Five area players win regional honors

March 11, 2010|By Jeff Seidel | Special To The Baltimore Sun

Area players and teams scored big at the 47th Annual Scholar Athlete Awards Dinner held by the Greater Baltimore Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame on Wednesday night at Martin's West.

Hereford quarterback David Wood (North), St. Mary's lineman Henry Duden IV (South), Havre de Grace offensive lineman-linebacker Zachary Tabor (East), River Hill lineman Max Coale (West) and Dunbar linebacker Reynard Parks (Central) were the regional winners, and each got a $4,000 scholarship for his college education.

Old Mill was honored as the No. 1 team in The Baltimore Sun's final poll with the A. Paul Menton Award, named for the former sports editor of The Evening Sun. The Patriots (12-2) won the first state championship in school history in 2009, edging Wise, 17-16, to win the Class 4A title in December.

In addition, Old Mill won one of the four Ben Eaton Sr. Championship Awards, which are named for the late Dunbar coach and are awarded to the four public school state champions. Eastern Tech, Catoctin and Linganore took home the other Eaton Awards.

Eastern Tech also captured its first state title in 2009, beating Queen Anne's, 16-8, in the Class 2A final. The Mavericks won their final 10 games and ended up with a 13-1 record.

The Johns Hopkins football team was given a Special Achievement Award after setting a school mark for wins with a 10-3 record.

Catoctin's Matt Nesbitt won the new Courage Award, given to a player who succeeded in overcoming adversity. Nesbitt, a cornerback, spent 63 days in intensive care after being born with heart and lung problems, and was on oxygen 24 hours a day for the first five years of his life.

The 88 nominated players were divided into five regions. Unlike past years, an overall winner was not named because of a change in format by event organizers.

The winners all thanked their families for the support they were given and said how much it helped them find success in football.

"I'm fortunate to have always had the support of a great family and a great community," Wood said.

Tabor and Coale also credited the coaches who worked with them and helped turn them into better players.

"Thanks to all of my coaches," Tabor said. "You guys took me from a 150-pound sophomore to [a 195-pound senior]. You guys stuck with me."

Said Coale, who's headed to Princeton: "I wasn't initially a football player, but [the coaches] helped me get there."

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