County stars display versatile skill
Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2005
Joe Haden, Friendly, quarterback: The playmaker behind Friendly’s potent offense, Haden was a threat to run and throw. The junior completed 101 of 163 passes for 1,910 yards through the 3A South Region playoffs, connecting on a county-high 22 touchdown passes to just five interceptions. In a playoff loss to Lackey, Haden rushed for two scores to give him a team-high six on the season.
Vincent Hill, Friendly, wide receiver: Haden’s favorite target the past two seasons has been Hill, who led the county’s receiving corps during the regular season in yards (854) and finished with 41 catches for 886 yards and 11 touchdowns. He averaged 21.6 yards per catch and had 11 touchdowns.
Quentin McCree, Gwynn Park, widereceiver: The senior presented a fast and tall target for Yellow Jackets’ quarterback Andrew Banks. McCree caught 29 passes for 771 yards and eight touchdowns and returned kickoffs and punts. He is considering playing for the University of Maryland or Tennessee next season.
Kenny Tate, DeMatha, wide receiver: Only a sophomore, Tate appears headed for a standout career. A first-team All-WCAC pick, he had 24 receptions for 529 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for another seven. In the WCAC finals, Tate scored twice including once in overtime.
Antoinial Coles, Potomac, running back: After missing Potomac’s run to the 2004 state Class 2A title because of a knee injury, Coles, 6-2 and 205 pounds, was the catalyst for the Oxon Hill school’s title defense. He rushed for 1,567 yards and 20 touchdowns including a 225-yard showing in a state semifinal victory against Joppatowne. In the state championship game, Coles had three touchdowns in a 38-3 rout of South Carroll.
Patrick Mealy, DeMatha, running back: A backup last season, Mealy emerged as a force for the WCAC champions. The 5-foot-10, 205-pound senior rushed for 1,561 yards and 24 touchdowns, caught three touchdown passes and was selected to the WCAC first-team.
Monty Clayton, Suitland, running back: With standout Navarro Bowman sidelined most of the season with a shoulder injury, Clayton handled the load for the Rams. The 5-7, 165-pound senior rushed for 1,133 yards and 16 touchdowns. Clayton, who has rushed for 1,000-plus yards the last two seasons, will play in Saturday’s county senior all-star game at Bowie State.
Brandon Brockington, Parkdale, all-purpose: The Panthers’ turnaround campaign wouldn’t have been possible without the versatile 5-10, 180-pound senior. He amassed 600 yards and seven touchdowns playing quarterback, receiver and running back. Brockington, who also returned kicks and punts, had two interceptions as a defensive back and played linebacker and was holder on extra points.
Ryan Bartholomew, DeMatha, lineman: Bartholomew was the catalyst for DeMatha’s running game. The Stags ran approximately 60 percent of the time behind the 6-foot-4, 300-pound left tackle, helping teammate Patrick Mealy to a 1,500-plus yard campaign A first-team All-WCAC selection, Bartholomew is set to attend Syracuse University.
Antonio Logan-El, Forestville, lineman: The top-ranked player in the state and the No. 3 prep guard in the country according to Rivals.com, Logan-El lived up to the hype this season. He allowed just one sack all season and enabled the Knights to maintain a potent rushing attack. As a defensive tackle, he collected 89 tackles and 6.5 sacks. Logan-El is still deciding where to play in college, as the University of Maryland, Tennessee, Florida and Oklahoma are among his choices.
Jamaal Thomas, Flowers, lineman: Thomas paved the way for teammate Rapheal Johnson to have a career season. According to the Flowers statistics, Thomas, a junior, missed just one block while in pass protection and had a number of crucial blocks that opened up holes for the Jaguars’ halfbacks to pass through.
Ryan Brooks, Douglass, lineman: Brooks is what the Eagles’ coaching staff considers a finisher. He was an integral part of a unit that led the county and helped the Eagles offense rank among the county leaders in rushing. Brooks always had a cerebral perspective after games which should help him on the next level. He has drawn interest from several programs, among them Prairie View A&M.
Courtney Prince, Gwynn Park, lineman: Whenever the Yellow Jackets needed a crucial first down, they often looked to Prince. The junior proved capable of opening gaping holes for his talented running backs and the Yellow Jackets claimed the 3A state title thanks to a ground attack that benefited from his brutal blocks.
Matt Campbell, DeMatha, kicker: Campbell was the unsung hero for DeMatha’s charge to a third straight WCAC championship. The senior’s extra-point in overtime was the difference in the Stags’ victory against Good Counsel, and he caught 11 passes for 153 yards in the title game. Campbell was5 for 8 on field goals and had 47 extra-points.
Coach of the Year
Danny HayesGwynn Park
This marks the second time Hayes has earned the distinction, but this one comes after he guided the Yellow Jackets to an unbeaten season and their first state football title. Hayes was adamant in getting his players into the weight room and onto the outdoor track to improve their strength and conditioning last January. He then steered the Yellow Jackets to a perfect 10-0 mark during the regular season and victories against Westlake, Lackey, River Hill and Westminster in the playoffs to claim the state Class 3A title. In addition to upending Westminster 20-14 in double-overtime in the state championship game, Hayes guided his team past two defending state champions, Potomac and Suitland during the regular season slate. Hayes had also earned the coach of the year title in 2000 when the Yellow Jackets reached the state 3A championship game. A Bladensburg High graduate, Hayes entered the season with a heavy heart after his father and grandmother died within days of one another in August.
Offensive Player of the Year
Rapheal JohnsonRunning back, Flowers
In his final year at the prep level, Johnson had the opportunity to be the feature back in a strong rushing attack. All he did was put together the best offensive season ever for a Jaguars player. Johnson amassed 2,331 yards on the ground to go along with a county-high 23 rushing touchdowns. Following standout Jaguars’ running backs like Omar Cuff, Brandon McRae and Raymond Dixon, Johnson distinguished himself as a player who could carry the load. In perhaps his finest effort, Johnson carried the team on his back in the 4A South Region championship game. Johnson treaded through Douglass defense that had allowed just 37 points all season for huge chunks of yardage in route to amassing 238 yards and a touchdown on 29 carries. Johnson added four receptions and a touchdown and was a primary reason the Jaguars returned to the 4A South final for the third consecutive season. Johnson had generated interest from Penn State, Miami, Delaware and James Madison among others.