL
Chris Burnett Gilman Junior DL
Adam Farrell Hereford Senior DL
Nick Peterson Broadneck Senior LB
Kiero Small Gibbons Senior LB
Dave Stinebaugh Perry Hall Soph. LB
Andy Bowersox Winters Mill Senior DB
Michael Campanaro River Hill Soph. DB
Maurice Portee Dunbar Senior DB
Brent Sanders Severna Park Senior DB
C.J. Townes Joppatowne Junior DB
Josh Gibson Franklin Senior P
Note // Teams selected by Lem Satterfield after consultation with The Sun staff and area coaches.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun