Player of the Year
Raytron Leak, Edmondson, Sr., RB/K: It sounds cliche, but Leak did it all. He rushed for 1,514 yards and 17 touchdowns and caught 15 passes for scores that totaled 1,460 yards. Entering the playoffs, he had averaged 43 yards per punt, with a long of 68 yards vs. Walbrook, and had booted all but 10 of his kickoffs out of the end zone. He returned three of nine interceptions for scores, three punts for touchdowns and one kickoff for another. Playing with a hamstring pull, Leak caught a 72-yard touchdown pass to beat Walbrook, 6-0. All in all, Leak, a 6-foot, 230-pounder who runs a 4.5-second 40-yard dash, accounted for 39 touchdowns. He also had eight sacks as a hard-hitting linebacker, and two fumble recoveries that led to long drives -- one for a score. The Austin, Texas-based Rivals100 recruiting service gave Leak the highest rating in the state for a running back, which puts him No. 30 among the nation's top 100 running-back recruits. Leak's stock will soar should he get the qualifying SAT score, as expected, in the next few months. He is expected to be included among the nation's top 25 running backs, which would make him a high school All-American, when Rivals100 releases its newest ratings in a couple of weeks. Said Geoff Ketchum of Rivals100, "It's rare that you see a player with those kinds of numbers", and Leak's ability on both sides of the ball, all over the field. Coaches like Leak's size, speed, ability to catch the ball out of the backfield, his willingness to block and his overall attitude. Leak, who has had eight scholarship offers, said he has narrowed his choices to Maryland, Michigan, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech and Boston College.
The first team
Rob Abiamiri, Mount St. Joseph, Sr., WR: The 6-foot-3, 200-pounder, who runs a 4.5-second 40-yard dash, has accepted a full football scholarship at Maryland. Abiamiri, who carries a 3.4 grade average and scored 1,010 on his SAT, caught 28 passes for 779 yards and eight touchdowns, rushed for two scores and 294 yards, and returned a kickoff for another touchdown for the 14th-ranked Gaels.
Matt Belcastro, Patterson, Sr., lineman: The 6-4, 290-pound four-year starter led the Clippers to a share of their sixth Baltimore City championship, their second straight in the City's East Division, and a berth in the 4A state semifinals. Belcastro, a two-way player who also had nine sacks, is effective as a pulling- or drive-blocker. A second-team All-Metro pick last season, he was part of an offense that averaged more than 350 yards, primarily on the ground. Behind him, Tony Smithson (1,483 yards, 25 TDs) ranked 15th among the state's top rushers.
Ryan Boyle, Gilman, Sr., QB: Boyle (5-11, 185) was 76-for-107 passing (71 percent) for 1,220 yards and 14 touchdowns, and rushed for 704 with eight scores to lead Gilman to its second consecutive Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference crown, its second straight No. 1 area ranking and a school-record 21 straight victories. In his three-year varsity career, Boyle, who began calling his own plays midway through last season, has totaled 3,593 passing yards and 2,051 rushing. In college, the two-time All-Metro lacrosse player and 4.0 student has committed to playing that sport, in addition, perhaps, to football, at Princeton.
Eddie Colbert, Edmondson, Sr., QB: The 6-3, 200-pounder was 83-for-142 (58 percent) passing for 2,415 yards and 32 touchdowns, and has elicited scholarship offers from Maryland, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech and Syracuse. Colbert, who passed for more than 1,200 yards and 12 scores as a junior, has been rated the state's third-best QB -- and America's 33rd-best Division I recruit at his position -- by Rivals100.
Joe Cromwell, Western Tech, Sr., WR: The 6-2, 170-pounder's 4.38-second speed, clocked at different combines over the summer, along with his 37-inch vertical leap have aided him in eliciting full-scholarship offers from Virginia Tech, James Madison and Temple. Cromwell caught 28 passes this season for 662 yards and 10 touchdowns and rushed for another. With 83 career receptions for 1,595 yards and 18 scores, he's also attracted interest from Maryland, Kent State, North Carolina State, Pittsburgh, Richmond and Connecticut.
Mike Faust, Gilman, Sr., RB: The 5-11, 225-pound Faust rushed for 523 yards and 14 scores and had one reception for a touchdown despite rarely playing in the second half. A two-time All-Metro heavyweight wrestler who is ranked No. 1 nationally, he also had five sacks and recovered three fumbles as a nose guard. A punishing runner who can bench-press 380 pounds, Faust has a 3.9 grade average, scored 1,340 on his SAT and is being recruited by Harvard, Princeton and Pennsylvania for football and wrestling.