Offensive Player of the Year
Stefan Mitchell, North Carroll
Mitchell played a lead role in returning North Carroll to prominence this season, using his strong arm and speed to direct an offense that shredded the majority of opposing defenses.
Throwing from the shotgun, the senior completed 91 of 188 passes for 1,795 yards and 19 touchdowns, against just nine interceptions. He also ran for another 348 yards and four touchdowns.
His efforts helped the Panthers finish 8-3 -- just their second winning record since 1986 -- winning the Carroll County championship and qualifying for the state playoffs for the first time since 1978. Just as importantly, he helped revive interest in a program that had languished for years.
He's now looking at several options for college, including Frostburg State, Villanova and Bucknell.
Defensive Player of the Year
Trevor Terpening, South Carroll
This senior was the heart and soul of a defense that came into its own during the second half of the season to help propel the surprising Cavaliers all the way to the Class 1A state semifinals.
The linebacker excelled at shedding blockers, finishing with a county-leading 121 tackles. His combination of strength and speed allowed him to cover the field sideline to sideline, while also establishing himself as perhaps the county's premier run-stopper between the tackles.
Terpening led a unit that that gave up just 16 points a game, best in the Monocacy Valley Athletic League's Blue Ridge Conference, and held Liberty, Tuscarora, Chesapeake and Catoctin to a total of 28 points in the Cavaliers' final four wins, the latter two in the playoffs.
He also had 243 receiving yards and five touchdowns as a tight end, and is currently in discussions with several college programs ranging from Division 1-AA through Division III.
Coach of the Year
Jeff Kent, Liberty
Kent led a startling transformation that saw Liberty go from doormats to conference champion. The Lions improved from 0-10 a year ago to 7-4 this season, in the process breaking a 16-game losing streak, winning the Blue Ridge Conference title and qualifying for their first postseason berth in school history.
Along the way were shutout wins over Westminster and Williamsport, as well as key county wins over Francis Scott Key and Winters Mill as part of a six-game midseason winning streak.
The second-year coach stressed a ball-control offense, hoping to give Liberty's defense more of a rest. The results were palpable, with the Lions allowing just 18 points a game -- an average of 20 fewer than a year ago.
Kent played his collegiate ball at Fairmont State, and previously served as an assistant at Glenelg, Westminster, Winters Mill and Century
Note: Players and Coach of the Year were selected by Rich Scherr after consultation with The Sun staff and area coaches.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun