Offense Player of the Year
Aaron Thompson, Mount St. Joseph, senior (6-1, 200): The transfer from Forest Park runs a 4.4-second 40-yard dash. With 314 carries, 2,325 yards and 37 touchdowns over 10 games (average of 31.4 carries, 233 yards, 3.7 touchdowns), he was tops among all area running backs. His single-season yardage has him third in the state all-time (behind McDonough's Sherron Gudger, 2,741, 1991, and Kent's Bruce Green, 2,388, presently), and his single-season touchdowns tie him for the area lead with Randallstown's Larry Washington (1990) -- two shy of the state record held by Cambridge's Skeeter Nichols (1979). Thompson's average yards per game (232.5) shattered the state record set last year by Mount St. Joseph graduate Archie Wannamaker (216.4 yards). Thompson's seven touchdowns in a 55-48 victory over Liberty tied a state single-game record. "When we ran the straight up [the middle] plays, we'd open the holes, and he'd just hit them so fast," said right guard Ben Dyer, whose team won its third straight Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference crown. "He's got the ability to shake-and-bake you, but he can also just drop the shoulder. He's the type of runner you just want to sit back and watch. Sometimes, you're like, 'How did he do that?'"
First team -- offense
Maurice Boykins, Atholton, senior, OL (6-6, 325): He's the biggest guy on this year's All-Metro team, and he's on it for the second straight season. Coach Steve Kelly said of Boykins, who was bigger and stronger this season, "We ran behind him a lot, as you would expect."
Lance Clelland, McDonogh, senior, OL (6-6, 270): Rated No. 15 nationally preseason by the National Recruiting Advisor, Clelland has orally committed to attend Northwestern, turning down several other colleges. With a 3.0 GPA and 1,140 SAT score, he also was being looked at by Boston College, Syracuse, Clemson, Tennessee and Virginia. He gave up no sacks all fall, and, defensively, had 80 tackles (45 solo), five sacks and caused three fumbles.
Ali Culpepper, Dunbar, senior, RB (5-11, 205): Culpepper, a returning All- Metro, has 4.3-second speed in the 40, can bench press 260 pounds five times, and has rushed for 1,262 yards and 15 touchdowns in 10 games. During his career, the four-year starter totalled 4,817 yards and 44 touchdowns. With Culpepper in its lineup, Dunbar was 42-7, with four state semifinal appearances and two state titles. His skills include an ability to catch the ball out of the backfield, and as a linebacker, he also had 12 sacks and six each in interceptions and fumble recoveries. A 3.0 GPA average and 940 SAT score have elicited full scholarship offers from Michigan State, Northwestern, Maryland, Syracuse, Rutgers, North Carolina State, Wake Forest and Duke.
Ben Dyer, Mount St. Joseph, senior, L (6-4, 275): Dyer, one of just two starters who returned to the Gaels' offense, was adept at pass protection, pulling, and just plain blowing the holes open. "On fourth-and-one, we went right up his [position]," said Thompson. Dyer, who had 69 knockdowns and didn't give up a sack all season, is considering Georgia, South Carolina, Syracuse and also, for wrestling, Lehigh.
Dain Lewis, Wilde Lake, senior, RB (6-0, 185): Chosen second-team All-Met ro last year for his 17 sacks as a linebacker, Lewis caused damage from the other side of the ball this season. His power, speed and ability to dish out punishment as a runner led to 1,571 yards and 27 touchdowns. The three-year starter, chosen Howard County's Offensive Player of the Year, also made 61 unassisted tackles and 53 assists, including 10 tackles for a loss. He had one interception and three fumble recoveries.
Erik Lipton, Arundel, senior, QB (6-4, 200): Lipton, second-team All-Met ro last year, has the dimensions that college recruiters want in a signal caller. He also has the numbers, holding all the major state public-school career records for passing: attempts (522), completions (312), percentage (.598), yards (4,769), touchdown passes (47) and fewest interceptions with 400 or more passes (17). This season, Lipton completed 146 of 248 passes (.589) for 2,056 yards, 20 touchdowns and only six interceptions. And he did it without benefit of a sizable offensive line. Lipton will visit Penn State, Pitt and Miami over the next few weeks.
Terril Lowery, Lake Clifton, senior, WR (5-11, 185): A three-time All-Metro player, Lowery had 30 receptions for a single-season career high 1,007 yards and 10 touchdowns, including the game-winning 77-yard play against then-No. 1 Dunbar. The four-year starter has career totals of 111 receptions, 3,384 yards and 37 touchdowns -- an average of 27.25 receptions, 841.5 yards and nine touchdowns per season and 30.8 yards per catch. He was one shy of the career touchdown receptions mark (set in 1994 by McDonogh's Dennis Badham), and has shattered by 488 yards Badham's career yardage mark (2,878). As a defensive back, Lowery returned three of his five interceptions for touchdowns, recovered seven fumbles, and had 62 tackles (20 solo) for the Class 4A state semifinalists.
Joe Parker, Arundel, senior, TE (6-3, 180): A repeat All-Metro pick, Parker caught 64 passes for 908 yards (14.2) and 11 touchdowns. With 102 career receptions for 1,718 yards and 19 touchdowns in three years, Parker ranks sixth, fourth and third, respectively, in Anne Arundel County history in those categories. His excellent blend of height and speed, consistency, along with a rangy frame, make him an very good Division I prospect.
Chris Perkins, City, senior, OL (6-2, 286): A three-year starter, Perkins was a steady, consistent blocker both on the run and the pass for teammates Taber Small and quarterback Michael Johnson. An excellent trap blocker who can pull as well, Perkins, a Division I prospect, helped the Knights to reach their first Class 2A state semifinal.
Tornardo Sharps, Meade, junior, RB (5-10, 165): Playing in his first varsity season, Sharps emerged as the most dangerous back in Anne Arundel County with his 4.4 speed and slashing, cutting style. Sharps led the county in rushing with 1,765 yards (third highest in county history), 19 touchdowns and 124 points, breaking the school records of 1,676 yards and 122 points set by Roman Harrison last season. After watching Sharps rush for 212 yards and two touchdowns in a loss to his team, Seneca Valley coach Terry Changuris called him "one of the better backs we've seen this season."
Taber Small, City, senior, RB (5-11, 190): Rated among the region's best preseason by the National Recruiting Advisor, Small (920 yards, 17 touchdowns) is fast (4.4 speed) and strong (he can bench-press nearly 300 pounds). The four-year starter had his best games against Loyola (201 yards, three touchdowns) in a 27-7 rout, and Poly, when he entered late in the third period with City trailing, 20-6, and rushed 90 yards for two touchdowns to tie the game at 20. City won, 26-20. Several Division I schools are interested in him.
T. J. Smith, Oakland Mills, senior, PK (6-0, 175): The best kicker in How ard County history, Smith made seven of 10 field goal attempts, including a long of 45 yards and a state-record four in one game. His kickoffs frequently made it into the end zone. He's being recruited by several schools.
Corey Wright, North County, senior, WR (5-8, 155): A quadruple threat as a receiver, rusher, kick returner and as a defensive back, Wright, Anne Arundel County's Offensive Player of the Year, set a state season record for catches (89) and tied the state mark for touchdowns caught (14). He also set a single-game state record for receptions (13). Wright's career receptions (140) are second only in the county and state public schools to the 149 by Broadneck's Jason Smith (1992-1994). He also ranks second to Smith (25) in the county in career touchdown receptions (21). With 1,803 career yards receiving (1,081 this season), Wright is second in school history to the 1,831 by Damon Martin (1990-1992). Wright, who had 16 total touchdowns, also rushed for 111 yards, and ran back punts and kickoffs.
Warren Smith, City, junior, WR (6-3, 190): Smith has 46 receptions for 851 yards and 10 touchdowns, with his best effort (10 receptions, 175 yards, three touchdowns) coming in a game against Mount St. Joseph. Smith also caught two touchdowns against Poly -- the second with three seconds left for a 26-20 win. As a de fensive back, he returned one of his three interceptions 65 yards for a touchdown -- against Loyola. "He's a big-time player," said coach George Petrides.
Pat Stafford, Patterson, senior, OL (6-4, 281): Another four-year starter with plenty of savvy as both a pass and run blocker, Stafford anchored the Clippers to a fourth straight City 4A title. "He had had 16 knockdowns, or pancakes, which means he basically just delivered the guy. He moves very well," said coach Roger Wrenn. Defensively, Stafford had 1 1/2 sacks.
All-Baltimore Metro football team
Offensive Player of the Year: Aaron Thompson, Mount St. Joseph
Defensive Player of the Year: Monte Graves, St. Mary's
8, Coach of the Year: Brad Best, St. Mary's
Name, School, Year, Position
Erik Lipton, Arundel, Senior, Quarterback
Ali Culpepper, Dunbar, Senior, Running back
Dain Lewis, Wilde Lake, Senior, Running back
Tornardo Sharps, Meade, Junior, Running back
Taber Small, City, Senior, Running back
Aaron Thompson, Mount St. Joseph, Senior, Running back
Terril Lowery, Lake Clifton, Senior, Wide receiver
Warren Smith, City, Junior, Wide receiver
Corey Wright, North County, Senior, Wide receiver
Joe Parker, Arundel, Senior, Tight end
Maurice Boykins, Atholton, Senior, Lineman
Lance Clelland, McDonogh, Senior, Lineman
Ben Dyer, Mount St. Joseph, Senior, Lineman
Chris Perkins, City, Senior, Lineman
Pat Stafford, Patterson, Senior, Lineman
T.J. Smith, Oakland Mills, Senior, Place kicker
FIRST TEAM DEFENSE
Shaun Williams, Lake Clifton, Senior, Punter
Tony Jackson, Wilde Lake, Senior, Defensive back
Devin Jones, Patterson, Senior, Defensive back
Tim Nicholas, Loyola, Senior, Defensive back
Derry Williams, Dunbar, Senior, Defensive back
Jason Wingeart, Hereford, Junior, Defensive back
Jason Boyce, Dunbar, Senior, Linebacker
Karim Cross, City, Senior, Linebacker
Monte Graves, St. Mary's, Senior, Linebacker
Mike Levy, Fallston, Senior, Linebacker
Tomez Williams, Patterson, Senior, Linebacker
Chris Field, Severna Park, Senior, Lineman
Robert Gross, Lake Clifton, Senior, Lineman
Carl Hebron, City, Senior, Lineman
Rob Hoffman, St. Mary's, Junior, Lineman
Antar Sims-El, Dunbar, Senior, Lineman
SECOND TEAM OFFENSE
Michael Johnson, City, Senior, Quarterback
Shaun Adams, Joppatowne, Senior, Running back
Dennard Melton, Severn, Junior, Running back
Tommie Mims, Aberdeen, Senior, Running back
nTC Dante Partlow, Westminster, Senior, Running back
Darnell Pearsall, Lake Clifton, Junior, Running back
Chip Harrison, Centennial, Senior, Wide receiver
Chris Mangum, North County, Senior, Wide receiver
Jamison Mullen, St. Mary's, Senior, Wide receiver
Dahnel Singfield, Dunbar, Junior, Wide receiver
Chad Clark, Severna Park, Senior, Lineman
Blake Henry, Loyola, Junior, Lineman
Scipio Osborne, Aberdeen, Senior, Lineman
Kimball Payne, St. Paul's, Senior, Lineman
Scott Rudolph, C. Milton Wright, Senior, Lineman
Luke Vriezen, Liberty, Senior, Place kicker
SECOND TEAM DEFENSE
Matt McVey, John Carroll, Senior, Punter
Andy Gasdia, Aberdeen, Senior, Defensive back
James Gee, City, Junior, Defensive back
Jerry Merriwether, Perry Hall, Senior, Defensive back
Sean O'Neill, South Carroll, Senior, Defensive back
Carlrome Randle, Dunbar, Senior, Defensive back
E. J. Henderson, Aberdeen, Junior, Linebacker
Marvin Mobley, North County, Senior, Linebacker
Scott Norbury, South Carroll, Senior, Linebacker
Jonathan Thomas, Dunbar, Junior, Linebacker
Danny Todd, Meade, Senior, Linebacker
Richard Allen, North County, Senior, Lineman
Harry Blackwell, Lake Clifton, Senior, Lineman
Mike Levy, Fallston, Senior, Lineman
Paul McElheny, Atholton, Senior, Lineman
Jason Shupert, Hereford, Junior, Lineman
&Rank; .. School .. .. .. W-L
1 .. .. St. Mary's . .. 8-2
.. .. Lake Clifton . 10-2
3 .. .. Dunbar .. .. .. 9-3
.. .. City . .. .. .. 9-3
5 .. .. Patterson .. .. 9-2
6 .. .. Aberdeen ... . 10-1
7 .. .. Wilde Lake . . 10-1
.. .. St. Paul's . .. 9-0
.. .. Hereford ... . 11-1
10 . .. Meade .. ... .. 8-3
. .. North County .. 9-2
12 . .. Perry Hall . .. 9-1
. .. Dulaney .. . .. 9-1
. .. Mt. St. Joseph. 6-4
15 . .. Loyola ... . .. 6-4
Other teams considered: Hickey (8-2), Woodlawn (8-3), Boys' Latin (7-3), C. Milton Wright (7-3), Northern (7-3), Poly (5-5)
The Sun's 1996 All-Metro football teams were selected by The Sun staff after consulting with area coaches. The capsules and charts were compiled by staff writer Lem Satterfield.
Pub Date: 11/30/96