PLAYER OF THE YEAR
The last time a defender earned All-Metro Player of the Year honors in The Sun was in 1997, when Boys' Latin's John Glatzel led the Lakers through an unbeaten, title-winning season, never getting beat one-on-one by a rival offensive player.
Unlike Glatzel, whose team allowed just over four goals a game, Kelly didn't have a perfect season. But he came close. Kelly's Eagles lost once in 23 outings on the way to winning the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference crown. Rival attackmen combined for three goals against Kelly, whose team allowed less than six scores per game.
Still, the 6-foot-2, 180-pound senior fits the mold of Glatzel, who starred at Syracuse. Like Glatzel, Kelly is a repeat All-Metro performer with a penchant for intercepting passes. Kelly also is capable of shadowing any player, delivering sharp, clean checks, then using his speed and mobility to scoop ground balls and run them into his team's offensive transition.
Kelly's abilities led to his assisting on three goals, as well as his being named this year's recipient of the C. Markland Kelly Award, an honor annually bestowed upon the player considered to be the state's best.
"Brennan's the best defenseman I've ever coached," said coach Jake Reed. "He took on other teams' top scorers and shut them down. He knew when to throw checks and when to use the body."
Kelly ranked second on the team behind second-team All-Metro midfielder Bryn Holmes with 92 ground balls. Also a starting defensive back for the Eagles' football team, he will play lacrosse at Georgetown.
COACH OF THE YEAR
The past season was an emotional one for Reed. It followed a year in which his team missed the playoffs by a half game, a winter when a former player died in a hunting accident and a preseason in which Reed discovered McDonogh's headmaster was not renewing his contract.
Reed, who turns 50 in August, wasn't certain that his 13th and final season was going to be a good one. Yet he retained his composure under pressure to lead the Eagles to the program's second-ever Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference title in a league considered the nation's most difficult.
"With my luck this year, I wasn't quite sure things were going to work out the way we wanted in the end," said Reed, who coached his 400th career game this season. His career record is 255-145 (181-98 at McDonogh), and his son, Travis, a sophomore, was the Eagles' top scorer. "I couldn't ask any more of this team. They just refused to go out losing."
Down 1-0 early in the championship game against No. 2 Boys' Latin, McDonogh rebounded for a 9-8 victory that capped a school-record 22-1 season.
"This is what it comes down to. This is what we worked for," McDonogh senior midfielder Jimmy Daly said in the aftermath of the Boys' Latin win. "There is no greater way to express how much Coach Reed means to us than to give him a championship like this."
Calvert Hall, midfield
The senior was perhaps the best all-around player for the fifth-ranked Cardinals.
He did whatever was needed, whether that meant scoring, assisting, playing defense or out-hustling the opposition for a ground ball.
"Phil played both ends of the field. He was the co-MVP of our team along with his brother [Jeremy, an All-Metro second-team goalie]," said Cardinals coach Brian Kelly. "Phil did it all for us."
Blevins totaled a team-high 43 points, comprised of 24 goals and 19 assists.
The Towson University-bound player did so while playing the entire season dealing with his older brother Sid's battle with cancer.
Boys' Latin, attack
The junior repeat All-Metro and high school All-America performer scored 43 goals and assisted on 56 others, surpassing his efforts of a year ago, when he finished with 41 goals and 36 assists.
An athletic player capable of single-handedly taking over a game, Boland was at his best - scoring 10 points (six goals and four assists) - in a late-season rout of then-No. 2 St. Paul's. Along with senior Tad Stanwick, Boland led the Lakers to an 18-2 record, a No. 2 ranking in The Sun, and a title-game runner-up finish to McDonogh.
Already committed to NCAA champion Johns Hopkins, Boland is the younger brother of Kevin Boland, an All-Metro midfielder at Gilman in 2000.
One of the most complete players in Maryland, Carroll, though just a junior, was named a high school All-American as well as The Sun's All-Baltimore City Player of the Year.
Solid as a one-on-one defender, a force when it comes to digging for ground balls and capable of scoring or assisting on goals, Carroll was the leader for the sixth-ranked Greyhounds, the only team to defeat top-ranked, eventual Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference champ McDonogh.
Carroll finished the year with 26 goals and 17 assists, including a feed to his twin brother, Kevin, for the game-winner in Gilman's 10-9 victory over McDonogh.