Player of the Year
Kevin Damiano, South Carroll, senior, pitcher: Don't let the 5-foot-8 frame fool you. The senior played a lead role, as the Cavaliers claimed the Class 3A state championship. The pitcher and outfielder led the county in most offensive categories, hitting .538 with 11 doubles, five triples, seven home runs, 30 runs scored and 42 RBIs, also stealing eight bases and striking out just three times in 94 plate appearances. His work on the mound was equally impressive, earning him a scholarship to Penn State. The left-hander was 6-0 with a 2.03 ERA, allowing 31 hits in 41 1/3 innings and striking out 74 against 17 walks. He had the ability to either blow away hitters with a fastball clocked at nearly 90 mph or freeze them with his vastly-improved changeup or curve. "He's the guy we looked toward to come up with the big play," said South Carroll coach George Richardson, "and he just about always did."
Coach of the Year
George Richardson, South Carroll: Richardson's second year at the Cavaliers' helm was one he's sure to remember. Led by its dominating pitching and better-than-expected hitting, South Carroll finished 21-4, defeating Leonardtown, 8-1, in the Class 3A state title game to give the Winfield school its first-ever state championship. "That was our main goal this year," said the 34-year-old Richardson, whose team last year lost a heartbreaker to Thomas Johnson in the regional semifinals. "We thought we had a team that was capable of doing more than last year. They understood failure. They were determined." While the offense averaged 8.6 runs a game, over two more than last year, a major challenge was trying to find innings for his plethora of college-bound pitchers, Mainly, however, he was able to just push the right buttons and enjoy the results. "They're just a tremendous bunch of young men who made the coaching job easy," he said. "I didn't have to baby-sit them. I was able to just coach."
The first team
Wes Peters, Liberty, senior, pitcher: Peters showed his worth to the Lions, earning all but three of their wins. He went 8-1, ending the season with eight straight wins, with a 2.89 ERA and 55 strikeouts in 53 innings. The right-hander, who dramatically improved his control this year, held opposing batters to a .235 average.
Brandon Woodward, South Carroll, senior, pitcher: The unsung hero on a team full of standouts, the senior went 8-1 with a 1.56 ERA, allowing 25 hits in 45 innings and striking out 76, including 14 in the Class 3A state title game. He beat Central Maryland Conference champ Linganore twice, handing the Lancers two of their three losses, and showed pinpoint control.
Gary Harrison, South Carroll, junior, catcher: He was the complete catcher, hitting .377 with four doubles, three triples and three home runs, and also calling the games and committing just two errors in 248 chances. Only 12 runners even attempted to steal against him all year.
Ben Carr, South Carroll, senior, infielder: An important cog in the middle of South Carroll's potent lineup, the senior hit .391 with 11 extra-base hits -- including 10 doubles -- and drove in 26 runs, as the Cavaliers averaged nearly nine runs a game.
Rick Lamm, North Carroll, senior, infielder: Diagnosed with cancer two years ago, Lamm has fought back to become one of the best hitters in the county. He batted .439 with nine extra-base hits, a .500 on-base percentage and a .682 slugging percentage.
Justin Raynor, North Carroll, senior, infielder: The senior contributed on several fronts for the Panthers. He hit .403 with 10 extra-base hits, including eight doubles, and scored 25 runs. Though he mostly played second base and shortstop, he also won three games as a pitcher. He will play at Western Maryland College next season.
Dan Tompkins, South Carroll, senior, infielder: The Cavaliers' speedy leadoff man hit .356 with 11 extra-base hits and 17 stolen bases. He scored 32 runs by getting on base in front of big hitters Damiano and Jason Tourangeau.
Bryan Bandy, Liberty, senior, outfielder: He was Liberty's primary run producer, hitting .427 with 10 doubles, four triples, five homers, 20 RBIs and 23 runs scored. He led the Lions on a surprising late-season surge to get back to the .500 mark.
Mark Campbell, North Carroll, junior, outfielder: The center fielder was an offensive catalyst for the Panthers, batting .410 with a .507 on-base percentage. He had 18 RBIs, scored 24 runs and had 11 extra-base hits, including a team-high four triples.
Mike Taylor, Westminster, senior, outfielder: Taylor wrapped up a stellar career by hitting .429 with nine doubles, a triple, a home run, 23 runs scored and 18 RBIs. He had a .600 on-base percentage as well as a .651 slugging average, and also contributed on the mound with three wins and 52 strikeouts.