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Baltimore-area football players, coaches honored at 57th annual Scholar Athlete Awards Dinner

From left, Westminster's Evan Warren, Randallstown's Michael Anoruo, Calvert Hall's Peter Moore, Parkville's Noah Hambrick and Glenelg's Andrew Sotka were selected as scholarship winners for the 57th Annual Scholar Athlete Awards Dinner on March 4, 2020.
From left, Westminster's Evan Warren, Randallstown's Michael Anoruo, Calvert Hall's Peter Moore, Parkville's Noah Hambrick and Glenelg's Andrew Sotka were selected as scholarship winners for the 57th Annual Scholar Athlete Awards Dinner on March 4, 2020. (Randy Voith)

The best and brightest high school football players and their coaches, friends and family packed into Martin’s West’s ballroom for the 57th Annual Scholar Athlete Awards Dinner on Wednesday night.

There were five recipients of a $4,000 scholarship and 80 nominated players from Baltimore City, Arundel, Carroll, Frederick, Harford and Howard Counties. Michael Anoruo (Randallstown), Noah Hambrick (Parkville), Andrew Sotka (Glenelg), Evan Warren (Westminster) and Peter Moore (Calvert Hall) were the five award winners.

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Among the presenters of the awards were broadcaster Scott Garceau, newscaster Jamie Costello, Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman and Towson football coach Rob Ambrose.

Anoruo was a two-way starter as a fullback and tight end and a team captain for Randallstown. The senior was named a Baltimore County All-Star and a Baltimore Touchdown Club All-Star, in addition to being ranked fourth in his class for GPA. He was named as Region I’s (Baltimore County/Baltimore City) winner.

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He wants to put Randallstown on the map, not just a school for athletics, but a school were academics is a priority.

“Honestly, it’s a blessing. Going to Randallstown, at first many people think ‘Oh, it’s Randallstown,'” Anoruo said. “That’s what they say, but really, going to that school has provided me with so many opportunities to meet coaches, teachers and staff that are all so incredibly supportive. Just getting here, that’s not just me.

“All of these people have supported me and said ‘Hey Mike, you’ve just got to do a little bit more’ — pushing me to do better because that stigma of ‘it’s just Randallstown,' it’s changing. This year, things have been going up for Randallstown and I hope that I can look back in a couple of years see somebody else come up too.”

Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman (left) and Towson football coach Rob Ambrose (right) were among the presenters during the 57th Annual Scholar Athlete Awards Dinner.
Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman (left) and Towson football coach Rob Ambrose (right) were among the presenters during the 57th Annual Scholar Athlete Awards Dinner. (Randy Voith)

Hambrick, representing Region II (Baltimore and Harford counties), was a running back and fullback for Parkville. As a team captain, Hambrick was a first-team All-Metro selection, ranked within the top 10% of his class and was a member of the junior ROTC program at his school.

“Personally, it means it lets me know that all of the hard work that I’ve done has paid off,” Hambrick said. “All of the prayers that I’ve had to God has paid off and to my school, it doesn’t matter where you come from or what school you come from ― it could be any school, no matter what the area, you can get to where you want to be. No matter what.”

Region III’s Sotka was a BTC All-Star and first-team All-Howard County selection as a tight end and linebacker for Glenelg. He also ranked within the top 20% of his class, is a member for the National Honor Society and is a member of the key club.

The Glenelg two-sport athlete juggled three sports and had to rise to top at his school to be recognized. He is the second Glenelg football player to win the award in as many years.

“Coming out of Glenelg it’s a lot of smart kids there and it’s an honor to be selected by my coaches to be here,” Sotka said. “Winning this award was really cool too. Wande Owens — he won it last year from Glenelg last year and it was cool to keep the award in the school.”

Warren represented Region IV (Carroll and Frederick counties) and kicked for Westminster. The first-team All-Conference and All-County selection is ranked in the top 5% of his class, is a member of the English, Math and National Honor Societies, is a National Merit Scholar and is the president of the student government. He will be taking his talents to the Naval Academy, where he will kick for the Midshipmen.

“It’s one of the most meaningful accomplishments I could’ve gotten — one of the most meaningful awards — because it speaks to my body of work as a whole as what I’ve done as a student, an athlete and things in the community,” Warren said. “So, I’m really proud of being able to be recognized with such a prestigious award for what I’ve done.”

The final selection of the night Region V’s Moore, who punted and kicked for Calvert Hall. Moore had a prolific career as a Cardinal, being named as a first team All-Metro and All-Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association selection, in addition to being part of the National and German Honor Societies.

The senior is headed to Virginia Tech to punt for the Hokies and extremely excited to get his college career started.

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“I’m really excited — I wish I could get down there tomorrow, but I have to wait until July,” Moore said as he laughed. “I’m really excited to be a Hokie and hopefully big things are to come for that program.”

Among other winners on the night were St. Frances for the Special Achievement Award. The Panthers ended the year ranked third in the country per MaxPreps and had the number one position in the state of Maryland. Co-head coach Henry Russell attended the ceremony to accept the award on behalf of his 11-1 team.

The Ben Eaton Sr. Championship Awards were given to Catoctin (13-1) and Middletown (12-2) as the two teams won the 1A and 2A state titles, respectively. Coaches Doug Williams and Collin DeLauter accepted the awards on behalf of their teams.

Finally, the James Margraff Coaches Award — created this year in honor of the late Johns Hopkins coach Jim Margraff — was given to Mount Saint Joseph coach Rich Holzer. Holzer led the Gaels to a 10-2 record, winning the MIAA A conference title game against a previously undefeated McDonogh team. The Gaels finished their season ranked within the top 25 of the MaxPreps rankings.

“It’s kind of surreal because for a couple of reasons — obviously, to be on the stage with such tremendous student athletes, to be introduced by Greg Roman, who’s a tremendous coach,” Holzer said. “To receive an award named after Coach Margraff, who’s probably one of the best men in coaching that you could possibly hope to [get]. It was named after a tremendous man, coach, educator, father.

“For me, I was personally back on this stage in New York back in ’96 as a student-athlete recipient and actually won a scholarship out of this. So, it was kind of a surreal experience — it was like a throwback, I was having déjà vu a little bit. It was a tremendous honor and football is a team game. We wouldn’t have been able to do this without the entire team and the coaching staff.”

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