Player of the Year
Ryan Boyle, Gilman: For field sense and vision, second-effort, off-ball movement and even riding ability, most agree there was no better player in the league, or perhaps no better senior in the nation, than the Princeton-bound Boyle. A two-time All-Metro selection who entered the season regarded as the nation's No. 1 attackman, Boyle led Gilman to its second MIAA A Conference title since his sophomore season, its 14th overall. He scored 36 goals and assisted on 44 others to raise his numbers over the past four seasons to 258 points. Although often drawing the best defenders from opposing teams, Boyle was still able to run things for the Greyhounds, taking advantage of the talent around him "to do what's best for the team," according to coach Dave Allan. The 4.0 student came through best in the Greyhounds' last two games against Loyola and Boys' Latin, scoring a combined seven goals and getting four assists. Boyle, who beat Boys' Latin's Matt O'Malley on one move to the goal in the title game, also ranked among the team's ground ball leaders with nearly 100. A two-time All-Metro football quarterback who led Gilman to two A Conference crowns and a 21-0 winning streak in that sport, Boyle will play football and lacrosse at Princeton.
Co-Coaches of the Year
Gary Schreiber, Dulaney: Schreiber, 54, nearly didn't return for his 21st season, but after leading the Lions to a 16-2 record and their third 4A-3A state title in his tenure - the first since consecutive crowns in 1990, and '91 - he is glad that he did. Having graduated his entire defense from the previous season's squad, which lost to eventual state champ Severna Park in the state semifinals, Schreiber was left with a youthful team that started only four seniors. Yet this group blew away Baltimore County competition - including 3A-2A-1A state champ Hereford, 17-5. Dulaney dethroned Severna Park, 10-8, even though the Falcons returned eight starters from last season. "The underclassmen had an unselfish style of play that makes coaching enjoyable," said Schreiber.
Dave Allan, Gilman: Allan, 54, faced a challenge not only in replacing most of the defense in front of veteran keeper Jay Pfeifer, but also the added pressure of starting out as the area's No. 1 team. By season's end, however, Gilman's defense rallied around such unheralded players as Lawson Grumbine, who contained Boys' Latin's No. 1 all-time scorer in the Greyhounds' 10-8 championship victory. The Greyhounds finished at 16-1, going 2-1 against No. 2 Boys' Latin. Allan credits defensive coach Brook Matthews for his adjustments made in five come-from-behind victories over Boys' Latin, St. Mary's, Loyola, St. Paul's and Landon of Montgomery County, which began the season as the nation's No. 1- ranked team.
Rob Bateman, Hereford: The Penn State-bound, 6-foot-4, 200-pound senior scored six goals, assisted on 22 others, scooped a team-high 153 ground balls and displayed unusual speed and versatility for a defender in leading the Bulls (15-3) to the 3A-2A-1A state title. Bateman had four game-winning goals in Hereford's last five games, and had 10 ground balls in the other while often guarding Mount Hebron's top player out of a match-up zone. Bateman was a C. Markland Kelly Award small schools finalist - an honor bestowed upon the player deemed the best among small schools.
Kevin Boland, Gilman: The Johns' Hopkins-bound senior led the Greyhounds with 104 ground balls, and scored 24 goals to go with 22 assists (61 goals, 34 assists in two seasons). An all-around player who executed on faceoffs and had a goal and three assists in the title game, Boland was able to concentrate solely on midfield duties after having been an attack-middie last season. Boland's exploits on Towson's AstroTurf may be a portent of things to come at Johns Hopkins, where his speed and anticipation should make him a terror.
Charlie Conkling, St. Paul's: Part of perhaps the league's top defense, Conkling, only a junior, solidified the Crusaders in front of keeper Paul Spellman although playing most of the season with a broken left thumb. The No. 3 Crusaders rarely allowed opponents to score in double digits. And when the Crusaders needed a defender to replace a starter in the semifinal 10-9 loss to Boys' Latin, Conkling stepped up to contain the Lakers' top player.
Jack deVilliers, St. Paul's: DeVilliers' faceoff prowess (he won 70 percent) made the fleet-footed, 6-1, 165-pounder one of the nation's best at his craft, and one of the league's most dangerous players. DeVilliers, committed to Virginia, also ran first midfield and scored 19 goals to go with 18 assists. His value was most notable during his sophomore campaign, when his presence keyed a season-opening victory over Landon - its only loss of that year - before an ankle injury forced the premature end to his season and the Crusaders spiraled toward a disappointing finish.