1997 All-Baltimore City/Baltimore County football teams

November 21, 1997|By Lem Satterfield

Co-Coach of the Year

Nick Arminio, Eastern Tech: Armenio inherited a program in 1995 that averaged two wins a season. The Mavericks were 1-9 that year and 7-3 last year. This season the Mavericks went 9-2 for a share of the Baltimore County 3A-4A title with Milford Mill and Woodlawn, reached the state playoffs for the first time ever, and finished with a No. 5 area-ranking in The Sun's top 15. "We accomplished a lot of firsts this year," said Armenio, whose program had its best season since going 10-0 in 1972. "It's the first time we ever beat Milford Mill, first time we ever beat Perry Hall, first time being ranked in the metro area, first piece of the county championship." Arminio's staff was comprised of Jeff Boller (defense), Scott McElfish (DBs, QBs, special teams), Rich Szukiewicz, Ken King and Jamie Rallo. The Mavericks had size on the line, the ability to run or throw with first-year starting QB Brian Nagel (1,501 passing yards, 18 TDs), good skill-position players and ran a number of formations. Their only regular-season loss came by 14-13 at Woodlawn in the second game.

Co-Coach of the Year

Biff Poggi, Gilman: An energetic former All-Metro lineman at Gilman before playing at Duke and Pittsburgh, Poggi assisted former coach Sherm Bristow for eight years before replacing him after Bristow stepped down. Gilman, winner of a combined six games in two previous seasons, was unranked during the preseason. But the 1979 Gilman graduate and former high school All-American produced a program that finished at 6-3 with a No. 6 area-ranking. Gilman, of the MIAA A Conference, defeated City, Poly, Calvert Hall and Mount St. Joseph -- all of which were ranked in The Sun's top five before losing to the Greyhounds. Poggi's staff consisted of Marty Meloy (QBs), athletic director Tim Holley (RBs) and Andy Martire (OL). Former Baltimore Colts Joe Ehrmann and Stan White ran the defense, assisted by track coach Johnnie Foreman (DL) and Keith Kormanik (DBs). Brian Smith and Nick Schloeder ran special teams and WRs.

Offense

Player of the Year

Brant Hall, Loyola, Senior, Quarterback: Hall (6-0, 190) runs a 4.6-second 40-yard dash, has passed for 947 yards and nine TDs, and has rushed for 497 yards and six scores. A solid student in honors courses at Loyola, Hall has attracted interest from Wake Forest, N.C. State and James Madison. According to coach Joe Brune, he's the first QB to start three varsity seasons, and the first to lead the Dons to three straight championships. He led Loyola to a No. 1 area-ranking and a No. 8 ranking in the state. The Dons (8-1 overall, 3-0 league) can clinch their third MIAA title outright with a victory over Thanksgiving Day rival, No. 2-ranked Calvert Hall (8-1, 2-1). "We've had some great quarterbacks, but I'd have to rank Brant right up at the top," said Brune, who has 192 wins as a high school coach since 1959. "He's poised, doesn't get rattled and comes through in the big games." As a sophomore, Hall out-shined state-record breaking QB Lucas Phillips in Loyola's 37-21 rout of Mount St. Joseph by rushing for 135 yards and a touchdown and passing for 113 and a score. In a 30-7 win at Mount St. Joseph this year, Hall put Loyola up, 7-0, after a six-yard run, and gave the Dons a 14-0 lead after hitting Rick Schutz on a 6-yard scoring pass. Leading 14-7 at halftime, Hall engineered an 80-yard scoring drive, during which he was 5-for-5 passing for 71 yards. "Brant made three great plays and that's why I think he's the best player around," said Gaels coach Mike Working, who has helped develop QBs such as the Redskins' Gus Frerotte. Loyola's only loss, 19-10, was to Gonzaga (ranked No. 7 in The Washington Post) with Hall playing with an injured throwing shoulder.

First team offense

Roger Evans, Hereford, senior, place-kicker: This repeat All-City/County performer averaged 48.9 yards per punt (a public school-best) and has not allowed a punt to be fielded. He punted twice for an average of 48 yards in the Bulls' biggest regular-season game, a 28-6 win at No. 15 Randallstown, and constantly pinned the Rams in. Against Northeast, a 46-yarder landed on the 1-yard line. He averaged 42.2 yards as a punter last year. As place-kicker, he has a state single-season record 68-of-76 extra points (102-of-116 career). The 5-11, 195-pound LB also ranks third in team tackles and has two fumble recoveries and two sacks.

Blake Henry, Loyola, senior, lineman: This three-year starter and returning second-team All-Metro already has committed to Northwestern. A lean 6-6, 280, he's agile and quick on both pass and run-protection. Henry was a preseason All-American in The National Recruiting Advisor.

Rickey Holloway, senior, lineman: At 6-2, 175, "he's our best lineman," City coach George Petrides said. Holloway cleared the way for first-year QB Vincent DeLoatch (1,112 passing yards, 17 TDs), allowing the No. 11 Knights to generate enough offense to share the City East Division title with Poly.

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