2001 All-Howard County soccer teams

High Schools

November 29, 2001|By Rick Belz

The boys

Player of the Year

Kwaku Boateng, Hammond: An off-season weight-lifting program increased the junior striker's strength and led to a spectacular season of 29 goals and six assists. A year ago, he scored 14 goals and Hammond went 4-10-1. This season the Golden Bears improved to 10-9 and won their first regional championship by upsetting Centennial in the regional final, 3-1. Boateng, a member of a national-finalist club team, the Soccer Club of Baltimore Bays, was the go-to-guy. He had incredible quickness, dribbling ability and hunger to score. "He can score at will," said North Hagerstown coach Lance Baker after Boateng scored three goals in the regional semifinals against his team, which had allowed only nine goals all season. Five times Boateng scored at least three goals in a game. Coach Trevin London's decision to employ Boateng as a lone striker after the seventh game of the season paid huge dividends, because the Bears were 8-4 from that point on, including a six-game winning streak that culminated in a 3-0 loss to Stephen Decatur in the state semifinal.

Coach of the Year

Peter Klisas, Glenelg: The sixth-year head coach, who directed the Gladiators to a Class 1A state title in 1997, presided over Glenelg's finest Howard County league season ever. The Gladiators, who returned five starters from a team that had gone 3-4-2 in league play a year ago, compiled a 6-1-2 league mark this season, They lost only to River Hill among league opponents, while tying Oakland Mills and Mount Hebron. The Gladiators also defeated Centennial for what is thought to be the first time in school history. Glenelg (11-3-2) also came within one win of their all-time season high for victories before falling to Centennial in the Class 2A regional semifinals, 2-0. The three losses were the second fewest in school history. "I'm proud of what the kids were able to accomplish," said Klisas.

First team

Garrett Anderson, Centennial: A three-year varsity player who earned second-team All-County honors as a junior, the senior fullback was the Eagles' strongest one-on-one defender and their best player in the air. He scored three goals on set plays and anchored the defense against corner kicks. Anderson scored the game-winning goal in a 1-0 victory over Hammond. He hopes to attend Maryland or King's Point Merchant Marine Academy.

Matt Boras, River Hill: The senior center-midfielder scored six goals, added 12 assists and had four game-winning goals. A four-year varsity player and two-year starter, the team captain is an excellent passer and dribbler who took corner kicks and produced many assists off them. "Technically, he's the best player in the county," coach Bill Stara said. A state ODP player for five years, and a member of the national runner-up Soccer Club of Baltimore Bays, Boras plays smart, but is unafraid to take chances. He has a 4.42 weighted GPA and a 1,290 SAT, and has applied for early decision to Brown.

Josh Burford, Glenelg: Technically sound and able to play with both feet, the junior captain and three-year starter was a key to Glenelg's winningest league season (6-1-2) ever. He played his best game in scoring the tying goal in a 2-1 regular-season overtime victory against Centennial. He scored twice in a 3-0 playoff win over Walkersville. He also scored in a 2-1 loss to Carroll County powerhouse Liberty. He consistently found a way to put the ball in the goal, producing a total of 12 goals and six assists for the season.

Randy Collins, Centennial: The Eagles' leading scorer with nine goals and five assists, the second-year varsity player and junior captain displayed the poise and finishing ability that characterize good strikers. His field vision and creativity also made him dangerous in the midfield. He scored the game-winning goal in a 1-0 victory over Mount Hebron. He also scored a big goal in a 2-1 playoff win over Middletown, and Centennial's lone goal in a 3-1 regional final loss to Hammond.

Jason Finney, River Hill: The senior midfielder scored eight goals, including two game-winners, had three assists and gave the Hawks a consistent attack from the right outside halfback position. With his long, loping stride and quick bursts of speed, he was able to run onto through balls, creating pressure on opposing defenses. His goals weren't always pretty, but he came through often enough to lead the Hawks in scoring with eight goals, including the game-winner against Urbana and a key goal against Liberty. He had three assists.

Chris Glacken, Glenelg: The senior stopper was a captain and three-year starter for the Gladiators. He scored five goals and had four assists. "He was a powerful leader and an important part of our team," said coach Peter Klisas. Glacken scored the game-winning goal in a 2-1 victory over Westminster.

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