Player of the Year: Kevin Huntley, Calvert Hall
After earning The Sun's All-Metro Player of the Year honors during his junior season, Huntley was even more of a marked man when he returned to this spring's Cardinals program for his senior year. But thanks to a rigorous offseason training regimen that involved weightlifting, Huntley, who last summer was a member of Canada's Under-19 National Team, came back bigger, stronger and tougher.
The Johns Hopkins-bound attackman overcame constant double- and triple-teaming from opposing defenses to score 59 goals and assist on 48 others. The combined 107 points were just 10 points fewer than last year's totals. Although his Cardinals fell short of defending their Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference crown, they, nevertheless, earned their second straight playoff berth.
Huntley, who is left-handed, scored 35 goals and had 31 assists against league competition. He endured most of the season with a broken knuckle and the final third of the year with an ankle sprain. In playoff berth-clinching wins over Gilman, Mount St. Joseph and eventual champion St. Paul's, Huntley combined for 12 goals and nine assists.
Although scoring was Huntley's forte - he has 225 career goals and 124 career assists - he was not above doing the dirty work: He ranked second on this year's team with 78 ground balls.
Coach of the Year: Mitch Whiteley, St. Paul's
His Crusaders had suffered through two straight losing seasons while competing in the MIAA A Conference - one that is widely considered the nation's premier high school lacrosse league. And while playing against such high-caliber talent is an achievement in itself, Whiteley's plans for this year's squad called for more than simply holding its own. "We started the season with two goals: get back to the playoffs and get back to the point where we were once again considered both a state and national power," said Whiteley, 52, who coached back-to-back title teams at St. Paul's in 1991 and 1992. "... We were able to meet and surpass both those goals."
Whiteley's Crusaders began the season ranked No. 6 in The Sun's Top 15, but ended it ranked No. 1 in the area after earning Whiteley his third MIAA A Conference title during a season of upsets. The Crusaders surpassed expectations by ending the year with a 15-10 title-game victory over No. 2 Gilman, avenging one of its losses during a 17-3 season.
Late in the season, the Crusaders were in jeopardy of losing the No. 1 seed after a loss to Calvert Hall. But they rebounded to secure the top spot with one-goal wins over Boys' Latin and Loyola. The 8-7 Loyola victory on May 4 earned Whiteley his 200th career win. The 16th-year coach ended the year with 203 career wins.
Andrew Baird, Loyola
This repeat All-Metro performer rose to meet high expectations, scoring 37 goals and assisting on 28 as the fourth-ranked Dons earned their second straight trip to the MIAA A Conference semifinals.
The senior had two of his best games late in the season during a critical run toward the Dons' earning a playoff berth. He scored four goals and had three assists in a victory over McDonogh, and finished with three goals to go with an assist in a win over St. Mary's. Baird is headed for Georgetown University.
Jeremy Blevins, Calvert Hall
Blevins' height (5-foot-6) was not the measure of how tall he stood in the goal for the fifth-ranked Cardinals. Blevins made 224 saves against 113 goals allowed for a save percentage of .665.
A second-team All-Metro selection last spring, Blevins had three of his best games against teams that reached the MIAA A Conference playoffs. In an 11-7 win over St. Mary's, the junior made 20 saves. Blevins also had a 17-save effort in a win over Gilman and, two days later, stopped 16 shots in a win over eventual league champ St. Paul's. The wins over Gilman and St. Paul's helped the Cardinals to secure a playoff berth.
Chris Boland, Boys' Latin
The sophomore played with the poise of a senior, finishing with 41 goals and 36 assists and earning All-America honors.
Boland's best games were in wins over then No. 1 Gilman, Calvert Hall and Loyola - three teams that reached the MIAA A Conference playoffs. Boland scored four each in goals and had four assists against Gilman, two each in goals and assists against Calvert Hall and two goals against Loyola.
Evan Burns, Boys' Latin
At 6-foot-6, Burns stood tall as the centerpiece of the Lakers' defense. He directed his teammates while often shutting down the rival team's best offensive player.
The senior was a physical player when necessary, being adept as a takeaway defender with his timely checks. A versatile athlete who will play lacrosse at Bucknell University, Burns captained the lacrosse, football and basketball teams.
Randall Cooper, Friends
The Quakers finished the season with a No. 9 ranking in The Sun's Top 15, and the skills of this junior midfielder were a big reason why.
The left-hander ranked first on the team with 22 assists, and second in both ground balls (156) and goals (41). Though he's expected to be among a solid corps of returnees to next year's Quakers squad, Cooper already is being recruited by Navy and Brown among others.
Will Dalton, St. Mary's
This intimidating 6-foot-5, 255-pounder covers 40 yards in 4.6 seconds, and has the skills as a faceoff midfielder and scorer to match his uncanny speed.
For the sixth-ranked Saints (11-6), Dalton scored 22 goals and assisted on seven others. His biggest game was a five-goal effort in a regular-season win over MIAA A Conference runner-up Gilman.
A repeat first-team All-Metro selection who was named Anne Arundel County Player of the Year, the senior won 71 percent of his faceoffs. He will play for Maryland.
Jason Donati, St. Paul's
St. Paul's high-scoring offense often started from its midfield off the faceoff, and senior Donati was critical with his play on the wings, timely scoring in transition and hustle for ground balls.
His quick release contributed to his scoring 25 goals, and he also had nine assists.
One of Donati's best games was in an 11-10 semifinal victory over Loyola, when he scored his game-winning third goal. Donati will play for Butler University.
Gavin Gill, St. Paul's
Gavin was the third of the talented Gill brothers to play for the Crusaders. But when he graduates next spring, he will be the first of the siblings to leave St. Paul's with an MIAA A Conference title.
The junior attackman scored 36 times, but more often found open teammates for one of his 52 assists. One of his best games was the A Conference championship win over Gilman (four goals, four assists). Gill has committed to Virginia, where he will follow his older brothers, Brendan and Conor.
Zack Goldberg, Gilman
He was gifted with speed, strength and an unbreakable will. He was also a tenacious defender. The midfielder's tireless work ethic was epitomized by his winning the Greyhounds' award as the ground-balls leader for the second straight season.
The senior finished the season with 21 goals and eight assists, with one of his best offensive games being a three-goal effort in a 7-6 victory over Georgetown Prep. But as difficult as he could be on offense to handle, Goldberg was equally tough on defense. Goldberg will play for Princeton.
Ryan Hoff, Dulaney
Built like a fireplug and capable of powering his way past even the best defensive schemes, this 5-foot-11, 205-pound junior's nose for the goal made him difficult to stop. Hoff was among the area's top goal-scorers with 87, and also assisted on 18 scores.
In his three best games, Hoff scored six goals against Catonsville, seven against Severna Park and five against St. Paul's. Hoff led the Lions to their fifth straight Baltimore County Class 4A-3A title and the 4A-3A North regional title. He was named by the Maryland State Lacrosse Coaches' Association as the 4A-3A's C. Markland Kelly Award winner, an honor bestowed upon the player deemed to be the state's best among large public schools.
Tim Kaiser, Loyola
The North Carolina-bound senior defenseman was among the Dons' ground-balls leaders throughout the year and had a penchant for intercepting passes and keying the transition. And Kaiser did all of this while often shadowing the best offensive players from opposing teams.
Kaiser was second-team All-Metro last season.
Brennan Kelly, McDonogh
Kelly made a name for himself this year among MIAA A Conference defenders and earned the respect of his coach and teammates with his tireless hustle and tenacity. Kelly's coach, Jake Reed, says he can't recall ever seeing an opposing attackman getting the best of his junior defender, one-on-one.
Kelly led the Eagles with 81 ground balls, and had two of his best efforts against top-notch players. Kelly shut down Ben Hunt in a victory over 4A-3A state champion Severna Park, and he limited St. Mary's Garrett Stanwick to one point.
Charlie Kolkin, Gilman
When coach Dave Allan wanted to shut down the opposing team's best offensive player, Kolkin was the player whose job it became to do that. One of Kolkin's best efforts was in a 7-5 victory over Loyola, whose All-Metro attackman, Ben Rubeor, scored only once in the loss.
League coaches unanimously picked Kolkin as one of the conference's best defenders.
Ben Rubeor, Loyola
Repeated surgery to repair an offseason injury to his favored left arm - suffered during a summer car accident - couldn't prevent Rubeor from earning first-team All-Metro honors for the second straight year.
The senior scored 48 goals and had 27 assists (27). Named the overall C. Markland Kelly Award winner, an honor bestowed upon the player deemed to be the best in the state by the Maryland State Lacrosse Coaches' Association, Rubeor will play for Virginia.
Thomas Zimmerman, St. Paul's
He is big, he is powerful, he is intimidating and he loves to make the big hit. Zimmerman's presence and overall skills were critical in anchoring a consistent Crusaders defense.
His size and speed made him both tough to outmaneuver and difficult to stop when jump-starting the offense on clears. Zimmerman is bound for Navy.
Name School Class Position
Matt Nicola Glenelg Senior Attack
Sammy Stumpf Centennial Junior Attack
Bart Wagner St. Paul's Junior Attack
Steve Bosse Fallston Junior Attack
Freddie Cassilly Arch. Spalding Senior Midfield
Matt Duke Westminster Senior Midfield
Tim Skeen Towson Junior Midfield
Shane Walterhoefer Boys' Latin Junior Midfield
Joe Wojciechowski North County Senior Midfield
Pat Grimm Severn Senior Defense
Zach Hinton Liberty Senior Defense
Brandon Mathias Mount St. Joseph Senior Defense
Matt Scanlon John Carroll Senior Defense
Justin Steinfelder Pikesville Senior Defense
Tommy Zichelli Severna Park Senior Defense
Jason Carter St. Mary's Senior Goal
Note: Teams selected by Lem Satterfield after consultation with The Sun staff and area coaches.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun