Player of the Year
Shannon Jackson, River Hill: Jackson is the complete package. She is a skilled, determined competitor who understands the game as well as anyone, and is a tremendous role model off the field. "She's just a good all-around player," said River Hill coach Joan Kelso Smedley. "The younger players look up to her because she is a good example on and off the field." Jackson, a senior forward who has verbally committed to a soccer scholarship from Towson, finished with a team-high 16 goals and 10 assists as the unbeaten Hawks earned their second straight Class 3A state title. She had 11 goals and 11 assists last year. "She can score and can also distribute the ball very well," Smedley said. "She also has speed and excellent ball control, but her ability to score is probably her biggest asset." Jackson, an All-County softball pitcher, has a 3.96 GPA, having received one B during her sophomore year.
Co-Coaches of the Year
Joan Kelso Smedley, River Hill: "Every player on our team is a good soccer player," Smedley said. "The challenge is to put the best team on the field." And Smedley did that, directing the top-ranked Hawks to a perfect season (18-0) and second straight Class 3A state title. "What's nice is that I had many options on the starting lineup. It was easy for me to change the lineup around and still be successful." Smedley played soccer at Wilde Lake before graduating in 1985, and later played at Maryland. When River Hill opened in 1996, she coached the JV for two years. The Hawks are 49-4-1 in her three years as varsity coach. "This has been a great year," Smedley said. "We had a group of girls that got along on and off the field. And when they get along, that makes my job 10 times easier." Mike Williams, Glenelg: In his eighth season, Williams directed the seventh-ranked Gladiators (14-3-2) to their second straight state title (Class 1A) and third in four years. "It's been a great year," said Williams, whose team set a number of school records. "It was the first year we were ranked in the Sun poll from the get-go and stayed there all year." Williams said this year's team was "probably the most talented team we've ever had." Williams, who also serves as the school's athletic director, said assistant coach Dean Sheridan deserves much of the credit. "It's always fun for me to coach because I get to work with Dean," Williams said. "There's a lot of things I trust him to." Sheridan has assisted Williams all eight seasons.