Polley, Schwoy receive top awards Athletes of Year among 102 honored at luncheon

June 11, 1996|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

After accepting their Baltimore Sun Athlete of the Year awards at the Towson Sheraton yesterday, Dunbar's Tommy Polley and McDonogh's Laurie Schwoy praised their mothers.

Polley thanked his mother, Amy, "for supporting me not only financially, but by keeping me humble, helping me make the right decisions, and making me stay on the right track."

Schwoy thanked Annette, who has raised Laurie and older brother Chris as a single parent for the past 14 years.

"All of my life, my mom has just wanted me to do the best for myself. It's like we're one and the same person when I'm on the soccer field," said Schwoy, a three-time All-Metro and twice The Sun's Player of the Year. "Whenever I score a goal, it's pretty much for me and for her."

Schwoy and Polley were among 102 standouts chosen as athletes of the week during the 1995-96 school year who were honored at yesterday's 30th annual luncheon, attended by more than 400 people.

Schwoy, named Player of the Year by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, has been one of the most dominant strikers in state history.

"This is the third time I've been to the banquet, and, of course, winning was a dream in the back of my mind. It's an honor because so many great athletes are in the room," said Schwoy, who will travel to Sweden this summer to play for the U.S. Under-20 team in the junior World Cup.

"This means a lot to me because it says I'm not only a great soccer player but a great athlete," said Schwoy, who had career totals of 188 goals and 78 assists. "It means more than some of my soccer awards."

Twice named All-Metro in football and basketball, Polley, The Sun's two-time Defensive Player of the Year in football, has followed the careers of such Dunbar alumni as receiver Calvin Williams of the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles and guard Muggsy Bogues of the NBA's Charlotte Hornets.

"I don't know that I'll ever get that big," Polley said, "but I played two sports, so hopefully I can be mentioned in the same breath."

Both B students, Polley and Schwoy were highly recruited by many of the nation's top programs before settling on full athletic scholarships at Atlantic Coast Conference schools.

Polley will play for a Florida State football team that ranked No. 3 nationally last fall. A member of four state championship basketball teams at Dunbar, Polley also will play that sport at Florida State. Schwoy, a Rosedale resident, is headed for North Carolina, winner of 13 of the past 15 NCAA women's soccer championships.

Just 5 feet 4, 125 pounds, she has been called "bionic" by coach Maurice Boylan for withstanding constant double- and triple-teaming throughout her four-year, 83-game career.

McDonogh was 74-4-5 with her in the lineup, winning two Catholic League crowns. With a slight cartilage tear in her knee, she missed just one game -- a 3-2 loss to Mercy this past season.

"Our coach [at North Carolina, Anson Dorrance] has sent us all this training stuff. Just to compete, I'm going to have to be at my best ever when I get to college. The first two weeks are nothing but fitness tests," said Schwoy, 17.

"College ball is a new challenge that I think I'm up for. It'll add a new dimension to my game and make me a better player."

Said Polley, who stands 6-5 and weighs 205: "I've been going hard for the last three or four months on a workout schedule they sent me. I'm getting stronger. I leave Friday for their summer enrichment program. I'll be getting ready most of the summer."

Those who doubt Polley's abilities wonder whether he can add the necessary bulk, through a football weight training program, to be an effective linebacker and still maintain the kind of agility necessary for basketball. Or whether he can withstand the weekly pounding of 300-plus-pound linemen as part of a high-powered schedule.

But Polley always has silenced the doubters.

"I've heard I couldn't do this or that, but I won't be denied. I don't like to be told no," said Polley, whose football teams were 42-5 with him in the lineup. Dunbar became Baltimore City's first state football champion in 1994 and repeated in 1995.

Polley (58 career sacks) twice was named Maryland's football Defensive Player of the Year by the Associated Press, and, this year, with 16 sacks and 12 interceptions, was the state's Gatorade Player of the Year.

"It'll be hard playing on the next level, but I'll find a way to get through," said Polley, who averaged 20.4 points, 10.7 rebounds and 8.1 assists in basketball. "I'm a winner and I'm always going to stay a winner."

Pub Date: 6/11/96

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