Football Offensive Player of the Year: Deryk Kern, Westminster, quarterback, senior
Football Offensive Player of the Year: Deryk Kern, Westminster, quarterback, senior (Jerry Jackson, Baltimore Sun / December 6, 2012)
Westminster, quarterback, senior
Kern started writing his name in the record books just three weeks into the season when he tied a state record with seven touchdown passes in a victory at Linganore.
By now, the 6-foot, 160-pound senior must have writer's cramp.
He shattered a host of Carroll County and Monocacy Valley Athletic League records and set another state record with 63 touchdown passes in a season, breaking the previous mark of 56 set by Arundel's Billy Cosh in 2008.
The centerpiece of the No. 4 Owls' (12-1) high-flying run to the state semifinals for the first time since 2005, Kern is a self-professed perfectionist and Westminster coach Brad Wilson said that fueled his success.
"That was his goal -- to play perfect football," Wilson said, "and that drove him to work hard. He concentrated more, and I think as he went through the season, he just gained more and more confidence and got a great feel for what being the quarterback in this offense means."
Kern, whose team fell to Quince Orchard, 21-19, in the Class 4A state semifinal, finished the season with 3,890 passing yards, completed 213 of 356 passes and threw 12 interceptions. He also ran 62 times for 105 yards and four touchdowns.
With a talented corps of receivers in Garrett Bean, Bradley Metcalf, Darius Clifton, Ryan Hursey and Dan Johnson, Kern said he always knew he had sure hands at the other end of his passes and that helped his confidence, as well as his numbers.
Always poised in the pocket, he threw for 404 yards in the 49-14 win over Linganore. He passed for four second-half touchdowns to beat Martinsburg (W.Va.), 36-33, and end its 32-game winning streak. He passed for six touchdowns and ran for three in the 62-28 win over Sherwood for the Class 4A North regional championship.
"One of the things he did more than most quarterbacks was he knew how to throw people open," Wilson said. "He didn't just throw to where they were Deryk could throw it before they were open and once the receiver got there, he was open."
Kern, who will play in the Crab Bowl on Dec. 21, is drawing interest from Football Championship Subdivision and Division II programs.