2003 All-Metro Golf Team

Sun staff

Player of the Year: Greg Rodgers, St. Paul's

Rodgers was the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference's top player once again this year. He won his second MIAA individual title in three years - last year he finished second - as St. Paul's won its third consecutive team crown.

Up next is something bigger, as Rodgers travels to Japan next week for the Junior World Golf Cup Match. Rodgers was ranked 19th in the nation earlier this spring by GolfWeek/Titleist and had a ranking as high as ninth at one point.

Rodgers finished with a 72.96 stroke average, even more impressive when considering he's only been playing the game seriously for about four years. The junior is being recruited by several major colleges.

"Greg leads by example," St. Paul's coach Rick Collins said. "He's by far our most consistent player and by far the most consistent golfer we've had at St. Paul's. His bad days are not bad."

Coach of the Year: Rick Collins, St. Paul's

Collins was one of the area's best basketball coaches for 11 years, and now he's one of the top golf coaches. St. Paul's went 16-0 this season, won its third straight Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference championship and is 72-7-1 over the past five years.

The Crusaders beat Virginia powerhouse Woodberry Forest and Washington Private Schools champion Gonzaga en route to the title. This is St. Paul's fourth A Conference crown in five years and the seventh in 10 years under Collins.

"These individuals played as a team this year," Collins said. "They were friends and they rooted for each other. That made them better, without question."

The Crusaders sent Steve Colinits (Notre Dame), Ben Phelps (Towson) and Mark Quick (Franklin & Marshall) to colleges to play golf the past few years - and Jon Kassolis is headed to Dickinson next year as St. Paul's keeps getting stronger.

First team

Trip Bare, St. Paul's

Bare finished third in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association Individual Stroke Play tournament this spring. The junior came in fifth last year and played No. 3 for the Crusaders this year. A strong match-play competitor, Bare finished with a 75.78 stroke average and is being recruited by several schools.

Brian Carneal, Northeast

His 4-under par 68 won the boys' division of the state tournament last fall. Carneal, a senior, qualified for the U.S. Junior Amateur tournament in Atlanta last year. In addition, he played No. 1 for the Eagles this year and is headed to Towson University to play golf.

Stephanie Connelly, Northeast

Connelly, a sophomore, won her second straight state title last fall, shooting a two-over 74 to capture the top spot by two shots. That capped a big fall in which Connelly won a second consecutive Anne Arundel County title and represented the United States in Junior Ryder Cup play in Ireland. She's also trying to qualify for the Solheim Cup team that will play in Sweden this fall.

Nick DeSimone, Liberty

DeSimone took second in the state tournament last fall, shooting a 69 that left him one shot behind Northeast's Brian Carneal. He won three of five events on the Titleist Tour last summer and took second overall. The senior is headed to George Mason to play golf .

Ray Sheedy, Francis Scott Key

Sheedy shot 70 to finish two strokes back in a tie for third in last fall's state tournament. It was the best finish ever for a Francis Scott Key golfer. Sheedy, a senior, also won the Titleist Tour last summer.

Kevin Tehan, John Carroll

Tehan played No. 2 for John Carroll but came up big in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association Individual Stroke Play tournament. The junior finished second in the three-round event, just one stroke behind St. Paul's Greg Rodgers. Tehan played a big role in helping the Patriots take second place in the MIAA A Conference.

Note: Teams selected by Jeff Seidel after consultation with The Sun staff and area coaches.

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