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.
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.
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.