Football Player of the Year: SC's Baca helps to extend the streak

Football Player of the Year: SC's Baca helps to extend the streak
South Carroll running back Steven Baca is the Carroll County Times football player of the year. (DYLAN SLAGLE/STAFF PHOTO / Carroll County Times)

When each class of South Carroll football players ascends to senior status, they each have one thing on their mind.

Don't end the streak.


The Cavaliers have made the playoffs every year under coach Steve Luette. And this year, a strong senior class led by two-way standout Steven Baca looked to make it seven seasons in a row in the Class 2A playoffs.

They did. And Baca played a big part in getting South Carroll back there. The senior led the county in rushing and scoring, provided solid play at linebacker, and now earns Times Football Player of the Year honors.

"It's become less of a goal and more of an expectation," Baca said. "Every class is working so hard because they don't want to be the first class that breaks that streak of getting to the playoffs."

Baca helped the Cavaliers be the most dominant team in Carroll again this fall. He rushed for 1,204 yards and 17 touchdowns, leading a potent offense that scored 20 or more points in each of its first 11 games.

Last year, Baca was the backup running back behind Chris Gavin, who broke the county's single-season rushing record. This season, it was Baca's turn to be the lead back, and SC's offense didn't miss a beat.

"If we didn't have Chris have last year, I think Steven would've learned a little more under the fire," Cavaliers coach Steve Luette said. "I think it made it better for him his senior year to be able to do that."

As Gavin's backup in 2014, Baca rushed for 150 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He easily surpassed those numbers this year.

Baca had four touchdowns in Week 7 against Francis Scott Key. He had 140 yards and three scores against Winters Mill in Week 6.

And he had 139 yards and two touchdowns against North Carroll in Week 8.

Baca is always one to credit his teammates for his success. Even though he was the one putting up the county-best numbers, the senior said he knows it takes his teammates' help to do that.

That includes the dominant offensive line for the Cavaliers, which was anchored by senior left tackle Brian Plummer, a University of Maryland commit, and senior guards Jason Money and Steven Stockslager.

"It opened up humongous holes for me to run through," Baca said. "They were the number one reason for my success."

And his linemen certianly appreciated Baca's ability to make it through those gaps that they created.

"It was just great to have a back that knew what he was doing," Stockslager said. "He knew what his job was and he did it well. He was a hard runner and never gave up."


Baca had played football throughout his entire life. He played recreational football for the Mt. Airy Bulldogs when he was younger. However, he said he enjoyed no season more than his last with SC.

The Cavaliers won their second straight county title, outscoring the other seven Carroll teams 254-20.

And Baca wasn't just helping South Carroll put up points. He was a big reason why opposing teams weren't scoring points as well.

The Cavaliers notched five shutouts and held opposing teams to 7.5 points per game.

When SC senior middle linebacker Henry Cook was injured for the first three games of the season, Baca slid to that position, leaving his usual post at outside linebacker.

Baca kept the Cavaliers' defense stout. And by seasons' end, he totaled 79 tackles and a pair of interceptions.

"He'd have been a great middle linebacker roaming the middle in there," Luette said. "Not only is he great at run support, but he can play the pass, too."

Next year, Baca isn't sure where he'll be attending college. He hopes to play football wherever that may be.

"Hopefully the right college will come along with the right opportunity and I'll be able to jump right on that and represent Carroll County somewhere else in the nation," Baca said.

But no matter where Baca's career goes from here, he can have satisfaction in knowing that he helped the Cavaliers maintain dominance.

And he didn't let the playoff streak come to an end.

"This was a great, great year," Baca said. "It's not one I'm going to be forgetting very soon."


All-County Football



Position Name School Year

QB Jake Gerber Manchester Valley Senior

QB Adam Lanni Century Senior

RB Steven Baca South Carrroll Senior

RB Ethan Bare Manchester Valley Senior

RB Nick Bonomo Liberty Senior

RB CJ Goon Francis Scott Key Senior

WR Anthony Perrone Century Junior

WR Jarrett Pfeifer Liberty Senior

WR Myers Smith Manchester Valley Senior

OL Nick Donoghue Century Senior

OL Jake Eichhorst Manchester Valley Senior

OL Zach Morris Liberty Sophomore

OL Jason Money South Carroll Senior

OL Brian Plummer South Carroll Senior

OL Steven Stockslager South Carroll Senior

K Ian Gould Westminster Junior

AP Jamar Williams South Carroll Junior


Century: Jake Lettiere, Sam Rothstein. Francis Scott Key: Matt Alder. Liberty: Chase Crouch, Noah Rohrer. Manchester Valley: Chandler Breeden, Logan Garland, Dayne Koontz, James Walsh. South Carroll: Patrick Kelly, Silas Kelly, AJ Linn. Westminster: Andrew Raines, Steve Rothenberger. Winters Mill: Patrick Brown.



Position Name School Year

DL Joe Brosenne Century Senior

DL Nick Griffin Liberty Senior

DL Carl Igweh Winters Mill Senior

DL Steven Stockslager South Carroll Senior

LB Steven Baca South Carroll Senior

LB Ethan Bare Manchester Valley Senior

LB Jarrett Justice Century Senior

LB Spencer Kirin Liberty Junior

LB Andrew Raines Westminster Senior

LB Adam Roop Francis Scott Key Senior

DB Patrick Kelly South Carroll Senior

DB Silas Kelly South Carroll Senior

DB Myers Smith Manchester Valley Senior

DB Connor Waskiewicz North Carroll Senior

P David Downs Liberty Senior


Century: Anthony Perrone. Francis Scott Key: Jon Milstreed. Liberty: Tommy Parris, Jarrett Pfeifer. Manchester Valley: Logan Garland. North Carroll: Michael Dickens, William Hastings, Aaron Nelson. South Carroll: Henry Cook, Travis Earp, Talmadge Eller, Douglas Summerlin, Jamar Williams. Westminster: Austin Raines. Winters Mill: Justin Worthy.