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Howard County Football All-Decade Defense

The Howard County All-Decade football defensive team, featuring athletes who competed between 2010 and 2020.
The Howard County All-Decade football defensive team, featuring athletes who competed between 2010 and 2020.

Howard County football has established itself over the years as an area filled with top-level defensive talent.

Wilde Lake’s Zach Brown (2007 grad) and River Hill’s Kevin Johnson (2009 grad) are just two of the more recent standouts to go on to start games in the NFL on the defensive side of the ball. That tradition has continued into this most recent decade with more than two dozen county players going on to play at Division I programs.

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Since 2010, there have been six different teams — Atholton (2011), Glenelg (2013), Howard (2014), Marriotts Ridge (2015) and River Hill (2017, 2019) — that have held its opponents under 100 total points over the course of an entire season.

In an effort to look back and spotlight some of these elite talents and teams, we combed through the archives and spoke with several county coaches to come up with a snapshot look at the best of the best. All players who graduated or are scheduled to graduate between 2010 and 2022 are eligible for the lists, although accomplishments before 2010 (2007-2009) were not factored in. Therefore, the merit of the graduating class of 2010 being included was based solely on the performance of those players during their senior year.

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Players are only eligible to make either the All-Decade team for offense or defense, not both. The All-Decade Offensive Team is available HERE.

The previous All-Decade packages can be viewed here: Baseball; Boys Lacrosse; Girls Lacrosse; Softball; Boys Outdoor Track; Girls Outdoor Track.

Vote below in the Fan’s Choice Player of the Decade poll or by clicking HERE.

Questions or comments can be sent to bkennedy@baltsun.com.

DEFENSIVE TEAM OF THE DECADE

2014 Howard (10-0, 12-1)

The Howard football team shut out River Hill, 7-0, Friday night to clinch its first county title in 15 years.
The Howard football team shut out River Hill, 7-0, Friday night to clinch its first county title in 15 years. (Staff photo by James Levin)

On the way to going undefeated in county play and winning a 4A North region championship, the Lions allowed only 71 points all year (5.5 points a game) and just 47 points during the regular season. It’s the fewest points allowed by a county team since River Hill’s state championship team in 2008. Howard registered five shutouts and even in the team’s lone loss — against Old Mill in the state semifinals — the team allowed just 10 points. Defensive Player of the Year Winston DeLattiboudere III led the way with 17.5 sacks, while he was joined by Saif Bryant, Christian Dargan, Jon Gould, Shane Kieta, Isaiah Stokes and Vanden Vale on the All-County defensive team.

DEFENSIVE PROGRAM OF THE DECADE

River Hill

River Hill celebrates their 18-14 win over Huntingtown, to take the 2012 3A state championship.
River Hill celebrates their 18-14 win over Huntingtown, to take the 2012 3A state championship. (Gene Sweeney Jr. / Baltimore Sun)

On its way to four county championships, three region titles and two state crowns, the Hawks boasted the county’s fewest points against by a large margin. Between 2010 and 2019, River Hill allowed 1,391 points and that was more than 300 points better than the next best team. Only once did the Hawks allow more than 200 points in a season and twice (2017 and 2019) the team held its opposition under 100 points over the course of the regular season and playoffs. River Hill never finished with a county or overall record below .500 in the last 10 years. Additionally, over that same span, 30 different players in the program have earned first or second-team Defensive All-County recognition.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE DECADE

Beau Brade, River Hill (2019)

River Hill senior safety Beau Brade is the 2019 Howard County football Defensive Player of the Year.
River Hill senior safety Beau Brade is the 2019 Howard County football Defensive Player of the Year. (Doug Kapustin / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

The only county player this decade to be named All-County all four years of high school, Brade capped his career with the Hawks in 2019 by being named Defensive Player of the Year. A two-year captain and four-year starter, he never missed a game and helped lead River Hill to a pair of county titles (2017 and 2019). Brade finished with the second-most career total tackles (450) in Howard County history and set a program record for assisted tackles (184). He also ended up with 13 tackles for loss, six interceptions, three blocked kicks, seven forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries, while also contributing heavily on offense as a junior and senior. For his career, he had 169 carries for 1,145 yards and eight scores and 19 receptions for 232 yards and three more touchdowns. Brade went on to play at the University of Maryland.

“We haven’t had many four-year guys like Beau. We didn’t even bring up (Michael) Campanaro or even Kevin (Johnson), two NFL guys, their freshman year,” River Hill coach Brian Van Deusen said. “Beau’s been the best four-year guy we’ve ever had, and even as a freshman, he was playing right away and making an impact right away. He’s a very physical player and his highlight tape is just amazing with some of the big hits.”

FIRST TEAM DEFENSE ALL-DECADE

Defensive Line

Oakland Mills' Larry Aaron holds the football up after recovering a River Hill fumble during the football game at Oakland Mills High School in Columbia, MD on Friday, October 24, 2014.
Oakland Mills' Larry Aaron holds the football up after recovering a River Hill fumble during the football game at Oakland Mills High School in Columbia, MD on Friday, October 24, 2014. (Jen Rynda / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

Larry Aaron III, Oakland Mills (2015). Returning from an injury that cost him his sophomore year, Aaron blossomed into a dominant lineman on both sides of the ball — earning first team honors as both an offensive and defensive lineman his final two years of high school. For his career, before going on to play at Marshall University, Aaron finished with 138 total tackles, 13 sacks (11 as a junior), two fumble recoveries and two touchdowns. He helped Oakland Mills to a combined 17-5 record during his final two high school seasons.

“He’s 6-foot-5, 260 pounds and he can take the ball from a running back and sprint 60 yards and nobody is going to catch him,” said Oakland Mills coach Tom Browne in 2015. “Larry is probably the best athlete on the team. He’s physically gifted, can move his feet and he’s tough as nails.”

Long Reach's Ron'Dell Carter smiles on the sidelines during a game in 2014.
Long Reach's Ron'Dell Carter smiles on the sidelines during a game in 2014. (photo courtesy of Israel Carunungan)

Ron’Dell Carter, Long Reach (2014). Even with missing a significant portion of his senior season, Carter left an undeniable imprint on the Lightning program as a two-time first team All-County selection. His best overall defensive season came as a junior, collecting 42 tackles and seven sacks. As a pass-catching tight end, he combined for over 300 yards as a receiver during his final two years of high school. Carter went on to play in college at Rutgers and James Madison University and he currently is a member of the Dallas Cowboys 53-man NFL roster after spending time with the Indianapolis Colts organization earlier this season.

“He was always where he was supposed to be, always being physical, making sure that his teammates were lined up in the right place. The consummate leader,” coach Jamie Willis said in 2014.

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Howard's defensive lineman Winston DeLattiboudere poses for the Football Player of the Year photo at Howard High School in Ellicott City, MD on Monday, December 29, 2014.
Howard's defensive lineman Winston DeLattiboudere poses for the Football Player of the Year photo at Howard High School in Ellicott City, MD on Monday, December 29, 2014. (Jen Rynda / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

Winston DeLattiboudere III, Howard (2014). A two-time All-County selection, DeLattiboudere’s senior season in 2014 that earned him Defensive Player of the Year honors was arguably the most dominant single season of the decade by any county player. In 2014, he registered 17.5 sacks (no other county player since 2010 has had more than 14 in a season) and 101 tackles (42 for loss) while leading the Lions to the 4A state semifinals. Howard’s defense that year allowed only 47 points during the regular season. He was named the Baltimore Sun All-Metro DPOY as a senior. For his career, before going on to star at the University of Minnesota, DeLattiboudere registered over 150 tackles to go with 23 sacks.

“He played hard ... he had a motor and he did everything full speed,” Howard coach Bruce Strunk said in 2014. “A lot of times kids want to get on the field and start freelancing. He did everything we asked him to.”

Reservoir senior Shawn Hamilton poses for the defensive football player of the year photo at Reservoir High School in Fulton, MD on Saturday, December 19, 2015.
Reservoir senior Shawn Hamilton poses for the defensive football player of the year photo at Reservoir High School in Fulton, MD on Saturday, December 19, 2015. (Jen Rynda / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

Shawn Hamilton, Reservoir (2015). Hamilton graduated as a three-year varsity starter, two-time All-County selection and Howard County’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2015. In 30 varsity games he compiled 206 career tackles, including 80 as a senior, to go with 10.5 sacks (7 as senior), two caused fumbles and two recoveries. Reservoir made the playoffs in two of Hamilton’s three seasons, including winning the program’s first region title in 2015.

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“He’s been a staple of our defense for three years. He came in and nose guard was the position we thought he would be best at. He was quick, athletic as a sophomore, and we thought he could play there and he did and played well,” Reservoir coach Bryan Cole said in 2015. “... But since then, he’s grown, he’s gotten bigger and faster and he’s got a huge frame. He just dominated.”

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Football's defensive Player of the Year Steve Whiting poses for a photo at Atholton High School in Columbia, MD on Tuesday, December 6, 2011.
Football's defensive Player of the Year Steve Whiting poses for a photo at Atholton High School in Columbia, MD on Tuesday, December 6, 2011. (Jen Rynda / Patuxent Publishing)

Steve Whiting, Atholton (2011). After making second team All-County as a junior, Whiting earned Defensive Player of the Year honors as a senior while leading the Raiders to a county title. As a three-year starter on varsity, he compiled 213 total tackles. In 2011, with Whiting racking up a career-high 11 sacks, Atholton’s defense allowed just 76 points and posted six shutouts. He went on to play in college at Bowie State University.

“The best compliment that I can give Steve is that I would have to stand behind the line in scout team drills and ask him to slow down, or I’d have to take him out. You just couldn’t run plays with him in there because he’s so fast and he wreaks so much havoc,” Atholton coach Kyle Schmitt said in 2011. “He’s a great football player, he’s tough as nails. For the last three years he’s been our best defensive player.”

Linebacker

Howard County defensive football Player of the Year Sam Alsheimer poses for a photo at Glenelg High School in Glenelg on Thursday, December 13, 2018.
Howard County defensive football Player of the Year Sam Alsheimer poses for a photo at Glenelg High School in Glenelg on Thursday, December 13, 2018. (Jen Rynda / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

Sam Alsheimer, Glenelg (2018). A leg injury cost Alsheimer the entirety of his junior year, but he still put together a dominant high school career that included a second-team All-County selection as a sophomore and Defensive Player of the Year honors as a senior. As a sophomore, he made 82 tackles and then led the county in tackles as a senior with 134. He also added two interceptions, three sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery in 2018 for a Gladiators' team that made the state finals and allowed a county-best 101 points against.

“A few weeks before [his senior] season started I’m going, ‘Man, I think he’s getting back.’ [His leg] just kept getting better and better and better. It was absolutely incredible,” Glenelg coach Butch Schaffer said in 2018 following Alsheimer’s senior season. “He was actually strong, faster … moving better than he ever had.”

Wilde Lake senior middle linebacker Tyrell Barnes poses for the all-county defensive Player of the Year photo at Wilde Lake High School in Columbia, MD on Thursday, December 15, 2016.
Wilde Lake senior middle linebacker Tyrell Barnes poses for the all-county defensive Player of the Year photo at Wilde Lake High School in Columbia, MD on Thursday, December 15, 2016. (Jen Rynda / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

Tyrell Barnes, Wilde Lake (2016). A two-year starter at middle linebacker and the 2016 Howard County Defensive Player of the Year, Barnes was the play caller for the Wildecats' defense. He posted 154 tackles (20 for loss) as a senior, which led the state and is the most by a Howard County player since 2008. He also added three sacks and an interception in 2016. That effort built on an 86-tackle season as a junior, where he also had 2.5 sacks and two interceptions.

“He was in both years, I felt, a tremendous asset for us on defense,” Wilde Lake coach Michael Harrison said in 2016. “He’s got quite a high level for a high school football player, for a linebacker — the ability to make adjustments and run a defense on the field. He was more than a captain for us. He was like having a coach on the field with us all the time.”

Wilde Lake senior linebacker E.J. Gilman, the 2010 football Defensive Player of the Year, helped lead the Wildecats to a State Championship. He is photographed at Wilde Lake High School Saturday, December 18, 2010.
Wilde Lake senior linebacker E.J. Gilman, the 2010 football Defensive Player of the Year, helped lead the Wildecats to a State Championship. He is photographed at Wilde Lake High School Saturday, December 18, 2010. (Matt Roth / Patuxent Publishing)

EJ Gilman, Wilde Lake (2010). A three-year varsity starter who excelled on both sides of the ball, Gilman could have realistically been named Wilde Lake’s best player of the decade as either a linebacker on defense or bruising running back on offense. Defensively, he registered 88 or more tackles in three straight seasons en route to being named first team as a junior and the Howard County Defensive Player of the Year as a senior. His career totals were 292 tackles (even with missing portions of five games in 2010) for a Wilde Lake program that went 30-9 with him on varsity and won a state championship his senior season. On offense, he accumulated 1,804 career rushing yards with 25 touchdowns.

“He was our best defensive player through the course of the season,” coach Mike Harrison said in 2010. “He almost didn’t play at all from Long Reach all the way to River Hill. But getting him back for the playoffs was critical. … He was just central to what we were doing through that playoff run.”

Howard senior linebacker Ryan Kearney poses for the defensive football player of the year photo at Howard High School in Ellicott City on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017.
Howard senior linebacker Ryan Kearney poses for the defensive football player of the year photo at Howard High School in Ellicott City on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017. (Jen Rynda / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

Ryan Kearney, Howard (2017). Building on a first team All-County campaign as a junior, Kearney was named Howard County Defensive Player of the Year as a senior in 2017. For his career, playing for a Howard program that went 23-3 in his two years as a starter, Kearney compiled 159 tackles and four interceptions. Among his career highlights was a forced fumble in the second half of the region championship game against Paint Branch in 2017 that sparked the Lions to the program’s fourth straight region title. Kearney went on to play in college at Towson University.

“He has the combination of size, high football IQ, speed and the ability to play in space,” Howard coach Bruce Strunk said following Kearney’s junior season in 2016. “Ryan might be the fastest linebacker I have coached in 28 years.”

Reservoir senior linebacker James Simms poses for a photo outside of Reservoir High School in Fulton, MD on Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012. He is the football defensive player of the year.
Reservoir senior linebacker James Simms poses for a photo outside of Reservoir High School in Fulton, MD on Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012. He is the football defensive player of the year. (Jen Rynda / Patuxent Publishing)

James Simms, Reservoir (2012). Simms came up as a defensive end but transitioned to linebacker for his senior year and dominated on his way to being named Howard County Defensive Player of the Year in 2012. He finished his final high school season with 98 tackles to go with a pair of sacks and interceptions. He also was a standout tight end who caught 32 passes for 534 yards and seven touchdowns as a senior. Simms played in college at Towson University and Gannon University.

“He was definitely raw, but in the four years that I’ve known him, he’s just been lifting weights, playing sports. His body has just blown up,” Reservoir coach Bryan Cole said in 2012. “Rarely can you tell a kid what to do and he does it perfectly the first time. In the span of 10 yards, he reads and reacts.”

Wilde Lake's Osita Smith converges in for the tackle on River Hill's Jordan Perry during a game on Sept. 21, 2018.
Wilde Lake's Osita Smith converges in for the tackle on River Hill's Jordan Perry during a game on Sept. 21, 2018. (Doug Kapustin / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

Osita Smith, Wilde Lake (2018). A three-year starter at outside linebacker, Smith made All-County every year from his sophomore year on. He excelled in all three phases — offense, defense and special teams — but was particularly dominant on defense with career totals of 243 tackles, 20.5 sacks, 7 caused fumbles and 7 fumble recoveries. His totals included 101 tackles as a senior, 21 of which were for loss. Smith went on to play at the University of Maryland.

“It was plain to see that Osi was going to be a special athlete from his first day at Wilde Lake,” Wilde Lake coach Michael Harrison said. “He is an extremely committed and dedicated athlete who never takes a play off in practice or a game. He is very knowledgeable about the game of football and reads his keys very well.”

Defensive Back

Long Reach's Robert Carter runs the ball for a touchdown during the football game against Wilde Lake at Wilde Lake High School in Columbia, MD on Saturday, September 21, 2013.
Long Reach's Robert Carter runs the ball for a touchdown during the football game against Wilde Lake at Wilde Lake High School in Columbia, MD on Saturday, September 21, 2013. (Staff Photo by / Jen Rynda)

Robert Carter, Long Reach (2013). Carter was named as a two-time first team All-County defensive back, intercepting six passes and making 69 tackles combined between his junior and senior seasons. He also added 12 passes broken up as a junior, along with three forced fumbles and a recovery as a senior. Carter, who went on to star in college at James Madison University, added 734 combined kick-return yards between 2012 and 2013.

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Bryson Craven of Howard intercepts the ball in the first quarter during the 4A North region semifinal football game in Ellicott City on Friday, November 13, 2015.
Bryson Craven of Howard intercepts the ball in the first quarter during the 4A North region semifinal football game in Ellicott City on Friday, November 13, 2015. (Matt Hazlett / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

Bryson Craven, Howard (2016). As a first team All-County selection in 2015 and 2016, Craven led the county in interceptions both campaigns. After intercepting four passes as a sophomore, he picked off another nine passes as a junior — including three in a shutout win over Mervo in the playoffs. He missed five games with a broken leg as a senior, yet still intercepted eight passes and also returned a fumble for a touchdown against Atholton. For his career, Craven added over 150 tackles. He went on to play in college at Clarion University.

“Bryson was our best defensive back and one of our best athletes. He would usually be matched with our opponents' best wide receiver,” Howard coach Bruce Strunk said in 2015. "Because we were very, very young at defensive back, Bryson provided leadership to the young guys during their development.

Oakland Mills' Daeshawn Eaton celebrates a successful two-point conversion during the first quarter of a football game against Marriotts Ridge at Oakland Mills High School in Columbia on Friday, Sept. 28, 2018.
Oakland Mills' Daeshawn Eaton celebrates a successful two-point conversion during the first quarter of a football game against Marriotts Ridge at Oakland Mills High School in Columbia on Friday, Sept. 28, 2018. (Jen Rynda / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

Daeshawn Eaton, Oakland Mills (2019). Eaton could have been named an All-Decade player on either side of the ball, starring as both a defensive back and wide receiver. His nine interceptions as a senior tied a school record and he had an interception in eight of 11 games. As a junior, he picked off three passes. In two varsity seasons as a receiver, he totaled 118 receptions for 1,268 yards and eight touchdowns.

“'Dae Dae' was our best all-around athlete. He is probably one of the smoothest kids I’ve coached,” coach Tom Browne said in 2018. “He makes tough plays look effortless on both sides of the ball.”

Mt. Hebron senior Zach Nicholas, who will play for the University at Buffalo next year, is the Howard County Times defensive Player of the Year.
Mt. Hebron senior Zach Nicholas, who will play for the University at Buffalo next year, is the Howard County Times defensive Player of the Year. (Staff photo by Jen Rynda)

Zach Nicholas, Mt. Hebron (2013). A three-time All-County selection, who capped his career by being named the Defensive Player of the Year as a senior, Nicholas went on to play in college at the University at Buffalo. In his career, he compiled more than 200 tackles with five sacks. As a senior, he added two interceptions, two forced fumbles and four recoveries — three of which he returned for touchdowns. For good measure, Nicholas also was a standout on the other side of the ball with 2,269 yards of total offense to go with 26 offensive touchdowns.

“Zach’s an explosive guy,” said coach Phil Zacharias in 2013. “As a football player his actions speak much louder than his words. His football speed is what always impressed me. There might be players faster than him, but no one could catch him.”

Austin Tennessee of Atholton, left, comes up with an interception in front of River Hill receiver Raamah Vaughn during a football game at River Hill High School on Friday, September 16, 2011.
Austin Tennessee of Atholton, left, comes up with an interception in front of River Hill receiver Raamah Vaughn during a football game at River Hill High School on Friday, September 16, 2011. (Patuxent Publishing)

Austin Tennessee, Atholton (2011). As the defensive backfield leader of an Atholton defense that allowed only nine points against per game his junior and senior seasons combined, Tennessee made 63 tackles, picked off five passes and had 11 pass breakups between 2010 and 2011. He went on to have a decorated college career at Stevenson University.

Punter

River Hill kicker Cooper McGeehan (3) punts the ball over the outstretched arms of Atholton's Griffin Kasemeyer during a football game on Oct. 22, 2016.
River Hill kicker Cooper McGeehan (3) punts the ball over the outstretched arms of Atholton's Griffin Kasemeyer during a football game on Oct. 22, 2016. (Nate Pesce / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

Cooper McGeehan, River Hill (2017). A three-time first team All-County player and four-year starter, McGeehan was a standout punter and place kicker for the Hawks. He accumulated over 4,500 yards worth of punts in his high school career, including 977 or more each season. Additionally, he led the county in average punt distance both as a junior (38.7) and senior (40.1). He finished his career as a kicker with 11 made field goals. He went on to play in college at Bowie State University.

“Cooper has been the leader and captain of our special teams for the last four years,” River Hill coach Brian Van Deusen said in 2017. “He is a hard worker and has improved his kicking each season.”

SECOND TEAM DEFENSE ALL-DECADE

Howard's Saif Bryant (99) and the rest of the team are congratulated by fans after beating River Hill 7-0 at River Hill High School in Clarksville on Friday, Oct. 31, 2014.
Howard's Saif Bryant (99) and the rest of the team are congratulated by fans after beating River Hill 7-0 at River Hill High School in Clarksville on Friday, Oct. 31, 2014. (James Levin/Baltimore Sun Media / Patuxent Publishing)

DL Saif Bryant, Howard (2014). Despite being a tad undersized at 5-foot-10, Bryant made up for it with hustle and toughness on the way to being named first team all-county as a senior while recording 97 tackles — 20 for loss — to go with 7.5 sacks.

Reservoir senior Demetri Dennis comes out onto the field for the Maryland Crab Bowl in 2011.
Reservoir senior Demetri Dennis comes out onto the field for the Maryland Crab Bowl in 2011. (Submitted photo)

DL Demetri Dennis, Reservoir (2010). A two-time first team All-County selection, Dennis compiled 136 tackles and 18 sacks — including a county-leading 11 as a senior — over his final two seasons in high school.

River Hill head coach Brian Van Deusen, right, hands the championship trophy to Logan Kirby and his fellow teammates after defeating Huntingtown in the 3A state championship football game.
River Hill head coach Brian Van Deusen, right, hands the championship trophy to Logan Kirby and his fellow teammates after defeating Huntingtown in the 3A state championship football game. (Brian Krista, Patuxent Publishing)

DL Logan Kirby, River Hill (2013). A three-year regular on varsity, helping River Hill to a pair of state titles, Kirby racked up career totals of 245 tackles and 15 sacks. As a first team performer his senior year, he had 84 tackles — 20 for loss — and 6.5 sacks.

Howard's Muddy McHemba, center, works to get past Atholton's Treyvon Matthews, left, to get to Atholton quarterback Dominic Totaro during the football at Howard High School in Ellicott City, MD on Friday, November 4, 2016.
Howard's Muddy McHemba, center, works to get past Atholton's Treyvon Matthews, left, to get to Atholton quarterback Dominic Totaro during the football at Howard High School in Ellicott City, MD on Friday, November 4, 2016. (Jen Rynda / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

DL Muddy McHemba, Howard (2016). As one of the leaders for county-champion Howard’s defense in both 2015 and 2016, McHemba compiled two-year totals of just under 100 tackles and 21.5 sacks (county-leading 14 as a senior).

Centennial's Zach McHugh (76) gets up after making a play in a game against Glenelg.
Centennial's Zach McHugh (76) gets up after making a play in a game against Glenelg. (Submitted photo)

DL Zach McHugh, Centennial (2010). On his way to being named first team All-County twice, including the coach’s selection as Defensive Player of the Year as a senior, McHugh accumulated nearly 100 career tackles and four sacks.

Hammond's DJ Adediwura, who is headed to play football at Fairmont State next year, participated in a signing ceremony at the school on Thursday, April 14.
Hammond's DJ Adediwura, who is headed to play football at Fairmont State next year, participated in a signing ceremony at the school on Thursday, April 14. (Photo by Brent Kennedy)

LB DJ Adediwura, Hammond (2015). A two-time first team All-County selection, Adediwura started his three-year varsity career as a defensive lineman before transitioning to linebacker. He compiled career totals of 235 tackles, 15 sacks, 2 caused fumbles and four recoveries.

Long Reach's Greg Benton Jr. adjusts his helmet during a game against Howard in 2016.
Long Reach's Greg Benton Jr. adjusts his helmet during a game against Howard in 2016. (Israel Carunungan)

LB Greg Benton Jr., Long Reach (2016). A Defensive Player of the Year finalist as a senior, Benton registered 103 tackles, nine for loss, to go along with two sacks and two forced fumbles on the way to first team All-County honors. He also added 10 rushing touchdowns on offense.

Marriotts Ridge senior Jordan Chandler takes down Wilde Lake junior Quez Bradley in the backfield for a loss during a high school football game at Wilde Lake High School in Columbia on Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014.
Marriotts Ridge senior Jordan Chandler takes down Wilde Lake junior Quez Bradley in the backfield for a loss during a high school football game at Wilde Lake High School in Columbia on Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014. (Daniel Kucin Jr./For The Baltimore Sun Media Group)

LB Jordan Chandler, Marriotts Ridge (2014). A transfer into the Mustangs' program for his senior year, Chandler served as a major piece in helping transform the program from 2-8 in 2013 to 7-4 in 2014. He made 55 tackles, 17 for loss, to go with six sacks, four forced fumbles and two recoveries.

River Hill's Riley Davis celebrates with fans after the team's 41-13 victory over Thomas Johnson in the Class 3A state football championship at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore Saturday, Dec. 3, 2011. (Photo by Steve Ruark)
River Hill's Riley Davis celebrates with fans after the team's 41-13 victory over Thomas Johnson in the Class 3A state football championship at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore Saturday, Dec. 3, 2011. (Photo by Steve Ruark) (Steve Ruark / BALTIMORE SUN)

LB Riley Davis, River Hill (2011). Davis was among the top two in the county in tackles as a junior and senior, making first team All-County both seasons. He finished with 260 tackles, three sacks, two forced fumbles, a recovery and an interception between 2010 and 2011 — helping lead River Hill to a state championship in 2011.

Rhode Island Rams quarterback Wesley McKoy eludes Towson Tigers linebacker Eric Handy (58) to run for 4 yards at Johnny Unitas Stadium on Nov. 21, 2015.
Rhode Island Rams quarterback Wesley McKoy eludes Towson Tigers linebacker Eric Handy (58) to run for 4 yards at Johnny Unitas Stadium on Nov. 21, 2015. (Karl Merton Ferron / Baltimore Sun)

LB Eric Handy, Wilde Lake (2012). A two-time All-County performer, once on each side of the ball, Handy was a key piece for the Wildecats from his sophomore year on. He registered 87 tackles as a junior and another 83 as a senior, adding three forced fumbles in 2012 before going on to play in college at Towson University.

Long Reach's Chad Brown signals toward the sideline during a game in 2016 against Glenelg.
Long Reach's Chad Brown signals toward the sideline during a game in 2016 against Glenelg. (Israel Carunungan)

DB Chad Brown, Long Reach (2017). Brown ended up transferring to St. Frances before his senior year, but he left a lasting imprint on the program during his junior season while recording 65 tackles and five interceptions — returning one for a touchdown.

River Hill's Randall Lawson breaks a tackle against Howard on Nov. 11, 2011.
River Hill's Randall Lawson breaks a tackle against Howard on Nov. 11, 2011. (Noah Scialom / Patuxent Publishing)

DB Randall Lawson, River Hill (2011). Lawson was a dominant force for the 2011 state champs, intercepting a league-best nine passes — returning two pickoffs and a fumble recovery for a touchdown. He also added 60 tackles in 2011 before going on to play at Lehigh Unviersity.

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Atholton senior Jasen Parkins races downfield for a touchdown against Howard on Nov. 4, 2016.
Atholton senior Jasen Parkins races downfield for a touchdown against Howard on Nov. 4, 2016. (J CODESPOTE)

DB Jasen Parkins, Atholton (2016). As a three-year starter and two-time first team All-County performer, Parkins collected nine interceptions in his varsity career and returned five of those picks for touchdowns. He also added over 100 career tackles.

Atholton's Curtis Pumphrey (left) runs across the field with the ball as teammate Morgan Powell (right) attempts to hold off Drew Hammer (center) of Long Reach during a varsity football game at Long Reach on Friday, October 16, 2009.
Atholton's Curtis Pumphrey (left) runs across the field with the ball as teammate Morgan Powell (right) attempts to hold off Drew Hammer (center) of Long Reach during a varsity football game at Long Reach on Friday, October 16, 2009. (Kitty R / Patuxent Publishing)

DB Curtis Pumphrey, Atholton (2010). A two-time All-County selection, who received Defensive Player of the Year votes as a senior, Pumphrey did a little of everything for the Raiders on defense. Between his junior and senior seasons, he combined for 154 tackles and five interceptions while adding a couple sacks and a blocked punt.

Wilde Lake Wildecats Joe Kelly (4) smooches the state football trophy after defeating the Franklin Indians in the MPSSAA Class 3A Football Championship at Ravens Stadium Thursday, Dec. 2, 2010.
Wilde Lake Wildecats Joe Kelly (4) smooches the state football trophy after defeating the Franklin Indians in the MPSSAA Class 3A Football Championship at Ravens Stadium Thursday, Dec. 2, 2010. (Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun)

P Joe Kelly, Wilde Lake (2010). A standout quarterback, punter, kicker and strong safety for the state-champion Wildecats in 2010, Kelly averaged nearly 43 yards per punt as a senior and accumulated 1,285 yards on 30 kicks — making him and River Hill’s McGeehan the county’s only two players this decade to average over 40 yards and rack up that much total yardage in a season. As a senior, he added 52 tackles and three interceptions defensively to go along with 550 passing yards, 222 rushing yards and a combined 14 touchdowns offensively.

ATHOLTON

Team of Decade: 2011 (9-1, 10-2)

Atholton's defensive line swarms around Howard's running back during a game at Rockburn Branch Park in Elkridge on Oct. 20, 2011. Atholton won the game 28-7.
Atholton's defensive line swarms around Howard's running back during a game at Rockburn Branch Park in Elkridge on Oct. 20, 2011. Atholton won the game 28-7. (Photo by Nate Pesce / Patuxent Publishing)

The Raiders won the first outright county title in program history, with the team’s lone regular-season loss coming via forfeit (against Glenelg in the season opener) because of an offseason practice violation. Atholton regrouped to win nine straight, including a 14-0 shutout of River Hill. The season ended in the 3A East region final against those same Hawks, 21-12. The Raiders outscored its opponents 438-76 — boasting the county’s best per-game averages in points scored and points against. Steve Whiting was named Defensive Player of the Year and was joined on the All-County defensive team by Cameron Fogle, Ean Katz and Austin Tennessee. Dequan Ellison, Paul Federinko, Brett Haas, Brian McMahon, Zach Plotkin, Morgan Powell and Kenny Thomas were all named first team All-County on offense.

Defensive Player of Decade: Steve Whiting (2011)

Football's defensive Player of the Year Steve Whiting poses for a photo at Atholton High School in Columbia, MD on Tuesday, December 6, 2011.
Football's defensive Player of the Year Steve Whiting poses for a photo at Atholton High School in Columbia, MD on Tuesday, December 6, 2011. (Jen Rynda / Patuxent Publishing)

After making second team All-County as a junior, Whiting earned Defensive Player of the Year honors as a senior while leading the Raiders to a county title. As a three-year starter on varsity, he compiled 213 career tackles. In 2011, with Whiting racking up a career-high 11 sacks, Atholton’s defense allowed just 76 points and posted six shutouts. He went on to play in college at Bowie State University.

“The best compliment that I can give Steve is that I would have to stand behind the line in scout team drills and ask him to slow down, or I’d have to take him out. You just couldn’t run plays with him in there because he’s so fast and he wreaks so much havoc,” Atholton coach Kyle Schmitt said in 2011. “He’s a great football player, he’s tough as nails. For the last three years he’s been our best defensive player.”

All-Decade Atholton Defensive Team

DL Sam Count (2016)

DL Anthony Ernest (2010)

DL Cameron Fogle (2011)

DL Casey Kelly (2014)

DL Sean Washington (2016)

DL Steve Whiting (2011)

LB Brandon Anthony (2012)

LB Brian Anthony (2010)

LB Cordell Carrington (2017)

LB Ean Katz (2011)

LB Cody Stolar (2013)

DB Jasen Parkins (2016)

DB Jake Peretti (2017)

DB Curtis Pumphrey (2010)

DB Austin Tennessee (2011)

P Isaac Boateng (2013)

CENTENNIAL

Team of Decade: 2013 (7-3, 7-3)

Centennial huddles before a football game against Howard at Howard High School in Ellicott City, MD on Friday, October 18, 2013.
Centennial huddles before a football game against Howard at Howard High School in Ellicott City, MD on Friday, October 18, 2013. (Jen Rynda / Patuxent Publishing)

The only season this decade that the Eagles finished with more than three wins, the 2013 Eagles actually tied their win total from the other nine years this decade combined. Centennial boasted the county’s second-best offense with 317 points and allowed just 166 points defensively. Of the seven victories, six were by 21 or more points. Chase Conley, Walter Fletcher, Connor Marcinek and Quinn Western all made All-County offensively, while Damon Reaves and Anthony Saunders were All-County performers on defense.

Defensive Player of Decade: Zach McHugh (2010)

Centennial lineman Zach McHugh
Centennial lineman Zach McHugh (Submitted photo)

At 6-foot-3 and 295-pounds, McHugh was one of the strongest and most dominant players in the league his final two years of high school on the way to making first team All-County twice. As a senior in 2010, he was selected defensive Player of the Year by the county’s coaches after racking up 47 tackles (five for loss) and a sack to follow up a junior season where he had 34 tackles and three sacks.

All-Decade Centennial Defensive Team

DL Jamie LeRoy (2010)

DL Zach McHugh (2010)

DL Patrick Zarek (2011)

DL Anthony Saunders (2013)

LB Frank Bloom (2010)

LB Michael Klein (2016)

LB Austin Kraisser (2015)

LB David Ledbetter (2019)

LB Ryan Paterson (2017)

DB Sam Duffee (2010)

DB Damon Reaves (2013)

DB Mason Smith (2016)

DB Quinn Western (2013)

P Nick Cooper (2014)

GLENELG

Team of Decade: 2018 (10-0, 13-1)

Glenelg runs onto the field before a high school football game against Howard on Sept. 8, 2018.
Glenelg runs onto the field before a high school football game against Howard on Sept. 8, 2018. (Steve Ruark / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

On the way to finishing as a state finalist for the first time in program history, the Gladiators were dominant on both sides of the ball. The offense scored a county-best 521 points, while the defense led the county with just 101 points allowed — and that included 35 points scored by Oakdale in the state championship contest. Before that, Glenelg recorded eight shutouts and won each of its 13 games by 26 or more points. Wande Owens (Offense) and Sam Alsheimer (Defense) swept the Howard County Player of the Year awards. Joining Owens on the All-County offensive team were Kevin Pak, Chris Retzbach, Drew Sotka and Otto Trawick, while Jake Arnone, Trisden Bovello, Darren Cleary, Michael Doughty and Tyler Reiff all made All-County on defense alongside Alsheimer.

Defensive Player of Decade: Sam Alsheimer (2018)

Howard County defensive football Player of the Year Sam Alsheimer poses for a photo at Glenelg High School in Glenelg on Thursday, December 13, 2018.
Howard County defensive football Player of the Year Sam Alsheimer poses for a photo at Glenelg High School in Glenelg on Thursday, December 13, 2018. (Jen Rynda / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

A leg injury cost Alsheimer the entirety of his junior year, but he still put together a dominant high school career that included a second-team All-County selection as a sophomore and Defensive Player of the Year honors as a senior. As a sophomore, he made 82 tackles and then led the county in tackles as a senior with 134. He also added two interceptions, three sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery in 2018 for a Gladiators' team that made the state finals and allowed a county-best 101 points against.

“A few weeks before [his senior] season started I’m going, ‘Man, I think he’s getting back.’ [His leg] just kept getting better and better and better. It was absolutely incredible,” Glenelg coach Butch Schaffer said in 2018 following Alsheimer’s senior season. “He was actually strong, faster … moving better than he ever had.”

All-Decade Glenelg Defensive Team

DL Ben Carta (2012)

DL Alex Dalton (2020)

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DL Phil Johnson (2017)

DL JT Komsa (2011)

DL John Warfield (2011)

LB Sam Alsheimer (2018)

LB Matt Baxter (2014)

LB Sam Hulett (2015)

LB Connor Stanley (2016)

DB Trisden Bovello (2020)

DB Luke Cheswick (2013)

DB Nick Crabill (2012)

DB Eric Gruber (2018)

P Nick Russo (2010)

HAMMOND

Team of Decade: 2010 (9-1, 10-2)

After several years of success with the Damascus High School football team, Dan Makosy took over as the head coach at Hammond in 2009 and in his second year with the program led the Golden Bears to a piece of the county title in 2010.
After several years of success with the Damascus High School football team, Dan Makosy took over as the head coach at Hammond in 2009 and in his second year with the program led the Golden Bears to a piece of the county title in 2010. (Matt Roth / Patuxent Publishing)

As part of the best season in program history, the Golden Bears finished as co-county champions and made it to the 2A South region finals before eventually losing to McDonough by 10 points. Hammond outscored its opposition 303-196 and included along the way was a 10-game winning streak. The team, under second-year head coach Dan Makosy, boasted two 1,000-yard rushers in Devon Paye and Dionte Jones — both making first team All-County. Also being named All-County on offense were Baldwin Asala, Payton Rose and Josh Whaley. The defensive unit was led by the trio of Jones, Matt Stephenson and Akili Moore all intercepting four passes each. Christian James, Rasheed Lashley and Stephenson were all named to the All-County defensive team.

Defensive Player of Decade: DJ Adediwura (2015)

Hammond's DJ Adediwura (center) walks out to midfield with his teammates prior to a game against River Hill in 2014.
Hammond's DJ Adediwura (center) walks out to midfield with his teammates prior to a game against River Hill in 2014. (Matt Hazlett / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

A two-time first team All-County selection, Adediwura started his three-year varsity career as a defensive lineman before transitioning to linebacker. He compiled career totals of 235 tackles, 15 sacks, 2 caused fumbles and four recoveries. He achieved a career-high with 10.5 sacks as a junior and then finished second in the county with a career-best 122 tackles as a senior before going on to play in college at Fairmont State University.

“DJ has been the heartbeat for our defense since his sophomore year,” said Hammond coach Justin Carey in 2015. “DJ is a very instinctual player that either from defensive end or linebacker, he always found the football. ... DJ wanted to leave behind a legacy that he was one of the best defensive players at Hammond. He just wanted to let the Hammond community and his family know he gave it everything he had.”

All-Decade Hammond Defensive Team

DL AJ Ademiluyi (2015)

DL Olumide Adewumi (2011)

DL Deandre Cummings (2013)

DL Jalin Jackson (2014)

DL Noah Jackson (2019)

DL Aaron Powell (2017)

LB DJ Adediwura (2015)

LB Humphrey Anuh (2012)

LB Christian James (2010)

LB Rasheed Lashley (2011)

LB Drequan Reed (2013)

DB Gavin Hendrick (2011)

DB Khaleb Mair (2019)

DB Stanley Springer (2015)

DB Matt Stephenson (2010)

P Andrew Comeau (2014)

HOWARD

Team of Decade: 2014 (10-0, 12-1)

Howard's Saif Bryant (99) and the rest of the team are congratulated by fans after beating River Hill 7-0 at River Hill High School in Clarksville on Friday, Oct. 31, 2014.
Howard's Saif Bryant (99) and the rest of the team are congratulated by fans after beating River Hill 7-0 at River Hill High School in Clarksville on Friday, Oct. 31, 2014. (James Levin/Baltimore Sun Media / Patuxent Publishing)

On the way to going undefeated in county play and winning a 4A North region championship, the Lions allowed only 71 points all year (5.5 points a game) and just 47 points during the regular season. It’s the fewest points allowed by a county team since River Hill’s state championship team in 2008. Offensively, the Lions scored 373 points behind the county’s leading rusher in Najee Savage (1,555 yards and 25 TDs) and second-leading passer Kevin Sheahin (1,599 yards and 18 TDs). Howard registered five shutouts and even in the team’s lone loss — against Old Mill in the state semifinals — the team allowed just 10 points. Defensive Player of the Year Winston DeLattiboudere III led the way with 17.5 sacks, while he was joined by Saif Bryant, Christian Dargan, Jon Gould, Shane Kieta, Isaiah Stokes and Vanden Vale on the All-County defensive team. Savage and Sheahin were joined on the All-County Offensive Team by Malik Anderson and Steve McNair.

Defensive Player of Decade: Winston DeLattiboudere III (2014)

Howard's defensive lineman Winston DeLattiboudere III poses for the Football Player of the Year photo at Howard High School in Ellicott City, MD on Monday, December 29, 2014.
Howard's defensive lineman Winston DeLattiboudere III poses for the Football Player of the Year photo at Howard High School in Ellicott City, MD on Monday, December 29, 2014. (Jen Rynda / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

A two-time All-County selection, DeLattiboudere’s senior season in 2014 that earned him Defensive Player of the Year honors was arguably the most dominant single season of the decade by any county player. In 2014, he registered 17.5 sacks (no other county player since 2010 has had more than 14 in a season) and 101 tackles (42 for loss) while leading the Lions to the 4A state semifinals. Howard’s defense that year allowed only 47 points during the regular season. He was named the Baltimore Sun All-Metro DPOY as a senior. For his career, before going on to star at the University of Minnesota, DeLattiboudere registered over 150 tackles to go with 23 sacks.

“He played hard ... he had a motor and he did everything full speed,” Howard coach Bruce Strunk said in 2014. “A lot of times kids want to get on the field and start freelancing. He did everything we asked him to.”

All-Decade Howard Defensive Team

DL Saif Bryant (2014)

DL Winston DeLattiboudere III (2014)

DL Felix Fonmedig (2015)

DL Muddy McHemba (2016)

DL Dimeji Olayinka (2016)

DL Jake Wrisk (2018)

LB Ryan Kearney (2017)

LB Shane Kieta (2014)

LB Shamir Parham (2011)

LB Donny Place (2016)

LB Zach Price (2010)

LB Zac Robinson (2015)

LB Vanden Vale (2015)

DB Bryson Craven (2016)

DB Christian Dargan (2014)

DB Isaiah Stokes (2014)

P Jon Gould (2014)

LONG REACH

Team of Decade: 2017 (6-3, 8-4)

Long Reach's Luis Gooden Jr., left, celebrates his interception with teammate Antoine Booth II during the football game against Atholton at Atholton High School in Columbia on Friday, Nov. 3, 2017.
Long Reach's Luis Gooden Jr., left, celebrates his interception with teammate Antoine Booth II during the football game against Atholton at Atholton High School in Columbia on Friday, Nov. 3, 2017. (Jen Rynda / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

The Lightning actually had a better record in 2016 (8-2, 8-3), but it was in 2017 that the team broke through to win the program’s first region championship. Long Reach steamrolled Atholton for the 3A East title by a score of 37-0 before losing to Milford Mill in the state semis. The Lightning outscored their competition 252-188 and had two three-game win streaks. Mayowa Ajimatanrareje, KaDarrian Booker, Reggie Dillon and Quran Sims all were named to the All-County Offensive team, while Jeremy Huffman, Dane Lynch, Spencer Willis and Michael Zeleznik represented the Lightning on the All-County Defensive team.

Defensive Player of Decade: Ron’Dell Carter (2014). Long Reach

Long Reach's Ron'Dell Carter throws on the sideline during a football game in 2014 against Glenelg.
Long Reach's Ron'Dell Carter throws on the sideline during a football game in 2014 against Glenelg. (photo courtesy of Israel Carunungan)

Even with missing a significant portion of his senior season, Carter left an undeniable imprint on the Lightning program as a two-time first team All-County selection. His best overall defensive season came as a junior, collecting 42 tackles and seven sacks. As a pass-catching tight end, he combined for over 300 yards as a receiver during his final two years of high school. Carter went on to play in college at Rutgers and James Madison University and he currently is a member of the Dallas Cowboys 53-man NFL roster after spending time with the Indianapolis Colts organization earlier this season.

“He was always where he was supposed to be, always being physical, making sure that his teammates were lined up in the right place. The consummate leader,” coach Jamie Willis said in 2014.

All-Decade Long Reach Defensive Team

DL Ron’Dell Carter (2014)

DL Lance Elmore (2011)

DL Sheriff Kamara (2018)

DL Damon McKinney (2016)

DL Elijah Saunders (2019)

DL Malik Timbers (2010)

DL Michael Zeleznik (2017)

LB Greg Benton Jr. (2016)

LB Jeremy Huffman (2018)

LB Tommy Montag (2013)

DB Antoine Booth (2020)

DB Chad Brown (2017)

DB Rob Carter (2013)

DB Dane Lynch (2017)

DB Phillip Rhoden (2010)

DB Eugene Swen (2013)

P Ansley Jean (2018)

MARRIOTTS RIDGE

Team of Decade: 2019 (7-1, 8-3)

Marriotts Ridge's Jaylin Moore is congratulated by teammates after nearly sealing the game with an end zone interception against Wilde Lake on Sept. 13, 2019. Marriotts Ridge takes a 7-0 win over visiting Wilde Lake Friday night in Marriottsville.
Marriotts Ridge's Jaylin Moore is congratulated by teammates after nearly sealing the game with an end zone interception against Wilde Lake on Sept. 13, 2019. Marriotts Ridge takes a 7-0 win over visiting Wilde Lake Friday night in Marriottsville. (Doug Kapustin/Baltimore Sun Media Group)

On the way to securing a piece of the first county title in program history, the Mustangs had plenty of highlights. At the top of the list, though, was a 15-14 overtime win over River Hill in late September that set the tone for the rest of the regular season. Marriotts Ridge ended up winning its final seven county games and then defeated Atholton in the opening round of the playoffs before falling short against Westminster. Marriotts Ridge outscored its opponents 195-134 on the season. Zach Bedell and Jaylin Moore were named All-County on offense, while Jack Baxter, Jericho Garvin, Nick Harris, Ryan Reeling, Drew Ross and Cole Tran were selected to the All-County defensive team.

Defensive Player of Decade: Jordan Chandler (2014)

Marriotts Ridge senior Jordan Chandler runs by Wilde Lake junior Quez Bradley during a high school football game at Wilde Lake High School in Columbia on Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014.
Marriotts Ridge senior Jordan Chandler runs by Wilde Lake junior Quez Bradley during a high school football game at Wilde Lake High School in Columbia on Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014. (Daniel Kucin Jr./For The Baltimore Sun Media Group)

A transfer into the Mustangs' program for his senior year, Chandler served as a major piece in helping transform the program from 2-8 in 2013 to 7-4 in 2014. He made 55 tackles, 17 for loss, to go with six sacks, four forced fumbles and two recoveries. He also added over 700 yards from scrimmage offensively with 12 touchdowns.

“He was very determined and aggressive, all heart and desire,” Marriotts Ridge coach Marcus Lewis said in 2014. “He’s one of the best to ever play at the Ridge.”

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All-Decade Marriotts Ridge Defensive Team

DL Abeku Abercrombie (2017)

DL Jack Baxter (2020)

DL Samie Costa (2015)

DL Nick Harris (2019)

DL Alex Zabaldo (2014)

LB Lewy Anania (2016)

LB Jordan Chandler (2014)

LB Ryan Reeling (2019)

LB Drew Ross (2020)

LB Daaron Williams (2015)

DB Robinson Davis (2018)

DB Bladen Miller (2015)

DB Chris Morath (2015)

DB Eric Skogmo (2014)

DB Cole Tran (2020)

AP Troy Hensh (2015)

P Wes Carson (2012)

MT. HEBRON

Team of Decade: 2012 (6-4, 6-5)

Mt. Hebron head coach Phil Zacharias sends play calls in from the sidelines during Mt. Hebron's homecoming football game against Oakland Mills in Ellicott City, Md., on Saturday, September 29, 2012.
Mt. Hebron head coach Phil Zacharias sends play calls in from the sidelines during Mt. Hebron's homecoming football game against Oakland Mills in Ellicott City, Md., on Saturday, September 29, 2012. (Brian Krista / Patuxent Publishing)

The Vikings made the playoffs for the only time this decade in the first season under head coach Philip Zacharias, starting the year 5-0 and riding that into a spot in the 3A East region semifinals. Among the highlights were wins by six or more points over Howard, Reservoir and Wilde Lake. Malik Gilmore, Zach Nicholas, Jackson Porter, Dillan Solo, Marty Stevenson and Steve White were all named All-County defensive performers, while Thomas Burke made All-County as a wide receiver on offense.

Defensive Player of Decade: Zach Nicholas (2013)

Mt. Hebron senior Zach Nicholas, who will play for the University at Buffalo next year, is the Howard County Times football defensive Player of the Year.
Mt. Hebron senior Zach Nicholas, who will play for the University at Buffalo next year, is the Howard County Times football defensive Player of the Year. (Staff photo by Jen Rynda)

A three-time All-County selection, who capped his career by being named the Defensive Player of the Year as a senior, Nicholas went on to play in college at the University at Buffalo. In his career, he compiled more than 200 tackles with five sacks. As a senior, he added two interceptions, two forced fumbles and four recoveries — three of which he returned for touchdowns. For good measure, Nicholas also was a standout on the other side of the ball with 2,269 yards of total offense to go with 26 offensive touchdowns.

“Zach’s an explosive guy,” said coach Phil Zacharias in 2013. “As a football player his actions speak much louder than his words. His football speed is what always impressed me. There might be players faster than him, but no one could catch him.”

All-Decade Mt. Hebron Defensive Team:

DL Josh Bryant (2014)

DL Josh Kinloch (2018)

DL Antonio Vogt (2013)

DL Steve White (2012)

LB Jon Iwaskiw (2010)

LB Nick Nordhausen (2017)

LB Yejun Song (2014)

LB Marty Stevenson (2013)

DB Brandon Anthony (2013)

DB Zach Nicholas (2013)

DB Jackson Porter (2012)

DB Dillan Solo (2013)

DB Glen Turner (2017)

P Ryan Hassan (2013)

OAKLAND MILLS

Team of Decade: 2014 (9-1, 9-2)

Oakland Mills players run onto the field before their football game against River Hill at Oakland Mills on Oct. 24, 2014.
Oakland Mills players run onto the field before their football game against River Hill at Oakland Mills on Oct. 24, 2014. (Staff photo by Jen Rynda / XX)

After posting losing records for the greater part of the previous decade, the Scorpions put everything together to finish second in the county standings and make the playoffs for the first time since 2003. Oakland Mills outscored its opposition 467-273 behind the county’s best offense that featured Offensive Player of the Year David Pindell at quarterback launching passes to the county’s top two receivers in Tre Hopkins (1,106 yards) and Shawn Harris (698). The Scorpions scored 40 or more points in nine out of 11 games. On defense, Larry Aaron finished second in the county with 11 sacks and the team opened the season with two straight shutouts. Joining Aaron, Pindell, Harris and Hopkins on All-County were Solomon Barnes and Ryan Zovko.

Defensive Player of Decade: Larry Aaron III (2015)

Oakland Mills' Larry Aaron III looks into the backfield during a game against Atholton in 2014.
Oakland Mills' Larry Aaron III looks into the backfield during a game against Atholton in 2014. (photo courtesy of Jim Codespote)

Returning from an injury that cost him his sophomore year, Aaron blossomed into a dominant lineman on both sides of the ball — earning first team honors as both an offensive and defensive lineman his final two years of high school. For his career, before going on to play at Marshall University, Aaron finished with 138 total tackles, 13 sacks (11 as a junior), two fumble recoveries and two touchdowns. He helped Oakland Mills to a combined 17-5 record during his final two high school seasons.

“He’s 6-foot-5, 260 pounds and he can take the ball from a running back and sprint 60 yards and nobody is going to catch him,” said Oakland Mills coach Tom Browne in 2015. “Larry is probably the best athlete on the team. He’s physically gifted, can move his feet and he’s tough as nails.”

All-Decade Oakland Mills Defensive Team

DL Melvin Bell (2015)

DL Nick Bravo (2010)

DL Miles Crook (2019)

DL Arthur Mouafo (2018)

DL Ernie Smith (2018)

LB Solomon Barnes (2015)

LB Quantonio Dunscomb (2018)

LB Mulbah Kamara (2017)

LB Naquan Williams-Day (2016)

LB Joey Yarn (2010)

DB Daeshawn Eaton (2018)

DB Anthony Hughes (2010)

DB Evan Riss (2016)

DB Dazairius Savoy (2015)

P Aaron Gibson (2017)

RESERVOIR

Team of Decade: 2015 (7-3, 9-4)

Reservoir players celebrate after beating Glenelg for the 3A East region championship in 2015.
Reservoir players celebrate after beating Glenelg for the 3A East region championship in 2015. (Jen Rynda / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

Two years after earning the first playoff win in program history, the Gators secured their first region championship by defeating Glenelg 10-7 in the 3A East region final. Reservoir outscored its opponents 286-165 overall and had one stretch of seven straight victories. In seven of the team’s nine victories, the opposition scored in single digits. Shawn Hamilton was named the Howard County Defensive Player of the Year and he was joined on the All-County defensive team by Barry Carter and Kyle Fehr. Mason Baker, Jason Hess, Uwaila Omorogbe and Josh Young all made All-County on offense.

Defensive Player of Decade: Shawn Hamilton (2015)

Reservoir senior Shawn Hamilton poses for the defensive football player of the year photo at Reservoir High School in Fulton, MD on Saturday, December 19, 2015.
Reservoir senior Shawn Hamilton poses for the defensive football player of the year photo at Reservoir High School in Fulton, MD on Saturday, December 19, 2015. (Jen Rynda / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

Hamilton graduated as a three-year varsity starter, two-time All-County selection and Howard County’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2015. In 30 varsity games he compiled 206 career tackles, including 80 as a senior, to go with 10.5 sacks (7 as senior), two caused fumbles and two recoveries. Reservoir made the playoffs in two of Hamilton’s three seasons, including winning the program’s first region title in 2015.

“He’s been a staple of our defense for three years. He came in and nose guard was the position we thought he would be best at. He was quick, athletic as a sophomore, and we thought he could play there and he did and played well,” Reservoir coach Bryan Cole said in 2015. “... But since then, he’s grown, he’s gotten bigger and faster and he’s got a huge frame. He just dominated.”

All-Decade Reservoir Defensive Team

DL Dylan Altman (2019)

DL Demetri Dennis (2010)

DL Jack Dudzinski (2013)

DL Shawn Hamilton (2015)

LB Ryan Evans (2010)

LB Sean Davis (2013)

LB Matt Marsh (2014)

LB James Simms (2012)

DB Darius Ellerbe (2019)

DB Kendrick Frazier (2011)

DB Christian Lyles (2014)

DB Ebissa Sambo (2017)

DB Jimmy Thomas (2010)

P Austin Mitchell (2013)

RIVER HILL

Team of Decade: 2012 (10-0, 14-0)

River Hill players celebrate an interception by teammate Evan Griffin (3) late in the game to help seal their victory over Urbana in the 3A state semifinal football game at River Hill High School in Clarksville, Md., on Friday, November 23, 2012.
River Hill players celebrate an interception by teammate Evan Griffin (3) late in the game to help seal their victory over Urbana in the 3A state semifinal football game at River Hill High School in Clarksville, Md., on Friday, November 23, 2012. (Brian Krista / Patuxent Publishing)

The only county team to go undefeated this decade, River Hill was downright dominant from beginning to end on the way to the program’s fourth and most-recent state championship. The Hawks outscored their opposition 600-138, with the 600 points going down as 79 points more scored than the next highest total by a county team this decade (Glenelg in 2018). The defense pitched six shutouts and, as further evidence of the team’s dominance, River Hill won all 10 county games during the regular season by 14 or more points. The team eventually capped off the season by winning the 3A state championship, 18-14, over Huntingtown. Austin Altman was named Offensive Player of the Year, while Justin Arn, Nick Ball, Cory Daniel, Evan Griffin, Justin Nestor and Alex Potocko joined him on the All-County Offense squad. Defensively, the group of Noah Carter, Anthony Corrao, Ryan Doyle, Logan Kirby, Stephan Osong and Nick Schanne all made All-County as well.

Defensive Player of Decade: Beau Brade (2019)

Howard County football Defensive Player of the Year, River Hill's Beau Brade.
Howard County football Defensive Player of the Year, River Hill's Beau Brade. (Doug Kapustin / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

The only county player this decade to be named All-County all four years of high school, Brade capped his career with the Hawks in 2019 by being named Defensive Player of the Year. A two-year captain and four-year starter, he never missed a game and helped lead River Hill to a pair of county titles (2017 and 2019). Brade finished with the second-most career total tackles (450) in Howard County history and set a program record for assisted tackles (184). He also ended up with 13 tackles for loss, six interceptions, three blocked kicks, seven forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries, while also contributing heavily on offense as a junior and senior. For his career, he had 169 carries for 1,145 yards and eight scores and 19 receptions for 232 yards and three more touchdowns. Brade went on to play at the University of Maryland.

“We haven’t had many four-year guys like Beau. We didn’t even bring up (Michael) Campanaro or even Kevin (Johnson), two NFL guys, their freshman year,” River Hill coach Brian Van Deusen said. “Beau’s been the best four-year guy we’ve ever had, and even as a freshman, he was playing right away and making an impact right away. He’s a very physical player and his highlight tape is just amazing with some of the big hits.”

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All-Decade River Hill Defensive Team

DL Anthony Corrao (2013)

DL Jason Johnson (2011)

DL Jon Kanda (2014)

DL Logan Kirby (2013)

LB Austin Abraham (2017)

LB Riley Davis (2011)

LB Zach Igwebe (2020)

LB Brian Kirby (2014)

LB Brent Kluge (2010)

DB Beau Brade (2019)

DB Noah Carter (2012)

DB Jordan Griffin (2010)

DB Randall Lawson (2011)

DB Stephan Osong (2012)

P Cooper McGeehan (2017)

WILDE LAKE

Team of Decade: 2010 (7-3, 11-3)

Wilde Lake Wildecats teammates, including jack-of-all-trades player Joe Kelly hoist the state football trophy after defeating the Franklin Indians in the MPSSAA Class 3A Football Championship at the Ravens Stadium Thursday, Dec. 2, 2010. Wilde Lake capped their cinderella season, downing Franklin, 21-14, for the title.
Wilde Lake Wildecats teammates, including jack-of-all-trades player Joe Kelly hoist the state football trophy after defeating the Franklin Indians in the MPSSAA Class 3A Football Championship at the Ravens Stadium Thursday, Dec. 2, 2010. Wilde Lake capped their cinderella season, downing Franklin, 21-14, for the title. (Karl Merton Ferron / Baltimore Sun)

The Wildecats had a solid regular season, but it was in the playoffs — following a loss in the team’s regular season finale against Atholton — that the team really shined. Wilde Lake kicked things off with a victory in a rematch against those same Raiders and then proceeded to beat River Hill, Damascus and then Franklin, 21-14, for the 3A state championship. The Wildecats ended up outscoring its opposition 364-168 on the season, recording three shutouts during the first half of the year. EJ Gilman was named Defensive Player of the Year, with Anthony Miller, Jordan Mynatt and Erik Smith joining him on the All-County defensive team. Teka Hayes, Joe Kelly, Tommy Klotz, Eron Pruitt and Khalil Viera were Wilde Lake’s selections to the All-County team on offense.

Defensive Player of Decade: EJ Gilman (2010)

Wilde Lake senior linebacker E.J. Gilman, the 2010 football Defensive Player of the Year, helped lead the Wildecats to a State Championship. He is photographed at Wilde Lake High School Saturday, December 18, 2010.
Wilde Lake senior linebacker E.J. Gilman, the 2010 football Defensive Player of the Year, helped lead the Wildecats to a State Championship. He is photographed at Wilde Lake High School Saturday, December 18, 2010. (Matt Roth / Patuxent Publishing)

A three-year varsity starter who excelled on both sides of the ball, Gilman could have realistically been named Wilde Lake’s best player of the decade as either a linebacker on defense or bruising running back on offense. Defensively, he registered 88 or more tackles in three straight seasons en route to being named first team as a junior and the Howard County Defensive Player of the Year as a senior. His career totals were 292 tackles (even with missing portions of five games in 2010) for a Wilde Lake program that went 30-9 with him on varsity and won a state championship his senior season. On offense, he accumulated 1,804 career rushing yards with 25 touchdowns.

“He was our best defensive player through the course of the season,” coach Mike Harrison said in 2010. “He almost didn’t play at all from Long Reach all the way to River Hill. But getting him back for the playoffs was critical. … He was just central to what we were doing through that playoff run.”

All-Decade Wilde Lake Defensive Team

DL Cameron Burris (2019)

DL David Funderburk (2015)

DL Earl Mackel (2013)

DL Abu McGruder (2017)

DL Tola Morakinyo (2012)

DL Erik Smith (2010)

LB Antoine Barnes (2011)

LB Tyrell Barnes (2016)

LB EJ Gilman (2010)

LB Eric Handy (2012)

LB Jarrett Monah (2019)

LB Kyree Press (2015)

DB Malik Holland (2014)

DB Amari Hutson (2020)

DB Malik Jackson (2013)

DB Saleem Jackson (2017)

DB Jordan Mynatt (2011)

DB RaMal West (2020)

P Jason MacMillan (2016)

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