The Baltimore Sun

Boys lacrosse

Player of the Year Joe Bonanni St. Mary's

Bonanni, a four-year starter, did it all for the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference quarterfinalist. "He played wings on faceoffs, played close defense, played a pole if we needed, too," St. Mary's coach Matt Hogan said. "He did all those things for us this year without questions."

The Ohio State-bound defender also scooped 58 ground balls while covering the best offensive player from the opposing team every game. He was selected to the Under-Armour All-America team and is a two-time first-team All-Metro selection.

Coach of the Year Zack Burke Archbishop Spalding

This was Burke's first year as Archbishop Spalding's head coach, but it didn't take long for him to leave his stamp on the program. He led the Cavaliers to their first playoff appearance since joining the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference in 2003 and to five conference wins after just one a year ago.

More importantly, he laid the foundation for a program that aims to get better each year. "Everyone's going to push each other to be better now that we know we can win," Burke said. "We're getting a lot more recruits and have a lot of guys that want to play for us now."

The team

Name School CL P

Matt Burke Arch. Spalding Jr. A

Sam Jones Severna Park Jr. A

Stevie Kirkup Severn Jr. A

Matt Lamon St. Mary's Sr. A

David Balinsky South River Jr. M

Kevin Cooper Arch. Spalding Jr. M

Rich May Arch. Spalding Sr. M

Sean Price Severna Park Jr. M

Joe Bonanni St. Mary's Sr. D

Tim Shaeffer Annapolis Sr. D

Mark Staines Severn Sr. D

Evan Danahy Arundel Sr. G

Note: Team selected by Stefen Lovelace after consultation with The Sun staff and area coaches.

Girls lacrosse

Player of the Year Julie Gardner Severna Park

At the center of everything for a Falcons team that road a 40-game win streak to its second straight Class 4A-3A state championship, Gardner took on a more defensive role this season and never skipped a beat. She usually marked the opposition's top midfielder and she still ranked among the Falcons' top scorers, with 52 goals and 23 assists.

A key to the transition game, Gardner also came up big on draw controls and with ground balls. Her great work ethic helped her improve an already strong game and earn Player of the Year honors for a second straight time.

Coach of the Year Moira Leavitt Archbishop Spalding

In her first season with the Cavaliers, Leavitt took a 5-13 team last season and turned it into a 13-6 team that was a contender in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference. In the two previous years, the No. 9 Cavaliers had gone 0-24 against A Conference foes.

Leavitt, a former Navy club coach, gambled with a lot of changes, and the Cavaliers went 7-5 in the conference regular season. Leavitt taught the Cavaliers various defenses, including a zone that proved effective. She also shook up the attack to take advantage of their depth of talent.

The team

Name School CL P

Caroline Cochran St. Mary's Sr. A

Alex Priddy Severn Sr. A

Allison Behringer Severna Park Sr. M

Jen Fox St. Mary's Sr. M

Julie Gardner Severna Park Sr. M

Brooke Griffin South River So. M

Karri Ellen Johnson Broadneck Sr. M

Katie Kirk Arch. Spalding Sr. M

Josie Owen Severn Sr. M

Hayley Rausch Severna Park Sr. M

Lelan Bailey Severna Park Jr. D

Kelsey Hughes Severn Sr. D

Morgan O'Brien Broadneck Sr. D

Cosette Larash Arch. Spalding Jr. G

Note: Team selected by Katherine Dunn after consultation with The Sun staff and area coaches.

Baseball Player of the Year

Jason Patten Archbishop Spalding

Patten's outstanding work on the mound and in center field helped the No. 2 Cavaliers to a 28-8 season.

The senior right-hander went 7-1 with four saves and a 1.50 ERA as the ace of the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference runner-up to No. 1 Calvert Hall. His only loss was to the Cardinals in April.

Patten struck out 79 in 58 innings and had the county's first perfect game in 14 years as well as two shutouts. His six-inning perfect game came against one of the metro area's top-hitting teams in St. Paul's.

When not pitching, Patten, who will attend Radford, was one of the top defensive outfielders in the area. He batted .290.

Coach of the Year Ken B. Dunn South River

After going 9-13 in 2007, Dunn guided the Seahawks to a 16-8 record and No. 4 ranking in The Sun's final poll. He led the Seahawks to their first regional title in 25 years in his 31st season.

South River won the Class 4A East regional at Leonardtown, 2-0, in 10 innings, to gain a berth in the state semifinals. The Seahawks' season ended there in an 8-6 loss to No. 3 C. Milton Wright in eight innings.

Dunn did a good job delegating authority to his coaching staff and handled his pitchers well, with junior Eric Aumann emerging as one of the metro area's best. The team

Name School CL P

Eric Aumann South River Jr. P

Brady Feigl Old Mill Sr. P

John Hodges Northeast Sr. P

Jason Patten Arch. Spalding Sr. P

Eddie Palmer Arch. Spalding Jr. C

Ryan Woods Arch. Spalding Sr. 1B

Kody Hines Arch. Spalding Sr. 2B

Justin Robey Chesapeake Sr. 3B

Cody Jensen Severna Park Sr. SS

Brody Kean Northeast Sr. OF

Matt Hillsinger Arch. Spalding Sr. OF

Jon Stewart St. Mary's Sr. OF

Note: Team selected by Pat O'Malley after consultation with The Sun staff and area coaches.

Softball Player of the Year

Lauren Gibson Chesapeake

The junior pitcher once again stood out in an impressive crowd of pitchers in the county, leading the Cougars to a second straight Class 4A state championship by throwing a no-hitter in the title game for a second straight year. Gibson, who has made an oral commitment to play at Tennessee, went 17-2, posting a 1.23 ERA with 165 strikeouts.

Although Gibson will likely not pitch at the college level, she worked hard on improving her changeup this season and it paid big dividends. She batted .500, scoring 34 runs and driving in 29 with eight homers and 16 stolen bases. Coach of the Year Paul O'Brien Archbishop Spalding

The No. 2 Cavaliers (17-1) left little suspense in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference this season. They went undefeated in league play and capped the season with a 6-0 win over Institute of Notre Dame in a championship game that displayed how fundamentally sound they were.

O'Brien had the task of bringing along junior pitcher Elaine Nescio, who took over the No. 1 pitching duties from four-year standout Stephanie Weigman, and also filling other voids left by graduation. O'Brien is 32-6 in two seasons at Spalding after seven seasons at league rival St. Vincent Pallotti, where he compiled a 133-57 mark. The team

Name School CL P

Heather Brown Northeast Jr. P

Lauren Gibson Chesapeake Jr. P

Kayla Martinez Arundel So. P

Elaine Nescio Arch. Spalding Jr. P

Elizabeth Wedell Northeast So. C

Kelly Hickman Chesapeake Jr. IF

Kourtney Salvarola Broadneck So. IF

Ashley Thomas Broadneck So. IF

Meghan Van Meter Arch. Spalding Sr. IF

Jennifer Rindone Arch. Spalding Sr. OF

Corie Seitler Broadneck Sr. OF

Erika Stasch Chesapeake Sr. OF

Note: Team selected by Glenn Graham after consultation with The Sun staff and area coaches.

Girls Track

Performer of the Year Torrie Saunders Annapolis

This was a breakthrough season for the senior, who combined with teammate Jessica Tongue to help the Panthers take second in the Class 3A state meet. That came a few weeks after Annapolis won its first county title.

Saunders won the 300 hurdles (44.49 seconds) and triple jump (37 feet, 4 3/4 inches) and ran on the winning 400-meter relay team at the state meet. Although Saunders had been one of the area's top hurdlers and relay runners, she'd never broken through to win an individual state title before this spring. Her newfound success played a huge role in pushing Annapolis to higher levels this spring, as the Panthers beat Meade in the county title and state meet. Coach of the Year Brian Brown Annapolis

Brown did a solid job of helping develop talented runners such as Torrie Saunders and Jessica Tongue over the past few years, and it paid off this spring. Annapolis barely missed a state title, coming up just two points short in the Class 3A meet.

Before the impressive performance at states, the Panthers edged defending champion Meade in the county championship meet.

The team

Name School CL

Ashley Cottrell Annapolis Sr.

Nicole Curry Arundel Sr.

Aubree Frye Chesapeake Fr.

Alex Georgiou Old Mill So.

Victoria Goodenough St. Mary's So.

Anna Grimes Meade Jr.

Lauren Hunt Meade Jr.

Lauren Lovejoy Meade Jr.

Haley Paskalides South River Jr.

Colleen Randolph St. Mary's So.

Torrie Saunders Annapolis Sr.

Jenny Thornton Severna Park Jr.

Jessica Tongue Annapolis Sr.

Cassey Trevino Old Mill Jr.

Jen Whitfield South River Jr.

Note: Team selected by Jeff Seidel after consultation with The Sun staff and area coaches.

Boys Track

Performer of the Year Justin Murdock Meade

Even though he finished second to Westlake's Devon Smith in both the Class 3A 100 (by .03 of a second) and 200 (by .10 of a second) at the state meet -- races that had most of the fans at Morgan State watching and cheering -- Murdock came back to win the 400 (47.51).

One of the top high school sprinters in the country, he played a huge role in Meade winning the Class 3A state title this spring. Murdock transferred from Glen Burnie this year and needed some time to adjust to coach Nigel Holder's system, but once he did, the senior flourished. He's headed to Clemson in the fall.

Coach of the Year Nigel Holder Meade

Riding his "Four Horsemen" -- Justin Murdock, Matt Brinkley, Dahmar Smiles and Anya Uzoh -- plus a good cast of supporting characters, Holder's Mustangs had little trouble winning just about everything they touched this spring.

Meade easily won the Anne Arundel County and Class 3A titles. They also did the same thing indoors, after taking the Class 4A title outdoors last year. Holder wasn't afraid to make some unconventional moves. For example, he put Murdock in the high jump in the county meet -- something the senior had never done before. But Murdock got some points and helped the Mustangs win. The team

Name School CL

Dimitri Brandford Annapolis Jr.

Matt Brinkley Meade Sr.

Evan Campbell Chesapeake Sr.

Nicholas Cerverizzo Annapolis Sr.

Andrew Finlayson Severna Park Jr.

Shannon Glover Meade Jr.

Lawrence Jenkins Southern Jr.

Sean Kshimetski Chesapeake Jr.

Terrence Major Severna Park Sr.

Justin Murdock Meade Sr.

Matt Phipps Chesapeake Sr.

Dahmar Smiles Meade Sr .

Christian Smooth Annapolis Jr.

Zach Sullivan Spalding Jr.

Anya Uzoh Meade Sr.

Note: Team selected by Jeff Seidel after consultation with The Sun staff and area coaches.

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