Player of the Year
J. T. Rembert, Oakland Mills: An impact player who set high standards, the 6-foot-2, 195-pound senior quarterback-running back-linebacker-punter was the most dominant player on the county's most dominant team. The opposition respected him greatly. "He's the real deal - a great player," said Atholton coach Kevin Kelly. "He can take the ball and make it happen. He's pretty explosive. You are pretty awed watching him on film. I'd rather have the ball in anyone's hands but his." Rembert rushed 169 times for 1,489 yards and 24 touchdowns. He completed 45 of 84 passes for 821 yards and five touchdowns. He made 44 solo tackles and 29 assists. His own coach, Ken Hovet, appreciated his value better than anyone. "As he goes, so goes our team," Hovet said. That was never more evident than in the state quarterfinal, when Glenelg, a team the Scorpions had beaten, 28-6, the second week of the season, upset them, 14-7, in overtime. Rembert was hobbled by a sprained ankle. "Probably his biggest contribution was that he was a team player, outstanding captain and had a modest personality," Hovet said. James Madison, Delaware and Richmond are schools he's considering.
Chris Bowen, Glenelg: On a team that stressed ball control and rarely passed, the 6-4, 185-pound tight end mostly blocked, but did catch 18 passes for 364 yards and five scores. He made four catches in the state semifinal loss to Forestville. He also intercepted nine passes.
Wyatt Cooper, Centennial: Coach Ed Holshue called Cooper the best lineman he's ever coached, and the 6-2, 225-pound senior guard led his team to a stronger than expected season. Cooper doubles as a defensive tackle, where he made 20 solo stops, 45 assists, five sacks, three fumble recoveries and caused three fumbles. He's also the team's scholar-athlete with a 3.6 GPA. An excellent lacrosse player and wrestler, Cooper is interested in Georgetown, Washington and Lee, and Franklin and Marshall.
Andrew Croner, Oakland Mills: The left tackle was an excellent trap blocker and was the pull blocker on the Scorpions bread-and-butter play - the counter. The 6-2, 225-pound junior has a 4.0 GPA and a 1,400 SAT score, and wants to attend Princeton in 2002.
Kenton Dunson, Hammond: A take-charge leader on the line, the 6-0, 250-pound junior center, who bench-presses 275 pounds, was a strong drive blocker and a good trap blocker. The two-year starting center also played defensive line and linebacker, making 32 solo tackles, 42 assists and 5 1/2 sacks.
Michael Ellis, Oakland Mills: The Scorpions were a predominantly right-sided running team, and Ellis was the right tackle, so most plays went behind him. The 6-3, 275-pound senior was agile for his size, and the best drive blocker on a team that gained 3,400 yards rushing. He'll play for Western Maryland next season.
Matt Hostetler, River Hill: The 6-3, 175-pound junior quarterback completed 99 of 203 passes (49 percent) for 1,197 yards and seven touchdowns, as the Hawks finished strong by winning four of their past five games. He orchestrated a 96-yard touchdown drive with five minutes remaining to beat Howard the final game of the season, 13-12. Hostetler, a 4.0 student, also rushed for four scores.
Travis Irving, Howard: His second straight first-team All-County selection, the 6-1, 230-pound senior running back was difficult to bring down. Using exceptional footwork, he rushed 140 times for 808 yards and seven touchdowns in nine games. On defense, he made 15 solo tackles, 24 assists, two sacks, seven tackles for a loss and recovered two fumbles. Maryland, West Virginia, Richmond and Towson have shown an interest.
Christian James, Wilde Lake: A hard, speedy runner who gained tough yards up the middle, not to mention an excellent blocker, James accumulated 516 yards rushing on 92 carries. He did this while performing in the shadow of marquee back Mario Merrills. Playing his first season on defense, the 6-0, 185-pound James made a team-leading 77 solo tackles and a team-leading 44 assists as a middle linebacker. "I've never seen anyone adapt to a new position as quickly as he did on defense," said Wildecats coach Doug DuVall.
Chris Kupec, River Hill: With 50 catches for 654 yards and five scores, the 6-3, 195-pound senior wide receiver ran good routes and displayed sure hands while leading the county in pass receiving. His size helped make him the Hawks' best offensive weapon. He also rushed for 200 yards and three touchdowns from a slot position.
Rob LaHayne, Glenelg: He has great feet for a 6-3, 245-pound junior guard and can either pull-block or drive-block with equal skill. "I think he's the best lineman in the county," coach John Davis said. "He's strong and fast, relentless sideline to sideline." Defensively, LaHayne recorded 51 solo tackles, 40 assists, four sacks and one fumble recovery.