Coach of the Year
Steve Turnbaugh, Hereford: Hereford (12-0) was a combined 29-63 over nine seasons before going 11-1 last fall, the second season for Turnbaugh, who is a 1978 Hereford graduate. Against Beall (11-1) yesterday, the Class 1A Bulls sought Baltimore County's fourth state title since Randallstown (1984 and 1990) and Milford Mill (1987). The Bulls, who trailed only once this year -- 6-0 in a 28-6 win at Randallstown -- entered that game ranked No. 3 in the metro area and No. 15 statewide, having won 23 of their last 24 games. They were 20-0 over the past two regular-seasons. They scored a state-record 602 points (46.3 on average), allowed 66 points (5.07) and had eight shutouts. Hereford also has established state records for rushing yards (5,415) in a season and touchdowns scored (87). "We preached togetherness, team, school and family unity," assistant coach Mike Blizzard said. "And that's how they play."
Player of the Year
Brant Hall, Loyola, senior, quarterback: Hall (6 feet, 190 pounds) runs a 4.6-second 40-yard dash, has passed for 1,169 yards and 10 touchdowns, and has rushed for 497 yards and seven scores. A solid student in honors courses at Loyola, Hall has attracted interest from Wake Forest, North Carolina State and James Madison, and is leaning toward Wake. According to coach Joe Brune, he's the first quarterback 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 (9-1 overall, 4-0 league) clinched their third Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference title outright with Thursday's 19-7 victory over Thanksgiving Day rival, No. 2 Calvert Hall. Hall was 11-for-17 for 222 yards and a touchdown and rushed for another touchdown in that game. It was the Dons' ninth straight victory and their ninth straight in the nation's longest Catholic football rivalry. Loyola leads the series, 40-30-8. "We've had some great quarterbacks, but I'd have to rank Brant right up at the top," said Brune. "He's poised, doesn't get rattled and comes through in the big games." As a sophomore, Hall out-shone state-record breaking quarterback 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 St. Joe this year, Hall put Loyola up 7-0 after a 6-yard run and gave the Dons a 14-0 lead by 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.
The first team
Scott Collins, John Carroll, senior, place-kicker: In two years, this 6-1, 175-pound former soccer player has been astonishing. He had a state-record for single-season field goals with 11 this fall in 16 attempts, and was 27 of 28 on point-after conversions. His 57-yarder vs. McDonogh tied one state record, his four field goals in one game (42, 36, 31 and 33 yards) tied another, and his 17 career field goals (out of 21 attempts) rank No. 3 in the state behind Justin Brown (Linganore, 19) and Louie Forbrich (Seneca Valley, 18). Collins, who has a 2.8 grade-point average and over 1,000 SAT, eclipsed the metro-area record previously held by St. Mary's Mark Kieffer (16). Collins, who twice has converted 44-yarders and averages 44 yards a punt, also is an excellent golfer and basketball player and the first John Carroll athlete to have collected four varsity letters in one year.
Lehrman Dotson, Broadneck, junior, wide receiver: Dotson (6-0, 160) led the area in touchdowns caught (14) and ranked second in Anne Arundel County in catches (32), yards receiving (616) and average yards (19.3). The 14 touchdowns broke Jason Smith's school record of 12 set in 1993 and was one shy of the state record (15) set by North County's Corey Wright last fall. Dotson's 15 total touchdowns (he also returned an interception) and 92 points broke Smith's school records of 14 and 84 (1993). A point guard on the basketball team, Dotson combined speed, elusiveness and great hands.
Blake Henry, Loyola, senior, lineman: This three-year starter and returning second-team All-Metro already has committed to Northwestern. At 6-6, 280 pounds, he's also agile and quick on both pass and run-protection. Henry was a preseason All-American in The National Recruiting Advisor. On defense against Calvert Hall, Henry had a pass deflection.
Garth Herdrich, Wilde Lake, senior, lineman: man: The 6-1, 215-pounder played a critical role on a line regarded as Howard County's best. He could pull, trap or pass block, was a team captain and played despite injuries. Defensively, Herdrich had 82 tackles (37 solo, 19 for losses), four sacks, three pass deflections and led his team with five fumble recoveries, one for a touchdown. He also blocked two punts.