1996 All-Carroll County football teams

November 22, 1996|By Glenn P. Graham

Player of the Year

Scott Norbury, South Carroll, senior, LB: It wasn't hard to find the Cavaliers linebacker on the football field -- he was always around the ball. Norbury was the Cavaliers' finisher on defense, with 129 tackles, two sacks, a fumble recovery and also knocking down two passes. At 5-foot-8, 175 pounds, he had deceptive strength and great anticipation to make big play after big play. "He was just all over the field," said South Carroll coach Gene Brown. "After reviewing the tapes every week, there wasn't one game when he played a bad football game. He played big in all of them." Norbury had a strong desire to make the tackle on every play, exactly what a coach is looking for in a linebacker. He averaged nine solo tackles a game and had 12 against Central Maryland Conference power Thomas Johnson.

First team -- defense

Ben Fleming, North Carroll, junior, DT: Just how agile was the 5-9, 230-pound defensive tackle? Panthers coach Bill Rumbaugh used him at running back late in the season and he made the most of his carries. He added plenty of strength to go with his quick feet in helping control the line of scrimmage defensively. He finished the season with 54 tackles, three sacks and a fumble recovery.

Vince Rosbusin, South Carroll, senior, DE: Getting him blocked was always a tough task for opposing offensive linemen. Rosbusin was always a disruptive force with quick feet and strength to move people, finishing the season with 86 tackles, four sacks, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

Eric Salley, Liberty, junior, DT: The 6-2, 210-pounder got better every week in his first season at the varsity level for the Lions. After starting the season at defensive end, coach Ken Johnson moved him inside to the tackle spot. He clogged up the running lanes and also got to the passer, finishing the season with 30 tackles, three quarterback sacks and two fumble recoveries.

Eric Wilhelm, North Carroll, sophomore, DE: He hit the weight room hard in the off-season and went to summer football camps to show he was ready for the varsity level as a sophomore. Opponents quickly learned they couldn't run the ball outside on his side, so they just ran away from him. The 5-10, 190-pound Wilhelm finished the season with 46 tackles and four sacks.

Tim Hackler, North Carroll, senior, LB: At inside linebacker, Hackler was in the middle of everything and wouldn't have it any other way. A quick and aggressive defender, he finished the season with 78 tackles and had a fumble recovery. Hackler also played tight end for the Panthers offense and was one of their leaders.

Vince Hackler, North Carroll, senior, LB: Coach Bill Rumbaugh counted on Hackler to play the weak-side linebacker position, and he shined, finishing the season with 64 tackles. "He showed good containment and was a good hitter. On run support, he was always by himself there on the weak side, and we put him there because we knew he could handle it," said Rumbaugh.

Mitch Plank, Francis Scott Key, senior, LB: A three-year varsity player for coach Mike Coons, Plank was the Eagles' steadiest linebacker. "There was nothing flashy with Mitch. He's a hard-nosed kid who could thump you," Coons said. He finished the season with 80 tackles and had 19 in the Eagles' 40-6 victory over North Hagerstown.

Matt Sargent, Liberty, senior, LB: A broken thumb early in the season didn't stop Sargent from putting together a fine senior season. He made 74 tackles, had three sacks, an interception and a fumble recovery at his inside linebacker spot. He was a big hitter who was always around the football.

Justin Barnowski, Liberty, senior, DB: Coach Ken Johnson called Barnowski, a two-time first-teamer, his best all-round football player. Also a good running back, Barnowski made his mark in the defensive secondary with 63 tackles, two fumble recoveries and one interception. Johnson started him at a corner, but moved him to strong safety midway through the season to get him closer to the football. That's when the Lions defense started clicking.

Eric Etzel, North Carroll, junior, DB: The Panthers' free safety was the quarterback of the defense, calling all the plays in the huddle along with making adjustments in secondary coverages. He finished the season with 62 tackles and one interception. His strong play enabled his older brother, John, who played the position last season, to concentrate on his quarterback chores.

PTC Scott Glover, Francis Scott Key, junior, DB: Glover brought great instincts to the Eagles secondary at his free safety spot. Coach Coons called him the team's best cover guy and also its biggest hitter. He finished the season with two interceptions and also broke up a number of other passes with good speed.

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