2000 All-Carroll County boys lacrosse teams

High Schools

June 01, 2000|By Edward Lee and Rich Scherr

Boys Player of the Year

Danny Stansbury, South Carroll: There was little argument about the best lacrosse player this time. A year after Pat Wynne of South Carroll edged Micah Reese of Liberty for player-of-the-year honors last season, Stansbury clearly dominated the local lacrosse scene. The senior midfielder, who was a second-team All-County selection last year, finished with 31 goals and 19 assists and led the Cavaliers to a share of the county championship. Besides being the county's fifth-leading scorer, Stansbury won more than 65 percent of his faceoffs and led the team in ground balls with 88. One of four team captains and a three-year varsity starter, he plans to play lacrosse at UMBC, where his hustle and determination should be a welcome addition. "It looked like there were two of him out there," said South Carroll coach John O'Meally. "It was hard to take him off the field."

Coach of the Year

Sal Picataggi, Liberty: The third-year coach doesn't pretend to know everything about lacrosse. Even though he hails from lacrosse-rich Long Island, N.Y., Picataggi and his assistant coaches, Steve Gray and Richard Loper, spend much of the off-season attending clinics at Johns Hopkins and Navy. Picataggi's willingness to learn was evident after a preseason scrimmage with Hereford - which won the Class 3A-2A-1A state title. Picataggi asked Bulls coach Whit Morrill if Liberty could borrow a match-up zone defense that Hereford was using. The strategy helped the Lions grab a share of the county title and advance to the Class 4A-3A North regional semifinals. Liberty had previously won the county championship in 1985.

The team

Jesse Buppert, South Carroll: The senior attackman earned his second consecutive first-team All-County honors, but it wasn't easy. Despite a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee that forced him to miss five games, Buppert played on, recording 22 goals and 13 assists. A team captain and three-year varsity starter, he broke 1996 graduate Tom Luster's career points record of 131 with 139 points. Buppert, who plans to try out for UMBC, leaves as the school's all-time leader in assists with 74.

Chris Currence, South Carroll: You couldn't tell that this senior defender was playing in his first year of varsity lacrosse. As the Cavaliers best defender, Currence marked the opposing team's most potent scorer. A physical player who enjoyed checking opponents into submission, he limited Liberty's Mark Donahue to a single goal in their first meeting. Currence will attend Western Maryland College, where he will play football and either wrestle or play lacrosse.

Doug Dietz, Westminster: The midfielder was the catalyst behind the Owls' share of the county crown. Dietz registered 17 goals and five assists, but his greatest contribution was his ability to start the transition game from the team's defensive end. Blessed with uncanny vision to see the entire field, Dietz evolved into Westminster's primary playmaker. He completed his third season as a varsity starter.

Mark Donahue, Liberty: The junior attackman continues to get better with age. A year after he scored 14 goals and added 25 assists in an injury-shortened season, Donahue finished with 32 goals and 38 assists this year - good enough to be the county's third-leading scorer. Deceptively quick on his feet, his favorite tactic involved losing his man behind the net and curling around for an easy goal. Donahue earned a first-team All-County honor for the second straight season.

John Fitzgerald, Westminster: The senior defender anchored a stingy Owls defense that gave up less than seven goals a game to county opponents. Fitzgerald was frequently assigned to mark an opponent's best attackman. An excellent take-away defender, he led the defense in ground balls and recorded two goals and three assists. A two-year varsity starter, Fitzgerald will continue his lacrosse career at CCBC-Catonsville.

Steve Freedman, Liberty: In Picataggi's mind, this junior attackman was the team's most improved player. Freedman scored 37 goals and chipped in seven assists. With one of the hardest shots in the county, he found his spots along the wings. A two-year varsity starter, Freedman spent much of the off-season developing a left-handed shot. In three playoff games, he scored 11 goals and added five assists.

Kris Gooding, Liberty: The senior midfielder's performance made up for a dismal junior season when he was declared academically ineligible. Gooding registered 17 goals and 10 assists this year. As the Lions' primary faceoff guy, he won 76 percent of his faceoffs. A three-year varsity starter, Gooding's best asset was his ability to carry the ball through the midfield with confidence. He plans to play lacrosse next season at Catonsville Community College.

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