Severna Park, DL
Coates' potential -- as a 255-pound sophomore he caused and returned a fumble 55 yards on his third varsity play -- blossomed over the past two seasons. The dominant defensive lineman in Anne Arundel County, Coates also saw time at running back/blocking back and "has all the tools it takes to play the game," said coach Andy Borland.
Cox is The Sun's Defensive Player of the Year. He led Gilman in tackles (158), had four interceptions and called the signals for a defense that allowed just 68 points in the eight games after a season-opening, 31-12 loss to powerful DeMatha. Cox has played linebacker just two years, but Gilman's longtime defensive coordinator, Nick Schloeder, labeled Cox the best
linebacker the school has produced.
Lake Clifton, LB
Lake Clifton does not keep defensive stats, but coach David White said, "He had a ton of tackles." James was the best defensive player for the MSA B Conference champions and the league's hardest hitter. Was also one of the area's top receivers with 37 catches.
Jenkins is a good athlete, who also excels in basketball and was almost made a quarterback when he came to Poly. Probably the area's hardest-hitting defensive back, and in fact, played linebacker at times. Had one interception that he returned for TD against Forest Park.
For the second time in three years Lowery led the area in punting. He had 21 punts for a 43.8-yard average. Lowery, who also played soccer, connected on 11 of 13 PATs, had a 32-yard field goal and put several kickoffs in the end zone.
Marcus called the defensive signals for a team that had five shutouts and gave up only 43 points all season. Marcus had six interceptions this year and returned one for a touchdown.
Wilde Lake, DB
Rowe had five interceptions during the regular season. He was the defensive leader for the Wildecats, who gave up just 31 points during the regular season and posted five shutouts.
Rucker is the strongest player on the Poly team. He bench-presses more than 350 pounds. Played defensive back his first two years but moved to the line last year and solidified
Oakland Mills, LB
He led the area in rushing (1,817 yards, 24 TDs) but was also the best on a defense that had three shutouts and gave up more than two touchdowns in just one game. Singleton had 93 tackles, three sacks and three interceptions.
C.M. Wright, DL
Smith is the best lineman for the Mustangs, who had their best season in history, winning the Harford County title and reaching the state finals for the first time. Smith is intelligent and has quickness. Coach Steve Harward called his height (6 feet) his only limitation in his hopes to play at a major college.
Speed had three interceptions, and his presence kept opponents from throwing deep. He also came up well on the run and was third on the team in tackles as Dundalk won more than seven games for the first time since 1980. Speed quarterbacked the team and ran for 910 yards and 11 TDs.
Loyola coach Joe Brune says his team does not keep track of tackles, but he is sure that Thornton led the Dons. "He was our big-play guy," said Brune. Thornton rose to the occasion in Loyola's upset victories over Poly and Forest Park as the Dons
enjoyed their first winning season since 1987.
Notre Dame, Penn State and Maryland are among the schools recruiting this 6-1, 285-pounder who has 4.9 speed in the 40-yard --. Turner had 27 solo tackles and 41 assists, but his numbers were low because opponents preferred to run away from him.