1993 All-harford County Football Teams

December 02, 1993|By John W. Stewart

PLAYERS OF THE YEAR

OFFENSE -- Jason Tharpe, C. Milton Wright, Sr., RB -- An All-County selection for the second straight year, the 5-foot-11, 197-pounder finished as the leading rusher and scorer in the metro area. He had regular-season totals of 1,391 yards and 22 touchdowns plus a two-point conversion, then added 176 yards and two touchdowns in a 26-14 state-semifinal loss to Poly. For the 12 games, his rushing average was 6.0 yards a carry. He also was the Mustangs' punter, finishing with a 35-yard average.

DEFENSE -- Andre Turner, Joppatowne, Jr., DB -- Turner was the big-play player on a big-play team. The 5-7, 155-pound junior returned six kicks for touchdowns, including one for the Mariners' only score in a Class 1A state semifinal game at Beall. As a defensive halfback, he had a county-high eight interceptions and had two more in the playoffs. He was Joppatowne's second-leading tackler with 106.

CO-COACHES OF THE YEAR Steve Harward, C. Milton Wright -- He was recognized for taking his team to the state semifinals and a No. 6 ranking after having to change defenses and revamp his lineup because of injuries. Starters Eric McEvoy, a senior receiver, was out by the second game with a broken collarbone, and Will Hanks, a junior lineman, missed most of the season with a knee injury. "After two scrimmages, we changed our defense, and then, after the injuries, we had to make adjustments and that cost us our flexibility," Harward said. Nevertheless, the Mustangs went 9-1 in the regular season with five shutouts, and allowed no more than two touchdowns in the other games. Well-conceived game plans enabled the team to complement the running of Tharpe and Rich Juergenson with the passing of quarterback Mike Schmidt and to use a defense that had no superstars, but players who worked well together. "This was the hardest-working team I've had," Harward said.

John Kling, Joppatowne -- First-year coaches usually are not so honored, but it would not have been fair to let the job done by this county newcomer go unrecognized. He came from out of state two weeks before school started, and three-fourths of a potential starting backfield, including the quarterback, did not report. Then a relatively small squad -- in numbers and size -- won seven of its first eight games. Along the way, he won over his players and overcame problems often associated with a new coach. The Mariners earned a place in the state Class 1A playoffs and reached the semifinals.

FIRST-TEAM OFFENSE * Dick Barwick, Bel Air, Sr., RB -- He gained 755 yards (6.9 average), most of it between the tackles, and rushed for six of his eight touchdowns. On defense, he played on the line and at linebacker.

* Jeramiah Bowling, Bel Air, Sr., C -- A dependable and intense team captain, he was the focal point of the Bobcats' offensive line. On each play, he read defenses and called audibles for his linemen.

* Matt Christ, Bel Air, Jr., OL -- Rated the best blocker on his team's line. The 6-2, 225-pound junior could play any position on the line and adjusted well to defenses. He and Bowling led the way for the top offense in the county, as Barwick and Terry Vail rushed for a combined 1,829 yards and quarterback Tony Belcastro passed for 1,092 yards.

* Mike Cromwell, Aberdeen, Sr., KR -- He ran for good yardage consistently, including two touchdowns as a kick returner. As a defensive back, he was the Eagles' best defender against the pass. He had 56 tackles and a team-high seven interceptions. On offense, he had nine pass receptions for 157 yards and two touchdowns.

* Duane Fisher, C. Milton Wright, Soph., WR -- He topped the county with 26 catches (five for touchdowns) and finished with 403 yards. Against La Plata in the playoffs, he turned one catch into a 71-yard touchdown.

* Mike Grant, Aberdeen, Sr., OL -- An excellent senior leader, he was the Eagles' best blocker, opening holes for Nick Johnson.

* Chris Harrison, Fallston, Sr., OL -- A two-way tackle, the 6-3, 230-pounder was a fierce blocker on offense and led the linemen in tackles (140) on defense. He served as a team captain.

* Nick Johnson, Aberdeen, Sr., RB -- One of three county rushers to gain more than 1,000 yards (1,003), he had the best average (8.9 yards a carry). He scored nine touchdowns.

Jason Leizear, C. Milton Wright, Sr., TE -- He had the size (6-1, 220) at tight end and was an outstanding blocker as well as a solid pass receiver.

* Lewis McKisset, Joppatowne, Jr., RB -- He rushed for 756 yards and 11 touchdowns, complementing Andre Turner with big plays in helping the Mariners reach the Class 1A playoffs. With 13 touchdowns and a two-point conversion, he was the county's third-leading scorer with 80 points.

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