Player of the Year
Ray Jones, Eastern Tech, senior, running back: This 6-foot-3, 225-pounder has rushed for 1,989 yards and 28 touchdowns in leading the second-ranked Mavericks (12-0) to their first 3A state title game against Friendly of Prince George's County yesterday. Although he's orally committed to a full scholarship to the University of Buffalo, Jones, who scored 960 on his SAT and has a 3.4 grade-point average, also has been recruited by Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, Virginia Military Institute and Connecticut. Jones arrived at Eastern Tech as a 13-year-old, 180-pound freshman who had never played organized football or lifted weights prior to high school. Eastern Tech coach Nick Arminio wanted to put him on the varsity immediately, but Jones' mother would not allow it until his sophomore year. Jones, who also had 14 sacks as a linebacker, has deceptive speed and, once he turns the corner, "runs away from people," Arminio said. A preseason All-Mid-Atlantic pick by The National Recruiting Advisor, Jones' raw power -- he has bench-pressed 355 pounds -- impressed Maryland recruiters at a summer camp, along with his 4.7-second 40-yard dash. "Ray carried the load until we got our passing game going," said coach Arminio.
First team at a glance
Chris Barnes, Dunbar, senior, wide receiver: er: Committed to a full scholarship to Boston College, Barnes caught 32 passes for 448 yards and seven TDs and has 24 career TDs and over 2,500 yards. A 3.3 student and two-time second-team All-Metro pick, Barnes (6-0, 195) turned down a scholarship offer from Georgia Tech and also considered Virginia Tech and Maryland. Barnes recovered a fumble for one TD, returned a punt for another and had six sacks as a defensive end. Barnes was the first freshman to start at Poly, playing there two years under Augie Waible, then transferring to Dunbar. Last year, he caught 38 passes for 850 yards and eight TDs.
Matt Belcastro, Patterson, junior, lineman: This 6-3, 308-pounder was one of the main reasons QB Tramyne Lyle was sacked only once during the regular season. Belcastro ran a 5.0-second 40-yard dash and was a member of the Top 30 club at an Art Monk camp. "Belcastro was the most dominant lineman in the city. Every recruiter that's seen him has asked about him," Clippers coach Roger Wrenn said.
Ryan Boyle, Gilman, junior, quarterback: Boyle (5-11, 170) completed 117 of 150 passes for 1,908 yards and 20 touchdowns and rushed for 535 yards and five more scores, He has 2,373 yards passing and 1,347 rushing over the oast two seasons. The junior's completion ratio (78 percent) shattered the previous state record of 69.4 established by Ryan Fleetwood of Cambridge. A 4.0 student who also plays basketball, he was a first-team All-Metro lacrosse attackman last spring. Boyle shined brightest in consecutive routs of Loyola (31-7) and Calvert Hall (42-21). In those two games combined, Boyle was 12-for-21 for 376 yards and seven TDs and rushed for 212 yards and two scores.
Damien Davis, Gilman, senior, running back: A second-team All-City/County pick last year, Davis (6-2, 205), last year's Male Athlete of the Year, rushed for 1,000 yards and 10 TDs and had 22 catches for 181 yards and three more scores. A preseason Prep-Star All-American as well as an All-Mid-Atlantic Region pick by The National Recruiting Advisor, Davis runs a 4.5-second 40-yard dash, scored 1,200 on his SAT and is a 3.4 student. An All-Metro wrestler and an All-Metro lacrosse defenseman, Davis, the nation's No. 1 high school lacrosse recruit on defense, is headed for Princeton to play lacrosse and football.
Marquis Dwarte, Perry Hall, senior, running back: ning back: Dwarte (5-7, 175) ran a 4.41-second 40-yard dash at a Maryland combine, benches 315 pounds and has a full scholarship offer from the University of Buffalo. A 3.1 student who combines swiftness and power when he runs, Dwarte established single-season school records for rushing (1,810 yards on 165 carries) and TDs (24), and career records for rushing (3,645), TDs (43) and carries (433). Maryland, Towson, Fordham, Central Connecticut and East Carolina also are interested.
Andrew Faraone, Gilman, senior, place-kicker: Faraone (6-0, 190) was 34 of 35 on extra-point attempts and tied a single-season state record with 11 field goals, including a long of 48 yards. A 3.2 student, Faraone's three field goals against McDonogh were one shy of tying a single-game state record. Faraone also played soccer, this fall earning second-team All-City/County honors as a midfielder. In lacrosse, Faraone was first-team All-Metro and is a U.S. Under-19 player. Also a basketball player, Faraone has a scholarship to play lacrosse at Virginia, but also will walk-on in football.