Catonsville Times Co-Athletes of the Year

Catonsville senior Rachel Schwaab, left, and Deb Milani, center, combined for 169 goals for the Baltimore County and Class 3A North Region champion Comets. Read the Catonsville story here. (Photo by Noah Scialom / March 21, 2012)

Catonsville High coaches couldn't have had two more athletes who were as dedicated, talented and humble in the same scholastic sports year.

And when Comet senior Rachel Schwaab and junior Deb Milani played together on the same basketball and girls lacrosse teams, they proved they were winners.

The two teams went a combined 35-7 and Schwaab and Milani were the leaders.

The three-sport athlete are also the 2012 Catonsville Times Co-Athletes of the Year.

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Milani, who played soccer in the fall, dedicated herself to being in the best shape of her life during a hot and humid summer day after her sophomore year.

Milani and a friend were motoring up and down the Catonsville High turf field doing wind sprints to stay in shape.

Schwaab, who also played volleyball, made an impression on Comet basketball coach Mike Mohler in the fall.

I could tell watching her play fall league (basketball) and in her volleyball games. She was dedicated to her fitness," "Mohler said. "Everything about her was an incredible transformation."

Schwaab went earned to earn the second-most All-County votes of any basketball player in the county.

"Rachel really became a complete player," said Mohler, who noted she couldn't be measured by her numbers, which included around nine points, seven rebounds, five assists and three two steals per game. "It won't show up statistically, but she's one of the all-time really good players I've coached."

Schwaab was like a coach and a mentor on the floor.

"She had tremendous leadership and did a great job with our younger kids," said Mohler, whose 18-5 squad had six underclassmen who played significant minutes.

Schwaab made the players around her better because she was so fundamentally sound.

"She is so smart and her court sense is unbelievable. She is an advanced chess player on the court. She is three steps ahead and she understands her next move," he said.

Her toughness was never in doubt since earning a sixth man role as a freshman on varsity.

"She never missed a game until this year and she only sat out because I made her sit out because of an ankle injury," Mohler said.

The coach also recalled a game during her sophomore year when she had the flu before the game, but insisted on playing.

"Once she stepped on the court, you couldn't tell she had a sniffle," he said.

Some of her biggest efforts came against the toughest competition.

In the Comets' 54-37 win over New Town, she was the main defender on Titans' leading scorer, Jannah Tucker, who made only 7 of 36 field goals in the contest.