PLAYER OF THE YEAR
* Keith Smith, North Harford, senior, midfield -- Smith, a USLCA 1995 All-American, became North Harford's all-time ground ball leader (273) and his 29 goals and 27 assists helped the Hawks win the Class 1A-2A state championship. "Keith took pride in getting ground balls, that was his strength," said Hawks coach John Grubb. "The reason he got so many was because he's got great lacrosse sense and he knows where to be." Smith will attend Towson State.
COACH OF THE YEAR
* Craig Tillmann, Aberdeen -- Tillmann took Aberdeen to new heights in 1995. The Eagles won their first four games, beat Edgewood for the first time and made it to the region title for the first time in school history. "I didn't know what to expect this season," said Tillmann, who saw his team defeat his alma mater Curley in its season opener. "I knew there were some good teams in Harford County and I knew Aberdeen wasn't one of them. My only goal was to have some class. I told the guys to play with class and the wins would come." The Eagles' season ended with a 15-5 loss to North Harford but their 7-6 record has Tillmann looking forward to 1996. "It's good to have your first winning season ever and it's nice to get to the playoffs for the first time but if we don't try and get better next year, it won't mean a thing," said Tillmann, a first-year coach. "We can't be satisfied."
FIRST TEAM AT A GLANCE
* Andy D'Amico, Aberdeen, senior, midfield -- D'Amico, who is headed for Villanova, had 26 goals and eight assists, but it was the example he set for the younger players that impressed coach Tillmann. "He was our workhorse and any time we got in trouble he handled the ball," said Tillmann. "He's a heck of a leader and he gets good grades. If I ever have a son, I hope he turns out like Andy D'Amico."
* Joe Dontel, Fallston, senior, goal -- After splitting time in goal at the beginning of the season, Dontel won the job and kept the Cougars in many of their games with some impact saves. "Joe really came into his own in the second half of the season," said Fallston coach John Conley. Dontel finished with 109 saves.
* Jay James, North Harford, senior, midfield -- James emerged as the county's most dominant faceoff man, winning over 75 percent. "He got us the ball three-fourths of the time," said Grubb. "Over the course of game that could be a four- or five-goal difference." James, who won 18 of 22 faceoffs in the championship game and finished with 14 goals and four assists, is headed to Maryland.
* Kernan Kelly, Fallston, senior, defense -- Kelly, a repeat All-County performer and a three-year starter, carried the Cougars' young defense. "He plays excellent position defense," said Conley. "He has great field sense and he's an excellent stick handler."
* C.J. Lauer, Fallston, senior, attack -- Lauer's leadership and unselfish play impressed Conley more than his 32 goals and 23 assists. "C.J. was the communicator," said Conley. "He got the team together and got them ready to go." Lauer is headed for Lynchburg University.
* Mike Murray, North Harford, senior, attack -- Murray led the Hawks in scoring for the second straight year. He had 35 goals and 22 assists, including two goals and two assists in North Harford's win over South River in the state finals. "He set a single-season record with 45 goals last year and this year he always drew the opponent's best defenseman and he handled it well," said Grubb. Murray will attend Towson State.
* Todd Paradise, Fallston, senior, midfield -- This was supposed to be a rebuilding year for Fallston, but Paradise helped put the Cougars one goal away from a playoff berth. His knowledge of the game and athleticism enabled him to rack up 32 goals and 24 assists, despite facing opponents' No. 1 defender and numerous double-teams. Paradise will attend Towson State.
* Adam Parris, John Carroll, senior, defense -- Parris anchored a defense that yielded under four goals a game and was a big reason the Patriots won their second consecutive Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference title. "He can do it all," said coach Boo Smith.
* Russell Sliger, North Harford, senior, attack -- Sliger took North Harford's "take-a-check" drill to a new level and his newly developed left-hand skills enabled him to dice through opposing defenses and tally 30 goals and 26 assists. Sliger is going to Lynchburg University.
* Cory Smith, C. Milton Wright, senior, midfield -- Smith's versatility and "extremely hard shot" helped him produce 21 goals and 17 assists. "He's a good cutter, a good finisher and he plays good defense," said Mustangs coach Carl Greenberg. "He goes out and gets the job done." Smith will attend Salisbury State.
* Jeff Smith, C. Milton Wright, junior, attack -- Smith, no relation to teammate Cory, led Harford County in scoring with 37 goals and 25 assists. "He's very, very durable, said Greenberg, who moved him from midfield to attack. "He's quick and he uses his right and left hand equally."
* Nick Thomson, North Harford, senior, defense -- Thomson, a co-captain, perfected an array of checks and anchored a Hawk defense that peaked in the postseason. "Nick was an attackman all the way through rec ball and he thought like an attackman," said Grubb. "He knew what what they were going to do because he had been there before and that really helped him out." He will
PICKING THE TEAMS
The Baltimore Sun 1995 All-Harford County Softball and Baseball Teams were chosen by John W. Stewart. The All-Harford County Boys Lacrosse Teams were chosen by Steven Kivinski and the All-Harford County Track and Field Teams were chosen by Bill Blewett. Each team was selected after consultation with staff writers and area coaches.
Where: Curley Field, Loyola College
When: Today, 2 p.m.
What: The second annual all-star game features the top boys lacrosse players from all areas of Maryland. Awards will be given to the top offensive player of the game in honor of Kevin Reichardt (St. Mary's) and to the defensive standout in the contest in honor of Eric Franklin (Southern-AA).