The 48th annual C. Markland Kelly Lacrosse awards banquet last night confirmed what everyone had begun to realize during the season.
That St. Paul's Tim Whiteley was the best lacrosse player in the Maryland Scholastic Association.
Whiteley walked off with that prestigious award just two days before he and his St. Paul's teammates try to become the first team in 20 years to go unbeaten through the tough MSA A Conference regular season and playoffs.
Whiteley has 37 goals and 45 assists in a 16-0 season.
St. Paul's can complete the unbeaten run with a win over Boys' Latin tomorrow in the MSA A Conference championship game at UMBC at 5 p.m.
Last night's conference award winners were: goalkeeper Thaddaeus Reyer, Northwestern, C Conference; attackman Keith Gucwa, Cardinal Gibbons, B Conference; midfielder Jimmy Virts, Archbishop Curley, BB Conference; and Whiteley, A Conference.
Whiteley is coming off what his coach and father, Mitch, called the greatest game of his son's playing career. Tim Whiteley scored four goals and had four assists in a 12-6 win over Calvert Hall on Tuesday in the MSA A Conference semifinals.
"Tim's overall play in that game was his best, I thought," said Mitch Whiteley. "He was riding, checking, scoring, getting ground balls and getting assists. It was a big game and he was focused."
But Mitch Whiteley didn't want to get carried away about his son or the unbeaten season until tomorrow's game is over.
In the back of his mind, Tim Whiteley always felt he had a chance to win the Kelly Award, but it never really hit home until yesterday during practice at St. Paul's when his teammate Rob Bouse starting calling him "Kelly," "Kelly."
"I came to these banquets as a kid with my father to see other people nominated for the Kelly Award and I dreamed that I would win it some day," he said.