PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Patrick Blair, Calvert Hall

Blair was the best player on the area's best team, as he led the No. 1 Cardinals (27-7) to their fourth consecutive Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference championship.

The junior shortstop did it all. Blair led the Cardinals in all of the major offensive categories except for doubles and anchored the infield with his good hands, arm and range. He routinely made big plays, whether with the bat, in the field or even stealing home to fuel his team in a playoff game.

Blair, who is a three-year starter, led the Cardinals in batting (.462), hits (43), runs (35), triples (five), homers (seven), RBIs (34) and stolen bases (21).

COACH OF THE YEAR: Tony Maggard, Patapsco

Maggard's Patriots made a habit of upsetting the favorites in the postseason to earn a berth in the school's first state final. They lost in the 1992 state semifinals in their only other appearance in the final four.

The seventh-year coach led the Patriots to the Class 3A North regional title by knocking off defending champion Catonsville, 9-8, in 11 innings. Next up was then-No. 5 Centennial in the state semifinals, where Patapsco scored four runs in the top of the sixth en route to a stunning, 8-6 victory.

The Patriots then ran into ace Mike Boyden and La Plata in the final. Boyden tossed a four-hitter with 14 strikeouts in an 8-2 win for the Warriors' first state title. Patapsco, which had won 15 in a row before the state final, finished 19-3 and has gone 36-5 over the past two seasons. Maggard is 83-45 in seven seasons.

The team

Name School CL P

Mike Dillon Calvert Hall Sr. P

Larry Hicks Kenwood Sr. P

Kevin Lingerman Calvert Hall Sr. P

Brent Ellick Patapsco Sr. C

Kylin Sims Dundalk Sr. 1B

Andrew Huber Patapsco Jr. 2B

Jack Carey St. Paul's Jr. 3B

Patrick Blair Calvert Hall Jr. SS

Alex Frederick Dulaney Sr. SS

Greg Bryant Calvert Hall So. OF

Jordan Heller Loch Raven Sr. OF

Eric Myers Parkville Sr. OF


Note: Team selected by Pat O'Malley after consultation with The Sun staff and area coaches.