Offensive Player of the Year

Nathan Irby, Dunbar

The returning All-Metro player ripped through his rivals, rushing for 26 of his 35 touchdowns on a single-season public and private school state record 2,883 yards. Irby entered the 1A state title game against defending champ Joppatowne needing 177 yards to surpass Stephen Decatur's Ben Tate, which the senior did with a 189-yard performance in a 16-14 victory.

In Dunbar's last five games, the 5-foot-11, 180-pounder rushed for 1,404 yards and 12 touchdowns. Irby also had four touchdown receptions, threw two scoring passes and returned both a punt and a kickoff for scores.

As a defensive back, Irby returned two of seven interceptions for touchdowns, recovered three fumbles and ranked fifth on the team in tackles.

Defensive Player of the Year

Eugene Simms, Gilman

The 6-foot-3, 235-pound senior excelled against perhaps the state's toughest schedule, leading the No. 1-ranked Greyhounds to their sixth Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference crown in the past eight seasons.

Simms amassed 19 sacks, one of them helping to spark a critical overtime win against last year's league champion, Loyola.

Along with fellow defensive lineman Andrew Pyke, who registered 15 sacks, Simms was among the conference's most feared defenders. Simms made 22 of his 75 tackles behind the line of scrimmage to go with three fumble recoveries.

Coach of the Year

Ben Eaton, Dunbar

As an assistant to Stan Mitchell on the Poets' Class 2A and 3A state title-winning teams of 1994 and '95, Eaton got a taste of winning. But it took the old-school coach and former lineman seven years - and last year's 21-0 state semifinal loss to Joppatowne - to get the right chemistry and the right attitude on a talented team. Using the slogan, "Unfinished Business," the Poets went out and got it done.

After a tough, season-opening loss to private school power Gilman, Eaton's Poets won 13 straight times, ending with a 16-14 victory in the Class 1A state title game.

By winning its third crown, Dunbar joined an elite group with Wilde Lake, Damascus and Seneca Valley as the only programs to win titles in three different classifications.

First-team offense

Name School Cl P

Marcus Taylor Dunbar Jr. QB

Nathan Irby Dunbar Sr. RB

Sean Price Gilman Jr. RB

Glenn Williams Curley Sr. RB

DeShawn Barrett Patterson Sr. TE

Darron Edwards Dunbar Sr. WR

Alan Bosworth Dunbar Jr. OL

Lonnie Harvey Edmondson Sr. OL

Pat McNamara Mt. St. Joe Sr. OL

Antonio Powell Dunbar Jr. OL

Justin Wiley Gilman Sr. OL

Luke Bell Gilman Sr. K

First-team defense

Name School Cl P

Justin Darden Southwestern Sr. DL

Andrew Pyke Gilman Sr. DL

Athalie Rivera Dunbar Sr. DL

Eugene Simms Gilman Sr. DL

Brian Carroll Gilman Jr. LB

Ben Eaton Gilman So. LB

Steve Pfister Mt. St. Joe Sr. LB

Kevin Armstrong Poly Sr. DB

Erik Johnson City Sr. DB

Jamaal Johnson Southside Sr. DB

Antwarn Jones Gibbons Jr. DB

Shawn Maczka Gilman Jr. P

Second-team offense

Name School Cl P

Shawn Logan Edmondson Sr. QB

Corday Bethel Edmondson Sr. RB

Alan Singletary Forest Park Jr. RB

Derrick Young Curley Sr. RB

Kyle Johnson Dunbar Sr. TE

Claude Davenport Forest Park Jr. WR

Walter Ingram W.E.B. DuBois Sr. WR

Steve Getz Curley Sr. OL

Brandon Johnson Curley Sr. OL

Alex Kuziel Gibbons Sr. OL

Ryan Summers Gilman Sr. OL

John Mudrick Mt. St. Joe Sr. K

Second-team defense

Name School Cls. Pos.

Steven Barrett Patterson Sr. DL

Shelby Fisher Gibbons Sr. DL

Melvin Rice Poly Sr. DL

Ronnie Williams Patterson Sr. DL

Craig Barnes Curley Sr. LB

Justin Fisher Gibbons Sr. LB

Antonio Salter Dunbar Jr. LB

Gregory Skinner Forest Park Sr. LB

Tim Rich Patterson Jr. DB

Clinton Sellers Gibbons Sr. DB

Laquan Williams Poly Jr. DB

Eric Hammond W.E.B. DuBois Sr. P

Note: Teams selected by Lem Satterfield after consultation with The Sun staff and area coaches.

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