BOYS PLAYER OF THE YEAR
St. Mary's, senior
Four years ago, Gaudreau's high school career began with a fortuitous twist. Slated to be the Saints' No. 2 singles player, Gaudreau was promoted to the top singles position when Alabama-bound Millie Begovic underwent surgery to repair an injured wrist. Since then, Gaudreau hasn't looked back in compiling a 46-0 record in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association's B Conference.
He went 13-0 this season and became the league's first player to win four consecutive conference championships. Gaudreau has dropped only three sets in four years to B Conference opponents.
St. Mary's coach Jim Sheehan said he has been most impressed with his star player's hunger for improvement. "Andrew was never one to let his game plateau or stagnate," Sheehan said. "He always worked hard to become better." Gaudreau, a three-time All-County selection, will try to make the tennis team at Notre Dame University next season.
GIRLS PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Severna Park, senior
As often as consistency is confused with monotony, there's no question that Johnson has been the most dominant girls tennis player over the past three seasons. She hasn't lost a match en route to three straight county and regional titles.
Her only losses in the past three seasons have come in the state tournament, in which Johnson lost to two-time state finalist Beatrice Grasu of Franklin, 6-3, 6-0, two weeks ago. In compiling her 18-1 record this year, Johnson used her topspin-heavy, penetrating ground strokes to set up her net game. Her near-constant presence on the court has helped the Falcons (11-0) capture two regular-season crowns and three county and regional tournament championships.
"It's going to be hard to look down there and not see Susan," said Severna Park coach April Quigley. "People have associated Severna Park tennis with her for so long." Johnson, the county Player of the Year for the third consecutive season, will play at the Air Force Academy next year.
COACH OF THE YEAR
In his first season as the Bruins' head coach, Jellig set a standard that few could duplicate. Jellig, who coached at North Stafford High in Virginia for four years before becoming a volunteer coach at Broadneck last season, is a firm believer that the best tennis players are the fittest. Upholding that thinking, he installed a series of conditioning drills designed to improve his squad's stamina.
Every practice began with a "grizzly" - a two-mile cross country-style run around the school campus - and a set of sprints. To help acclimate his players, Jellig often participated in the drills with them. The results were eye-opening as the Bruins made a three-win improvement from last year's 7-4 record to a 10-1 mark this season.
Broadneck finished second in the county tournament - the program's highest placement in at least a decade - and the junior-varsity squad won the JV county crown. But Jellig is at his proudest when he talks about his program's cumulative grade-point average of 3.85. "That's an amazing number when you consider that we have 30 kids in our program," Jellig said. "That's an extraordinary achievement."
South River, senior
Beach's comfort in standing outside the spotlight served her well. Seahawks coach Julie Savoye paired Beach with fellow senior Andrew King after his original mixed doubles partner complained about King's desire to make every play. Beach, a converted singles player, didn't mind and her solid baseline game meshed well with King's voracious net play.
Together, the duo didn't lose a single set during the regular season en route to winning the county's mixed doubles championship. Beach will play at Williams College next year.
Severna Park, sophomore
No one faced more pressure than Daciek. She was picked to replace Jamie deGraffenreid, who claimed a state crown with Lindsay Suller. After deGraffenreid moved to Florida during the off-season, April Quigley selected Daciek, who played mixed doubles last season.
Her power game helped Daciek and Suller compile a 19-1 record and grab county and state titles. "They both have that desire to win," Quigley said of her reasoning behind the pairing. "It was good to know that they weren't putting their heads down when they made a mistake."
Eagles coach John Malecki doesn't hesitate to credit much of the program's revival and a 6-5 record to Kemp and his doubles partner, Nathan Uncapher. Kemp displayed a consistent baseline game and improved his net play during the off-season. Paired with Uncapher, the two went 8-1 during the regular season, including a straight-sets victory over Broadneck senior Todd Basile and junior Blake Foster.
Although Kemp and Uncapher lost to the Broadneck duo in the county final, they earned a measure of revenge by forging a three-set win over Basile and Foster in the regional final.
South River, senior