COACH OF THE YEAR
The Eagles' 26th-year coach is not given to overstatement. So when Lentz calls Northeast "the best team in state history," people tend to listen. He certainly has the figures. The Class 2A champions are the state's first 24-0 team. The Eagles set 38 team and individual records, outscored opponents, 326-59 (65-7 in 4 playoff games), and beat all 9 Class 4A teams they played. That included a 14-4 defeat of eventual 4A state champion Arundel. "It means this is a great ballclub," said Lentz. He is 312-168 (.650), with 3 state titles and has won 46 of his past 47 games. A multiple threat, Everett batted leadoff for average (.538 on-base percentage, .442 batting average) and power (19 extra-base hits, 4 HRs, 30 RBI) and had the speed to set up his teammates. He was the primary reason Don Shump and Russ Curry combined for 84 RBI. He also played center field well and made an important contribution because of new state guidelines that limit pitchers to 14 innings in 7 days. As backup right-handed pitcher to Charlie Buckheit, Everett was 8-0 (12-0 career) with a 1.66 ERA, 47 strikeouts and 13 walks. Considered a professional prospect, he will attend Anne Arundel Community College. The right fielder was also talented enough to play some shortstop for the Mustangs, but he made a name for himself with his bat. Batten hit .600 with 5 HRs, 12 doubles, 3 triples, 35 RBI and 36 runs. He also stole 16 bases and never was thrown out. Bowen was the key to Curley's charge to the MSA A Conference playoffs, where the Friars lost to Calvert Hall in the championship game. He batted .486 with 4 HRs and 35 RBI. He was also the Friars' top pitcher, compiling a 9-3 record and a 1.67 ERA while striking out 61 in 89 innings. Cyran was considered by many the best player in Howard County. He played a key role offensively and defensively, as the Bears made it to the state Class 2A championship game, where they lost to Northeast. Cyran batted .426 with 6 HRs, 6 doubles, 2 triples, 24 RBI, 26 runs and 15 steals. In 95 chances at shortstop, he committed just 4 errors. For the second straight year, Fischer carried Southern to the MSA B Conference championship series. Heading into today's final game of the championship series against Gilman, Fischer had compiled a 9-1 record. In 70 innings, he had allowed just 9 earned runs (1.16 ERA), struck out 129 and walked 18. Fischer's fastball has been clocked at more than 80 mph, and he also throws a good slider and curveball. In 4 years, Kintz struck out 4 times, and 3 were called third strikes. His career batting average was .502, and this season was his best. He batted .556 with 30 RBI. He was also smooth at shortstop, with a .947 fielding percentage. His career fielding percentage was .950. In 4 years at Calvert Hall, Konopacki played on 4 championship teams, the last 3 on the varsity level. He was the Cardinals' key man in the clutch this year, getting such important hits as his game-winning grand slam against top rival Mount St. Joseph. Konopacki batted .423 with 8 HRs, 41 RBI, 2 triples and 5 doubles. He also had 9 putouts and 26 assists. Possibly the best athlete on the All-Metro team. Kormanik has been an All-Metro selection the past 2 years as a football player. He led Gilman to the MSA B Conference championship series for a second straight year. Heading into today's final game, he was batting .610 and was 8-1 on the mound with a 0.68 ERA during the regular season. He has a football scholarship to Boston College. Loewe did not lose a game in 9 decisions until he met Arundel in the state Class 4A title game. Through 67 2/3 innings, he struck out 109 and allowed 15 walks and 8 earned runs for the defending state 4A champion. Loewe batted .446 with 2 HRs, 4 triples, 5 doubles, 32 runs, 19 RBI and 2 strikeouts in 65 at-bats. Although tendinitis kept Scott from pitching this year, it did not affect his glove and bat. One of the top shortstops in Anne Arundel County, he hit for power and average from the No. 3 position. Scott batted .468 with 17 extra-base hits, including 3 HRs. He had 24 RBI and scored 28 runs. Young was the defensive standout and leadoff batter for the state Class 4A champion. Arundel set a state record with 21 double plays, and SS Young was in on 15 of them. He batted .405 with 23 runs, 30 RBI, 34 steals, 4 doubles and 2 triples. He is headed for the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.