Player of the Year
Ray Jones, Eastern Tech, senior, running back: This 6-foot-3, 225-pounder has rushed for 1,989 yards and 28 touchdowns in leading the second-ranked Mavericks (12-0) to their first 3A state title game against Friendly of Prince George's County yesterday. Although he's orally committed to a full scholarship to the University of Buffalo, Jones, who scored 960 on his SAT and has a 3.4 grade-point average, also has been recruited by Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, Virginia Military Institute and Connecticut. Jones arrived at Eastern Tech as a 13-year-old, 180-pound freshman who had never played organized football or lifted weights prior to high school. Eastern Tech coach Nick Arminio wanted to put him on the varsity immediately, but Jones' mother would not allow it until his sophomore year. Jones, who also had 14 sacks as a linebacker, has deceptive speed and, once he turns the corner, "runs away from people," Arminio said. A preseason All-Mid-Atlantic pick by The National Recruiting Advisor, Jones' raw power -- he has bench-pressed 355 pounds -- impressed Maryland recruiters at a summer camp, along with his 4.7-second 40-yard dash. "Ray carried the load until we got our passing game going," said coach Arminio.
First team at a glance
Chris Barnes, Dunbar, senior, wide receiver: er: Committed to a full scholarship to Boston College, Barnes caught 32 passes for 448 yards and seven TDs and has 24 career TDs and over 2,500 yards. A 3.3 student and two-time second-team All-Metro pick, Barnes (6-0, 195) turned down a scholarship offer from Georgia Tech and also considered Virginia Tech and Maryland. Barnes recovered a fumble for one TD, returned a punt for another and had six sacks as a defensive end. Barnes was the first freshman to start at Poly, playing there two years under Augie Waible, then transferring to Dunbar. Last year, he caught 38 passes for 850 yards and eight TDs.
Matt Belcastro, Patterson, junior, lineman: This 6-3, 308-pounder was one of the main reasons QB Tramyne Lyle was sacked only once during the regular season. Belcastro ran a 5.0-second 40-yard dash and was a member of the Top 30 club at an Art Monk camp. "Belcastro was the most dominant lineman in the city. Every recruiter that's seen him has asked about him," Clippers coach Roger Wrenn said.
Ryan Boyle, Gilman, junior, quarterback: Boyle (5-11, 170) completed 117 of 150 passes for 1,908 yards and 20 touchdowns and rushed for 535 yards and five more scores, He has 2,373 yards passing and 1,347 rushing over the oast two seasons. The junior's completion ratio (78 percent) shattered the previous state record of 69.4 established by Ryan Fleetwood of Cambridge. A 4.0 student who also plays basketball, he was a first-team All-Metro lacrosse attackman last spring. Boyle shined brightest in consecutive routs of Loyola (31-7) and Calvert Hall (42-21). In those two games combined, Boyle was 12-for-21 for 376 yards and seven TDs and rushed for 212 yards and two scores.
Damien Davis, Gilman, senior, running back: A second-team All-City/County pick last year, Davis (6-2, 205), last year's Male Athlete of the Year, rushed for 1,000 yards and 10 TDs and had 22 catches for 181 yards and three more scores. A preseason Prep-Star All-American as well as an All-Mid-Atlantic Region pick by The National Recruiting Advisor, Davis runs a 4.5-second 40-yard dash, scored 1,200 on his SAT and is a 3.4 student. An All-Metro wrestler and an All-Metro lacrosse defenseman, Davis, the nation's No. 1 high school lacrosse recruit on defense, is headed for Princeton to play lacrosse and football.
Marquis Dwarte, Perry Hall, senior, running back: ning back: Dwarte (5-7, 175) ran a 4.41-second 40-yard dash at a Maryland combine, benches 315 pounds and has a full scholarship offer from the University of Buffalo. A 3.1 student who combines swiftness and power when he runs, Dwarte established single-season school records for rushing (1,810 yards on 165 carries) and TDs (24), and career records for rushing (3,645), TDs (43) and carries (433). Maryland, Towson, Fordham, Central Connecticut and East Carolina also are interested.
Andrew Faraone, Gilman, senior, place-kicker: Faraone (6-0, 190) was 34 of 35 on extra-point attempts and tied a single-season state record with 11 field goals, including a long of 48 yards. A 3.2 student, Faraone's three field goals against McDonogh were one shy of tying a single-game state record. Faraone also played soccer, this fall earning second-team All-City/County honors as a midfielder. In lacrosse, Faraone was first-team All-Metro and is a U.S. Under-19 player. Also a basketball player, Faraone has a scholarship to play lacrosse at Virginia, but also will walk-on in football.
Adam Hendrix, Hereford, junior, lineman: One of four returning -- starters from last year's 13-0 Class 1A state champ, Hendrix (6-4, bench-presses 330 pounds; can pull, pass or drive block as a center; and routinely had pancake blocks. A sound two-way player, Hendrix was the main reason Hereford rushed for over 3,000 yards and passed for nearly 2,000.
Bryant Johnson, City, senior, wide receiver: er: Orally committed to a full scholarship to Penn State, Johnson (6-3, 190) clocked several 4.3-second 40-yard dashes at a summer combine and caught 35 passes for 753 yards and nine touchdowns this season. Ranked No. 17 nationally during the preseason by The National Recruiting Advisor, this second-team All-Metro pick's career numbers are 97 receptions, 2,294 yards and 31 TDs. A 3.3 student with a 1,010 SAT, Johnson also was state runner-up in the long jump last spring.
Richard Johnson, Milford Mill, junior, all-purpose: Nebraska, Michigan, Maryland and Northwestern already have approached coach Reggie Brooks about Johnson (6-0, 165), who runs a 4.5-second 40. This year, Johnson passed for 848 yards and 13 TDs, rushed for 604 yards and eight TDs, returned kickoffs of 81 and 85 yards and a 90-yard punt for scores and caught passes for a 68-yard score and an extra point. That's 25 TDs altogether for Johnson, who also had three interceptions. A 3.4 student, Johnson's two-year totals are 2,234 passing yards for 23 TDs, and over 1,300 rushing yards for 18 TDs.
Anthony Lawston, Eastern Tech, senior, tight end-wide receiver: Ranked No. 6 nationally in the preseason by The National Recruiting Advisor, Lawston (6-4, 215) runs a 4.6-second 40-yard dash, earned All-Metro and All-State honors last year and has been offered full scholarships to Penn State, Maryland, Georgia Tech, Wisconsin, Wake Forest, West Virginia, Syracuse and Virginia Tech. He also has 44 receptions for 761 yards and nine TDs this year and he hgas intercepted eight passes. For his career, Lawston has 147 receptions for 2,930 yards and 24 TDs and 19 interceptions, five for TDs.
Chisom Opara, Gilman, senior, wide receiver: ceiver: A preseason All-Region pick by The National Recruiting Advisor and a Prep-Star All-American, Opara (6-2, 205) caught 54 passes for 942 yards and 13 TDs (two shy of the single-season state record) and rushed for 664 yards and five TDs. A 3.5 student (1,350 SAT), Opara ran a 4.45-second 40. He plays basketball and could be drafted for baseball in June.
B.J. Thomas, Randallstown, senior, lineman: man: A second-team All-Metro pick last season and preseason All-Region pick by The National Recruiting Advisor, Thomas (6-4, 320) can move (runs a 5.0 in the 40). Thomas has been contacted by Florida State, North Carolina, N.C. State, Virginia and Temple, although he said he plans on going to Maryland.
Dwyane Thornton, Catonsville, senior, running back: A cousin to former Philadelphia Eagles receiver Calvin Williams, Thornton (5-11, 205) runs track and has a 4.5-second 40. His 1,977 yards led the state after 10 regular-season games, and Thornton scored 25 TDs. Picked to the coaches' All-County squad, Thornton led Catonsville to a 7-3 record (7-2 in Baltimore County's West Division).
Naoud Von Steklenberg, Mount St. Joseph, senior, lineman : A transfer from Pennsylvania, Von Steklenberg (6-5, 270) carried a 3.7 GPA and scored 1,290 on his SAT. "He's an excellent drive or pass blocker," said St. Joe coach Mike Working. Virginia Tech and Pittsburgh are among a number of major Division I programs that are interested in Von Steklenberg, who "favors Navy," Working said.
Player of the Year
Felix Isuk, Gilman, senior, lineman: A repeat All-City/County first-team pick who also earned All-Metro honors last season, Isuk was ranked among the best in the Mid-Atlantic Region entering this season by The National Recruiting Advisor. Armed with a 3.6 grade-point average, a 1,220 SAT score, a 4.6-second 40-yard dash and a 340-pound bench press, the 6-foot-3, 225-pound linebacker-lineman accumulated 13 sacks, 15 tackles for a loss and 82 overall tackles to help the No. 1-ranked Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association Conference champion Greyhounds to become the school's first 10-0 team. Isuk has elicited full scholarship offers from Penn State, Pittsburgh, Maryland, Virginia and Duke and looks from numerous other Division I programs. Isuk had four sacks each against Poly and Calvert Hall. "Felix is the complete defensive package. He could not be blocked, one-on-one," coach Biff Poggi said. "Felix has a Division I first move off the ball, and when he gets there, he delivers with unbelievable force."
First team at a glance
Nick Alevrogiannis, St. Paul's, senior, lineman: Alevrogiannis (6-5, was unblockable unless double- or triple-teamed. He had 62 tackles, five sacks and an interception. Offensively, he was the main reason St. Paul's generated over 2,500 rushing yards and 1,000 yards passing. Alevrogiannis has drawn interest from Maryland, Richmond, Marshall, Temple, Virginia Tech and Syracuse among others.
Mykal Bouie, Randallstown, sophomore, linebacker: The Rams' No. 1 tackler, Bouie (6-0, 200) led the team with eight sacks and was a relentless presence. Bouie also is a second-year starter despite his being an underclassman. "No. 40 was very good," said Einstein coach Ed Ashwell. "He aggressively closes to the ball well, fills the hole well and he doesn't let anybody push him around." Bouie also plays baseball.
Marshall Contee, Randallstown, senior, defensive back: An All-State defensive back in Virginia last season before transferring back to Randallstown -- where he played as a sophomore -- Contee carries a 3.5 GPA and has attracted interest from a number of Division I programs. Offensively, Contee (6-0, 180) employed his 4.4-second speed for 1,420 yards and 17 TDs. An excellent open-field tackler, cover man and secondary pursuer, Contee "never let us break anything in the secondary because he'd chase us down," said Einstein coach Ed Ashwell. Contee had 10 pass breakups, two interceptions and "is a vicious hitter," said coach Bruce Strunk.
Owen Daly, McDonogh, senior, defensive back: As a defensive back/wide receiver, Daly (6-2, 175) scored TDs on two of six interceptions -- he has 19 interceptions as a four-year starter -- and caught 30 passes for over 600 yards and six TDs as McDonogh won its second straight MIAA B Conference crown. Daly ranks as the country's No. 1 midfield recruit in lacrosse, where he earned All-Metro honors last year and is headed for NCAA champion Princeton next season. A 3.3 student with a 1,200 SAT score, Daly also is a member of the U.S. under-19 lacrosse team and will play basketball for the Eagles' defending MIAA B Conference champion basketball squad.
Anthony Esposito, McDonogh, senior, linebacker: backer: Esposito (5-11, 190) was sheer determination on both sides of the ball, rising to the occasion when the Eagles needed him most. Defensively, Esposito was in on 68 tackles and seven sacks, and offensively, rushed for 1,050 yards and 10 TDs. A 3.3 student with a 1,200 SAT score, Esposito, a two-year captain, has wrestled, runs track and is considering Johns Hopkins, West Chester and Bloomsburg. "He was my top rusher and, top player, really," said coach Dom Damico.
C. J. Feldheim, Hereford, junior, lineman: Feldheim (6-4, 215) is an excellent two-way lineman, finishing with nine sacks and 18 tackles behind the line of scrimmage among his 69 tackles. Feldheim also recovered four fumbles. A National Honor Society member, Feldheim has a 3.81 GPA and also wrestles and plays baseball. Feldheim bench-presses 330 pounds.
Eddie Henry, Poly, senior, punter: Henry punted 33 times for 1,488 yards (a 45-yard average), including a 64-yarder in the Engineers' 13-12 win over rival City, where Henry's 54-yard scoring reception secured the win with 35 seconds left. As a receiver, Henry had 24 receptions for 844 yards and 11 TDs -- including an overtime game-winner against Salesianum of Delaware. Henry (5-11, 175) is considering Maryland, UMBC and Hampton.
Ralph Henry, Eastern Tech, senior, lineman: man: Henry (6-3, 245) earned second-team All-Metro honors last year, has a 3.71 GPA and scored 980 on his SAT. He runs a 4.9-second 40-yard dash and has 24 sacks (39 over two seasons). Henry has such programs as Richmond, North Carolina A&T;, James Madison and Connecticut interested in him. Henry also averaged 10 points and five rebounds last year as the basketball team's power forward.
Brendan Klekner, Hereford, senior, defensive back: sive back: The lone returning defensive starter from last year's 13-0 Class 1A state championship squad, Klekner is a sure tackler and is excellent in pursuit. Also a baseball player, Klekner runs a 4.6 second 40-yard dash and was chosen to the coaches' All-County first team. Several Division II and Division III schools are interested in Klekner, who got fewer interceptions (two) than last year, when he had six, because teams rarely threw the ball his way.
Steve Lawston, Eastern Tech, junior, defensive back: fensive back: Lawston, who runs a 4.5-second 40-yard dash, is a threat with his big-play potential whether rushing, receiving or playing at defensive back. Lawston (6-3, 195) has 17 receptions for 379 yards (22 yards per catch) and eight TDs, 319 rushing yards and a TD and has returned two of six interceptions for TDs.
Brian Lewis, Gilman, senior, lineman: A three-sport athlete who also runs track and was fourth in last year's private school state wrestling tournament, Lewis (6-0, 180) is a vicious hitter whose 12 sacks were tied for second on the team behind Isuk. Lewis ranked second with 73 tackles on a Gilman team whose defense scored 7.8 points per game. He runs a 4.6-second 40-yard dash and carries a 3.1 GPA.
Quan Mitchell, Randallstown, junior, linebacker: backer: Mitchell (6-1, 180) ranked No. 2 in team tackles behind Bouie, and registered six sacks for the Rams. Also an underclassman, Mitchell was among several Randallstown players who were chosen to the coaches' All-County team. Mitchell has a 3.2 GPA and runs a 4.7-second 40-yard dash.
Tyrell Ray, Patterson, senior, lineman: Ray (6-0, 190) led the Clippers with 80 tackles and his 14 sacks were within two of tying the school record. Ray, who carried a 3.0 GPA, also had a blocked punt for a touchdown to go with two fumble recoveries. "Tyrell gets off the block well and just hammers people," coach Roger Wrenn said. "He stands you up."
Henry Russell, Gilman, senior, linebacker: Russell (5-11, 185) had 12 sacks -- tied for second on the team -- and 18 tackles for a loss among his 72 tackles overall. "Henry was the quarterback of our defense," coach Biff Poggi said of a player chosen as the team's defensive MVP.
Greg Smoot, Calvert Hall, senior, linebacker: er: Smoot (6-4, 235) entered Thursday's Loyola game with 149 tackles, seven sacks and two fumble recoveries. Smoot ran a 4.7-second 40-yard dash at a summer combine, scored a 920 on his SAT and was offered a full scholarship to Penn State. Other interested programs are Lehigh, Marshall, Boston College, Northeastern, Maryland, Georgia Tech, Virginia, Wake Forest, Illinois, Richmond, Mississippi, James Madison and Mississippi State. He also has rushed for eight TDs.
Coaches of the Year
Nick Arminio, Eastern Tech: In four seasons, Arminio has gone from 1-9 to 7-3, to 9-2 last year, and finally, a school-record 12-0 before last night's 45-29 loss to Friendly of Prince George's County in the Class 3A state title game. Arminio's Mavericks struggled through close early-season wins, having to overcome season-ending injuries to three key starters in addition to the inexperience of quarterback Scott Pearce, up from the JV and charged with getting the ball to a preseason All-American in WR Anthony Lawston. Specialized defenses designed to stop Lawston and younger brother, Steve, caused further problems, but Arminio adjusted with the help of assistant coaches Jeff Boller, Scott McElfish, Pat Crain, Ken King, Jamie Rallo and Rich Szukiewicz. Pearce entered yesterday's game with 1,167 passing yards for 17 TDs.
Roger Wrenn, Patterson: After missing last year's playoffs for the first time since joining the state association five years ago, Wrenn returned none of the marquee players that other City East Division opponents did. So he built a balanced offense around three underclassmen -- quarterback Tremayne Lyle (junior), linemen Matt Williams (sophomore) and Matt Belcastro (junior). Behind them, Wrenn (172-83-2 in 25 years) got unselfish contributions from senior running backs Brendan Williams, Brian Hopson and Michael Crawford out of a half Wing-T, half triple-option offense that earned the Clippers a berth in the 4A playoffs, where they lost to Northwestern of Prince George's County. Unranked during the preseason, the Clippers were ranked as high as No. 9 by The Sun after a 10-0 regular season that included winning the City East Division title, victories over last year's co-champs, City (34-12) and Poly (41-6), and a win over last year's 2A state runner-up Dunbar. A $100,000 grant from the NFL will help to renovate the Clippers' football field for next season.
The Baltimore Sun 1998 All Baltimore City-County football teams were selected by Lem Satterfield after consultation with The Sun staff and area coaches.
Pub Date: 11/29/98