Linemen dominant at Scholar Athlete Awards Dinner

McDonogh's Conway, Poly's Taylor, Eastern Tech's McManus and Middletown's Headley — along with Meade linebacker Gabriel Cox — get $4,000 apiece toward college

March 02, 2011|By Todd Karpovich, Special to The Baltimore Sun

All 88 of the senior football players honored at Wednesday night's 48th annual Scholar Athlete Awards Dinner are just as comfortable discussing literature, science or mathematics as they are dissecting a Wing-T offense or a safety blitz.

The event, presented by the Greater Baltimore Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame at Martin's West, also unveiled five regional scholarship winners among the players from Baltimore City, Anne Arundel, Carroll, Frederick, Harford, Howard and Baltimore counties. McDonogh lineman Eric Conway (North), Meade linebacker Gabriel Cox (South), Poly lineman Paul Taylor II (Central), Eastern Tech lineman Dan McManus (East) and Middletown lineman John Headley (West) each get $4,000 for their college education.

"Make sure you remember those people who have been very, very special to you," Maryland coach Randy Edsall told the players. "The game football, the sport of football, is the best team game going because it teaches you so many lessons about life."

It was not lost on the players that four of the five winners were lineman.

"I know my parents are very happy now," said Cox, who is considering Salisbury. "They always say the offensive linemen are the smarter ones. It's just great to be honored."

McManus, who will attend Bucknell, said: "I thought there were a lot of qualified people to win. I was just glad I could win it."

Santina Busch of Patapsco and Centennial's Zach Lederer won the Courage Award for overcoming personal challenges to excel in both academics and athletics.

This year's local state champions, Dunbar (Class 1A), Wilde Lake (3A) and Urbana (4A), were given the Ben Eaton Sr. Championship Award in honor of the late Poets football coach. Calvert Hall received the A. Paul Menton Award for finishing as the No. 1 team in the Baltimore area. The Cardinals were 11-1 and won their first Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A conference title.

"You guys are blessed to be here," Calvert Hall coach Donald Davis said. "Your wonderful academic talents and hard work has put you on this stage."

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