Hard work, a strong foundation and gifted skills are things McDonogh soccer player Chris Agorsor and Allyson Carey, a lacrosse and soccer player at John Carroll, shared over the course of their highly successful high school careers.
The two seniors added one more common trait yesterday.
Agorsor and Carey were named The Sun's male and female Athletes of the Year at the 42nd annual awards luncheon at the newspaper's headquarters. Friends senior three-sport athlete Jen Schmidt, who was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis three years ago, also was honored with the inaugural Hayley Milbourn Award for Integrity.
Agorsor scored 24 goals and added eight assists in leading No. 1 McDonogh to the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference crown.
Yesterday, he earned two prestigious awards in a span of several hours. After receiving The Sun's award in the afternoon, he was recognized as Gatorade's National Player of the Year last night. He also was named the National Soccer Coaches Association of America/Adidas Player of the Year in February.
"I'm more happy for the people around me who put so much into me," said Agorsor, who is expected to play at the University of Virginia. He is also weighing several offers to play professionally overseas.
"When I'm receiving the awards, I feel they stand as a testament to what everybody else has done for me because where I am is due to my parents, due to [McDonogh coach Steve Nichols], my teammates," he said.
Carey, the girls lacrosse All-Metro Player of the Year and a three-time All-America midfielder, was widely regarded as the nation's top girls recruit after leading the No. 1 Patriots to the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference title this spring. She also played a big role in two A Conference soccer titles in her four years as a forward and midfielder.
Like Agorsor, she was quick to credit family, coaches and teammates who have pushed her over the years. She recalled the days when her mother made sure to get her up for 8 a.m. soccer practices and helped her put on shin guards.
"A lot of times, I didn't feel like waking up for those practices, but they were always, 'Get your butt out of bed!' They were such big influences," said Carey, who will play lacrosse at Vanderbilt.
Schmidt overcame the pain that comes with her arthritis, earning varsity letters in field hockey, basketball and lacrosse, the last of which she will play at Haverford (Pa.) College. In April, she led a group of lacrosse teammates on a walk for arthritis research that raised $3,000.
Schmidt was the first recipient of the award named after Milbourn, who last year as a Roland Park senior golfer was about to claim her third straight IAAM title when she discovered that she had mistakenly played the wrong ball. She reported the error and was disqualified.