PLAYER OF THE YEAR
The last time a defender earned All-Metro Player of the Year honors in The Sun was in 1997, when Boys' Latin's John Glatzel led the Lakers through an unbeaten, title-winning season, never getting beat one-on-one by a rival offensive player.
Unlike Glatzel, whose team allowed just over four goals a game, Kelly didn't have a perfect season. But he came close. Kelly's Eagles lost once in 23 outings on the way to winning the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference crown. Rival attackmen combined for three goals against Kelly, whose team allowed less than six scores per game.
Still, the 6-foot-2, 180-pound senior fits the mold of Glatzel, who starred at Syracuse. Like Glatzel, Kelly is a repeat All-Metro performer with a penchant for intercepting passes. Kelly also is capable of shadowing any player, delivering sharp, clean checks, then using his speed and mobility to scoop ground balls and run them into his team's offensive transition.
Kelly's abilities led to his assisting on three goals, as well as his being named this year's recipient of the C. Markland Kelly Award, an honor annually bestowed upon the player considered to be the state's best.
"Brennan's the best defenseman I've ever coached," said coach Jake Reed. "He took on other teams' top scorers and shut them down. He knew when to throw checks and when to use the body."
Kelly ranked second on the team behind second-team All-Metro midfielder Bryn Holmes with 92 ground balls. Also a starting defensive back for the Eagles' football team, he will play lacrosse at Georgetown.
COACH OF THE YEAR
The past season was an emotional one for Reed. It followed a year in which his team missed the playoffs by a half game, a winter when a former player died in a hunting accident and a preseason in which Reed discovered McDonogh's headmaster was not renewing his contract.
Reed, who turns 50 in August, wasn't certain that his 13th and final season was going to be a good one. Yet he retained his composure under pressure to lead the Eagles to the program's second-ever Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference title in a league considered the nation's most difficult.
"With my luck this year, I wasn't quite sure things were going to work out the way we wanted in the end," said Reed, who coached his 400th career game this season. His career record is 255-145 (181-98 at McDonogh), and his son, Travis, a sophomore, was the Eagles' top scorer. "I couldn't ask any more of this team. They just refused to go out losing."
Down 1-0 early in the championship game against No. 2 Boys' Latin, McDonogh rebounded for a 9-8 victory that capped a school-record 22-1 season.
"This is what it comes down to. This is what we worked for," McDonogh senior midfielder Jimmy Daly said in the aftermath of the Boys' Latin win. "There is no greater way to express how much Coach Reed means to us than to give him a championship like this."
Calvert Hall, midfield
The senior was perhaps the best all-around player for the fifth-ranked Cardinals.
He did whatever was needed, whether that meant scoring, assisting, playing defense or out-hustling the opposition for a ground ball.
"Phil played both ends of the field. He was the co-MVP of our team along with his brother [Jeremy, an All-Metro second-team goalie]," said Cardinals coach Brian Kelly. "Phil did it all for us."
Blevins totaled a team-high 43 points, comprised of 24 goals and 19 assists.
The Towson University-bound player did so while playing the entire season dealing with his older brother Sid's battle with cancer.
Boys' Latin, attack
The junior repeat All-Metro and high school All-America performer scored 43 goals and assisted on 56 others, surpassing his efforts of a year ago, when he finished with 41 goals and 36 assists.
An athletic player capable of single-handedly taking over a game, Boland was at his best - scoring 10 points (six goals and four assists) - in a late-season rout of then-No. 2 St. Paul's. Along with senior Tad Stanwick, Boland led the Lakers to an 18-2 record, a No. 2 ranking in The Sun, and a title-game runner-up finish to McDonogh.
Already committed to NCAA champion Johns Hopkins, Boland is the younger brother of Kevin Boland, an All-Metro midfielder at Gilman in 2000.
One of the most complete players in Maryland, Carroll, though just a junior, was named a high school All-American as well as The Sun's All-Baltimore City Player of the Year.
Solid as a one-on-one defender, a force when it comes to digging for ground balls and capable of scoring or assisting on goals, Carroll was the leader for the sixth-ranked Greyhounds, the only team to defeat top-ranked, eventual Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference champ McDonogh.
Carroll finished the year with 26 goals and 17 assists, including a feed to his twin brother, Kevin, for the game-winner in Gilman's 10-9 victory over McDonogh.
Armed with athleticism, a lightning-quick shot and both the size and the field vision to overcome rival defenses, Daly was virtually unstoppable once he got rolling.
The Loyola College-bound, 6-foot senior was dominant in a number of big wins. Daly scored six goals against St. Paul's, and four each in wins over Calvert Hall, St. Mary's and Boys' Latin - the latter in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference title contest.
"Jimmy always scored big goals in the clutch. He has great speed and can shoot with both hands," coach Jake Reed said of Daly, a team captain who finished with 50 goals and 12 assists. "Plus, he was excellent on ground balls."
Mount St. Joseph, defense
No matter what Gaels coach Tony Brockmeyer required of Eitel, the unselfish junior was prepared to do it. Eitel played both close defense and long-stick midfield, and displayed tremendous athleticism on the wings during faceoffs.
As the leader on a team that ranked seventh in The Sun, Eitel ranked second on the squad with 53 ground balls and was often matched against the rival team's best offensive player.
"That kid was all over the field. He was very, very impressive," said Calvert Hall coach Brian Kelly, a former college defender. Also a linebacker on the Gaels' football team, Eitel is leaning toward committing to North Carolina, Brockmeyer said.
St. Paul's, attack
The repeat All-Metro performer is the third of the talented Gill brothers to play for St. Paul's.
But Gavin Gill has one thing on his older siblings: He is the only one of them to win a Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference title - a feat he accomplished last year as a junior.
This spring, Gill scored 84 points on 28 goals and 56 assists. Most of Gill's assists went to attackmate Bart Wagner, who contributed 53 goals and 14 assists.
With 233 career points, Gill ranks third on the school's all-time list behind his oldest brother, Conor, and Tim Whiteley, son of coach Mitch Whiteley.
Gill will play at Virginia, as did his brothers.
Severna Park, goal
Already committed to NCAA champion Johns Hopkins, the three-time All-Anne Arundel County junior was named The Sun's Anne Arundel County Player of The Year and received the WYNN Award for being Maryland's top high school goalkeeper.
Nearly impossible to beat one-on-one, Gvozden stopped more than 70 percent of the shots he faced, finishing with 177 saves. Coached by collegiate All-American Jimmy Beardmore, Gvozden has nearly 600 career saves.
With Gvozden in goal, the 10th-ranked Falcons won three straight county titles and reached the Class 4A-3A state final three consecutive times, winning the crown in 2004.
The University of Maryland-bound senior led the Quakers to their best season in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference - one that ended with a 12-8 record and a No. 8 ranking in The Sun.
The slender midfielder scored 31 goals, assisted on nine others, "faced off and played tough defense, often going both ways during the game," said coach Rich Seiler. "Most A Conference teams focused their defenses around him with shut-offs and their best long poles."
Harrington scored four goals in a win over previously unbeaten Fallston and three in a victory over St. Mary's.
At times, it appeared the repeat All-Metro player carried the ninth-ranked Lions.
The 5-foot-11, 205-pound senior, who is headed for Notre Dame, scored 93 goals and assisted on 22 others, including the goal by Neal Barthelme that lifted Dulaney to a 14-13, double-overtime victory over Severna Park in the Class 4A-3A state final. Hoff also scored five goals in that game.
In Dulaney's 15-7 victory over defending 2A-1A state champion Pikesville in the Baltimore County championship game, Hoff scored six of his eight goals in the first half, when his Lions led, 8-7. Hoff had 87 goals and 18 assists as a junior, leading the Lions to a state runner-up finish.
A talented junior who has committed to NCAA champion Johns Hopkins, Kimmel was the major reason the Dons rose to No. 3 in The Sun's rankings, and why they reached the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference semifinals.
Kimmel finished the season with 37 goals, but was equally competent as a feeder, dishing out 41 assists for a team-high 78 points.
Along with attackmate Tyler Tolson, who scored 42 goals, he was among the league's most potent offensive weapons.
Kimmel's three goals and two assists sparked an 11-5 quarterfinal rout of Gilman in the league quarterfinals.
Boys' Latin, defense
As dominant as teammate Chris Boland was on offense, the 6-foot-1 Matthews silenced opposing teams' offensive threats.
Rival players found Matthews to be a nearly insurmountable force on the Lakers' defensive end, his timely checks and clears making him an anchor for coach Bob Shriver.
During portions of the season when the Lakers rotated two goalies, the Ohio State-bound senior's poise helped to smooth transitions.
A three-sport athlete with excellent speed and mobility, Matthews could adjust to runs from sideline to sideline, all the while remaining a stabilizing defensive force.
Alex Ashcroft - Centennial, senior, attack
Steve Bosse - Fallston, senior, attack
Ben Hunt - Severna Park, senior, attack
Randall Cooper - Friends, senior, midfield
Bryn Holmes - McDonogh, junior, midfield
Mitchell Rosensweig - Pikesville, senior, midfield
Tim Skeen - Towson, senior, midfield
Brady Smith - Loyola, senior, midfield
Michael Evans - South River, senior, defense
Charlie Kolkin - Gilman, senior, defense
Adam VanLeeuwen - Westminster, senior, defense
Jeremy Blevins - Calvert Hall, senior, goal
1. McDonogh 22-1
2. Boys' Latin 18-2
3. Loyola 14-3
4. St. Paul's 14-4
5. Calvert Hall 10-6
6. Gilman 8-6
7. Mt. St. Joseph 9-5
8. Friends 7-6
9. Dulaney 16-4
10. Severna Park 16-2
11. Centennial 16-1
12. Severn 7-9
13. Broadneck 14-3
14. Annapolis 12-4
15. Fallston 14-2
Other teams considered: Glenelg Country School (13-0), John Carroll (13-4), Park (14-2), Towson (14-3), Westminster (15-1).
Note: Teams selected by Lem Satterfield after consultation with The Sun staff and area coaches.