Centennial's Gill, Glenelg's Gaertner achieve their goals without scoring a lot Players of the Year 1992 ALL-HOWARD COUNTY BOYS SOCCER TEAM

November 23, 1992|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,Staff Writer

Statistics do not accurately measure what The Baltimore Sun's Howard County boys soccer co-Players of the Year accomplished for their teams.

Rehan Gill of Centennial and Dan Gaertner of Glenelg both performed a variety of sometimes subtle roles that led their teams to the state finals. Both were team leaders. Neither had a bad game all season.

For Gill, a senior striker who earned a reputation last season for his ability in the air, scoring on headers off of set plays, this season was a chance to prove himself as an all-around player.

Gill could score (five goals, two assists), but his main role was as a target player. Gill could hold, collect, turn and dish off the ball to teammates. He always took one or two defenders with him wherever he went, thus taking a lot of pressure off freshman striker Brian West.

"He was one of the better players I've ever had with the ability to play with his back to the goal," Eagles coach Bill Stara said.

Gill's most memorable goal came in Centennial's first game against Atholton. As the Raiders attempted to push forward, Gill intercepted a pass, slipping through three defenders and kicking in a high-bouncing ball from six yards out.

He also scored the game-winning goal against Whitman in a regular-season contest.

"Rehan was my best player," Stara said. "He did a yeoman job offensively and defensively."

Gill thinks he has come a long way as a player at Centennial.

"My first season as a sophomore I didn't learn much, but I grew up quickly as a junior and I think I was a leader this year," he said.

He said he prefers to play midfield so he can face the goal, but that he is adaptable.

Gaertner, a senior striker, was also Glenelg's most valuable player.

He always seemed to come through under pressure. He scored the game-winning goals against North Hagerstown and Liberty in the regional playoffs.

Formerly a midfielder, Gaertner excelled at creating dangerous situations, whether it was driving the wings and getting corner kicks, serving a teammate in an open space or getting fouled to set up free kicks.

"For some reason he got fouled a lot, and we scored off some of the resulting free kicks," Glenelg coach John Bouman said. "We also scored off corners he created."

One of Gaertner's strengths was his ability to keep possession of the ball. "He rarely gave it up," Bouman said.

He was also proficient at getting his defender off balance and then accelerating quickly past him.

Gaertner, who scored eight goals and had five assists, was a cool-headed, team-oriented player who also helped out on defense.

"He was a great role model," Bouman said. "He never talks down or fools around in practice. He's quiet but leads by example."

Gaertner attended Pallotti his freshman season, after spending the previous four years playing in England.

"Pro soccer is on TV all the time in England and you learn a lot just by watching them," Gaertner said. "Being in England definitely helped my soccer game."

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