Player of the Year
Craig Rentch, Annapolis, senior, attack: On a team of outstanding seniors and four-year players, Rentch emerged as the 3A/4A State champion Panthers' go-to guy. Rentch scored nine of his 54 goals in the state semifinals and final. With five goals in the Panthers 12-7 state championship victory over Dulaney, Rentch missed the state final game record by one. Rentch, who will play at Washington College, scored 19 goals and had five assists (20 season for 74 points) in the Panthers' six playoff victories. "Craig carried us in the playoffs, especially in the last two games," said Annapolis coach Dan Hart. Rentch led the Panthers with three goals in the 13-9 region final win over two-time defending state champion Broadneck and four goals in the 14-3 semifinal triumph over South Carroll.
Coach of the Year
Dan Hart, Annapolis: Intense, feisty, hard-nosed, are just a few words that describe Hart and his Panthers, who were champions athletically and academically. Hart, also Coach of the Year in his other state championship season of 1994, called this season's 3A/4A state titlists his "greatest senior group. It was a group of quality, quantity, leadership and character, and it was my pleasure to have coached them." Hart guided the team to a 16-2 mark this year including the 12-7 state final victory over Dulaney at UMBC. The banner season was the fulfillment of a pack of four-year varsity players molded in the image of Hart, who along with his players considered nothing less than a state title as a successful season. "The coaches were driving the bus at he beginning of the season, but by the end, the seniors were," said Hart, completing his 29th year as a teacher/coach in Anne Arundel County. Not only was Hart proud of his Panthers on the field, but in the classroom as well where 24 of the 28 players earned all A's and B's and received one of his T-shirts that reads: "Hart's Lacrosse Honor Roll." The coach said it was also his "most intelligent team."
The first team
Steve Brianas, Annapolis, senior, attack: Brianas was Anne Arundel County's leading scorer with 56 goals and 21 assists despite missing two games. Headed for UMBC, the site of the Panthers' state championship victory, Brianas tripled his junior year stats (15, 8). Another of the Panthers' six, four-year varsity players, Brianas was equally adept with both hands dodging and riding.
Rusty Petsche, Broadneck, senior, attack: The Bruins (12-3) failed in their attempt for a state championship three-peat, but not because of Petsche's firepower. Petsche, who did not start as a junior, led the 12-3 Bruins in scoring with 40 goals and 17 assists as part of the one of the area's most potent attacks. "Rusty had a tremendous senior year and was a big shooter left-handed or right-handed," said coach Clay White.
Craig Summers, St. Mary's, junior, attack: One of just three underclassmen named to the first team, Summers led the Saints in scoring with 30 goals and 15 assists. "Chris was our best attackman," said coach Jim Moorhead. Summers' move from midfield to attack was a key in the Saints advancing to the MIAA A Conference playoffs and maintaining their hold on the county's highest ranking in Top 15.
Neal Adams, Spalding, senior, midfield: Adams used his 6-foot-2 and 185-pound frame and athleticism to keep the Cavaliers (8-11) of coach Steve Seivold competitive in the MIAA B Conference. "Neal has a blistering shot and is great in the open field," Seivold said. Adams, who will play at Towson University, -- scored 35 goals and had 14 assists.
Josh Cornett, Severna Park, senior, midfield: A four-year starter for the Falcons, the speedy and athletic Cornett led the county regular-season champions in scoring with 26 goals and 14 assists. Cornett, also an All-County football player, was third in ground balls with 60. In addition, Cornett, who will attend Towson University, was a team leader for rookie coach Mike Bellotte.
Jason Gogolinski, Chesapeake, senior, midfield: A three-sport athlete (also played football and basketball), Gogolinski, a second-teamer last spring, led the Cougars' midfielders in scoring with 25 goals and 16 assists. Very athletic and aggressive, Gogolinski also contributed defensively. An outstanding student, Gogolinski won the $1,000 Dick Hart Memorial Scholarship given to the county's boys basketball player who excels academically and defensively. He will play lacrosse at Cornell.
Peter Ludlam, Annapolis, senior, midfield: Coach of the Year Dan Hart says Ludlam is "the best faceoff man I've ever coached, just a tremendous athlete." Ludlam, one of three first-team repeaters and another four-year varsity Panther, scored 47 goals and had 22 assists. Described as "a fierce hitter" by Hart, Ludlam, who had 35 goals and 17 assists as a junior, was the quarterback on the Panthers' county champion football team, but will play lacrosse at Towson University.
Ryan Metzbower, St., Mary's, senior, midfield: After an All-County junior season with 11 goals and eight assists, Metzbower responded as a marked man with 20 goals and seven assists for the Saints. "Ryan was our best midfielder and one of only a handful of four-year varsity players at our school," said coach Jim Moorhead. Metzbower, a three-year starter, not only stepped up his offensive skills, but also his already outstanding defensive skills.
Kelly Nash, Broadneck, junior, midfield: Emerging as one of the county's top players and midfielders, Nash, one of three first-team juniors, had 11 goals and 19 assists for the region finalist Bruins. Possessing good stick skills with both hands and instinctive quickness, Nash "ran our offense from his midfield position," said coach Clay White.
Adam Baxter, Severna Park, senior, defense: Annapolis coach Dan Hart said Baxter "was the best around," and gets no argument from Falcon coach Mike Bellotte. At 6- foot-3 and 205 pounds with 4.6 speed in the 40-yard dash, Baxter intimidated opponents. Baxter had 84 take-aways and 64 ground balls. Bellotte says his stellar defender "will be a great college player at the Division I level." Baxter will join All-County teammate Cornett at Towson.
Mike Donlin, Annapolis, senior, defense: Donlin made the jump from second team to All- County first team as the state champion Panthers' defensive catalyst. "Mike was our leader and most valuable player for all the intangibles," said coach Hart. "He was definitely our rally guy and inspirational leader." Another four-year varsity performer, the very physical Donlin, who will attend Loyola College, anchored the Panthers' close defense.
Rob Hoffman, St. Mary's, senior, defense: An All-Metro football defender, Hoffman took his aggressive, hard-hitting style to the lacrosse field. Hoffman filled the void of graduated All-County defenseman Brian Kingsbury with relentless chasing of those carrying the ball. Fast enough to play offensive end in football, Hoffman delivered textbook checks and was above average with the long stick.
Andrew Walenga, North County, senior, defense: The only county player named All-State, Walenga, a Knights' co-captain, moved from second-team to first-team All-County this season. Walenga had 79 ground balls and played a major role in an 8-7 regular-season upset of eventual state champion Annapolis. Walenga will take his defensive skills to Towson.
Mark Bloomquist, North County, junior, goalie: An All-County goalkeeper as a sophomore with 235 saves, Bloomquist, a team co-captain, had 213 saves this season but had a better year according to coach Paul Shea. "There was more pressure on Mark this year because we had a poor offense," said Shea. "We were on defense all the time giving Mark little rest."
The Baltimore Sun 1998 All-Anne Arundel County boys and girls lacrosse teams were selected by Pat O'Malley and Glenn P. Graham, respectively, after consultations with The Sun staff and area coaches.
Pub Date: 5/27/98