Two of the county's finest soccer players received the ultimate all-star team honor Sunday when Parade magazine selected them to its All-America Soccer Team.
Clint Peay of Oakland Mills and Steve Sietsema of Howard were two of four Marylanders to make the 33-man national team. Maryland and Texas led the team with four selections apiece.
Peay was one of only five players to make the team two straight years.
Because he had made it last year, Peay said he thought he had a good chance to be selected again this year after a strong performance last fall.
Peay scored 14 goals and had 12 assists in leadingthe Scorpions to the Class 3A state championship. He was the Howard County Sun's Co-Player of the Year along with teammate Malcolm Gillian.
"I think being selected is based a lot by which national or club teams you've played on, and by what coaches who've seen you play have to say about you," Peay said.
Peay played on the United States Soccer Federation's National Under-16 team one year and is now a member of the Eastern Regional Team.
Like Peay, Sietsema also was a member of the USSF's Under-16 team, and in 1989 helped lead Howard to the state Class 3A co-championship.
Both played mainly midfield fortheir high school teams, and Sietsema made the midfield on the Parade team. But Peay, who plays defense for his club team, the Potomac Mustangs, made the Parade team as a defender.
Peay, 17, expects to sign a letter of intent today to attend the University of Virginia next fall on a soccer scholarship.
Sietsema, 18, hasn't decided wherehe'll attend college but said he is leaning toward the University ofNorth Carolina, Chapel Hill.
"It's surprising that four Parade All-Americans are from Maryland," Sietsema said. "I'm excited to be in that group because it is the most prestigious team to make as a high school athlete."
Sietsema had not known ahead of time that he madethe team.
"I thought I might have a good chance before the high school season began, but when our team didn't make it to the state playoffs I wasn't so sure," he said. "Usually the farther your team goesthe more honors you get."
Sietsema plays on the same club team with Peay, and a third member of that team, midfielder Bill Heiser of Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt, also made the Parade team.
Peay, who is 6 feet tall and weighs 165 pounds, has chosen Virginia over several other schools that recruited him, including Duke, Penn State and Notre Dame.
"It came down to Virginia or Duke, and I liked Virginia because the school wasn't too big, the soccer program has a tradition of excellence over the last decade, the school has a good business program, and it is only 2 hours away from home," Peay said.
Peay also likes the fact that Virginia plays in the AtlanticCoast Conference, probably the best in the country, and that it plays one of the nation's toughest schedules.
Sietsema, 5-feet-6 and 135 pounds, said he knows about 20 of the Parade magazine All-Americans.
He is mulling over offers from North Carolina at Chapel Hill, James Madison and North Carolina at Greensboro.
"I want a big school, and I think the ACC is the toughest conference, but Madison is offering me more (scholarship) money, and I probably could play sooner there than at North Carolina, Chapel Hill," Sietsema said.
"James Madison plays in the Colonial 10 Division. That's probably the next toughest after the ACC," Sietsema said.
One of Sietsema's teammates from last year's state championship team, Todd Haskins, is already atChapel Hill, and a teammate this year, Jon Armstrong, has decided toattend Chapel Hill.